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ConnieAnnKirk
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First-time Readers -- First Impressions?

[ Edited ]
Once you have finished the book as a first-time reader, please feel free to post your first impressions here. Don't be afraid to ask questions, too--we have many re-readers in the group who will hopefully help out!

Message Edited by ConnieK on 12-30-2007 10:46 AM
~ConnieAnnKirk




[CAK's books , website.]
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kayaklloyd
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Re: First-time Readers -- First Impressions?

I just finished this book. Wow, the seeker cannot find. Love it most important of all, but also creates the most pain. The river represents so much. It represents a crossing, a transformation, but yet it is fluid, ever changing but always the same, it moves but it stays in place. Water is its base. It is cleansing and baptismal. I thought it was used powerfully when it reflected his father.
I come away with two overpowering thoughts right now. One, the present, Live in the present. I t connects us to the past and future and the unity of life. Adn secondly, time is the source off all fear. Time is the presure of life the seeker or the merchant.
Just some ramblings from a first time reader.
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ConnieAnnKirk
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Re: First-time Readers -- First Impressions?

Here are a few of my own first impressions:

I'm a bit confused by the book and have lots of questions, but I think that's likely, at least in part, because I know so little about Buddhism. I'm ready to learn from club members what they have to teach about this book (and I'm not shy about saying I value teachers and their teachings!). I am wondering why Kamala was the source of Siddhartha's turn in life toward the material. I found his return to his spiritual journey (after going so far astray from it for so long, it seemed) made his overall journey in the end one of hope. I also liked the role of the river and am still thinking about its apparent power to teach...

Much to consider from this book, which should make for some interesting discussions!

~ConnieK
~ConnieAnnKirk




[CAK's books , website.]
Inspired Wordsmith
Sunltcloud
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Re: First-time Readers -- First Impressions?


kayaklloyd wrote:
I just finished this book. Wow, the seeker cannot find. Love it most important of all, but also creates the most pain. The river represents so much. It represents a crossing, a transformation, but yet it is fluid, ever changing but always the same, it moves but it stays in place. Water is its base. It is cleansing and baptismal. I thought it was used powerfully when it reflected his father.
I come away with two overpowering thoughts right now. One, the present, Live in the present. I t connects us to the past and future and the unity of life. Adn secondly, time is the source off all fear. Time is the presure of life the seeker or the merchant.
Just some ramblings from a first time reader.




I think your "ramblings" are great. I have been thinking about the river all day; it rained uninterruptedly in my area for the last few days and it is easy to feel the power of water everywhere. When we add to this that the human body is mainly water, we should have no problem feeling the unity the river communicates.

I find that Siddhartha is the kind of book that I could only read in small portions at a time because I had to make so many notes, had to think about so many sentences that seemed important to me. And like you I came away with WOW impressions about love, pain, the river, time etc. I suddenly had the desire to run away into the forest to be alone; unfortunately the phone rang and I had to leave my path of enlightenment and come back down to the level of the "child people."
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Sunltcloud
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Re: First-time Readers -- First Impressions?



ConnieK wrote:
Here are a few of my own first impressions:

I'm a bit confused by the book and have lots of questions, but I think that's likely, at least in part, because I know so little about Buddhism. I'm ready to learn from club members what they have to teach about this book (and I'm not shy about saying I value teachers and their teachings!). I am wondering why Kamala was the source of Siddhartha's turn in life toward the material. I found his return to his spiritual journey (after going so far astray from it for so long, it seemed) made his overall journey in the end one of hope. I also liked the role of the river and am still thinking about its apparent power to teach...

Much to consider from this book, which should make for some interesting discussions!

~ConnieK




I see Siddhartha’s journey as divided into steps toward awakening. And at each new bend of the road he is reborn into a different world (reincarnation), from boyhood as rich kid, to disciple of the shramanas, to friend of the child people and Kamala, to father, to old man by the river.

I don’t think that Kamala was the reason he turned to material things. She was part of a phase in his life that required material things. In order to be her student he had to wear clean clothes, be clean himself, smell good. (Thank goodness for that.)

In the overall scheme of things I don’t think he went astray when he entered the city; it was all part of “experiencing” life. The ascetics wouldn’t understand this because they believe that enlightenment can only be found in asceticism and meditation and being totally without material things. Kamala understood.

I agree with you ConnieK , the overall journey is one that gives us hope. And I think the occasional moment in which we find peace of mind is the moment in which we listen to the river. To me listening to the river is a metaphor for “listening to the various signals we get from deep inside." And maybe the image of the forest is a code for “simplify.”
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ConnieAnnKirk
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Re: First-time Readers -- First Impressions?

Thank you, Sunltcloud! I see what you mean about listening to the river = listening to an inner voice.

~ConnieK



Sunltcloud wrote, in part:
I agree with you ConnieK , the overall journey is one that gives us hope. And I think the occasional moment in which we find peace of mind is the moment in which we listen to the river. To me listening to the river is a metaphor for “listening to the various signals we get from deep inside." And maybe the image of the forest is a code for “simplify.”


~ConnieAnnKirk




[CAK's books , website.]
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SAT10
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Re: First-time Readers -- First Impressions?

We have now finished the book. Our group felt that it was a well-written and insightful book, but it was not interesting to us. However, the reader was able to get a glimpse into Indian life, especially the Samanas. Siddhartha was a good book, it simply didn't peek our interest.
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Sunltcloud
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Re: Challenge to SAT10 Group


SAT10 wrote:
We have now finished the book. Our group felt that it was a well-written and insightful book, but it was not interesting to us. However, the reader was able to get a glimpse into Indian life, especially the Samanas. Siddhartha was a good book, it simply didn't peek our interest.




I am not surprised that Siddhartha wasn't interesting to you. You'll probably put it in a box and years from now when you move, you'll pull it out again;, you won't remember much of what it said, but you'll remember that it was supposed to teach some kind of lesson. I think you might have to wait until you turn 50, join a reading group, reread it, and, OMG, you'll begin to understand what all the stuff about suffering and learning and searching was about.

SAT10, (is it really SAT10? Why not SAP10?) !!!!!

I challenge you, each one in your group, to find one sentence that you liked, no matter what the sentence is about, no matter what it means, no matter how long or short it is. Don't explain it, just write it down in this thread and I'll put it in my journal as something to remember from this reading group.
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SAP2
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Re: First-time Readers -- First Impressions?

HC- My first impression was that it was a little boring, nothing in the story wowed me. I think if there was more action i would have been interested.

LC- I didnt care for the book. To me it was a boring and put me to sleep.

PC- My first impression was that it was boring and stupid.

AD- I thought that the book was a good representation of the quest to find happiness or enlightenment as Siddartha was looking for.

EW- When first reading the book i didnt not care of it. the book was good to explain the life of and changing beliefs of siddartha.
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SAP6
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Re: First-time Readers -- First Impressions?

[ Edited ]
Our group recently finished reading Siddartha.
It gaves us a pretty good look at life in India. I enjoyed reading about the Samanas but other than that I did not enjoy the other parts of the book. It is not something I would read again.
-M.
It really did not hold my interest. I did not like it too much.
-T.
Odd start, not something I hold an interest in. Did not inspire any form of imagination, too much talk, little enthusiam through it all. Complete bore.
-Cba

Message Edited by ConnieK on 01-11-2008 08:50 PM
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SAP7
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Re: First-time Readers -- First Impressions?

Our group thought this story was really hard to follow. It seemed as if the author kept rambling on and on without continuing with the story. We really did not enjoy this book because it wasn't the type of writing we enjoyed and was sort of boring.
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SAP19
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Re: First-time Readers -- First Impressions?

1. One of the group members thought that it was crazy.
2. One of the group members thought it was horrible, and also thought that it was fast-paced.
3. Another member thought Why am i reading this?
4. The book was boring and i really didn't see any point in reading it.
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SAP8
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Re: First-time Readers -- First Impressions?

[ Edited ]
When we first read this book i said "what the world is this". We felt as if the story wasn't readable. And also because of the book's ties to India, there are a lot of words that we didn't understand. The index in the back is a big help, but it is a hassle to have to stop reading and flip to the back. The book basically was really confusing once it was explained to us, then we got it. It really wasn't our kind of story that we would read. Siddartha the book was really weird overall especially his friend. That is what our first impression of Siddartha.

Message Edited by SAP8 on 01-11-2008 01:20 PM
SAP8===D
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SAT10
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Re: Challenge to SAT10 Group

Thank you for your input. I imagine that you are right about picking the book up agian in 20 years and enjoying it. We accepted your challenge, here are our group's most though provoking sentences:


He loved the eye of Siddhartha and his sweet voice, his gait and perfection of his movements; he loved everything Siddhartha did and said, and above all he loved Siddhartha's mind, his sublime and fiery thoughts, his blazing will, and Siddhartha's high calling.

Kamala owned a small, rare songbird in a golden cage.

Each one had a will to die, and a passionate, painful recognition of ephemerality--and yet none of them did die, they were only transformed, and were always reborn.

Tears coming from he knew not where ran down his old face, and a feeling of the most intimate love and most humble veneration burned like a fire in his heart.

The river knows everything, and everything can be learned from it.
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Sunltcloud
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Re: Challenge to SAT10 Group

Thanks for your quick answer, SAT10. I printed it out and now I'm going to the website of your school to print out a picture to add to the sentences you gave me.





SAT10 wrote:
Thank you for your input. I imagine that you are right about picking the book up agian in 20 years and enjoying it. We accepted your challenge, here are our group's most though provoking sentences:


He loved the eye of Siddhartha and his sweet voice, his gait and perfection of his movements; he loved everything Siddhartha did and said, and above all he loved Siddhartha's mind, his sublime and fiery thoughts, his blazing will, and Siddhartha's high calling.

Kamala owned a small, rare songbird in a golden cage.

Each one had a will to die, and a passionate, painful recognition of ephemerality--and yet none of them did die, they were only transformed, and were always reborn.

Tears coming from he knew not where ran down his old face, and a feeling of the most intimate love and most humble veneration burned like a fire in his heart.

The river knows everything, and everything can be learned from it.

Author
ConnieAnnKirk
Posts: 5,472
Registered: ‎06-14-2007
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Re: Challenge to SAT10 Group

A super challenge, Sunltcloud! Come on, groups. You can do this one. I look forward to your responses!

~ConnieK



Sunltcloud wrote, in part:
I challenge you, each one in your group, to find one sentence that you liked, no matter what the sentence is about, no matter what it means, no matter how long or short it is. Don't explain it, just write it down in this thread and I'll put it in my journal as something to remember from this reading group.


~ConnieAnnKirk




[CAK's books , website.]
Contributor
SAP19
Posts: 14
Registered: ‎01-10-2008
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Re: First-time Readers -- First Impressions?

WHEN I FIRST SAW IT I WAS THE COVER AND PICTURE THAT I SAW AND I LIKED IT. WELL WHEN I READ IT I THOUGH THAT IT WAS BORING AT FIRST AND THEN I LIKE IT BECAUSE THIS PERSON SIDHARTA WAS A STRONG PERSON AND WOULD BE ABLE TO OVERCOME ALL THE OBSTICLES THAT GET IN HIS WAY. AND AFTERWORDS I LIKE IT AND KEEP READING IT. IT WAS AWESOME.
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buddha_girl_17
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Re: First-time Readers -- First Impressions?

This book was absolutely incredible. Some of my favorite quotes are from this book, actually.

~“Wisdom is not communicable. The wisdom which a wise man tries to communicate always sounds foolish”
~“Whither will my path lead me? This path is stupid, it goes in spirals, perhaps in circles, but whichever way it goes, I will follow it”
~“Every sin already carries grace within it…everything that exists is good-death as well as life, sin as well as holiness, wisdom as well as folly.”

Makes sense, right?

it really changed my mind about the way I live my life. and i totally agree about the power of water, for clensing the spirit, as a medium for the mind to travel, and a source of peace for the soul.
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ConnieAnnKirk
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Re: First-time Readers -- First Impressions?

Thanks for posting, buddha_girl_17. Do you have a page number (or chapter) for your first quote? I remember reading it, but I'd like to re-read the passage it comes from.

~ConnieK



buddha_girl_17 wrote:
This book was absolutely incredible. Some of my favorite quotes are from this book, actually.

~“Wisdom is not communicable. The wisdom which a wise man tries to communicate always sounds foolish”
~“Whither will my path lead me? This path is stupid, it goes in spirals, perhaps in circles, but whichever way it goes, I will follow it”
~“Every sin already carries grace within it…everything that exists is good-death as well as life, sin as well as holiness, wisdom as well as folly.”

Makes sense, right?

it really changed my mind about the way I live my life. and i totally agree about the power of water, for clensing the spirit, as a medium for the mind to travel, and a source of peace for the soul.


~ConnieAnnKirk




[CAK's books , website.]
Inspired Wordsmith
Sunltcloud
Posts: 933
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: First-time Readers -- First Impressions?


SAP19 wrote:
1. One of the group members thought that it was crazy.
2. One of the group members thought it was horrible, and also thought that it was fast-paced.
3. Another member thought Why am i reading this?
4. The book was boring and i really didn't see any point in reading it.



My questions to SAP19:
1. What was crazy about the book?
2. Horrible in what way?
3. Why did you read it?
4. Then what's the point in participating in this group?
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