Combining an autobiography written with humor and a record of the personal discovery of the deepest wisdom teachings of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition of Dzogchen appears at first glance to be an unlikely partnering. Beginning the main story at the 50-year mark also seems a bit unusual. Ms. Fleming takes the reader from one incongruous event to the next with lighthearted asides and anecdotes and translates them into universal principles that have marked her progress on the path of spiritual self discovery. Multiple examples of real life applications provide a map for those who may wish to set off on their own spiritual journey.
Backwards Buddhist: My Introduction to Dzogchen, Barbara Fleming, Paperback, 166 Pages, $15.99
Settled in midcoast Maine, Barbara Fleming has found home after a life filled with moves and resettlement. Mother of two and wife for over 36 years, government employee, public librarian, art teacher, artist, student and seeker, graduate of the College of William and Mary with a highly prized degree in Medieval English History, graduate of Simmons College, Boston, Massachusetts with an MLS degree and drop out from the MBA program at SUNY Binghamton after finding it basically incompatible with the concept of ethical behavior, she chose to share some of the accumulated tales and rites of passage marking a long and varied career marked with consistent intellectual pursuits interspersed with periods of work including everything from apple picking along side of full-time migrant workers for whom she gained boundless respect and gratitude to working in the Pentagon as well as the public libraries of diverse populations, to building her own business, to teaching the self taught skill of painting. Upon graduating from motherhood, she turned her attention to self-development and became a student of eastern philosophy. It is from this vantage point that she chose to write this particular book. The wealth of experience gained in the diversity of her experiences brings her character to life in these pages. Humor and insight along with a continuing desire to explore new limits makes this perhaps the first of a series of very personal adventure tales.