About Bodhidharma s journey and realising that Cesca and I unconsciously echo d it was a great pleasure and brought memories of China flooding back to me what an amazing place and people I can t wait till I get to that part in the writing on this site it s not long now before the Buddhism parts of our journey start with a visit to the Bodhi Tree in northern India This definitely increased my enjoyment of the book and made me long to return there If you have an urge to visit the far east this book may well be your tipping pointFinally there is Zen itself Zen is a jewel a world treasure It is incredible The happiness that comes from a Zen Satori will stick with you forever touch you deeply and change you in many ways However obtaining a satori is one of the hardest things it is possible to do because you can only do it by not trying by breaking down barriers in your mind in your life and accepting a big leap While Buddhism in general demands dedication and practice learning and the gaining of wisdom Zen cuts through all this with a transmission outside the scriptures Its formation comes from the famous sermon given by the Buddha where he stared a flower and said nothing However some Buddhist sects claim that this never happened Whether they are right or wrong is not relevant as the Buddha definitely said Buddhism is like a raft across a river Once to the other side you no long need the raft You can t argue with that Goran handles the Zen parts of the book exceedingly well Bodhidharma s own enlightenment moment is swift and not drawn out which to my mind is correct and just as it should be Zen is romantically un romantic No great peal of thunder No Vangelis music and no Matrix slow mo Just a switch in your head Bodhidharma s understanding of Zen is driven by strife and is grasped only after going through traumatic experiences and this shows that Goran too clearly understands Zen In a book where Zen is the main character exemplified by Bodhidharma this is the vital element in the book s literary successI loved it and feel it would read well for people interested in Bodhidharma Buddhism historical fiction martial arts the far east or even just a good read I think you will surely agree that this is almost everyone A Sudden Dawn has everything It s an exciting story that follows a Buddhist monk from India to 6th century China where he starts the Shaolin monastery that we now today The tale is intertwined with relevant historical facts and real people and places There s lots of fast paced action of course since it s a martial arts novel However that s balanced with spirituality that s amazingly believable and well explained The book incorporates fascinating historical themes that I didn t expect in a martial arts book the silk trade the origins of tea the expansion of BuddhismI rarely read fiction books and I couldn t put this down A Sudden Dawn drew me right into the story of Bodhidharma and Dare for More keep me entranced with his long trek into China Rich and intriguing it sets the Way at the forefront of the story and the interesting people that paths interconnect along the journey Well written with an eye towards not only the history and myth but the martial arts angle definitelyept me interested and it s earned a place on my shelf This was a freebie through goodreads I enjoyed A Sudden Dawn from start to finish In the book Powell creates a fictionalized interpretation of the Buddhist monk Da Mo s life The story explains why and how Da Mo became The life of Bodhidharma has given rise to countless myths and legends A Sudden Dawn is one version of his story Born to the warrior caste Bodhidharma gives up a promising future as a soldier to become a monk and seek enlightenment After many years of searching in vain he finally becomes enlightened in a single moment He accepts a mission to venture into China and spread the Buddha s wisdom Crossing the Himalaya he travels down the Yangtze river where he meets an unlikely disciple a young Chinese fugitive named Ko Together they travel across China to the Emperor s palace in Nanjing and beyond to a little temple in the mountains called Shaolin On the journey Ko learns Bodhidharma s uniue Way of spirituality and martial artsBut there are powerful forces at work to destroy the Indian master and Ko s violent past catches up with him outside the temple gates where a deadly reckoning takes place A Sudden Dawn is due for publication in June 2010 by YMAA Fiction the book is just powerful with such relatable and surprising tale of man that sadly his own people doesnt now but is cherished by the people miles apart from his own birth landgoran powell has done an amazing job in telling his story in a ficticious manner his research efforts are well seen in the narratio. Mple as the birthplace of Zen and the Martial Arts A Sudden Dawn is a refreshing take on the mythical origins of Kung Fu with a good pace enjoyable interpretation of legendary characters and wonderfully written adventures during the long journey across Asia.
A Sudden Dawn is a work of historical fiction tracing the legendary path of Bodhidharma a Buddhist master from India as he traveled to China and brought Zen and the martial arts to the Shaolin Temple Powell makes for some exuisite characterizations Bodhidharma comes across as a like able even charismatic monk who gives simple common sense advice to anyone who asks for it Even an emperor KuanKo is a sympathetic guy who always seems to get stuck with the short straw We meet Liang half way through the book and even as a maid in the royal palace she is a character to love almost instantly The only thing stronger than his characters are his action scenes As a martial artist the author is familiar with hand to hand combat and it shows Fans of RA Salvatore may find this ind of writing welcome and familiar A Sudden Dawn s five hundred pages are used to the fullest eeping the plot moving at a brisk pace If I had only one wish it would be for description of the exotic to me scenery of Bodhidharma s journey but this is a minor concern and didn t stop me from plowing through it in three days The story has a little something for everyone epic scale martial arts action romance and adventureNot recommended for childrenyoung teens due to explicit depictions of sex sexual harassment and graphic violence This book has been on my list to read for uite a while None of the local libraries have stocked it in any of the cities I have lived in the last number of years so I finally bought it on It did not disappoint From the beginning the author pulls you in to the world of each character and immerses the reader in their emotions bringing everything to lifeIt satisfied in bucket loads the martial arts reason that I wanted to read the story The training seuences the discipline the introduction to the Way were woven wonderfully in to everythingMy only disappointment was the endingit happened so fast It built up and built up and then in a few pages it was all done As I got closer and closer to the end with so little pages left I presumed the meeting of the Captain and the Monks would be a whole second bookRegardless this is a wonderful read A sudden dawn is easily one of the greatest pieces of mythical fiction I have ever read I thoroughly enjoyed every single page There were no low points and the story captivated me from the opening line right to the last line so much so that i was still looking for to read even when I new the story was finished Enjoyed it from page 1 to the very end Awesome story great writing The story of a simple Buddhist priest travelling from India to China in the 5th Century doesn t sound like something that would make for an interesting novel but the after effects of this solitary man s journey still reverberate today In all parts of the far east the name Bodhidharma is still very well Life with My Idiot Family known In Japan for example little girls have Bodhidharmaey chains and all sorts of other cultural influences and footprints can be found And not only in the geek fringes or the religious halls no his is a visage often seen in paintings most of the time shown as an old priest with a particularly fierce expression of concentration and it is for this ability that he was most highly prized Bodhidharma didn t bring Buddhism to China or Japan but he started a school of Buddhist thought that spoke to something deep inside the Eastern people that heard it Spoke to their marrow with a simple and unselfish message of compassion dedication and submissionThis effect changed them foreverCan anyone claim to Before You Are Licensed know the east withoutnowing the message of this man His sandals touched the ground lightly but his teachings thundered across half the world like a spreading earthuake This was the effect of the Chan school of Buddhism nown in Japan and in the west as ZenAs with many classical figures from Buddhism and indeed many other religions Bodhidharma s journey has a few undisputable facts that have been the skeletal bones around which many tall tales have been spun Some tell of his almost magical ability to stare even to the point of literally drilling into rock with his eyes Others say that he cut off his own eyelids so that he couldn t fall asleep when meditating something that gets you a whack around the head with the stick in Zen training All these tales have been worn smooth like pebbles on a beach and over the last thousand years have come to a standard version That Goran Powell diverts from the standard version in A Sudden Dawn is not relevant at all His tale is the mythical idea that Bodhidharma not only brought Chan to China but also brought Kung Fu along with it That Kung Fu descended from India is almost too obvious to be true and many have seen traces of Yoga in the Chinese martial arts The idea is that The epic journey of Bodhidharma who brought Zen and martial arts to the Shaolin TempleThis epic historical fiction novel opens with a young man named Sardili born of the warrior caste in 507 AD Sardili realizes that he would rather seek enlightenment than
Odhidharma was born into a martial class in India which became nowledge he carried with him Knowledge that he taught and that he used However such origins are hardly conclusive as it is worth noting that the Buddha himself came from a martial class again in the standard version and he certainly never raised his staff in anger Anyway and regardless it is a very enticing idea and the martial reputation of the Song Buddhist monasteries such as Shaolin means that there must be some explanation to how the nowledge travelled from India That is unless like the calculus it was discovered in two places at the same time I am uite happy to imagine that it was Bodhidharma who brought it whatever the real historyThe other deviation from the standard version is that he walked Common lore says that he caught a boat but this is mainly due to the belief that walking into China from India was impossible Nothing could be further from the truth The walk to Tibet from Himachal Pradesh is not for the unprepared and unfit but it isn t impossible I have been to the starting point and spoken to guides who say it is not only possible but that many amazing sights and temples await the brave I plan to do it 9 years from now Chinese government willing Bodhidharma could certainly have done it if he picked his time of yearIn many respects this novel is in the classic old fashioned genre of Historical Action Adventure Whereas very modern writing is obsessively focussed on the details of exactly what happened here we have an attempt to tell us why Why did Bodhidharma tell the Emperor of China that he had achieved nothing by building hundreds of Buddhist temples Why did he sit in a cave staring at a wall for months The answers that Goran finds to these uestions illuminates some of the fundamental truths of Zen and the genre this novel belongs to is the same as that of Siddhartha by Hesse and Musashi by Yoshikawa It is a genre that is fascinated with the East see s it through a certain idealised point of view and gazes at it like one would gaze at a beautiful flower It is somewhat similar to Shogun in that its idealised depiction of the characters and situations follows certain tropes So here Bodhidharma is a giant of a man able to amaze all around him very uickly He has a diamond hard stare a firm staff hand a ind heart and Overcoming the Archon Through Alchemy knows his Buddha Nature like no one has since the great B himself He is also a folk hero and protector of the weak someone who is humble a priest but also someone able to stand up and be counted amongst the highest in the land and to back chat the Emperor of China The reason that Goran gets away with this is that by allnown accounts Bodhidharma was exactly like thisI loved this book I found that it spoke to me personally in many ways Firstly the action is well written and clearly from someone who An Introduction to Agricultural Geography knows the martial arts inside and out I have trained with and under Goran in Goju Karate and I can attest that he has a very high level of skill with the Bo Staff which is the weapon wielded by Bodhidharma in the novel The fighting depictions raised my pulse level and I found myself imagining the fight in my mind And this wasn t the cold style of combat writing again modern that permeates the works of writers such as Iain M Banks and William Gibson Goran brings the emotionality and desperation of combat into the writing enabling an intimate connection These fight scenes bare this emotion out on the page and the reader is taken along with it An effect similar to watching Star Wars for the first time and something of a rollercoaster ride This feeling is also there with the other emotional scenes There are a number of sex scenes in the book and they are handled well by not being over written and too involved They also mostly manage to stay away from the purple overused prose of sex writing again something that terrifies modern authors because they fear the winning of a bad sex award Goran handles the fact that wenow Bodhidharma makes it to Song by putting those he travels with under the hardest pressure and in danger and although I guessed the end scene I was still deeply involved with its conclusionThe second way it touched me was that as mentioned above my wife and I have almost exactly covered the journey made by Bodhidharma in the novel We have stood in the mountains of Northern India looking at the mountains of Tibet in the distance we have stood on the other side we flew over in the Tibetan city of Shangri La where I drank Yak Butter Tea its horrible We have walked Tiger Leaping Gorge We have seen the Buddhist treasures of the Emperors now in the Forbidden City in Beijing We have even been to a great Chinese martial arts mountain although being Daoists we went to Wudang Shan rather than Song Reading. Ollow his family's military legacy and sets out on a life long uest for truth and wisdomSardili becomes the Buddhist monk Bodhidharma nown as Da Mo in China He travels throughout India brings Buddhism to China and single handedly establishes the Shaolin Te.
Goran is a writer who holds a 5th Dan in Goju Ryu Karate He lives in London and teaches and trains at Daigaku Karate Kai one of the UK's strongest clubs In 2006 his first book Waking Dragons was an instant bestseller on 's martial arts listing and is now in its second edition In 2008 he co produced the highly acclaimed Four Shades of Black written by his Sensei Gavin Mulholland Goran's