The Diamond Cutter

Photo Courtesy of Barnes & Noble

In Geshe Michael Roach’s “The Diamond Cutter” the reader is exposed to an onslaught of passed-down wisdom which has been reinterpreted, condensed and arranged for the modern business mind. Geshe Roach spent 20 years earning the title Geshe and is the first American to do so, so competition in the “business books which revolve around Buddhist wisdom” is pretty much non-existent. (Read more about the Geshe title here.) Not to imply that Roach is strictly out for money: I understand he has plenty of it.

Roach teaches the reader how to ease into a happier mindset through positive thinking. It sounds like a no-brainer but Geshe Roach provides us with pithy examples from his own diamond-business days. He has lived the life and now he tells the tale, but he writes with the sole purpose of edification. He is the product of two worlds which he weaves perfectly: Buddha’s world and that of world business.

As can be expected, Roach understands patience better than most. He cautions us to expect a few rough patches, but he teaches us to place neutrality on all outer sources, believing we make things good or bad via mental imprints.

This book is easy to believe, given Roach’s credentials as an honors Princeton graduate, an accomplished businessman, a monk, and he has completed a three year silent retreat in Arizona. His writing is intelligent and only slightly redundant, a common trait I’ve found in Buddhist writings. The redundancy, though, as I’ve written, is always brought with fresh breath in the form of real life examples from Roach’s career. Given my appreciation for Roach’s clarity, I feel there’s nothing he could have done to make this book more enjoyable.

I’ve grown accustomed to searching writers’ names when I take one of their books out of the local library and I was surprised to find Roach’s behavior unaccepted within the community of Buddhist monks. Their disapproval is attributed to his living with a female partner. I’d be interested to hear Roach’s take on this subject, i.e., how does a man of a certain cloth accept reproach from his fellow brethren?

This book is suitable for all people interested in anything, quite literally. It provides a great analysis of thought processes, which I understand most people undertake, however conscious or subconscious the processes may be.

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