Non-fiction writer and poet Nancy Thompson focuses intently on the realms of the spiritual and the natural world. Her background in social history prompts her to always look for connections, including between humans and their environments. Killing the Buddha features poems focused on aphorisms from the Buddhist Dhammapada. Touching the the Elephant explores eight different values the world's religions share; Thompson makes clear from historical examples and examples in pop culture exactly why these values matter. Currently, she is working on two more projects: Divine America, a history of religions in the United States from the colonial period to the present, and By Another Name, a memoir of her children's adoption from China.
Touching the Elephant
Values the world's Religions Share, and How They Can Transform Us
Touching the Elephant is filled with examples of people transforming themselves and society by practicing the values the world’s religions share: effort, compassion, generosity, order, acknowledgement, truth, mindfulness, humility. Acknowledging that the world’s religions share values that can help us live together happily, peaceably, healthily, is a start, but not enough. We must act and transform ourselves, our families, and our communities.
Killing the Buddha
Killing the Buddha is a collection of lyric poems that explores life in all its aspects, dark as well as light. Each poem begins with an aphorism from the collection of the Buddha's sayings, The Dhammapada. A cat's death highlights the difficulty of trying to achieve enlightenment; aging exposes grief through a simple haircut; a Cold War leader sees "the rising and passing of things." Thompson "kills" the Buddha in each poem in a heartfelt effort to stay true to the path.