The Making of Books

I have taken a four-year sabbatical from launching into writing another book. I wrote one book per year between 1989 and 2003. I suspect that some of them climbed quite high towards the Top of the Least Sellers List. I continue writing articles, poems. Friends kindly transcribed a number inquiry sessions that consists of a dialogue with a practitioner to unravel the deeper truth of the experience or question.

In the past few months, I have carefully gone through my computer to put together the various matters that I have written about in the past few years to see what the potential is to form some new books. I had more unpublished stuff available than I realised. David Cassard, who stated at my home when I was overseas, helped put together the order for the first two books.

Here is how it looks at present:

1. The Upturned Begging Bowl – a collection of critical reflections on Buddhist themes. Several of these articles appeared in my Dharma e-news and various publications. I doubt if a Buddhist published would take this book.
2. The Dharma of Passion and other Poems (116 poems written over the past 10 or 12 years). On suffering, love, intimacy, death, change, ego, dharma.. What poets usually address..
3. To the End of the World. Dharma Reflections and Guided Meditations, (plenty of the material for this book is on the www.insighmeditation.org website, my other websites and Dharma e-News. Also includes 50 summaries of essential discourses in Middle Length Discourses. There are numerous one-page responses to “how to …. questions.
4. A Solitary Search. A Memoir (60,000 words of just the first draft out of 100,000 words of my years in the East from 1967 – 1977.
5. Hard Truths. Two hundred pithy statements, ranging from 50 to 200 words, on the relative and ultimate truth. I wrote them several years ago in Prama and Ranji’s home in India in the space of a week in a sudden burst of creative endeavour and then forgot about them.
6. Dharma Inquiry, (kindly transcribed by Jiva and Keith from recordings of Inquiry on retreats). These dialogues need editing.
7. Neither This nor That. The Buddha’s Teachings on Ultimate Truth (I have about 70 direct quotes of the Buddha on the ultimate truth . I am writing a commentary on each quote of about 1000 – 1300 words. Jenny in Totnes and Leela in Israel kindly provided me with a string of numerous excellent quotes from the Buddha.

1. 70% – 80% finished. More than 100,000 words.
2. 95% finished. 120 poems ready. Only the introduction to write.
3. 75% finished. 150 pages.
4. 60,000 words of first draft of 100,000. Promised my mother to finish this memoir in her very lifetime. She is 88 on April 7, 2008. Unfortunately, I read some excellent travel writing and so I decided to rewrite it all when Dominika and I can get cottage to rent so we can engage in some creative writing. .
5 80% finished.
6 and 7.Needs some months of work. Both themes have much potential. The Sangha has been very encouraging on these last two themes for a book.

I am confident that the first three books will be finished by end of August. Of course, I have to find a publishers.