Natural Brilliance: A Buddhist System for Uncovering Your Strengths and Letting Them ShineNatural Brilliance: A Buddhist System for Uncovering Your Strengths and Letting Them Shine by Irini Rockwell
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Initial reaction: It probably didn’t help much that the whole time I read this book, I felt disconnected with the overarching point that the author was making in the work because of the lack of organization and connection with the material in a meaningful way. I didn’t care for it that much.

Full review:

Short and sweet review for what was a quick read for me, even when it really wasn’t a quick read overall. I think my eyes glossed over while reading this; it didn’t really do a good job of expanding on its respective subject matter or immersing me in the text: I read it in full, but it was a very dull read.

I was expecting an examination of Buddhist principles in a general sense to do what the title promised “Uncovering [My] Strengths and Letting Them Shine.” The narrative starts off organizing the narrative on the latent energies within people according to the Five Wisdoms:

1. Spaciousness
2. Clarity
3. Richness
4. Passion
5. Activity

So I figure the author would go into these principles and expand upon them in a meaningful way according to that format, but to my chagrin, he starts off talking about the first Wisdom and then jumps to another topic and meanders from there. While the narrative gives case studies and questions to interact with the reader, I was throroughly lost and disconnected from the text and its overarching point. The organization left much to be desired, the terminology felt vague at best, and I didn’t really gain much meaning from the narrative – not as much as it could’ve been.

I did like some of the quotations on meditation practices and expansions, but that was about it, and certainly anyone who may be new to meditation or the concepts presented in this text on Buddhist ideologies would feel overwhelmed and confused because it doesn’t sync the information in a way that’s easy to follow. There’s no flow between topics and it seems to jump from one concept to the next without a smooth transition. In the end, I was rather disappointed with it.

Overall score: 1.5/5 stars

Note: I recieved this as an ARC from NetGalley, from the publisher Shambhala.

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