Dreaming Me: Black, Baptist, and Buddhist - One Woman's Spiritual Journey

Overview

Jan Willis is not Baptist or Buddhist. She is simply both. Dreaming Me is the story of her life, as a child growing up in the Jim Crow South, dealing with racism in an Ivy League college, and becoming involved with the Black Panther Party. But it wasn't until meeting Lama Yeshe, a Tibetan Buddhist monk living in the mountains of Nepal, that she realized who the real Jan Willis was, and how to make the most of the life she was living.

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Dreaming Me: Black, Baptist, and Buddhist - One Woman's Spiritual Journey

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Overview

Jan Willis is not Baptist or Buddhist. She is simply both. Dreaming Me is the story of her life, as a child growing up in the Jim Crow South, dealing with racism in an Ivy League college, and becoming involved with the Black Panther Party. But it wasn't until meeting Lama Yeshe, a Tibetan Buddhist monk living in the mountains of Nepal, that she realized who the real Jan Willis was, and how to make the most of the life she was living.

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Editorial Reviews

Sharon Salzberg
"Jan Willis's book is a compelling, beautiful, and informative guide for anyone interested in transformation. She skillfully weaves together her personal story and the Buddha's teaching, evoking the reality of walking a path to liberation."
Thupten Jinpa
"A truly uplifting book of personal empowerment and the triumph of human heart. This remarkable book touches upon themes that every genuine pilgrim - especially those who seek to integrate their cultural and religious heritage with newfound personal spiritual path - must address at some point in their journey."
TIME
"Willis is a philosopher with a bold agenda."
Robert Thurman
"Jan Willis's honest, lucid, mindful, and heartful account of her amazing life thus far, its struggles and woundings, its triumphs and joys, is certainly the roar of a lioness of truth-awakening, empowering, inspiring! Listen to it with pride and pleasure!"
David Pesci
"Willis writes frankly about family, race, spirituality, and finding grace among life's most difficult challenges. Dreaming Me is more honest and fascinating than anything I've read in a long time."
Thupten Jinpa

"A truly uplifting book of personal empowerment and the triumph of human heart. This remarkable book touches upon themes that every genuine pilgrim - especially those who seek to integrate their cultural and religious heritage with newfound personal spiritual path - must address at some point in their journey."
Sharon Salzberg

"Jan Willis's book is a compelling, beautiful, and informative guide for anyone interested in transformation. She skillfully weaves together her personal story and the Buddha's teaching, evoking the reality of walking a path to liberation."
David Pesci

"Willis writes frankly about family, race, spirituality, and finding grace among life's most difficult challenges. Dreaming Me is more honest and fascinating than anything I've read in a long time."
TIME

"Willis is a philosopher with a bold agenda."
Robert Thurman

"Jan Willis's honest, lucid, mindful, and heartful account of her amazing life thus far, its struggles and woundings, its triumphs and joys, is certainly the roar of a lioness of truth-awakening, empowering, inspiring! Listen to it with pride and pleasure!"
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780861715480
  • Publisher: Wisdom Publications MA
  • Publication date: 10/1/2008
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 1,426,692
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Jan Willis is Professor Emerita of Religion at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. Born in Docena, Alabama, in 1948 and profoundly affected by the Civil Rights movement, she majored in philosophy at Cornell University and met Buddhism while traveling in Asia in the 1970s. She went on to earn her PhD in Buddhist Studies at Columbia University and has studied with Tibetan Buddhists in India, Nepal, Switzerland, and the U.S. for over four decades. The author of several books and numerous articles and essays on Buddhist philosophy and history, meditation, women and Buddhism and Buddhism and race, her memoir Dreaming Me: Black, Baptist, and Buddhist was first published in 2001. In December of 2000, Time named Willis one of six "spiritual innovators for the new millennium." In 2003, she was a recipient of Wesleyan University's Binswanger Prize for Excellence in Teaching. In September of 2005, Newsweek's "Spirituality in America" issue included a profile of her and, in its May 2007 edition, Ebony magazine named Willis one of its "Power 150" most influential African Americans.

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Table of Contents


Part 1 Birth Dreaming Me, I: The Terror of Lions 3
"White Gal" 7 Docena 15 Snakes 21 Life at Home 27 School in Alabam' 33 The Holy Opens Its Arms to Me 45 The Talk 59 Marching On to Freedomland 63
"Trouble Along the Cable" 69 Part 2 Odyssey Dreaming Me, II 81 Cornell 83 India! 95 What Caste Are You? 107 Blissed-Out at Swayambhunath 111 Too Gullible? 119 Guns on Campus 129 Decision Time: A "Piece" or Peace? 139 Part 3 Choices Dreaming Me, III 147 An Accident in Southern France 149 Bodha 155 Meeting Lama Yeshe 163 This, Too, Is Buddha's Mind 171 The Test 175 Joy of the Dharma 185 A Spot of Blonde 189 Flesh-and-Bones Buddha 197 Part 4 Becoming Deciding to Become a Teacher 205 Teaching in Paradise 211 I Believe I Can Fly 225 My Great Seal Retreat 231 Part 5 Return Dreaming Me, IV 251 Having Crossed the Line 253 Little Things 257 My Search for Kin 265 A Lama-Hit 277 Lightning Flash 281 Church with Daddy 293 Mama 303 Mama Wore Rainbows 311 Teaching as My Practice 321 Women's Liberation 325 A Baptist-Buddhist 335 Dreaming Me, V: The Lioness's Roar 341 Lions 343 Afterword Bettina Aptheker 347 Acknowledgments 355 Further Reading 359 About the Author 369
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