About this time last year, I was the road for about a month and half and little did I know how different it would be from the pandemic days. I suspected that it would be my ‘last’ significant roadtrip given that my day job was finally returning with the pandemic subsiding. I felt pretty good on how much progress I made on the road trip in terms of interviews but I was pleasantly surprised how the rest of 2022 finished up. My general goal is to do 12-15 interviews a year with the idea that I would like to have enough material to publish the book in about 5 years.  I was able to hit the goal and was even able to squeeze in a few retreats. At this point, I am not quite sure I will be able to hit these kinds of numbers again because work life has been almost over the top. Although the volume of work we do isn’t necessarily at the prep pandemic levels, with just myself and my business partner, I have been steadily busy most of the year. 

Besides the number of interviews, the significant update is around the organization of the content and a cosmetic face lift. Previously, i had broken the themes to 9 major buckets and quite frankly, it was probably too ambitious. I wanted to be comprehensive by covering as many lineages but over the course of the year, the idea of showcasing the diversity of lineages in the west  wasn’t necessarily a critical component for the audience of the book.  Furthermore, I was warming up to the idea of presenting the material along the themes expounded by Joseph Goldstein’s book, One Dharma. For most people that don’t know much about Buddhism, all the various lineages can be confusing and not particularly relevant. Removing the framework to highlight the lineages, gave me more leeway to find subjects in any lineage and at this point, it’s still a challenge. I am still interested in highlighting people at different stages on the journey and the new section called Portraits of Transformation fills out that theme a bit better.

Previously, I had the 3 jewels as distinct areas to build the content around and in this iteration, I’ve integrated those themes to the overarching two themes of exploration and deepening. Again, thinking more about the audience, i think the simplification of the themes will route people to the relevant content faster. Lastly, I introduced another content area which doesn’t have much content yet but have some relevant to the visual tour of Buddhism in the west. The artifacts and places are a collection images related to the practice and places of congregation. 

Lastly, I was interviewed by a podcast called Everyday Buddhism, you can listen to the episode here. Always appreciate a little publicity to find more subjects but don’t want too much attention because the project is very much in progress! I am also glad for the opportunity to lend my website building skills to a few dharma organizations as well in this past year. There is a new buddhist center (Karuna Buddhist Center) ramping up in Ann Arbor with the expectation of bringing an Khenpo from India  to permanently teach at the center by next year. I was approached by another dharma friend to build a website for a teacher in my practice lineage, Khenpo Ogen Kelsang.

Almost forgot but I am admitting that I need help on this project. Looking for editor and coordinator  to clean up all the interviews and find more subjects!



Subjects Interviewed in 2022