LAURA FRASER shares the challenges and rewards of bringing mindfulness practice to the kitchen in her essay “The Joy of Mindful Cooking.” A freelance writer based in San Francisco, Fraser tells Tricycle that she enjoys creating dishes with “whatever looks fresh at the farmers market” and has learned to practice patient cooking while making risotto. Her next book, All Over the Map, a travel memoir on “how to be joyful when things don’t go the way you thought they would at midlife,” is due out next spring.
ROLLO ROMIG, an editor at The New Yorker, traces his interest in Cambodian monks back to a brief stint as a general reporter for the Cambodia Daily, an English-language paper based in Phnom Penh. His article “Silence in the Pagoda,” based on personal experiences and conversations abroad, explores the current state of monasticism in post–Khmer Rouge Cambodia. “My favorite part of the job was working with incredibly dedicated Cambodian reporters like Rann Reuy, the former monk who met Nuon Chea in my story,” he says. “Cambodian journalists face many of the same dangers and obstacles as Cambodian monks, but they approach their work with great humor and gusto.”
STEPHEN ALTSCHULER believes meditation is like food: eat too much and you’re in a trance; eat too little and you’re hungry. In “Sitting Practice Redux” Altschuler describes how, after a period of dropping out of sitting practice, an intervention by a dharma teacher made him realize he was hungry for meditation. “I wrote this piece to inspire a renewal for those who have let the practice go over time. The way back comes with making the time to sit again, even if you start with just 5 minutes (I’m now up to 20!).”
MARC LESSER is an executive coach, business consultant, Zen priest, and writer. In “The Less Manifesto,” an article adapted from his new book LESS: Accomplishing More by Doing Less, Lesser offers several techniques for dealing with the chaos of daily life. Currently he is developing a teaching program at Google that integrates mindfulness, meditation, and emotional intelligence. He tells Tricycle, “Integrating mindfulness practices with business success and social innovation has been a passion of mine since I was director of Tassajara Zen Mountain Center in 1983.” He and Norman Fischer have led retreats for businesspeople at San Francisco Zen Center’s Green Gulch Farm for the past 13 years.
Poet JOHN GIORNO, a disciple of Dudjom Rinpoche, recently performed his 70th birthday poem “THANX 4 NOTHING” at the 2009 Tricycle gala, held in honor of founder Helen Tworkov. “It was a great joy,” he says, “performing it to celebrate Helen and Tricycle.” When his most recent book, Subduing Demons in America: Selected Poems 1962 – 2007, came out in the fall of 2008, Giorno “remembered how much work it was to make each poem,” and said to himself, “You wasted your life doing this!’”
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