Sante Poromaa has been practising Zen since 1983 and teaching full time since 1998. He started practice as a student of Roshi Philip Kapleau, and he later became a student of Kapleau's successor, Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.
Together with Kanja Odland, he has been instrumental in the creation of a full-time training temple in rural Sweden called Zengården, as well as the growth and development of a network of City Zen Centers in Sweden, Finland and Scotland.
The book, The net of indra, is, more or less, an exploration of the question of whether the concept of rebirth can be incorporated into our modern, scientific worldview.
The book is divided into four parts, he starts off with testimonys, moves on to scientific and Buddhist theory and ends up with “questions”-section at the end.
The questionssection has rebirth as an common red thread, although the questions range from abortion, murder to quantumphysics and rebirth as an Buddhist pillar. I think there could have been more questions asked, as it is such an broad topic, but those asked were cunningly answered.
The theorysections show a sign of great knowledge on the authors behalf. He has gone to great lenghts to make an wide display of all there is to show in the subject, while, at the same time, keep an inquiring, almost critical, mindset to it all. I think now, looking back, this mindset is what made the book so great..
The witnesssection is a caleidoscope of different recounts, both his own and others, mixed with scholarly dissertations. It serves both to recount what people have experienced but also what has been written about the separate “cases” brought forth. These cases range from neardeathexperiences to parapsychology and even his own experiences. The fact that he brings up his own experiences brings another depth to an already almost fathomless sea, and, in hindsight, I would have liked to see that section more elaborated upon, as it is very good in and off itself.
The book The net of indra is an book about rebirth, science and the self.
As such it is an good attempt. It has very good ground to state its views from, and it also implores the reader to inquire everything more. The things you lack, such as an more elaborated survey and other small things, is well counteracted by the fact that it is well put together, well written and implores you to do the questioning yourself, to find out yourself.
Thank you Sante Poromaa for a good book and for your practice.