Category Archives: India

Live on video: talkin’ about The Buddha & the Bitch

Video talk on The Buddha & the Bitch

Greetings from Gurgaon, India! With two days to prep for this Facebook Live talk (sponsored by Indic Book Club and Indic Academy), Rashma and I did it.
Saturday 26 May over 400 viewers watched/listened to our first presentation and video book launch.

I am so proud that we’ve come this far! The Buddha & the Bitch has been five years in the making, starting with Google chats across the world. Well, I won’t attempt to share the story here because our book tells it all. Do know that there’s a trip to South India involved–Pondicherry, Mahabalipurma, Auroville, and more. Our sub-title describes it more: 2 Women 2 Worlds 1 Practice. That practice is writing, a passion we share.

I am visiting greater New Delhi from Cincinnati, Ohio to help promote the newly released book with the co-author Rashma N. Kalsie. NOTE: If you live in or near New Delhi, we will be at Habitat Centre 4 June 7pm along with Prof. Bharat Gupt moderating. Come hear us!

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Going to India to promote the book

Me with Kwan Yin & Kali before trip

I leave the day after tomorrow. I’ll join my co-author Rashma and she and her family are housing and feeding me. Rashma, being the self-defined bitch of our book The Buddha & the Bitch, is da boss and will lead me to bookstores in the New Delhi-Gurgaon area. We need to convince the bookstores to display our book, display our book more prominently, have us do a reading & signing, and more.

I will be posting our adventures in marketing. I am excited about visiting Hay House India and meeting our editor and the marketing guy. We’ll sign some books for their use in marketing. We’ll have pictures taken.

Watch for it. As I’ve been saying “I’ll be famous ….. in India!”

Update: Rashma tells me that Amazon US will have our ebook available soon. Meanwhile, Cincinnati area peeps–you can buy a copy at Women Writing for (a) Change or from the trunk of my car. I will be bringing more copies back in my checked luggage.

The Buddha & The Bitch!

A return to India!

I have karma with India for sure. But what is this every five years cycle about?

I am happily returning. It couldn’t be better: stay with my friend and writing sister Rashma Kalsie and her family (once again). Nothing like having your own personal tour guide. But this is a working vacation. Rashma, self-described bitch, I a reluctant Buddha, have a book to promote.

The Buddha & the Bitch: 2 Women, 2 Worlds, 1 Practice is soon to be available from Hay House Publishing (India). Rashma and I will visit bookstores in greater New Delhi and give talks and workshops. This book, you see, was my reason for the trip five years ago in 2013. We had a plan to create a book of the story of how we met along with two years of discussions about our different lives as women and, most importantly, women captivated by words, i.e., that special species known as women writers.

So I traveled to New Delhi Thanksgiving 2013, saw the Taj Mahal, honored the memory of Mohatma Gandhi, shopped for souvenirs, shared roads with cows and other creatures. After a week with her family, we took a plane to Chennai in South India. Pondicherry was where we began work on our book.

Now it has come to fruition. I owe it to Rashma; she is the assertive one who got Hay House to notice us. I swore her name should go first on the book.

As I sit here writing in Cincinnati, Ohio, I await a long distance delivery of a carton of 50 copies of the book. It might come today, certainly by the end of the week. I have orders already from my Thursday Morning writing class at Women Writing for (a) Change plus others via Facebook. Once we have all the details, I will have an ad via FB and also alert readers here on my blog.

I also plan to blog my trip to India with the adventures of two women promoting their book.

But back to this five year cycle to India: it began with the holiday of Holi in Varanasi. Two of us accompanied a professor who wanted to return. We paid her way and she was our Western guide. The Goddess temples drew me and the Mother protected us along the journey. But that’s another story.

If I return in another five years, I’ll be 73. I just don’t know. Already I must bring medication I didn’t require five years earlier. But I will no longer think–I won’t go back–since this obviously doesn’t work!

Jay Mata Di! Victory to the Mother! May she bless our book and all who read it.

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108 Poems to Kali

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This is Kali who rules the fireplace in my living room. She is from a folk painting made in a village near Varanasi, India. I traveled there in 2008 and bought this from our tour guide.

I’ve been taking an online class through The Shift Network. Our teacher is Mirabai Starr, a wonderful woman who I am thanking most for introducing me to the concept of inter-spirituality (you can appreciate and practice more than one perspective).

Our class is called The Way of the Feminine Mystic. Mirabai is most known for translating Teresa of Avila and other saints and mystics. She has made Teresa more accessible, especially to one such as I who only looked East for inspiration and wisdom.

We are to do a project by the end of this class, something to do around a female mystic or wisdom figure. I chose Kali (or did She choose me?). For several months now, I have been writing short poems to and about and for Kali. I always sit on my couch right in front of Her (except for a few written in an airport). They nearly always surprise me for I never know what will come forth. Now reaching poem #60, I am past the halfway mark. I feel I have just begun. Since I have come from a zen tradition, I’ll accept this beginner’s mind as a good thing!

Anyway, this morning I decided to stand right up there before Her and take a close-up of Kali’s face. Enjoy!

Aside

I am a woman with wings. No ordinary bird but a mythological one, one you might meet in your dreams. I have no name, I am spirit. I choose to retreat…from life…into life. I choose to rest and read and write … Continue reading

reliving India: poem 77

Maria came over to my house for the first time. She needed me to burn a cd of her writing and a resume to apply for an artist residency. She also wanted another dvd of our India trip. We were part of a small group that went in March 2008. We had been strangers before the trip halfway around the world. We are now friends.

So after lunch on the back deck where she admired the creek and woods, she asked to pop the dvd in and watch it. I had taken hundreds of her photographs and learned how to make a movie from the images. I added Donna DeLory’s “Ganapati Om” as background music. It has always been one of my favorite chants. Ganapati is another name for Ganesh or Ganesha. This lovable elephant headed god is the one to invoke at the beginning of a project or event (or trip). He is the remover of obstacles.

poem

Oh, Elephant headed One,
bless Maria’s project for she is a wonderful artist
and thank you for bringing India to me.