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Lions Roar : July 2006
SHAMBHALA SUN JULY 2006 102 SAN FRANCISCO ZEN CENTER 300 Page Street San Francisco, CA 94102 415-863-3136 www.sfzc.org Tassajara Zen Mountain Center 39171 Tassajara Rd. Carmel Valley, CA 93924 City Center 300 Page St. San Francisco, CA 94102 415-863-3136 Green Gulch Farm 1601 Shoreline Hwy. Sausalito, CA 94965 415-383-3134 Offers one-day and weeklong medi- tation retreats, practice periods, residential training, and a guest student program. Offers one-day and weeklong medi- tation retreats, one and two month practice periods, residential farm and work apprenticeship programs, and a guest student program. Offers traditional Soto Zen 90-day training periods and a summer work practice program. Call the City Center front office for infor- mation: 415-863-3136. W herever fine books are sold before the Matrix... Monkfish book Publishing Company www.monkfishpublishing.com “after i read it i loaned it to a friend, and after he read it, he did the same. because we had enjoyed it so much, even people who had no interest in science fiction or ‘higher consciousness’ read it, and for a while it was a kind of joke to raise an eyebrow and, nodding knowingly, say “mind parasites, eh?,” whenever anything went wrong.” -Gary lachman, from the new foreword A professor makes a horrifying discovery while excavating a sinister site. Mind parasites have been lurking in the deepest layers of human consciousness, feeding on the life force and steadily gaining a foothold on the planet. They can be fought with one weapon only: the MIND... isbn 0-9749359-9 -9 224 PaGes / PaPerbaCk / $14.95 see. And blunt speech becomes associated with anger, when it may just be speech that isn’t opaque.” Her taking up children’s books coincided with her discovery of the need to bring out her “playfulness” more. It became im- portant to her that she enjoy life and also be seen by students as enjoying life. Otherwise, they would think that a life of criti- cal thinking is an unpleasant life. “When people used to ask me, ‘How do you write so many books?’ I would answer with a bad joke: ‘because I don’t have a life.’ I started to interro- gate that joke and I saw that I had an unbalanced life, frankly, an unhappy life. The last year when I was really turning out work, I brought out three books in a year. My body suffered and my life suffered. It was the right time for those books, but there were whole other parts of life I needed to cultivate. “The spark for going to Berea was that I had to change my life. Get away from being at the computer all hours, from people calling at all hours. I feel great now be- cause I have more simplicity and more balance. I can move, but I can also be still.” In addition to working on more children’s books about love, hooks is working on “little pieces about nature.” Returning home has caused her to “reflect on the restorative aspects of nature.” She has taken a strong interest in deep ecology, and the work of Wendell Berry, Thomas Berry, and Vedana Shiva. She is taken with the healing power of the land and the fact that “the agrarian roots of black people can be a place of hope and possibility.” Buddhism is another important strain in hooks’ life. It has helped her and allowed her to help others. She considers herself a Buddhist, but she would never say that to some people down home, because it could be taken the wrong way in a culture that has no context for it. She says she is a “Buddhist nomad,” not a part of any group. “I shy away from a lot of group-oriented things, where power and pettiness often emerge in ways that really turn me off. If I go to something like a Thich Nhat Hanh event, I am much happier on the periphery.” As a result, many people don’t consider her or her work Bud- dhist. That annoys her at times, but in the end, she enjoys her right to “self-invent” and not be measured by others’ yardsticks. She notes that Buddhism in the West has largely been white and very cerebral, and when she’s taken siblings to Buddhist events, they’ve said, “It’s really cold here.” But she is cheered by the fact that in recent years there has been “more talk about loving-kindness and service,” and “It is difficult to find the place where difference can exist in a context of harmony,” hooks says, “where it is not necessary to dominate. But that is the ground of our being. It’s where we start.”