Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
Zen Master Genro Xuan Lou, Laoshi self-published a book in German many years ago, and wanted to share his “insights” with a larger audience. He asked me, his pupil whom he later named to serve as a Zen and meditation teacher, to collaborate with him to do a revised, expanded and updated edition for the English-speaking world. This is the first book I have done, though I spent many years as a journalist for international newspapers and magazines.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
A living Master and I, his pupil, teamed up to offer readers a “new” book based on the age-old pathless path. The book “Find the Seeker!” accompanies people on a life-changing inner pilgrimage. It is a travelling companion and guide and a powerful, straight-talking wake-up call holding up a mirror to our worldly existence. Our inspiration is to humbly attempt to express what cannot be expressed in words, to tell things straight but to make it all understandable and compassionately pick people up where they are. Perhaps the book will serve as an inspiration to help readers reboot their spiritual search and renew their lives
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
No. However, the book was not easy to do. At the very beginning of his famous classic Tao Te Ching, Lao Tzu stated that the Tao that can be expressed in words is not the eternally unchanging Tao. It is a challenge to attempt to put in words that which is nameless and cannot be described. Moreover, it is crucial to ensure that one remains faithful to what one IS and not adapt the book to please the audience.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
The book contains a list of some books that we recommend. I have often turned to Ramana Maharshi, Eckhart Tolle, Wolfgang Kopp, Thich Nhat Hanh, Joel Goldsmith, various Zen Masters and many other. They can serve as inspiration and as signposts on the path. However, our objective is not to provide people’s minds with more matters for them to ponder, or stimulate them to engage in more mental acrobatics, but to help them unfold what they already are – and thus go beyond books and reading. Ultimately people have to walk the talk i.e. go down the pathless path themselves.
What are you working on now?
At the moment, since the book just appeared, we are only working on promoting it.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I am in the process of learning, perhaps I will be in a better position to answer this question a couple of months from now.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Let me mention one piece of advice which has accompanied me for a long time, namely the saying ”Be as you are” by the great Indian teacher Ramana Maharshi. He did not say that we should ”become” as we are but to BE what we are.
What’s next for you as a writer?
We may consider doing Find the Seeker! in other languages, but at the moment the focus is on the here and now.
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
Be As You Are – Ramana Maharshi; Zen Beyond All Words – Wolfgang Kopp; The Power of Now – Eckhart Tolle