In this highly anticipated sequel to Ping: A Frog in Search of a New Pond, author Stuart Avery Gold lets us share in another exciting journey of awakening. After Ping the frog dedicated himself to the search for an intentional life (under the tutelage of the Yoda-like master known only as Owl), life in the small ponds went on much as it had done for eons. All the pond dwellers heard rumors of Ping’s legendary adventures, so they were naturally excited when Ping paid a visit to their little world.
Despite their enjoyment of the incredible stories, however, not all the pond dwellers are ready to accept the truths that Ping has to tell. Toad the Elder, the biggest frog in a little pond, is particularly antagonistic when Ping declares that the Great Ocean is far bigger than the pond. Toad refuses to let this bold and irreverent pronouncement shatter his belief that everything and everywhere is contained within his familiar body of water.
Ping understands that each creature must gain understanding in his or her own time. He responds by saying, “The journey begins with you,” before hopping away again into the big, wide world.
Ping’s leaving is a relief to Toad and the other stuck-in-the-mud pond dwellers, but the truth of Ping’s message takes root in the minds of young frogs Daikon and Hodo. Just like Ping did in his youth, Daikon and Hodo overcome their fear of the unknown to go in search of greater meaning. This time Ping is the teacher, leading the youngsters on a journey to the Great Ocean as well as on their journey of self-discovery.
In the tradition of Jonathan Livingston Seagull and Dr. Phil, Stuart Avery Gold has created the holy scripture of a comprehensive religion. It would seem that every word of spiritual counsel has been included in the Ping series. This could have been a recipe for banality, but Gold’s light-hearted voice and wry sense of humor turn a compilation of common expressions into joyful and enlightening entertainment.
As we travel with Daikon and Hodo, sharing their bewilderment and occasional aha! moments, The Way of Ping: Journey to the Great Ocean reminds us of our own human search for that Something More. Once again, Gold’s words give inspiration and courage to all those willing to take the leap toward a “Way [that] does not ask us to be what we are not, but to be more fully what we are.”