The author vividly describes his physical and spiritual journey from the midwestern United States to the remote rural region of Thailand called Isan. Leaving behind his freinds, family, and worldy possessions, William Reyland gives up the comforts of life in America on a journey of self-discovery.
Although he encounters many difficulties in an effort to discover truths about himself and Buddhism, it is not a romantic account of a spiritual awakening, nor is it necessary for one to be interested in Thailand or Buddhism to enjoy this book. The author is unflinching in describing the full range of human triumphs and tragedies he encounters there, from the most hypocritical to the most sublime. I won't spoil it by telling too much, but suffice to say, you will be sad, happy, surprised, thrilled, and enlightened.
In Sons of Isan, William Reyland brings to life his year-long stay in a Thai Buddhist temple. Recounting his aspirations, doubts, fears, and joys, this book is a stirring and vivid description of the difficulties and challenges of finding oneself in the dusty realms of a foreign country.
Daigaku Rummé, Resident Priest and Teacher, Confluence Zen Center STL, St. Louis, MO.