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Truth is regularly stranger than fiction for the abbot of a Buddhist temple in the far-from-tranquil inner city of Los Angeles, California. Whether he is talking a dangerously unbalanced man out of buying a gun, confronting a naked woman in his meditation hall, or helping gamblers reform, Bhante Walpola Piyananda demonstrates that every experience can be an opportunity for learning and appreciating the Buddha's teachings.

Bhante Piyananda also reflects on social and political issues such as the racial tension in his neighborhood after the Rodney King trial and the destruction of the Bamiyan Buddha statues in Afganistan.

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