Our collection of memoir offers a glimpse into other lives, with true stories of foreign travel and sacred pilgrimage, addiction and illness, the creative process, parenting adventures, and more.



Writing Down The Bones: 30 Years Later

A Feb. 7, 2016 interview with author Natalie Goldberg on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of her phenomenally successful self-help for writers book, Writing Down The Bones. The Taos News’ Tempo editor Rick Romancito talks with Goldberg about the origins of her book, the Zen practice of writing, her emerging presence as a visual artist and her newest book, The Great Spring: Writing, Zen, and This Zigzag Life.

Find out more about Natalie Goldberg here.



Freda Bedi, from The Revolutionary Life of Freda Bedi: British Feminist, Indian Nationalist, Buddhist Nun by Vicki Mackenzie

She was the first Western woman to become a Tibetan Buddhist nun—but that pioneering ordination was just one in a life of revolutionary acts. Freda Bedi (1911–1977) broke the rules of gender, race, and religion. She was at various times a force in the struggle for Indian independence, spiritual seeker, scholar, professor, journalist, author, social worker, wife, and mother of four children.

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Is the Chocolate Delicious?

She was a good teacher. When I was not yet five, she freed a bar of chocolate from its wrapper and gave me a piece. After the first square she asked me if the chocolate was delicious. I said it was very good.

She gave me a second piece. She asked if it was good. I replied with a yes.

So she gave me the third piece. She asked the same question and I gave the same answer and so she gave me another piece. After we had done this for a while and the chocolate bar had diminished substantially, she asked if the chocolate tasted any better. I responded it remained the same in taste.

So what difference does it make if you eat one piece or twenty? It will taste the same whether you eat it alone or share it with others, she said.

That is one of the first lessons I remember. It is not easy to continue with lessons I learned as a Buddhist child—to believe in karma, to be kind, to attend to the happiness of others before myself—when I live in a world where the self functions on the premise of being an isolated entity. It is not easy to remember that this life is the basis for the next life when the words “happiness” and “success” are so often tied to material ambition and achievements.

—Tsering Wangmo Dhompa, Coming Home to Tibet: A Memoir of Love, Loss, & Belonging, pages 177–178

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