Raised in the tumult of Japan’s industrial powerhouse, the 11 men and women profiled in A Different Kind of Luxury have all made the transition to sustainable, fulfilling lives. Based on Andy Couturier's popular articles in The Japan Times, this lushly designed volume has a wealth of stories about real people who have created an abundance of time for contemplation, connecting with the natural world, and contributing to their communities. In their success is a lesson for us all: live a life that matters. Read an excerpt of the book here or here. Read a review of the book here, here, or here.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Member of 50s Era Beat Commune Shares His Delight with ADKL

I got this great email from Terry Kelley, a gardener and someone who experienced the Beat scene in San Francisco in the 1950s

Hi Andy,
As a member of a 50's Beat Commune where some of us played the Shakuhachi, sat with Suzuki Roshi before there was a Zen Center, and listened to Alan Watts on KPFA, I was a romantic about Eastern culture and Buddhism. It's refreshing to meet rebels coming from the other side. They make fun of the tea ceremony. They are interested in Catholicism because it has an ancient lineage, and they get their spiritual chops from the Himalayas.  This book offers many beautiful thoughts like "Don't Spend."
"But would you be happy to have $100,000?"
Gufu Watanabe (quoted by Terry, above) in his garden.
"...Yes. But I wouldn't spend it."

And as a gardener, I have to say that the instructions for planting rice are right on. Thanks for the wonderful book.
Also, a colleague of mine, Jane B., a writing coach and a trained Buddhist teacher wrote me an email I thought I'd share:

I did finish the slow and delectable savoring of your book which I filled with underlines to share when you are back in the US: such a joy--the inspiration I need right now to find the life I really want, given all the obstacles. I felt nothing but gratitude for you putting in the work you did on it. Your voice in there--so exacting and poetic and humble and full of curiosity and love that the book became not just about them, but about you as well as a source of inspiration: how to walk into through life and find the gems everywhere you look. YUM.

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