New book from Acem Taiwan

Polar bearWhen the Ice Age withdrew from the European continent, everybody started celebrating. Only one person got worried, gathered his family, left the continent and travelled northwards to follow the ice, thus becoming the first Norwegian. Thousands of years later, he became a viking who could wage war and sail ships across the ocean, a fearsome pirate who would rob and rape whatever came his way. As one more millennium passed, however, he forgot the art of war and became famous for his love of peace – a peaceful pirate! Then he learnt to meditate.

Seeing the light
This is a brief summary of the opening pages of the most recent book on Acem Meditation. Not to be taken too seriously, for sure, but as we go along, we do learn quite a few things about meditation and the processes involved. We are told how the peaceful pirate thought he had seen the light in meditation, only to discover when opening his eyes that the light he saw came from a blinking lamp on the roof of a road maintenance truck. The book contains a few not too serious poems and a song. And there is even a complete manuscript for an introductory lecture on meditation.

Lighting the dawn
bodhidharmaThe main story is written by Halvor Eifring, himself a Norwegian who, like the peaceful pirate, speaks Chinese, teaches meditation, and often travels eastward. Most of the illustrations are drawn by Chia-Tzu Huang, a Taiwanese meditator who has travelled in the opposite direction and now lives in England. In addition comes a special section called “Lighting the Dawn Inside”, with philosophical texts and illustrations made by the famous Taiwanese cartoonist Tsai Chih-chung. His books have been translated into 30 languages and have sold more than 30 million copies.

This is the first Acem book written (not translated) in Chinese. For those of us who do not understand the language, the illustrations may provide some temporary pleasure, while we’re waiting for someone to translate the book.