The Tao of Bowie: 10 Lessons from David Bowie’s Life To Help You Live Yours

Atlantic. Sept. 2021. 336p. ISBN 9781911630869. $17.95. SELF-HELP
British life coach and Sunday Times pop music critic Edwards (Belonging: The Key to Transforming and Maintaining Diversity, Inclusion and Equality at Work) makes complex Buddhist concepts accessible by framing them within the shapeshifting, occasionally turbulent life of enigmatic British rock star David Bowie. Bowie was born into a blended family with a generational history of mental illness; his older half brother Terry introduced him to Buddhism at an early age. Edwards argues that for Bowie, who experienced mental illness and drug addiction as an adult, it was Buddhist practice (combined with Jungian, Nietzschean, and gnostic theory) that ultimately helped him find peace and love before his untimely death. The book is structured around 10 such lessons, illustrated by events from Bowie’s life; each is followed by a section of meditation and reflection exercises for finding purpose and meaning.
VERDICT This “what would David Bowie do” treatise could be an entry point into Buddhism for novices, but it might be too basic for readers already familiar with Buddhism’s tenets.
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