We've always been a big fan of Kerouac's, Dharma Bums
. It tells stories about main character, Ray and his adventures as a hitchhiker and aspiring Buddha. Between meditation and revelry, he finds friendship and meaning in the this wild and crazy world. The novel opens with Ray Smith meeting an old bum while traveling on a freight train in California. Inspired, he calls the man a "Dharma Bum" and begins to recount a series of adventures he's undergone with other such free-spirited people.
An excerpt: "See the whole thing is a world full of rucksack wanderers, Dharma Bums refusing to subscribe to the general demand that they consume production and therefore have to work for the privilege of consuming, all that crap they didn't really want anyway such as refrigerators, TV sets, cars, and general junk you finally always see a week later in the garbage anyway, all of them imprisoned in a system of work, produce, consume, work, produce, consume, I see a vision of a great rucksack revolution thousands or even millions of young Americans wandering around with rucksacks, going up to mountains to pray, making children laugh and old men glad, making young girls happy and old girls happier, all of 'em Zen Lunatics who go about writing poems that happen to appear in their heads for no reason and also by being kind and also by strange unexpected acts keep giving visions of eternal freedom to everybody and to all living creatures."