Geri Larkin lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where she is an ordained Zen teacher and runs the Right Livelihood Seed Capital Fund. She is the author of Stumbling Toward Enlightenment. In these relaxed and entertaining dharma talks, the author ponders the riches of the Metta Sutra attributed to the Buddha himself. She notes at the outset: "Sutras are spiritual teachings in the form of strings of words that ancient seekers memorized and recited over and over as they sought enlightenment. They offered protection and guidance. Primal light sabers. And they worked. A person could pick one and concentrate on its offerings for a lifetime, grateful for its gifts."
For Larkin, the Buddha's Sutra on boundless love has infinite riches. She uses it as a spur to her meditations on peace, humility as joy, the art of relaxing in the world, emptying ourselves of hatred and ill will, and why vows matter. I especially liked her commentaries on nasty people as secret Bodhisattvas, letting go of our mental models of the world based on judgmentalism, when lying sucks, and telling the truth. Of the latter, she writes: "Speaking the truth is like Drano working on the clogs and snags of our hearts. It eats away at the crud that is blocking our innate loving-kindness." I also was quite taken with the concept of "a spiritual bodyguard" as a saint or a spiritual companion who watches over us when things are tough or dangerous. As a dharma teacher, Geri Larkin is some kind of wonderful!