The Buddha Sat Right Here redefines what memoirs can be. Moes spins a great tale of family, adventure, human connection, and generosity.”
Rita Banerjee, Director, MFA in Writing & Publishing, Vermont College of Fine Arts, and author of Echo in Four Beats and CREDO
“A chatty, animated American family pilgrimage that effectively conveys the author’s inward search for spiritual meaning.”
“ The Buddha Sat Right Here , like India, is a veritable kaleidoscope of experiences. Vacillating between that of a vibrant travelogue, a heartwarming family tale, a spiritual study, and a comedy sketch, Dena Moes’s fine storytelling captures the human character of international travel.”
“Prepare to be inspired! What a gift to be invited along on this down-to-earth journey of enlightenment. . . Dena Moes's writing is magical, and Clarabel and Sophia’s contributions make this a multilayered and truly unique family memoir.”
Ariel Gore, author of The End of Eve, We Were Witches , and Hip Mama Survival Guide
“Like all the best travelogues, The Buddha Sat Right Here is equal parts far-flung experiencethe vivid colors and flavors of Indiaand internal pilgrimage, and I felt lucky to be along for both. Dena Moes is a writer of great intelligence, humility, and sparkle, plus she made me laugh. I loved reading about her family’s wild and beautiful transformation.”
Catherine Newman, author of Waiting for Birdy and Catastrophic Happiness
“ The Buddha Sat Right Here is a revelation. Dena Moes’s retelling of her family’s odyssey will make you rethink every aspect of your life, and you’ll likely fall in love with motherhood and marriage all over again. Her insight and honesty are truly a gift to her readers.”
Annabel Monaghan, author of Does This Volvo Make My Butt Look Big?
“Dena Moes is a brave soul, keen observer, and powerful storyteller. I truly enjoyed tagging along with her and her family on their journey across India and places beyond. From the chaos of the crowded cities to her search for that perfect moment between breaths, Moesby turns a midwife, a budding Buddhist, a mother, and a wifeenthralls and enlightens. There’s a lot to love about The Buddha Sat Right Here. ”
Lisa Kusel, author of Rash: A Memoir
“ The Buddha Sat Right Here is a moving story of adventure, motherhood, and love. Dena Moes and her family set out on the adventure of a lifetime, finding along the way much more than they bargained for and exactly what they needed. Set among the colorful and spiritual backdrop of India and Nepal, this book stirred up a serious case of wanderlust in me and was a great reminder of the magic that happens when you step into the great unknown.”
Kim Dinan, author of The Yellow Envelope
“Written with clarity, insight, and enthusiasm, this remarkable story will have you rooting for the Moes family from the beginning. Part travelogue, part spiritual guide, and part family drama, this story of the adventure of a lifetime has all the ingredients of great literature. I have occasionally seen American families traveling through the labyrinth that is India with children and have wondered how they can possibly do it. Now I know.”
Daniel Veidlinger, Professor, Asian Religions, California State University, Chico
A family journeys through India and Nepal in this debut travelogue/memoir by a Northern California midwife.
With her acupuncturist husband and two daughters, the author decided to take a journey to India and Nepal. This adventure led the Moes clan to discover ancient wisdom as they traveled through the Indian subcontinent. They went to Bodh Gaya, site of Buddha's enlightenment, Cochin where they embraced the hugging saint, Amma, and ultimately Ladakh, where they attended the Kalachakra Initiation ceremony conducted by the aging Dalai Lama. The author includes stories from Buddhist-Hindu tradition that augment her own experiences. The husband, Adam, a practicing Buddhist who had been to India before the family's trip, rediscovered some of the places that revealed their secrets to him previously, but the emphasis remains on the author's discoveries. Prior to their travels, both the author and her husband had derived their spiritual sustenance from Rainbow Gatherings where they met and fell in love. The origins of their quest for identity reside in hippie theology, an American mix of Eastern mysticism and meditation. "Before enlightenment, cornflakes and coffee," the author writes, "After enlightenment, cornflakes and coffee." Sometimes the author's observations seem a tad precious, but most of her descriptions of teeming city streets, vibrant landscapes, open country, and the delightful variety of many types of Indians and Nepalese enliven her locations and her spiritual searching. A pall hangs over the narrative of the family's travels, however; before they departed, the state of California launched an investigation into the midwife practices of the author, an investigation whose dread significance memoirist Moes hints at as they travel and whose significance and outcome she finally reveals. As they go, the author also shows the strife between the author and her husband, a domestic rift that threatens to tear the family apart even as they proceed on their long and precarious Eastern journey. Includes black-and-white photos of the family and their travels.
A chatty, animated American family pilgrimage that effectively conveys the author's inward search for spiritual meaning.