Derek has returned to Thailand to finalize a divorce from his Thai wife. She takes him to a police station instead, where she has bribed officers to put him in jail for 20 years for child molestation, an untrue charge. He tries to call for help and is beaten and severely injured. A few days later, already sentenced from a trial he wasn't awake to attend, he is placed in a prison outside Bangkok. His cell, a concrete bunker, is usually used as punishment for prisoners, but the prison's warden wants to keep the foreigner out of the general population. Expecting there will be trouble once the Embassy finds their citizen, no guard wants the job of caring for the prisoner, and so he is fed by Neung, a young man who is not a guard. Neung had been a prisoner here while a teenager, and upon his release had nowhere else to go and stayed to do the menial tasks around the prison in exchange for 'room and board'.Derek tries to find the benefit in every situation, and sees the opportunity to grow spiritually from this adversity. Prior to coming to Thailand, he had been learning about the Bodhisattva Vow. Each day he recalls what he has learned about one of the ten paramitas (virtues) of the Bodhisattva Path. He tries to put them into action, even within the confines of his prison life. He finds that though he has always thought of himself as 'spiritual but not religious', he understands the principles of Buddhism and has been acting upon those tenets all his life. One of Derek's friends from America, one of his neighbors from Thailand, and the US Embassy staff all try to locate the missing American. His relationship with Neung deepens quickly, and a crisis in Neung's life affects Derek in profound ways.The spiritual teachings here are useful to any who follow them. 'Walking Buddha's Path' is an introduction to a way of being that permeates everyday life and fills it with spiritual energy and delight. One doesn't have to be Buddhist to understand and benefit from this approach to life. These virtues help all who utilize them.
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