Who Ordered This Truckload of Dung?
By: Ajahn Brahm
"Who ordered this truckload of dung" is a book packed with inspiring stories for welcoming life's difficulties. It is essentially a "toolbox" filled with the most efficient tools for facing every challenging situation in life. However the tools in this toolbox are much more effective than "material tools" we are looking for in day to day life to find happiness. This book is most helpful for us in life's many unfortunate situations in which we frankly don't have a clue about how to proceed without causing more harm and pain to ourselves and others.
The literary style is simple and easy to understand and the vocabulary isn't complicated. It takes true understanding of concepts to be able to deliver them in a basic, understandable way. This is how Ajahn Brahm writes his stories. They flow elegantly and the concepts are simple enough even for a child to understand. Ideas are not exorbitantly portrayed in an attempt to make the reader believe that it is very profound. The book only delivers simple, humble teachings that are for us to take and apply to our life. Born in London, U.K., having studied Theoretical Physics in Cambridge University, meditating in forest monasteries in Thailand, and spending time with prisoners in jails in Western Australia, Ajahn Brahm has experienced it all. He shares these experiences with us in a way that we can take the morals from his experiences and apply them to our lives. We all need guidance on the paths we find ourselves treading. "Who Ordered This Truckload of Dung" is simply a road map with directions that can help us take steps towards the path in which we can find happiness and contentment. This happiness that one experiences is not only a short lived one but an everlasting happiness or what he refers to as the path to "ultimate happiness".
Can you honestly say that you have not had a traumatic experience, no one can. From our childhood until we become senile we have had many traumatic experiences. Ajahn Brahm uses the metaphor of a truckload of dung that has been dropped off in your driveway in contrast to these traumatic experiences. You know that you did not order the dung, you are stuck with it as you cannot return the dung and it is awful and impossible to endure. Ajahn Brahm teaches us how to take this dung and use it as a fertilizer day by day lessening the pile of dung in order to cultivate our metaphorical seeds so that the pain in our hearts like the load of dung gets less and less day by day. There soon will be a time we share the flowers of happiness or fruits of freedom with the others. These are the rewards that we we gain by following Ajahn Brahms simple words of wisdom as opposed to carrying the dung in our pockets day after day making ourselves depressed as well as depressing others around us until we lose our friends and loved ones.
If you want a taste of the style that is used in this "guidebook" for life, read the following quotation taken from Ajahn Brahm's experiences with prisoners while he taught in prisons for many years. Amazingly, all of Ajahn Brahm's students never returned to jail once they finished there sentences. "I tell my 'jailbird buddies' never to think of themselves as criminals, but rather as someone who has done a criminal act. Because if they are told they are criminals, if they are treated as criminals and if they believe they are criminals, they become criminals. That's how it works." Ajahn Brahm, Who Ordered This Truckload of Dung.