A poignant portrait of spiritual relationships in the diverse worlds of American and global Buddhism, through stories of over 30 luminaries including His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Thich Nhat Hanh, Joan Halifax, Joanna Macy, and more.
Across more than thirty-five years of practice in Zen and socially engaged Buddhism, Alan Senauke has had a range of remarkable encounters with Buddhist teachers and spiritual friends. Here he collects stories of moments in which someone's words, actions, or presence opened his mind and heart in a new way. Touching on meditation, insight, social action, race, family, community, and more, these vignettes build like a chorus and convey lessons such as taking one's work seriously without taking oneself seriously, letting things fall apart, and using oneself up on behalf of others.
The book's stories and accompanying photographs feature many of the greatest Zen teachers, engaged Buddhists, and global Buddhist leaders of our day, including Robert Aitken, Bernie Glassman, Shodo Harada, Dainin Katagiri, Jarvis Masters, Ven. Sheng Yen, Sulak Sivaraksa, and many more--with a special section devoted to the teachings of Senauke's primary teacher, Sojun Mel Weitsman.
Turning Words: Transformative Encounters with Buddhist Teachers, Hozan Alan Senauke, Shambhala Publications, Paperback, 152 pages, $18.95
Alan Senauke, the abbot of the Berkeley Zen Center, is well-known for his decades-long work in engaged Buddhism. Having served with a number of national and international service organizations, he founded and runs the Clear View Project, a nonprofit organization that has worked extensively on humanitarian projects in Myanmar, Bangladesh, and India. Alan is the author of Heirs to Ambedkar, The Bodhisattva's Embrace, and other books. Also a musician, he has recorded the Buddhist folk albums Everything Is Broken and Wooden Man.