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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

David Schneider's bio of PHilip Whalen is out

Crowded by Beauty: the Life and Zen of Poet Philip Whalen

by David Schneider [Schneider cuke page]

University of California Press page for the book

Amazon link much cheaper though the ebook is about the same on both.

Philip Whalen cuke page
Thanks John Bailes for sending: David Schneider on the friendship of Philip Whalen and Allen Ginsberg from this books

"Many reams have been published on Beat poets and Buddhism. Whatever those pages facilely say, it remains an act of bravery to sit in meditation and engage one's raw awareness. But this is the essence of spirituality. The experience, as anyone knows who has tried even a little of it, can be by turns groundless, tedious, frightening, boring, confusing--as well as calming, clarifying, and strengthening. Treading a spiritual path demands a great deal of the pilgrim, and the pilgrim often feels a mess. To then be brave enough to talk about this with another person requires a further act of courage. Very few can do it, and very few can hear it. This channel, however, was wide open between Ginsberg and Whalen, and remained so their entire lives, becoming finally the central theme of their intercourse. Both men tried to practice Buddhism very sincerely, and although both men possessed the necessary arrogance of an artist, neither was overly burdened with pride, a leaden obstacle to spiritual communication."