Jack London & The Iron Heel

Glen Ellen, Ca. Jack London State Park.This past weekend, Elizabeth and I stopped by Glen Ellen, California, a lovely small town north of the city of Sonoma, and the location of the Jack London State Historic Park.

Jack London was one of the most prolific and successful writers of the early 1900′s – author of “Call of the Wild”, “White Fang”, “The Sea Wolf”, and other novels and short stories.

By 1913, London and his wife Charmian had acquired 1400 acres of land near Glen Ellen and turned them into a working ranch.  In 1910 construction was begun on a 15,000 square foot lodge, with 26 rooms and 9 fireplaces, called Wolf House, that was to be the Londons’ dream home.   In 1913, just a few days before they were planning to move in, a fire broke out, completely gutting the interior of the home, leaving only the massive masonry walls standing.   Three years later, at age 40, London died.

Jack LondonMuch of his work is imbued with a sense of the awesome power of nature and the struggle and survival of the fittest that characterized all of life.

This was reflected in his grasp of the titanic social forces that were playing out during that era.

London himself experienced firsthand the grueling working conditions of the time, and it turned him into a passionate advocate of socialism and workers’ rights.

In his book, “The Iron Heel”, published in 1908, he predicted the rise in the United States of an oligarchy, or small group of corrupt and selfish people, who would seize control of the government and economic power, destroy the middle class, and maintain power by oppressing the people.  George Orwell, author of “1984″, the great portrait of a future totalitarian state, was influenced by “The Iron Heel”, and saw London’s book as “a very remarkable prophecy of the rise of Fascism”.

The themes of “The Iron Heel” seem eerily familiar today – the gathering of economic and political power into the hands of a very small group of people, the destruction of the middle class, the rise of a government increasingly amoral and more concerned with the centralization and co-opting of power and money than for the needs and welfare of the people.

Whither go we?

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A New Myth for America BuddhismJames Hilgendorf is a filmmaker, speaker, poet, and the author of ten non-fiction books that are opening the way to a new vision of ourselves, a new dream of America, a new religion for the world.  This year and next, he is traveling to towns and cities all across America, meeting people and giving talks, under the banner of “Traveling to a New America“.

Follow the journey on Facebook.

To arrange talks, contact the author.

Traveling to a New America – People Along the Way – Salinas, California

Traveling to a New America – People Along the Way
Chris.  Salinas, California.
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Traveling to a New America - Salinas, CaliforniaChris, what’s your take on America at this time?

“With America being built on immigration for hundreds of years, we’re all immigrants, but we’ve let the illegal immigration go on for so long, maybe it’s been a century or longer, but there’s always been a President saying we’ve got to stop it, but it never really happens.  And I don’t think that most Americans have problems even with illegal immigration, we like the people that are here, but it also opens the doors for other people that we don’t want here, and we do need to protect what we feel is our life and our liberty, and make sure people are getting here the right way.  They do have to go through the process, just like we all did, as our ancestors did when they came here.

“A lot people want to blame the people who are anti-immigration as racists, I don’t really think that’s it at all.  I don’t feel racist at all, I love to hang out with all types of people, I love to learn, I love to ask questions, whether they be hard questions or not, I like to learn, I like to understand where other people are coming from.  But I don’t think everybody’s that way.  Some people are just raised to be with their kind, only like their kind, only associate with their kind.  Those are the real racists, people who just aren’t open to understanding other people and their ways of life, because there’s so many different ways, and so many of them are good, if not better than the way we do things.”

Traveling to a New AmericaWhat’s going to change the divisiveness we’re experiencing in our country?

“I wish I had that answer.  I don’t think there’s any rule or law that’s ever going to change that.  I think it’s humanity, I think it’s who we are, from way back forever.  People want to fight for what they believe in, and not everyone believes in the same thing, so I think that everyone has to just try to get along, tolerate other people, accept others, that’s the only thing you can do, but you can’t make a law that enforces that, you have to be taught that from a young child. I try to teach my children to be courteous to the next person.  It doesn’t matter if they’re gay, black, Hispanic, it doesn’t matter, just be respectful, and you’ll have a good life.  If you can respect people and earn other peoples’ respect, you’re going to be fine.  And turn a shoulder to people who don’t do it that way.  Be humble, be accepting, that’s the way it should be, but everyone’s not going to be that way, you’re not going to make them be that way either.”

If you had a vision of a great America, what would it look like?

“I always picture the 50’s, the white picket fence, and the kids able to walk to school without fear of being kidnapped.  Less technology.  You didn’t have to take a phone call until you got home, and maybe you listened to your answering machine or there was a note on the door.  Those things are nice.  You go outside, grandpa whistles, you heard the whistle two blocks away, you knew it was time to come home to dinner before the streetlights came on.  That was great, that really was.  Those were the good days.  But just back to something simpler, less technology, family.  Family was first.  People these days they work so hard, they forget what’s important.  Just rewind to the 50’s.”

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A New Myth for America BuddhismJames Hilgendorf is a filmmaker, speaker, poet, and the author of ten non-fiction books that are opening the way to a new vision of ourselves, a new dream of America, a new religion for the world.  This year and next, he is traveling to towns and cities all across America, meeting and talking with people, under the banner of “Traveling to a New America.”

Follow his journey on Facebook.

To arrange talks, contact the author.

August 6th, Again – Hiroshima

HiroshimaAnother year passes.  We come around again, remembering the horror of Hiroshima.

Meanwhile, on the horizon, pointed shapes sprout from the Earth, deadly black missiles mushrooming into sight here and there – North Korea, Russia, France, Great Britain, Pakistan, India, the United States, and other countries planning and secretly hoping to bring into bloom these grotesque projectiles of death.

This is our world.  We face megadeath.

So we once again pay homage to the memory of Hiroshima, yet these horrific weapons of death still remain on alert in our country’s arsenals – thousands of them, each with a capacity now many times the destructive power of the Hiroshima bomb.  We have already spent over a trillion dollars on the manufacture and upkeep of these weapons – weapons that are capable of totally obliterating entire cities and populations – indeed, of destroying the Earth itself.

Here in America, we hold these weapons at the ready.  Given the circumstances, there is no doubt we would use them.  Why else would we have them?

Harriet Beecher Stowe Uncle Tom's CabinJust prior to the American Civil War, Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”, the great book documenting in passionate and heart-rending detail the tragic breakup of black Kentucky families sold down the river to slavery.

She wrote:

“Up to this year, I have always felt that I had no particular call to meddle with this subject.  But I feel now that the time has come when even a woman or a child who can speak a word for freedom and humanity is bound to speak.”

The central theme of her book was that slavery and Christianity cannot co-exist.

What would Mrs. Stowe have to say about nuclear weapons?

I think she would say that they, too, are incompatible with Christianity, or with any other religion that advocates the sanctity of life.

To incinerate millions, or even hundreds of millions of men, women and children in the blink of an eye – to push those buttons – this is something totally incompatible with the words and intent of the founders of all the major religions.

And yet we hold them.

What it tells us, simply, is that we are not a Christian nation.  If we were a truly Christian nation, we would never hold these weapons, or even consider the possibility of using them against other human beings.

What it tells us also is that our current religions – Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism – stand helpless in the face of this demonic nuclear force within the human mind and psyche.

Our religions are separating us, not bringing us together.  Our religions are killing us even now, and threatening to annihilate everyone on the planet because of differences of dogma.

Where is the human being in all of this?

What is needed is a new religion – one that recognizes the sanctity of all life.

One that sees within the heart of every man, woman, and child on the face of the planet the common root of human being, with untold, untapped potential as great as the universe itself.

One that allows us to transcend and appreciate our differences, and expands our capacity for compassion to the edge of  known and unknown galaxies.

Does such a religion exist?  Yes.  It exists here and there, in the hearts of many people, of all backgrounds and faiths and non-faiths, a new paradigm of living and seeing and breathing.

A new spiritual civilization, beyond even age-old dreams, beyond anything we have yet imagined, is struggling to be born.  It is here and now.  It grows from the wreckage of despair, of lost hope, of pollution, greed, injustice, hatred and war.  It is the compassionate heart of the universe itself coming to fruition and bloom.

It is the Buddha emerging in America.

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Maybe We Need A New ReligionJames Hilgendorf is a filmmaker, speaker, poet, and the author of ten non-fiction books that are opening the way to a new vision of ourselves, a new dream of America, a new religion for the world.  This year and next, he is traveling to towns and cities all across America, meeting people and giving talks, under the banner of “Traveling to a New America.

Follow his journey on Facebook.

To arrange talks, contact the author.

America As It Is Unfolding

Donald Trump and his insular, vicious narcissism.

The Republican Health Care debacle, an attempt to pass a law that violates the health of tens of millions of Americans – for what? – for power, for prestige, for money, for an empty victory, for blatant ego – and seemingly no one in the corridors of power who cares for what’s happening down on the ground.

America, its image being tarnished around the world.

At this moment in history, who looks this way for answers, for light, for vision, for hope?  America, the dream, where have you gone?

And yet, this is the pivotal moment in our history.  This is a pivotal moment for America.  The true America is only now beginning to emerge.

We took a wrong turn long ago.  We worshipped money, we placed it on a pedestal.  We made it our goal.

Trump is the true, final revelation of our false American Dream.  He is the dream we have all followed, made finally manifest, the perfect embodiment.

It is winter and the Death of the old American Dream.

The true American Dream, though, has never died.  It has only lain in abeyance, awaiting a great springtime.

What will finally call it forth?

Only one person, standing at the heart of the center of the universe itself, abandoning everything else to be true to oneself, to one’s greater self, caring for nothing except the revelation of the Dream.

Each person now, creating the Dream.

Each person the Buddha, at the heart of everything.  Fashioning a new world.  Emanating compassion, embracing worlds.

Amid the destruction, tiny shoots of green amid a barren landscape.

A new America.

A great Dream.

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A New Myth for America BuddhismJames Hilgendorf is a filmmaker, speaker, poet, and the author of ten non-fiction books that are opening the way to a new vision of ourselves, a new dream of America, a new religion for the world.  This year and next, he is meeting and talking to people on the streets and in small gatherings, in towns and cities all across America, under the banner of “Traveling to a New America.

Follow and be part of the journey on FacebookBuy and share his books.

To invite him to your town or city, contact him directly.


Maya Angelou & My Friend Joe

Joe MorhaimJoe Morhaim was my best friend.  He died in 2006, at age 79, from complications of heart surgery.

Joe had such a bright, brilliant manner.  He was a wonderful writer, and for twenty-five years he lived and wrote screenplays in Paris.

He loved France.  Even after he returned to Los Angeles with his French wife Framboise, and lived out his last fifteen years there, he used to tell me that he dreamt every night of being back at the cafes in Paris.

Joe was Jewish, and having suffered discrimination himself, he would not tolerate discrimination of others.

I could describe many things that I feel in my heart about Joe; but I want to relate just two stories about Joe that reflect what kind of person he was.

Just before his 50th high school reunion in Los Angeles, Joe found out that a large number of his classmates would not be there.  They were a large group of Japanese-Americans who had been interned in prison camps during the second world war.  As a result, these men and women had been unable to graduate from high school, and had never received their diplomas.

Joe went to work.

He called the TV stations, he called the newspapers and radio stations.  He contacted the school authorities.  He found out where these Japanese-American classmates of his were then living.  By himself, he created a PR campaign that aroused everyone in his old community, that ended with these classmates of his receiving – belatedly – their high school diplomas at the reunion.  The media covered the event and it was all over the news programs in Los Angeles.

Most moved by his efforts were the Japanese-Americans who had been so unjustly imprisoned during their high school years.  It was the closure of some deeply held wounds.

Maya AngelouThe second story involved the famous writer, Maya Angelou.

Maya had been turned down when trying to rent an apartment in Los Angeles because of her race.  It was an obvious case of discrimination.

Again, Joe – who happened to know Maya – went to work.

He applied for the apartment himself, and was promptly accepted.  Later in the day, he accompanied Maya, with her belongings, to the apartment.  The landlord was furious.  He swore at Joe, calling him everything in the book.

Joe, though, did not back down.  He countered with a verbal assault on the landlord, accusing him of being a fascist bastard, and threatening to take him to court.  The landlord was furious, but had to back down, and Maya moved into her new apartment.

The story is documented in one of Maya Angelou’s books.

In countries all over the world, how many ruthless dictators and monsters would not have come to power and committed their atrocities, if people like Joe – with his fearlessness in standing up to injustice – had been around?

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A New Myth for America BuddhismJames Hilgendorf is a filmmaker, speaker, poet, and the author of ten non-fiction books that are opening the way to a new vision of ourselves, a new dream of America, a new religion for the world.  This year and next, he is traveling to towns and cities all across America, meeting people and giving talks, under the banner of “Traveling to a New America“.

To arrange talks, contact the author.

Traveling to a New America – People Along the Way – Berkeley, California

Traveling to a New America – People Along the Way
Miles.   Berkeley, California
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Traveling to a New America  Berkeley, CaliforniaMiles, what’s your take on America at this time?

“My take on America is that we’re in a time when there seems to be a loss of hope among the American people.  There also seems to be a lot of mobilizations happening, both at the grassroots level and at the State level.  There are different ideologies moving very powerfully in opposite directions, and therefore I see my role as a graduating student to do what I can to put my knowledge to work to help those who need it.  I think it’s a time right now where there is a lot of opportunity to make significant change.”

You talk about diverging ideologies and divisiveness, and that’s a problem right now.  What’s going to change that?

“What’s going to change all this is true leadership, and by that I mean an individual or group of individuals who know how to move people, who know how to speak to people, who know how to get people excited and get people to want to do things, to move, to mobilize, to make change.  Someone who knows how to corral a crowd and get chills on their spine and get them to want to do what they can to assist this country and assist those who need it most.”

As I hear you say that, people on both sides of the ideological divides might say the same thing.  You talk about mobilizing towards something – what is that something?

“I think mobilizing towards a realization among the American people of what is really happening in our government, what is really happening at the federal level, and how are their lives truly impacted.  I think it’s this sense of what we need to do to educate ourselves.  We need to get more disadvantaged and underserved communities into college .  We need to help people re-envision what’s important to them, what’s important to the world, what’s at stake in the world, and to think about the world larger than themselves, instead of these sometimes quite irrelevant problems that are simply entertaining us along the path.”

If you had a vision of a great America, what would it look like?

“America standing up for the interests of the average person and not the interests of the billionaires and millionaires, not the interests of a particular population of people, but doing what’s right for the average person, no matter their ethnicity, no matter their class.  Working together to help those that need it, working to lift those out of poverty, working to help spread the message that race isn’t real, that it’s a social construct, working to get more minorities and under-served communities to college.  Working to unlearn racism, working to acknowledge climate change, and working also towards engaging arguments from a perspective where we don’t want to prove the person wrong, we don’t want a win, but we want to genuinely help understand the issues that are at stake, genuinely understand their side, genuinely understand the coal miners’ perspective, why coal is important to them and their community, and not just berate them, talk down to them and tell them what they’re doing is wrong, but learning to understand one another and learning to press forward as a nation with common interests and help everyone, not a particular population of people.

What’s your personal dream?

“I want to inspire people, I want to move people.  I want to inspire people and to propel them to want to do something with their own lives and to do something to make the world a better place.”

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A New Myth for America BuddhismJames Hilgendorf is a filmmaker, speaker, poet, and the author of ten non-fiction books that are opening the way to a new vision of ourselves, a new dream of America, a new religion for the world.  This year and next, he is traveling to towns and cities all across America, meeting people and giving talks, under the banner of “Traveling to a New America“.

To arrange talks, contact the author.

Traveling to a New America – Fresno, California

Traveling to a New America – Fresno, California
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Tree of Life Restaurant Fresno CaliforniaLast week, my wife Elizabeth and I were in Fresno, California, promoting my books and talking to people about their feelings about America.  For lunch, we stopped at a really lovely cafe and bakery, called Tree of Life, where we had delicious, cold Gazpacho soup with a chicken salad sandwich.  This place is a gem.

One of the people we met on the street that day was Jan.  We sat and talked and what she had to say about America is posted on our Facebook Page here.

When I think of Fresno, I think of big agriculture and almonds.  I also think of the great novelist, playwright and short story writer, William Saroyan, who was born in Fresno and lived here off and on throughout his life.

Many years ago, I remember reading something Saroyan had written about his hometown of Fresno.  He said he spent his early years with his main thought being how to get out of Fresno.  But then, having lived in New York and London and Paris, he returned to Fresno and bought a house there, discovering that New York was Fresno all over again.

I think he meant that people are the same the world over.  And I think he meant something similar to the Buddhist concept of karma, that you carry yourself and your happiness or unhappiness with you wherever you go, no matter where you go, and that the only way to truly change your state of happiness is to change yourself from within.

About Fresno, he wrote:

“Fresno is a good place. It’s the world, and how good can the world be in any case, wherever you go? How much different from Fresno is Paris? If you are there, you are there, and you can see and feel a culture, and you can see and feel a culture in Fresno, too.

“I would not care to belittle anything about Fresno, and I would prefer to cherish everything about it, and to seek to try to understand those elements which sometimes really bother people and bothered me, and don’t bother me now. Because the only annoyance which is worthy of us has got to be the large annoyance of failure, of enormous failure, and that is inevitable in any case. And so we have to be charitable towards ourselves so that we can be charitable towards everybody else.”

Saroyan wrote prolifically, receiving the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his play, “The Time of Your Life”, and an Academy Award for Best Story for the film adaptation of his novel “The Human Comedy.”
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A New Myth for America BuddhismJames Hilgendorf is a filmmaker, speaker, poet, and the author of ten non-fiction books that are opening the way to a new vision of ourselves, a new dream of America, a new religion for America.  This year and next, he is traveling to towns and cities all across America, meeting people and giving talks, under the banner of “Traveling to a New America.

Follow his journey on his Facebook Page.

To arrange talks, contact the author.

Traveling to a New America – People Along the Way – Fresno, California

Traveling to a New America – People Along the Way.
Jan.  Fresno, California.
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Fresno, Ca.  Traveling to a New AmericaJan, what’s your take on America at this time?

“That we’re in chaos. I find it very disturbing, because we’re segregated, everybody’s separating apart instead of coming together.  It’s very lonely I would think, because nobody’s communicating.  It’s hard to see progress when you have all these diverse groups separating from each other, and instead of looking at our common ground , our similarities as human beings, we’re looking only at differences, and it’s causing a huge divide in this country in everything, in work, in relationships, in politics.”

What’s going to change that?

“I’m not sure.  I know there are movements, I know there are other people who feel like I do, trying to bring people together, but I really don’t know.  It may take a catastrophe.  Our country often requires something like that.  I hope that’s not the case, because we have so many threats out there, the internet, all kinds of ways that can harm people all over the world, and we really need to be unified.  We need to be one nation, otherwise we’re going to be in trouble I think.  I wish I knew what the answer was.”

If you had a vision of a great America, what would it look like?

“We’ve gone for women’s rights over the years, human rights, minority rights, and I felt there was a brief time when we were all accepting of everybody, and that’s what I would like to see.  Working together again.  When neighbors were neighbors.  We all have remote controls, we push that button, drive into our garage, and never talk to anybody anymore, and I think some of our technology is moving us away from real communication with people, and we really need to be with people and listen to other people to get anywhere, to make things positive again.

“I wish there was less chaos and stress in the world.  More kindness.  Kindness is missing.  More people reaching out and helping each other.  I would love to see that.  That sounds a little Mayberry or something, but I think we used to be closer to all that than what we are today.”

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A New Myth for America BuddhismJames Hilgendorf is a filmmaker, speaker, poet, and the author of ten non-fiction books that are opening the way to a new vision of ourselves, a new dream of America, a  new religion for the world.  This year and next, he is traveling to towns and cities all across America, meeting people and giving talks, under the banner of  “Traveling to a New America.

Follow his journey on Facebook.

To arrange talks, contact the author.

Traveling to a New America – Reno, Nevada

Reno, Nevada - Traveling to a New AmericaElizabeth and I were in Reno, Nevada, this past weekend, promoting my books and talking to people about their feelings about America.

Reno, Nevada  Traveling to a New AmericaIt was hot, but beautiful along the Truckee River which flows through the middle of town.

“What’s your take on America at this time?” is the question we ask over and over again as we meet people.

We posted one of our interviews with a lovely young couple, Valarie and Adrian, and you can view it on our Facebook Page.

What did others talk about?

They talked about restoring a sense of community and caring, which seems to have been lost to a great extent in America and the world at large, with people and nations isolating themselves, and retreating into smaller, well-worn identities.

The deepest need at this time seems to be for all of us to somehow grow into a more all-embracing state of life, where we recognize ourselves in others, and work to bring out the best in our world.

It’s difficult, as we are now seeing.  How do we really bridge the gaps that are separating us?

Humanity seems at a crossroads.  We can destroy ourselves, as attested to daily by the rise and proliferation of nuclear warheads pointed at nations all around the world; or we can embark upon a totally new phase in our development, a transformation at the very roots of what it means to be a human being.

There is no going back.  That way, inevitably, only lies suffering.

The revolution the world is heading for and pining for can never come to fruition without a corresponding spiritual transformation, one that breaks down the old walls of our limited perception and re-connects all of our lives to the life of all of humanity and to the cosmos itself – a revolution and transformation that creates a real sense of community.

Maybe We Need A New ReligionSometime ago, I came across an article about a ten-year-old boy, who, after continuing to watch reports on television about the wars raging in the Mideast between Jews, Muslims, and Christians, remarked:  “Maybe we need a new religion.”

The truth, to a very great extent, is that our mainline religions, for all their talk of love and brotherhood and peace, are separating us, are killing us – all in allegiance to God.

Where is God in all of this?  Certainly not in people.  If God were in people, we would not go on murdering and slaughtering each other.  To kill God is the deepest sin, so say our religions.  Yet we go on with the wars.  Therefore God is not in people.

We need a new kind of identity.  We need to find God, or the highest spiritual reality, within people, each and every one of us, and protect and nourish that reality.

We need a new kind of religion.

Where is it to be found?  Here and there.  It issues forth from the hearts of people everywhere, but, as yet, is given no widely tangible expression.

In Buddhism, this identity finds its highest expression in the Lotus Sutra.

The Lotus Sutra is a fantastical story.  Near the end of his life, Shakyamuni, the historical Buddha, having assembled his disciples upon a mountaintop, proclaims that in all the years that he has been preaching, he has not yet revealed the truth, and is now about to expound it.

At that time, a great Treasure Tower, half as large as the Earth itself, rises from the Earth, resplendent and bedecked with jewels; and from countless lands in the universe, myriads of Buddhas and great Bodhisattvas converge upon the Treasure Tower to hear Shakyamuni expound the Lotus Sutra.

The Buddha explains that, contrary to what people imagined, that he had first attained enlightenment under the bodhi tree when he was about thirty years of age, he had, in fact, become enlightened in the unimaginably remote past, and has ever since been in the world preaching the Law.

We are now in the world of eternity.  The Buddha is revealing the eternity of his own life.

Did this story really happen? Yes, it did; and then, again, it did not.

The significance of the Lotus Sutra is this:  The Treasure Tower, along with this fabulous Ceremony in the Air in all its splendor and magnificence, is a metaphor for the great enlightened emerging state of life of the Buddha, overflowing with life force, wisdom and compassion.  But it is also, without exception, our own life as well.

We are all Buddhas, unawakened to this fact.  We have that kind of magnificence buried within our own lives.  The Buddha’s mission was to awaken all people to this reality.

Amid all of the wreckage we see around us, the division, anger, despair and loss of hope; wars and threats of future catastrophic wars; walls being erected between human hearts; confusion and anxiety and fear – amid all of this, the Buddha is coming to America.

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Traveling to a New AmericaJames Hilgendorf is a filmmaker, speaker, poet, and the author of ten non-fiction books that are opening the way to a new vision of ourselves, a new dream of America, a new religion for the world.  He has been practicing Buddhism for over forty years with the Soka Gakkai International, the largest Buddhist lay organization in the world now, with 12,000,000 members in 192 countries around the globe.

This year and next, he is traveling to towns and cities all across America, meeting people and giving talks, under the banner of “Traveling to a New America”.  To follow his journey, visit his Facebook Page.


Traveling to a New America – People Along the Way – Reno, Nevada

Traveling to a New America – People Along the Way
Valarie and Adrian.  Reno, Nevada.
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Reno, Nevada  Traveling to a New AmericaValerie and Adrian, what’s your take on America at this time?

Adrian:

“It’s kind of hard to tell.  After the elections, opinions are so shifted to one direction, it’s very difficult to guage what the next move is going to be for America. For example, after the G-8 summit that Trump had, whether we’re going to be in the Paris accords, we don’t know.  So it’s very unknown I think.

Valarie:

“I think it’s an unfortunate time for America, not a breaking point, but I think this is the most divided America’s been, politically, socially, economically, and I don’t know what it’s going to take to sort of reach across to the other side and communicate and sort of regain common ground.  I don’t know what it’s going to take.”

If you had a vision of a greater America, what would it look like?

Adrian:

“Just a community of people that can work together and talk together, as opposed to being scared of the outsider, the other side.”

Valarie:

“I think people need to care more about a community and being part of that community, and what that means for individual roles.  I feel that America right now is becoming very individualized.  Like, what can benefit me more than what can benefit us as a greater country, as a community and a society.  So I think a step toward improvement would be a focus on how to create community, and I think the basis for that is caring for one another.”

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Traveling to a New AmericaJames Hilgendorf is a filmmaker, speaker, poet, and the author of ten non-fiction books that are opening the way to a new vision of ourselves, a new dream of America, a new religion for the world.  This year and next, he is traveling to towns and cities all across America, meeting people and giving talks, under the banner of “Traveling to a New America“.

To arrange talks, contact the author.