Dharma Delight: A Visionary Post Pop Guide to Buddhism and Zen
by Rodney Alan Greenblat
2016, 128 pages, 7.5 x 10 x 0.5 inches (softcover)
Peace of mind can be a hard-won trophy in the best of times. Other times, well, simply being may be the best we can do. Dharma Delight is a visual diary of one man’s journey into Buddhism. Author Greenblat takes the reader through the basic aspects of Buddhism, including its founding, its core tenets, a few of the more prominent teachers (er, Buddhas, not instructors), and a few basic zen practices all accompanied by his own bright, bold paintings and drawings.
The book is somewhat slight, more of a primer than an in-depth examination of any one part of either Buddhism or Greenblat’s relationship to it, but I found this to be the most engaging facet of the book. What I mean is, the book often lays out a single concept or story or koan on one or two pages, letting the reader focus on the idea being presented rather than stuffing loads of concepts and history into a confined space.
By allowing the content so much room to breathe, each painting or set of paintings comes into clear relief. Greenblat squeezes lots of detail and tiny, almost hidden prose messages into each vibrant piece of art; his style is a distinct form of pop art, somewhere between the neon, day-glo of the 1980s and the comic book reproductions of Lichtenstein. Yet, for all the bright color and heady concepts, this book has found a permanent home on my bedside bookshelf. Its light touch and beatific illustrations help me find just enough peace of mind to get to sleep. Which is a small delight for which I am grateful.
– Joel Neff