A Buddhist monk of Japanese origin, trained in mindfulness, moves to Canada. Near his small apartment in Quebec City is a park, a real little urban oasis located by a high school. The monk takes a contemplative stroll there everyday; all is light and harmony, until…
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February 4, 2014
Author Alice Walker says she never cared what others think of her. “I’ve always felt quite singular, even as a child,” she says. Photo: Shaheen Haq, PBS/American Masters
In the opening scene of the first film biography of the Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker, the activist says people have always had a problem with her.
“They had a problem with my disinterest in submission. My intellect. My choice of lovers. My choice of everything. Choose one. Choose all. They just had a problem.”
Emphasis on they.
Walker discusses her connections with Buddhism in two interviews at Shambhala Sun here and here.
October 9, 2013
Ruth Ozeki, a Canadian-American of Japanese descent, is a novelist, filmmaker and Zen Buddhist priest. Her third novel, “A Tale for the Time Being,” was shortlisted last month for the 2013 Man Booker Prize, whose winner will be announced Oct. 15.
The book tells the story of Ruth, a woman who finds a Japanese teenage girl’s diary washed up on a beach in British Columbia, which she suspects arrived as part of the debris from the catastrophic 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
In the diary, 16-year-old Nao talks to the reader about struggling with bullies in school as a Japanese citizen who spent her childhood in America. She also details her father’s multiple attempts at suicide, the life of her 104-year-old Buddhist nun grandmother, and her search for the story of an uncle who studied French and died in World War II as a kamikaze pilot.
Ms. Ozeki, 57, spoke to the Journal about the similarities between writing and prayer, being nominated for a Booker, and the impact of Japan’s 2011 tsunami and earthquake disaster on her work. Edited excerpts follow. Continue reading