I grew up reading the Shambhala Sun, which once was called the Vajradhatu Sun, and was edited by my first editor idol Rick Fields (who died of Cancer a while back, but not before penning a final book of poetry entitled ‘F*ck you, Cancer, and other poems.”) His writing was amazing, direct, eloquent—for me he hit home like HD Thoreau, or Bill McKibben, or Malcolm Gladwell, or Pollan.
As chance would have it, turns out I probably published my first work ever in the Vajradhatu Sun. A few weeks ago, a guest at my Hotelephant New Year’s Mindful Bash Party found a copy of Best of the Vajradhatu Sun, tripped across my little poem, and brought a photocopy by the party—it’s now hanging in my bathroom. The below was set in my six-year-old scrawl, in the midst of an otherwise serious page about Buddhist news, Ikebana, and the like:
The King and the Reindeer
A King riding through the snow
Sees a reindeer going home.
A white wind blows some leaves
And they stop and stare at each other.
Waylon Lewis, Age 6
Now, 28 years later, I was honored to be asked (as the token young’un, I think) by writer-idol (yes, really) big Barry Boyce to offer a little essay on the future of Buddhism along with 8 other “prominent Buddhists.” I tried to write something challenging, controversial—young, that is—and sincere. I modeled my little essay after Grist.org’s earth-shaking ‘Death of Environmentalism’ essay that offended the green world, approx four years back, and got environmentalists talking, questioning their work, and checking in with how things were and were not progressing.
Check out the below—but please do support the Shambhala Sun (and subscribe, free, to their brilliant new daily web site content)—buy a copy on the newstand or subscribe–it’s their 30th Anniversary issue, full of stuff even better-writ than mine, though I know it’s hard to imagine. Click on images below to get a better look.