You’ve Got to Read This Book is a compendium of 55 individual’s stories of life-altering events. Jim Guy writes about discovering Buddhism and acquainting himself with its foundational principles.

Not that I was interested in religion. I was an agnostic—with an attitude. I had been raised Methodist but had let it go as a teenager rejecting what I considered a shallow understanding of reality. I didn’t buy it—the set-up George Carlin describes as “the invisible old guy in the sky” who rewards or punishes humankind for good or bad behavior.

There was no such thing as God. For the rest of his life, [my father] had no use for religion—preferring to face the stark reality that this world was spinning on its own without the benefit of a kind and loving guardian to keep things on an even keel.

Sitting on the edge of the bed in the hotel room, I began to read The Teachings of the Buddha. I was introduced to the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path. The First Noble Truth, “There is suffering in the world,” resonated inside me as if I had been struck like a bell. The deep simplicity of this statement felt like a solid place to rest, to begin. I had experienced all too well the truth of it. There was nothing here that smacked of rewards or punishments, sin or saintliness; only a calm acceptance of present reality. I read the next three: There is a cause to suffering. There is an end to suffering. There is a path out of suffering.

Jim Guy is the chief marketing officer of Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a national broker and dealer serving the needs of independent financial planners, headquartered in Fairfield, Iowa.

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