Remember when you first heard a recording of your voice, how odd it sounded ? But you get over it. And maybe you’ve learned how to stand up and speak in public without embarrassment. For me, it’s almost second nature. Maybe it’s ‘cos I grew up in Hollywood.
I was a guest on the Art Linkletter show ( People Are Funny ) for three episodes, at the age of 8. When I was 11, I made my theatrical debut in summer stock. Marlo Thomas was rehearsing Gigi in the mornings during the nights we were on stage. The play was The Dark at the Top of the Stairs, and the author William Inge showed up during a rehearsal. The photo of me and him in the local paper was captioned Author Meets Author.
Public speaking may be in my genes. Gene, my Dad, was a public speaker. So I’ve trained as a public speaker since middle school, where I was student body president and represented us in our debating team. In high school, I won first place at Lions Club and Optimists Club speaking competitions. In college, I was invited to guest lecture one of my courses.
Moving along in time, I was the first person to “train” the general public in using the Internet, at The Learning Annex for 2 years (enrollment, up to 50 people per session), then also UC Berkeley Extension. I’ve taught a course I’ve called Practical Buddhism at Stanford University (continuing education) five times (the largest class drew 88 people) as well as two day-long haiku workshops there. Lately, I’m offering mindfulness in corporate settings. I’ve been hosting a weekly Zen mindfulness practice group for 8 years now.
Here’s a look back, at footprints, thus far . . .
Alexander’s; Banyen; Barnes & Noble (Berkeley; Campbell; Emeryville; Fisherman’s Wharf (2ce); Westside Pavillion); Book Passage (Corte Madera, 2ce); Borders (Union Square); City Lights; Cody’s (2ce); Copperfield’s (Petaluma) (2ce); East/West (Palo Alto, 2ce, & Seattle); Fields Metaphysical; Gateways (Santa Cruz); Moe’s; Oliver’s (San Anselmo); Open Secret (San Rafael, 2ce); Reader’s Books (Sonoma, 2ce); Shambhala Booksellers; Solar Light (2ce); Stacey’s (Palo Alto & San Francisco); Stanford Bookstore (2ce); Stringbox (2ce).
Computer Chronicles, featured guest; John Dvorak Show (ZDTV); ESP Poetry (Paolo Leoni, curator); hottopix, Creativision; KRON News (Anthony Moore); Lawson & the Arts (community Cable25); Terry McGovern Show (BayTV); Connie Martinson Talks Books; Morning Show (KRON); Weekend Daybreak (KRON, 2ce).
The Aware Show (Pacifica); The Barbara Blume Show (KCBS); The Jim Bohannon Show (Westwood One); Pierre Bourque (Montreal); Conversations for Exploration (Bellevue; WA); Cover to Cover (Pacifica); The Diamond Dave Show (KPOO); The Enlightenment Project (KUCI); Jack Foley (Pacifica); Forum (KUSF, 3ce); GodTalk (Brent Walters, ABC); Heart of Mind (Pacifica); The Meria Heller Show; The Chipoo Infante Show (Pacifica); Inner Visions (Pacifica); Michael Johnson (KALW); Ambrose Lane, Jr. (Pacifica);The Danielle Lin Show; John Malkin Show (Free Radio Santa Cruz; 2ce); The Ronn Owens Show (ABC); The Dave McQueen Show (KKSF); The John Levine Radio Commuter; Tom Mischke Show (my all-time favorite); The Morning Show (Pacifica); PhenomeNews; The Jordan Rich Show (WBZ; 2ce); The John Rothmann Show (ABC) (the first caller: an attempted suicide);TechNation (PBS); Turning Pages; The Arthur Sheridan Show (KPOO); The Sam Van Zandt Show; Voice of America (Adam Phillips, and Religion in America, and Burma).
Inkwell.vue two-week, group interview; January 2002 BookRadio (www. bookradio.com); RadioNet Talk; Paul Gonzalez (Earth Networks); Infidel Guy, Rational Radio & Debate; Secular Buddhist, Ted Meissner (twice).
Amnesty International / Simon Wiesenthal Museum of Tolerance; Church for the Fellowship of All Peoples (2 keynote sermons); Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley (Mindfulness); Health & Harmony Fair (Sonoma); Marin Poetry Center; Mindfulness & Compassion, SFSU; New Living Expo (San Francisco); Poetry Center (SFSU); Poetry Santa Cruz; San Jose State College (discussion on translation with Sholeh Wolpe); Salesforce (mindfulness); Santa Rosa Junior College; Sofia University (keynote, workshop, and meditation); Sustainatopia (2016, 2017, 2018), mindfulness; UC Med Center Student Body; Writers’ Week (UC Riverside).
panels & other venues
Beyond Mindfulness, Dharma College; Bird & Beckett, interlocutor; Book Passage Anniversary; Freedom Forum (SF); intermedia expo; Intersection for the Arts; Literature Without Borders; PEN Oakland; Place for Writers, Mills College (2ce); St. Mark’s Poetry Project; San Francisco Chamber of Commerce; San Francisco Writers Conference; Poetry Center San Jose State, discussion with Sholeh Wolpe; Spaghetti Factory (emcee); Straight Theater Jack Kerouac Memorial; Two Lines (3ce); UC Medical Center; World Affairs Council of Northern California (2ce); World Affairs Council Asilomar Retreat (Media).
Day of mindfulness, Clove & Clive (Conscious Love & Conscious Life; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia); Our Ears Are Wide Open (Bodhi Heart, Penang, Malaysia); re-conference meditation, Socap15; pre- and post-conference meditation, Sustainatopia (3ce); Walking Meditation, Books by the Bay (NCIBA); The Way of the Buddha, Banyen Bookshop (Vancouver); The Way of the Buddha East/West Bookshop (Mountain View 2ce, Seattle 1ce); Poetry & the Subconscious, San Francisco Community College; Internet trainer, Learning Annex and UC Extension (2 years); Selling a Manuscript Five Times and The Politics of Publicity: Author Finesse & Follow-Through, Southern California Writers Conference.
826 Valencia; Asian Art Museum of San Francisco (3ce); Book Passage University (6 years); Camp Winnarainbow; Clarion Music Center; Cultural Integration Fellowship; Falkirk Cultural Center; Green Gulch Zen Farm; Gualala Arts Center; Guide Hall (Blue Mountains, Australia); McAteer High School; Nalanda West (Seattle); O’Hanlon Center for the Arts; Otis College of the Arts; Point Arena High & Charter School; Randall Museum; Sofia University (global seminar); Spirit Rock (benefit for Inquiring Mind); San Jose State/Markham House; Stanford Continuing Studies (2ce) and Stanford Writing Studio (2ce); Venice Hongwanji; Villa Montalvo Center for the Arts; Zen Center of San Francisco (3ce).
Poetry & Pizza benefit for Friendship Village/Vietnam, with Gerald Nicosia; organizer, Poets for Proposition 19, Intersection for the Arts; organizer, benefit for Black Student Union legal defense fund (SFSU), Church for the Fellowship of All Peoples.
Kimbell’s Jazz in Flight, poetry and jazz, with Jon Jang and Anthony Brown; MacLaren Park, poetry & jazz with Cleveland Wrecking Company; poetry & jazz with Peter Kuhn & ensemble, Center for New Music; voice-over narration, The Chief: The Life & Work of K Sri Dhammananda; inaugural speaker for the first Gathering of the Tribes for a Human Be-In, January 14, 1967, L.A.