Buddhism At Millennium's Edge

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Seminar 1

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good morning everybody and thank you norman again for a wonderful warm introductions
i'm only slightly embarrassed by
petaling my my books at them
i think most people think when they see somebody speaking a writer speaking somewhere that he probably is dragging suitcases for this has wares to be to be so that really is not not the case and and a slightly embarrassing
there are many embarrassments involved in being a writer and i think that dumb
i'll talk about some of those after we have a sitting period
but it's kind of interesting what keeps people writing against the grain of
various humiliations and refusals projection so forth
and i think i'll probably begin i've talked to norman about this i'll begin by and my coming
if i have while sigh
i'll begin by talking a little bit about my own writing for life and especially as zen effects it because actually why we're here and and then after that our the next period out how we talk about practical matter
of writing and so forth and and will have more as us and all the way through if we have time or of people like it and they'll be a chance of dialogue is are able to sound you out about what you would like to or how you would like to work today there an awful lot of us here for a writing exercise i'm not quite sure how we can do
that maybe we won't the duck the talk is good enough i think i'd probably dispenser for many ways you can go about writing exercises and i can tell you how to do it
so i think will begin as i almost always do and this practice with
seems awesome
and you ring the bell on

this is a very good period to do
strong's zaza reasons you will find out as we go on really try to open yourself

birds were terrific
i'm gonna talk and know i shouldn't do this is a zen teacher so forth but i'm going to talk about myself
and my own writing and i think i began very early not knowing it it's kind of a disease
as a friend of mine who teaches writing always says to his class you have any choice about being here shouldn't be here
hidden away riders are kind of fanatic or the most thin skinned and the most thick skinned people but because no rider max criticism but all good writers hear criticism little price and you make the most of them
i began by by keeping lists also as i just rode the my mechanism was just writing you know without knowing why i was doing this what but by the age of sixteen i was already writing short stories
very bad short stack and fifteen i had nothing to write about that i wanted to share with any machine
so i wrote about people and old people's homes and about retarded boys and all other subjects that i was expert in that age
i noticed even john updike's first book was about an old people's homes and maybe that some sort of tells you something but a captain class
and then in college i took writing courses which i have mixed feeling about
and and then i was asked back to teach writing here are just a senior in college was teaching writing muna and i hated public speaking at that time i've gotten somewhat better
but i was just terrified luckily for me the atlantic monthly took my first short story that i ever sold and it won the atlantic prize that year and took another story
and that got me through that first class i can just handle cloud to scare these guys back in the place that that they knew me as a guy running around the campus potent ringing too much in a general you know
he is mit misbehaved and student so forth so i had to i needed something to put me over in that story came on just the right time and on the basis of these two stories i was able to get an agent and this is a very big step for your new factor and then mixes so big right now and i picked the toughest agent and
lb she was married to a novelist who is called james google cousins who very rightly as sunk now into oblivion but he was very highly regarded that time
and his his wife was no bernie's baumgarten and she was my agent and i told her those embarking on my first novel so did and after about a hundred and fifty pages i thought well gee where this is just to this is the great american novel quite obvious that and i should give them some advance warnings i often
struck down so i sent off about one hundred and fifty pages into bernice and then i kind of hung around the post office like the village idiot for weeks waiting
playing for word from hollywood to role in
and then i heard many so letter can but it was company by the manuscript shy thought little disturbing but not much i opened it up and her letter said can i promise you this is word for it would it said i could not be mistaken about this it was etched into my brain
who said dear peter james cinema cooper of this one hundred and fifty years ago on a he wrote it better yours bennies
that was it
so shortly thereafter i moved to paris
and there i was a radical terry southern somebody may don't know terrorists work like doctor strange and of
he heard about some contests in england's we both fired all stories for a contest in england about christmas and he and i were both among four one hundred and fifty second prizes with first prize was run by muriel spark was unknown than which is gender but in very good writer
so i thought well how appears benny's baumgarten by sending her a commission on this story but that story only got the prizes but eighteen bucks so the commission didn't amount to much better thought she would appreciate my courtesy having spent so much on stamps for manuscripts that came back over and over
so i set it off and sure enough letter came back from their east and said dear peter
i'm awfully glad you are able to get rid of this story and europe as i do not think we would have had much luck with it here yours bennett
so you can see that the writer's life was already getting kind of shock but i didn't write my first novel over there and it wasn't a very good knowledge got pretty good reviews led down movies again and the second one tooth and about this time i decided that tem i made this decision here i am a published novelist i have my
a press publisher and everything and i thought the first person i ever see a reading one of my books i'll introduce myself and inscribed the book to on this is a little plan i have
twenty five books later
outside of a reading in a shop or something i had never caught anybody
reading one of my book
and so pathetic was i'm haunted figure looking around on subways
one time going through a parking lot
somewhere i saw a tattered old car paperback copy of one of my books on a plant a seed of a car and i i circled the car like
some sort of appropriate and the windows open about that much and i managed it
and then i wrote this fulsome inscription it
that's as close as i came in and of course they occur to me later as they ever did come across the but maybe they finished jipmer going to throw it out that day if they ever came across a thought somebody was being funny so i never grew wouldn't work anyway
but i kept at it i wrote another second novel and then the third
and then i realized as had resorted to commercial fishing argentina deep sea fishing boat our montauk new york and i love that fishing life but i realize i wasn't making it financially as a writer and i had to do
nonfiction write for magazines and stuff and one of my very first assignments was under from sports illustrated they agreed on a wide to do a couple of pieces on vanishing wildlife in america that was one of the few things i knew about i knew about boats and that hadn't worked out there was a magazine then called holiday magazine i
they said that we would like an article on boats about the country was boat crazy i ever some reason and i didn't know about boats i i was running about i'm cooking a professional anyway so i wrote knock on i said the guy worst one of things i said in the article was the very worst boat you can buy for the money is chris scott
and they merely call up the said you read our magazine and i said night on and and they said well you did you realize that chris-craft is our biggest advertising and recently cannot put this in your article and i said well you can't write honest us article about about notes ground saying that chris-craft made a couple of good models with most
dumb are overpriced that cocktail boats are not worth money
is it were not to say that nicer well i'm not going to sign it and as you do so we had a kind of a standoff and i finally did i said i'd tell you what i need the money and i did the work i am you sign it and send me the money sign his name to it and this is the unholy bargain we made
when the wildlife and came along and sports illustrated tap oh they they reneged they only wanted they wanted three at first they only wanted to and meanwhile i've done this enormous nanowerk because i was sure there was a book like a my book while at merck out there somewhere and i'll had it was located that book and cribbing from it then i would i would have my article
meanwhile i was traveling around the country seeing the birds one of the see and they're talking to fisheries experts and know millions of oxen wolf people and i had a great ship and question about it
but yeah and finally i had so much i realize there is no such books i wrote the book myself i didn't want to waste all this research that's how that book came into place during this trip i was a camps in a tent on the beach and argan and tillamook have until a book a reservation some of you may know tillamook am
it's not very big place even the day i as much smaller than and i was twenty five miles outside of tillamook and i ran out of reading material on a rainy night in my tent so i thought well i'll go into tillamook can get a little gray hamburger and they probably have one of these spin racks with as a lusty novels on them for a important concern
gumption and maybe i'll find something i can read so i did sure enough i got a little gray hamburger and there was exactly once been rack as him suspended and on the spinner aqua some really dangerous looking book
and showed this young woman in bed and property and there's a guy sitting on the edge of the bed taking off your shoes and i said well that's promising but not nearly as promising as the third person the room who was standing fully dressed in a suit and tie
watching it but apparently with the concurrence of these two other normally
so i said nice that's pretty good as it's called underbelly of paris or said my gap
so i drove twenty five miles back to my tent night curled up in my bed roll got all set to read and i opened the book and they very fine print on the bottom of hers page it said
peter max
in those days we were right young writers were chattels and they and the publishers could simply sell your book changed the title put us in any needless to say you look think a one look mean you realize it be no such buckingham no such seen a book of my
had indeed of course there wasn't because of the book was when it was so again i'm just i'm distressing that the writing life is not for everybody humiliations that had arrived and i was really forty
before i was able to write what i wanted and not have to write and pat fights with magazines which i did but the the big break i got was that mr shaw mr william shawn had a few years earlier before i started to write he has become the editor of the new yorker and he had published a piece and annals of crime i wrote was been
bradley we're both in paris and he later became they had a know the washington post and that was my first one but i i wasn't that interested in crime
but i was interested in villainous by now and i said mr sharma you send me around the world let me cover the wilderness as you ever writing about new york and europe and prices but the willingness is are really going under and my life and how about and we do that and he said okay and i packed it randall
boat come to south america and two books came out of that the cloud forest which was nonfiction and are not a normal at play in the fields of the lord and it was that novel that kind of turn the corner for me because i had a huge are huge me a movie sale
and it took twenty five years to get around to making a movie but anyway did sound to the movies and and when the movie did come out at last twenty million dollars i should know
almost at once the they didn't even stay long enough to get reviewed hardly what's going on and they just didn't come on that crucial first weekend that was over three hours long was about south american indians without horses and no and missionaries nobody i'm missing this they didn't think i was a day appealing pombo has actually
had a good movie despite ah the romantic talents of tom berenger daryl hannah think so hard for us to the policy together but the rest was re cat has kathy bates and aden and john lithgow tom waits the same and so forth anyhow
let me see i i should mention here that my love for the first ten years of my writing i really did nothing but fiction and i still consider myself a essentially a fiction writer i wrote non-fiction to make money and i always run a despised my non-fiction and then a painter randomized lie to your displeasure
nonfiction you you just go to nonfiction fiction according to what's appropriate but your themes are pretty much the same throughout and they really elegies to the wilderness as they're pleased to defend the wilderness and wildlife their pleas for traditional people in all over the world and for social justice and that is true that
ha i was writing about
an indian victim even in my very first novel my very first novel and my very first nonfiction book both had indian people are always interested in our own and new people i wonder why we're constantly lecturing the rest of the world about human rights when we haven't fifty dreadful corrected right here at home we should take care and and that's been my
my kind of thing i didn't write an explicitly social action book until i wrote i worked with a note about cesar chavez here in california
on the grape strike and in the late sixties and then i am and that became a new yorker profile and i was so taken the chavez chavez is a truly great man i wrote an epitaph for him and they when he died in the new yorker and i said i'm an historically cesar chavez is a far
a far greater california and mister reagan or mr nixon
i'm keeping and i truly i truly believe that he was a very moving guy and he taught me so much so much love people and organizing and not abandoning people when should take up there cause he was just terrific brain in this way and also a lovely gentle funny humorous guy who can be very tough when he had to be
and then i went into machain indian partners explicitly out a book called and in country and i wrote another one called in the spirit of crazy horse which inspired the longest libel suit in american history i was sued for twenty four me and me and my publisher i am assumption come twenty
for me and in that suit was backed up by the fbi they had one of their agents sue me for an additional twenty five minutes and that suit last nine years even though there was no libel involved whatsoever ah the law up the the publishes lawyers said it was as no rival here these people are simply harassing you and your publisher they want to punch out of business
and i didn't like that i consider my i'm very critical of our country but i'm also very proud of this country is countries renamed stashing place and i get angry because i think that we let down our own constitution our own principal so often glass she is beating up on small brown countries in our entire isn't i
thank a disgrace and i i feel we should we should say as much but hum the authorities don't like people saying this and that red book and cause three million bucks and mingle fees to defend it and they said dolores and all along if they get us some court for dead will have to default and remind us
the truth justice we can't go up against all that money and guess who's paying for those losses
and me so all that tax money was being marshalled against us and they were supporting governor jack soup i said about janklow i said something that was absolutely the truth and this is the essence of the global church i said that he had been found guilty and the rosebud reservation
tribal court with a court without it with a judge of record nada
kangaroo court he'd been found guilty of raping his fifteen year old indian babysitter
now newsweek magazine said the same thing and the any sue them and he lost that even though he lost he sued me again so this was a nonsensical suit in away but there's been no book that i know of like that since it really chill our first amendment free speech rights and that was the point i think
so much for that i and away i spent an awful lot of time on that and i spent a lot of time on the book and i sometimes regret that i hadn't put that into my fiction i've been offline time into that kind of stuff and also environment and also the so-called zen books as what nine headed dragon river which is really a way of supporting pets
gun rushing in his new
xander and east but i don't i've always held to that tub albert camus who who is a writer i my a very much and when he won the nobel prize he said that to it's part of the none of the nineteenth century wasn't the same thing present in the twentieth century it is part of every rider's obligation to speak for those
who cannot speak for themselves and i completely endorse that that seems to me by this time of course has also as a student buddhism and it seems to me this is a principal right livelihood to you would take care of one another i had a guy l guy said to me that's what we're here for to take care of each other that's our
our purpose in life is really being merciful bodhisattvas taking care of people because life can be pretty tough and indeed it can be great and terrible i was talking about that this morning with some people at breakfast here right top so as kind of what i'm doing it all comes
it all boils down to the same thing i think i said just about enough in my life i don't mean in this oppose had enough year too but i'm talking about in my books maybe this time i started racing is
but meanwhile i've written a book called up for tortuga perhaps that book more than any other would come under zen writing really more than the two books a dealers and mature the snow leopard and nine had a dragon mirror but find her to get really was written
under the influence of zen practice i was there i was in love with spanish and that was on this what happened was that i was and mr sean
agreed again with doubt even set me on a sasquatch on on time and he said mr matheson and this was any money but you i wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole
but i was i was interested in the news so this time i'll i heard about this wonderful am i read a great great book if you haven't read it read it is called the windward road and spy herpetologist and archie carr now deceased and he mentioned that there was still schooner sailing out of grand cayman island down to the turtle costume
grog under full sail i said i getting in on that boat so i i asked sean them back me up to for a trip to grand cayman and i went and i actually after years ah i went on a turtle voyage
and then
i had a pride myself on not mounting big expenses even for magazine that probably can afford it but i just kind of as matter my own pride don't do that but on this occasion there is as pirate down a who's who smelled money the new yorkers money and he took me for everything he kept delaying a trip i had to make trip after trip
finally happened and so i built for me queda a big expense account on it and even worse having done that i made this voyage and i was stunned by these men's a just fitted how i hope is and practice about not wasting and forth everything on that ship was worn down ever
the thing was used not abused just used even the paint on the turtle boat on the skiff they would send off from the mothership even those the paint was worn transparent of coverage have spat civilian blue wonderful
and the men themselves were so windblown and lean and and kind of thing they were just absolutely the hatch of holes but nothing was thrown away everything is used there really were a traditional people but they were on his boat and then no lifesaving equipment through radio didn't work the helm was being transferred they hadn't finish it when i
i hope so the helm policemen couldn't see anything had to get instruction from the side because there's a big structure in front of the whole boat is absolutely crazy there's no coast guard down there and you have this howling trade when going all the time i really admire these guys they went out and did dangerous work every single day expertly and no complain and no no
nothing and as a high water this is a novel and also certain dramatic things happened so i got that have having spend too much money and i said to mr sean i have to tell you that i'm going to i can write your article for you but i have to hold back the best material i'm not gonna give it here to honor right now
and mr sean without any hesitation this is it as a the highest my highest point with an editor in my entire life
the had been very many highlands so there's a
but he said mr matheson do it's best for your own work
without any hesitation not you owe us money air when you mean i'm going to give us the best sub didn't we know that kind of whining he just to do its best for your own work i thought that is a great editor and when he was thrown out of the new yorker a few years ago destroy died
i wrote him a lead i said you won't remember this episode but for me it was the apex my career working with editors and publishers and use it is extraordinary man
so where am i got to cover covered all those things as and books and social action and novels now i'm and embarked i wrote a book of short stories my editor at random house came to me said hey you wrote a lot of short stories and nowadays i said i sure did about thirty five awesome and he said let's put a look up together you know even you can a on
i've known now so you can we can handle buckshot short is so i had a great idea terrific so i rushed home to my files the papers and let the many of those choices are turn yellow and as quite a lot of mouse drop in and the box in arm
i went through them i couldn't find her
we needed about ten or twelve on they just i found seven that i would say my name to an arrest we're really not together really green and i say i'm sorry we haven't got a book just aren't there but that in the succeeding years i wrote to long stories that filled out this book and i think are a good story and they published
that look as called on the river styx and then i was already embarked on this huge perhaps fatal terminal trilogy novel about this man i'd heard about first from my father actually we were travelling up the west coast of florida and outside the ten thousand islands which are now part of the everglades
and he said as a river they're called shot and river and as a house up there is the only house and everglades and let me remind you that the everglades including the ten thousand islands is the biggest roadless area in the united states we think that montana or texas would have that sancho it's in florida and it was a day and hospitable for
long time it was and had this seminal and miccosukee indians they're the only people ever really defeated the u s army i never beat them and had last things are encouraging people to stay out so therefore as full of outlaws and drifters civil war desert is never heard about the end of the worn said like that those with people that track
it and this man edgar watson wrong this house was a saga genius planter but he also had a very chequered career yet a violent temper and on october twenty fourth of nineteen ten his neighbors literally blown away but thirty three bullets in him
i thought you know how does this happen neighbors rise up and kill their neighbor i am stuck in my brain i wanted to know why that happened i wasn't some interested in the event in fact that the beginning of the first book of the trilogy called killing mister watson to if i wasn't i enraged by british publisher by pulling the death of mr
watson right up in the from southern
i wasn't writing about the plot i wasn't interested now i just said this is how it happened and his wife cried out there killing mister watson and ah she was up knitting a store nearby and i work around through local voices local accounts to show or try to show how that happened the second book isn't the point of view of his son that
school last manager where that came out last november and he's he loved his father watson had three wives and seven kids of loved and the operators a great guy he also had a couple of lady friends whom he had children with and they all loved him to and even the men who shot him down
can elect and they all admitted he was a very able guy he supposed to been the man who killed belle starr the outlaw woman probably was the first book about telstar his death was called hell on the border sensational title which i thought hell i'm a border and it says
as man named watson i killed her doesn't say much about him and that is that he was killed in an escape from an arkansas prison not true he survived moved south florida and his daughter mary that bank president and everything so it was it gives is kind of story and then the third volume which i've just finished
he now about next november i haven't got a title for it yet but on this is mr watson's home
take on the whole story right up to the point when he knows his miscalculated you know or not i'm not sure how that will be a quaint but this thing is absorbed me because it's about everything i've always written about it's about environment is about the destruction of the everglades it's about american indian people and their
the battles and real tragedies in the land and so forth
it's about corporations and big government you know by a terrific irony watson develop a strain of sugarcane on his plantation and he made syrup and i was told by a very old guy who actually knew him when he was sixteen years old so he remembered in pretty well five years after watson's death this guy in a friend went up to his place
and they took some real volunteering kane shoots out of the field and they ran whole book of that around up and other clues or had she to lake okeechobee to more haven and that became the scene came for the great big sugar industry that is richly destroy the everglades and
which is still being subsidized by our politicians and our government to get disgraceful agree and we pay twice as much for sugar as anybody else who's people already richest pieces why do we keep subsidizing them and especially when we could be importing sugar from countries who have a bad very poor trade balance and need that income why
why are we doing this and so that we seldom weapons and we boycott their sugar
soup it's a question this country you know that did the marshall plan which is probably the most generous in a national act in history with one hand we are capable lad and with the other we do these them well a knockabout i promise i will not get up on my soapbox i was on my soapbox a bit last night and be a rest from that am i doing for
so i think that's that brings you a little bit more up to date of peter and your product careful or need
so i'm gonna i'm gonna stop there for the moment and are open us up for a while for any questions on anything i've talked about or anything else that i can be helpful with
the jew was added to rosin
child know i was seventeen but when i was seventeen all his them are still living i know it's very hard you to believe looking at me but
i started oh i started it and see about twenty years ago and i'm now seventy so i was about fifty
thirty years us
and and right that's right i think i think a lot of books happen this way my books do i'm like if you can i always use the analogy of the hen do if you slice the head and half the cross section into hope will see the fallopian tube going up to the uterus you know the
and you would see this these eggs bigger and bigger and bigger coming down to a certain point where the big one is laid you know some as you do lay an egg with the book is on custody
and i am all this time it's growing it's going you might as planted with some little seed and in watson's case i meant the watson story to be a kind of a wonderful picturesque up
thread in a much much broader book about the environment and so forth
kind of a strangler fig at a time i actually started really squeeze the life out of the rest of the book and that oh that's all in there but now comes in through indirection the real story is watson he is a metaphor he's a metaphor of the frontier is that early entrepreneur capitalist of the kind like come rockefeller and go
all these people were killers to but they found that lieutenants to do the dirty work and they play golf you know that's watson didn't have that luxury
but he's not so different in my view anyway that's that's how that he began him
you all hear the questions in the back should i repeat them
the acoustics are good in here i'd been out here
interesting lesson was be as interesting or need to pick him out
on the everglades when i must familiar with your work about the mountains do i wanted you could come in a little bit about how you approach the environment that she can't write it out and what and attention you may use to access
yeah how do i choose our environment to write about or how do i have a how do i approach it yeah
well i have a
i do research first i was research a lot before i go anywhere because ah you don't want to walk past something as there and the you learn about it after you come home especially when you're gone three thousand miles or five thousand and ten that
so i do i do a certain in my research before i go and and i'm sort of read up on know kind of what i'm looking for also i know what attracts me to that place that philip roth has a very good analogy for that he speaks of the magnet and for the writer the magnet is what draws you to that idea in the first
place it's what draws you through your the writing in the book and theoretically is what draws the reader through in most cases to and as when you lose that sense of that magnet and you start to wanders when you have to get out of a book those books you know you're changing all the time you know we talked about the river in a constant change nothing stays and
place wrong and and the bookish look takes on its own life and it's changing to and gradually you're separating and then you have no magnet you're wandering around in this material you're eliminating more corrections the next day than you're keeping that for me as the simon i'm eliminating more corrections and i keep i know i've lost the three
read and i gotta get out of that book as soon as possible
as far as method and the field i have a peter matthiessen patented method i recommend everybody i always wear these big purchase and how those two big breast pockets and those pockets are or should be the not you don't want that kind of dinky shirt
they should be big enough to hold one of those spiral little note pads you got that size put it in there that sort of somewhat rain resistant so much flexible it that can take it a little bit of a beating
and i take notes are all day long
and similar color or some little thing or some sound i hear some bird behavior and can be anything but something that strikes your or i was gonna to actually talk about this and separate period i was going to talk about method how to i don't want to get to find to by will finish up about the notebook anyway
you just put down other things that strike you as you think you might use and they are enough to trigger a lot of other memories you don't need to put everything down to shorthand but in that case if it is shorthand write it up at night don't wait a week because you really i've lost track of my notes i don't know in allies said day and her
in at nighttime write it down in a larger notebook i'm talking about if you haven't got a computer i bet you know computer in the field as some pretty new and i'm not i don't i think i'll never go over to it but i it to you if you're more computer
so unhappy than i am
so i would always right on the right hand page only this is critical how many people here are are interested writing series i don't mean who who republished who how many are interested in writing
oh as skirt bank well ah manual i think they will put this method use right only on the right hand page this is the key to the whole thing my early notebooks i didn't do that i what happens is that you have related material eighteen pages that had you to see back
if you've got a cattle of pages and is just a snob and you go home and got how maga sort this out if you leave that blank page open than any material is related to the material of that day is pertinent to it you can fit right in and also maybe it is a research note maybe there's a book as you are referred to on
all of that stuff is there so as all each topic is altogether and if you do that and you take pains with it when you get home you haven't got a a mess notes you got a real first draft it's a very crude rough first draft of the book you've got it or less it leads you have it in chronological order and topic by topic you may want to and we'll talk about
that eight structure and different way but anyway you have it and it's it's clear so i think but i think i'll get on these practical things have any other questions about them

i didn't have children very early i i i i became added at it and i really knew that i probably should not get married one sodomy really didn't want to get mad i didn't want to lose as usual
and who in fact it got such such a point of stress that i i made a shambles of or engagement party and and then run months later the gauge was broken and i had to kind of patched together i don't know that was a good idea and then i had done two kids pretty early and then i had to make some money so and a fisher
ing commercial fishing stop
but i don't know i'm not so sure i think writers and artists generally are not a very stable or dependable group and malcolm cowley the great critic wrote a whole book about writers and writing and talked about the social life for writers and you never saw so many mess up to new her entire life i mean adjusted tremendous and
amanda divorce depression alcoholism suicide violence ah you know and it's a cautionary of course none of this isn't true me but
as a cautionary book all that same as scale life out of you hope to be a writer
so and after and then i that that marriage did not work in the long run than my second wife and i had a child with her and i adopted her child by fresh air so then there were four and then she died and on and now i married again and my present my brought to
ah young daughters to the marriage so there are i had this huge family which i heartily disapprove after years of having upgraded my sister and brother my sister had five boys were kept on because she wanted a girl on so she has six and my brother did exactly opposite
he had four girls and kept going to the wanted a boy i said why you guys swap the plenty
this is a terrible production and a time when we should all be cutting down the number of children now has six myself by by one way or another error certain things you can help in life that's karma or fate or something i was telling them ah
oh yeah some people this morning my
i'm sorry to say that my family fortune such as it was was made and wailing
an awful
my my forebears were whalers in denmark and only we're whalers but they had a whaling school i taught whale captains they were companies or banana cause i hate to think of the sheer tonnage i have ancestor who was killed three hundred and sixty five wales and those at that time they were bowhead and right whales which should do the most renown
and in trouble and damn it's awful but there it is i've been cleaning up after my all life but
hum so as a very long winded answer to a good questions i
live i live on the end of long island on the i'm i'm inside of the ocean in potato country as plato country in name only now because i suddenly chateaus or
climbing to the heavens all around me they're selling this grandkids on eighteen inches of top silence one of the great loans in the world and build these huge houses on so many is plenty of up plans and scrub oak and pine they could no learn but we're still most we still don't get it we really down was still making these mistakes
he said off the last night too much
still digesting it
what i heard him as he spoke about facing is sad
that we're all capable in our own way of doing
since violence the violence that he went into ealing around in hospitals
and it really strikes me that at the corner
the salvation of our space to look at our sad
i think so
i think so and don't i don't dumb people say oh i know there's evil in us i'm not talking about yeah i wasn't asked i'm talking my evil i'm talking about the potential of this animal a behavioral trait of this animal we don't want to regard ourselves as animals but we are and and in every chemical way we've gone so far ahead but where
this extraordinary violence very quickly people can turn around but it's not evil is just something we have to take care of
focusing on what an utterly and he's the or the old gentleman or is the great dancer whichever image you want to use
and you might say this is rather primitive as it is primitive but the there isn't really a better image if you think of it as say to use northrop's inimitable phrase the undifferentiated aesthetic continuum
roger god is a conception vaguely resembling tapioca
all some kind of goo and that is really an inferior conception till the human image
alas you see we don't know anything more evolved than the human image
rolls or with the the ultimate
alas you see we don't know anything more evolved than the human image you may have had some of you conversations with angels are would be the ultimate itself and when you do meet the ultimate itself with some of you have a
you know that you can't think about it but it certainly not a miner's quantity it's certainly nothing like do with plane undifferentiated gu
so the the advantage of mythological ideas is that you know that mythological and therefore you don't take them literally
that's a very important thing to remember
for don't
and that's where really appeals and interests me and i i wonder i feel you have a lot of body there
a lot of of a lot of material for knew where he wrote well i think so i to this is an issue question perhaps we'll have a chance later a lot of people here probably were not there last night so we're talking about something that isn't a common reference site that i think maybe i will not a comment on my last types talk now
oh thanks
i'm curious how you experience and darwin the enormous man is passionate that writing is as far as this has refused to engage as then vs practicing non actually medical have raised that the
i know is is excellent that's my question well i don't you know i can unknown him i can't even defend myself i'm greed anger and fall i had been so the earmarks of my life
and still are
at fight as i may you know
i don't know i haven't resolved that anymore than i resolve the question of family that kind of work i do and then the amount of time i'm away i don't i don't i think if there was a scale of credentials you would have to have to be apparent i probably would fail parent miserably
am i most certainly responsible parent but i have not been in the time i would like to and i'm not i'm not solved all my ego problems not at all
are the only thing is i'm trying to build to have the attitude about it that i'm trying to encourage we should have about our potential for violence not for evil for violence
and just be open about it and see what happens moment by moment take care of at home and afternoon which is really our our practice
for you and stories think been together shots to them immediately now what would you say how got an early ryan wish you never been to pay right now
i think that they were
green as the only were there unformed you see students who are uninformed these he teaches alas who are uninformed
and i may very well be one of them so i speak with all the authority of failure
but i think everybody almost every and nobody starts out riding it therefore capacity they don't know they're doing you don't you don't go off to the top of the ski lift and ski down you know at the guys for a start you make a lot of mistakes you go off angles you pratfalls and i think we all do it i was very relieved and away to hear
the dust to sk who's a writer i revere
he lost to big suitcases full of
early drafts unpublished work in the mars say railroad station and the think that not dust as he could have two suitcases for it
that's a lot of work but he didn't ever published right have already trainer or succeed with and that i think this is the case i think writers right
any writer who is writing isn't really a writer and it doesn't matter whether your published to not writers right as the nature of the from the thing and they are right badly and they should have the sense to recognize that mr hemingway whose and a man whose life i didn't very much admire but i have to say he did
no a trade or writing and he always spoke of the bullshit detector you have to develop that bullshit detector and if you haven't got it you'd better find a few readers your wife your husband or somebody who hasn't affected because we all tend to tend to sentimental that may go off on this thing at this tangent of the other and you find me get my
much tougher on your stuff now i could have added that those stories may be in and brought them into shape some the ideas were good had parts of the mirror okay but the overall was ineffectual i hadn't learned my trade true
because i just haven't fed and and that's including the fact that you have to do a nice i do have to write many drafts this last chapter of this novel called at play in the fields with the lord that a solitary river trip this man takes and i know i rewrote that entirely at least thirty times and i see
still didn't get it through i wanted it and i rather that made me rather suspect read
you know that oh i forgot to set it you know a work of art is never finished simply abandoned as old cliche well it's absolutely true is no truer thing has ever been said you abandon it because if you think it's perfect he already in very serious trouble not just as ego you'd and the means you've really missed because
cause any work you go to you start with is extraordinarily beautiful
pay in your head you see something and you strained five words to to put this down ha and it just never comes out i don't think rage you can just come as close as you can possibly can with integrity and then you have to rockaway from it go on in the next thing
i've i've just come back from i was a co-leader on it a bridge we took allow people to antarctica for seabirds and albatross and penguins and stuff and wales wonderful but i was stunned by antarctic i was so far exceeded my imagination i had no idea was the highest continent on earth i had no idea that there are ice
briggs floating around one nineteen sixty eight that was as big as belgium you see them commonly you see them for five huge city blocks long and several hundred feet high needs amazing colors well i kept became my notebook and is as beautiful off
i was left speechless and maybe that's as it should be means n teaches that done it with we we learn to be very very suspicious ever of words and there were simply
i will find some but i realize i've got to really
crack my head and try to find a way of fresh new way of saying how extraordinarily beautiful this landscape was and mysterious stranger
the a great story my first teacher was a rinzai master cylinder oshie
and he is a great story about i think it was about so on roshi somebody had a can show an opening in men and the zendo some young luck
and to celebrate our oh she took him up mount fuji has his monastery like the foothills of mount fuji and this guy was really open to the world i mean he was seeing everything for the first time i just couldn't believe he'd taken for granted before and this is courses the nature of can show us can unfolding of
so he was exposed in a bracing trees though she look at street and that black and
alrosa stuff as as trudging up the mountain that saying we're just running with your displeasure and and as this guy why not you got more and more rapturous is an the blue sky the clouds when they pass the snow peak ah the volcano do realize that the fires coming up there didn't do you see that
and not until the top of the mountain as is it
recognize or perceived that the russia has not said one single word he said nothing it has grown impatient and and keep on trudging
i'm finally gets up the top of the mountain on the snowcat nieces but rosia i'm trying to shush
i said i mean it's so beautiful and so wonderful don't you agree me said yes but what a pity to sit down
riders unfortunately have to have to say so and we and we teach people to be they are suspicious of the golden thorns and even the buddha's words we have to be very careful about words and yet we transgress i think i'm gonna check with norman i'm not going to put him on the spot here but i think anybody who's ever given darn
a talk and tasha ah i always have a real feeling and mean you're trying to strike sparks i know
but find me you got kind of gag on the words because you're only really my view
there's a really over and over again you're teaching at lotus being held up your to the teaching master good pay and the finger you're teaching this moment and all the miracle and all the mystery arises out of this moment paying attention to this moment everything succumbs well master ghouta had it right he just raised his finger
i wish we could do that i wish you could write a book that way were saved me twenty years on this
and my watson trilogy my editors would heard to say isn't mr watson said yet
when needed to say i got rid of him as editor
what are we going with time se or like got down here
we well so we have a fifteen minute more minutes before the break and are going to sit in for lunch so if you want to it there are other questions otherwise we can sit
red web browser more time with a wonderful characters day i really enjoyed a lot of describing the the have a very worried your career the work that was it at all other
it was somewhat i think all novels are somewhat autobiographical and i fact i really think you can carry out further than that i think if the writer has really done his homework and understood
that all riders male and female have some aspect of a rider you have to get into that common humanity and you have to if you have i have female characters i have to understand something i'm sure to be distributed but
and that the and the less i feel that is so so that that novel and really all them have something of me in there and the characters of course that answer was very briefly it was about a young guy was in the navy and is on a track on a troop ship going out of pearl harbor i mean i'll treasure island machine
did i i went out under the golden gate as a terrible storm at sea and they are see at which we were twelve days in a storm and gratis or is based on the guy i had the bow watch has probably one of four men on a whole ship who didn't get sea sick
and i had the bow watch was pro the one place on the boat where you wouldn't get sea sick because of wind and fresh air and water bursting over you at all times and the box below and all of these holes and sleeping compartments and stuff where the monks were four feet deep
and they were being sick in the top bunk and you can imagine what i was like down there was a hell the guy who came to replace with supposed to replace me never appeared he was seasick is how but one night about three nights out and i've been doing standing watch all night long as he never showed up as a pathetic clawing at this metal door on the top of the hatch
and i finally heard it over the howling gale bashing sees and i
great the bar in our next one this gate open and there was a guy a little white fair like face on the top and the tops shell the green in color and with the sole inspiration of that door can they open he vomited
and that's stuck in my brain i was stuck to total my shoes do that anyway
somehow this guy coming up from the depths to preserve it was a metaphor that it interested me and this guy in the book adopts this man even though the rest of the crew despise him because he turns out to be a user a manipulator self pitying but always with an angle and always working and a truly
as we say we don't make discrimination as you know on our practice but this was a truly since specimen of yoga and am
and she that you should we do we take care of these people's because this this guy's young guy ran and so he comes from her background and the pathetic are homeless or no parents and orphanages not to thing for which we really are partly responsible and this young the hero that protagonists tries
the to stand up for him against the hatred and how the other men for him because they know he's loathsome and he does it even when reddit sir sort of betrays him
i don't know he was a that that was my third novel i was the first one i thought showed signs of hope
and i don't know hi i thought answers your question in on okay
the student teacher relationship so on she is you know was you know he was sort of a troubled man and a rather eccentric in fact is as ten second says he's one of the last great crazy crazy wisdom teachers he was his
teaching methods were unorthodox but admire me and he was extremely funny he was a clown you even bring out master and taisho talking put on different masks he had also to unorthodox methods are just tell you one on time for die sonne as rich as you know if you're not as and person will tell you are his confrontation or
leading with a teacher and you got there unusually if you're if you really sitting storming was kind of nervous you know your other presenting a co on are you doing something but it's usually a little bit scary i think if you're where you should be and the roshi jewelry sam i got not showing much expression eyes down and when you come to me who
your boss well selling roshi was passionate about what he called the stinkers in
he hated self conscious spirituality he loathed he was always yelling at us don't you realize our people walking i passed out in the street who don't need this don't get your don't have such ion while one time and he would hang out as dirty laundry out in the rock garden we had to see it as you're doing can hear
you know just to shake you up just to do this or one time he had this true and this is a man who he took out as deed as because he wanted to see and if he found was nothing he will always being found at four o'clock in morning on the children's horses in the merry-go-round your the was doubtless cheated on this occasion we were up at an era in the
new york state zen study society you ran up three flights of stairs and rinzai practice your almost supposed to knock people down and matter how much older they were at the new you were supposed to show this zealand so you'd hear people pounding up the stairs you know in the more much other where the more they pounded and and then they would bar for bound
the doorway and they would stand up and do a standing bout of the roshi and on this occasion
they looked up and it wasn't the roshi on the cushion that was a huge pumpkin
an emotion was behind the door
and the immediately gave you the bell and some silly fools a got hurt feelings that they had their dignity and they were sent down the stairs and we couldn't understand we are pounding on there's a stream going down
ah there they are there's many many prints on russia's stories he was a wonderful teacher

i'm a nunhead dragon river was later i didn't start that really until
nozomi euro she asked me to go east i was a nice they may be had the ten seconds going east and he asked me to help him in stata monastery back there so i know and i know that was nineteen eighty and i know that we needed money and that's why i put that look together
she remembers one i started in nineteen sixty nine or seventy so there was cut in a difference time there
oh yeah because i used early as and journals that use all sorts of stuff i i had some of this happened the the purely buddhist material from the snow leopard i put in there too and i put in a pilgrimage that i did with texting him to japan i we went to all the monasteries and all the shrine
kinds of soda and we also from happy to say stopped off and sauce on rocio hadn't seen any money for years we're very happy to see him again was wonderful read dumb that's how that happened

what's what would sort of practice that was
recent research practice
our our other well researched sell generally speaking if you're interested in that subject you probably already have read quite a lot and then your least semi well informed before you start and there are always bibliographies and back to those books and you'll find other reference works new talk to people who know about it
a reading list and you can do that over you know for quite a long time before you before you go now that you have to go anywhere remember what dog and zingy said about do not travel off to dusty lands but hum
and to i never been to stay at home releases do not be afraid of the true dragon and i was do not look outside for that you're gang that isn't necessary you may you may do here your on
research right at home and stay there to right that's good too
the same method just don't use those big shirts and stuff
please don't stop researching and oh boy do you ever it's a wonder i have a book or helmets and natural history book and a nineteenth century researcher and wildlife expert called elliot cows and he writes about the bibliographies dip samia a bibliography
you can just and you see somebody was really not one night the book they were research forever and then you had this enormous amount of material at a certain point you have to start writing even if you're still researching that's that can be a tremendous trap research pretty can
you will almost always find the key things people will mentioned them or whatever but research you can just get more and more and more and more never write the book i a tremendous my research on sasquatch
yeah it was cleared okay last question
you out the difference
autobiographical fishkin or memoir well as a lillian hellman from many others taught us a lot of memoir is fiction
so the line is is very very fine indeed a autobiographical memoir
yeah i don't know we're getting into the that tricky area of the so-called nonfiction novel you know the truman capote he thought he developed and is true that some books are they they are really you can form them as a novel even though they're based on truth i out i like to my own looks like
afer over others just for that reason because i could they weren't novels one as the snow leopard and one was a book about a new guinea people called under the mountain wall and there i can tell a story unimpeded by you know i just a wonderful i i realized in both cases i remember saying to r george shatter who is my partner
on the snow leopard i said to him about three weeks and i said of i can't make a good book out this i ought to be taken out and whipped and i and i really meant that i knew i had it it was just a natural and because it really was a story going back against the is going every every twenty miles who at north we went forty miles back in time
time forty years back in time to finally where we ended up we are in the thirteenth century and a whole sense of time and reverse i just astonishing and these cultures one after each valley people went back
twenty or thirty years in time
did you ever seen as i did not for the more i went there again and nineteen sixties and nineteen ninety five and i failed again and snow leopards came right down to her into our cat they killed two goats huh
not into our captain there's no mad camp up the valley i ate the goats i saw the tracks the snow leopards saw me and i heard it i didn't see it
surgery yeah
indeed we went we went off the permitted shale and we're on horseback and so he cover more ground we went way up into northeastern blow up on the tibetan border there and we found people and it was amazing they had never seen like us and we never seen anything like that was terrific
we're gonna take a break for fifteen minutes and then we'll reconvene