I'm on the cover of this month's issue of the Dutch magazine Vorm & Leegte, which means Form & Emptiness. It's a pretty big deal Buddhist magazine, as I understand. The Dutch equivalent of Tricycle or Shambhala Sun -- two magazines on which I'm certain I will never be featured on the the covers of. The photo was shot during the lunch break of a one-day retreat I led in Nijmegen in the Netherlands last year. The photographer shot what seemed to me to be somewhere around 25,000 pictures. I was getting tired of posing and trying to look photogenic, which accounts for the pose they chose. It's probably something I tried out of a desperate attempt to look interesting. I don't really work too much on controlling my image. Obviously.
I just got back from the wilds of Saskatoon way up in the Great White North of Saskatchewan, Canada. That was my second trip to Saskatoon. As before it was a lot of fun. But not as much fun as last time because the cold I caught just after coming back from Florida has hung on and on. This is due, again obviously, to far too much touring.
Speaking of touring, it looks like I'll be in Europe this Autumn.
I have confirmed a retreat in (at? with?) Benedikutshof in Germany Sept. 27 - October 2.
I am talking to some people in the Netherlands to set up some talks and things October 3-10.
I have also agreed to attend the conference by the German Buddhist Union Oct. 21-23.
Many other people are talking to me including folks in Durham, England, in Glasgow, Scotland, in France, Finland and Poland. But so far only the people in Germany and the Netherlands have suggested any definite dates. We'll see how the other stuff stacks up.
Someone in Belgium contacted me about going there. But I have lost that contact. So if you're reading this, please write me again.
Which brings up another point: If you have written to me about coming somewhere and I haven't gotten back to you, I AM NOT SNUBBING YOU. I don't snub. I do, however, forget things easily and I am terrible about organization. I desperately need a secretary or assistant of some kind. But so far no one has volunteered for the job. I am not one of those Great Spiritual Masters with a retinue of flunkies to do their bidding. I am doing all of this myself. Write me again if you don't hear back.
I've been reading Stephen Batchelor's new book Confession of a Buddhist Atheist lately. I like it a lot. It's not at all what I expected. I expected a Buddhist version of one of those atheistic screeds, along the lines of Christopher Hitchens' God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything. But this is really good. When I'm done I'll post an actual review. It definitely falls under the category of "Buddhist Books That Don't Suck."
I was also sad to see that Victoria Jackson, who I used to think was pretty funny has gone bat shit crazy. Sad. And couldn't she have gotten a better Bible than the Gideon bible it looks like she stole from her hotel?