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Lions Roar : March 2017
What is your practice tradition? Soto Zen in Suzuki Roshi’s lineage. Primary teachers? Sojun Weitsman and Zentatsu Baker. What is your current project? I’m writing two books, one a prose dharma book, one a long poem. Favorite meditation practice? Just sitting. Recommended dharma books? Coming Home to Tibet by Tsering Wangmo Dhompa and Not Always So by Shunryu Suzuki. Your favorite virtue? Patience. Your chief characteristic? Bewilderment. Your idea of happiness? Being alive. Your idea of misery? Being alive. What’s the worst job you’ve ever had? Ditch digger. Name three of your heroes. The last three people I saw yesterday. Your favorite poet? John Ashbery. Your favorite musician? Bach. Your favorite current TV show? Grace and Frankie. What’s for dinner? Lots of vegetables. A motto that represents you? Try to be a decent person if possible. Guilty pleasure? Guilt. NOAHFISCHER MEET A TEACHER Norman Fischer I WAS BORN JUST AFTER World War II to Jewish parents, so the shadow of the Holocaust was always present in our house. Growing up in Pittston, Pennsylvania, I lived with my grand- parents and parents in an apartment over my grandparents’ tailor shop. I attended public schools. After completing my MFA at the University of Iowa Writ- ers Workshop, I moved to California to study Zen. I spent about twenty-five years as a monk in San Francisco Zen Center temples and was the abbot from 1995 to 2000. Then I started the Everyday Zen Foundation, a practice community which I still direct. I’m always writing poems and other things. I’ve written about twenty-five books, many of them still in print. I’ve been married for forty years. I have two sons and three grandchildren living in Brooklyn. I visit them as often as possible. ♦ LION’S ROAR | MARCH 2017 35 CULTURE • LIFE • PRACTICE