"[This book] embodies the Buddhist wisdom about change, life, and the
world more than anything written after the events of that day."
Robert Stone

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September 10, 2008


“One image can lie better than a thousand words.”

--Photographer Micha Bar-Am,
Memorial for photographer Cornell Capa (1918-2008)
New York Times Building, Times Center Auditorium
September 10, 2008

On the eve of the seventh anniversary of the attack of September 11, I'd like to recommend three books, all published within the last three weeks, all with an introspective yet universal quality, all of which would be aptly labeled “meditative.”


Bikeman: An Epic Poem is a moving meditation on the events and meaning of 9/11 by Tom Flynn, an award-winning producer and writer who covered the catastrophe for CBS News. Not only does he have the audacity to relate his tale as an epic poem -- but he pulls it off, winningly! (For Flynn’s first-hand account of that morning, also see pages 30-31 and 134 of Watching the World Change.)


Learning to Breath: One Woman’s Journey of Spirit and Survival is about as inspiring a book as you’re likely to read. In this riveting memoir, photographer Alison Wright describes how she used deep breathing, Buddhist meditation, and sheer transcendent pluck to avoid tumbling into death’s gaping door after a horrendous bus accident in the Himalayas.


The Thing Itself: On the Search For Authenticity is Richard Todd’s cogent, counterintuitive, and illuminating meditation on his own attempts to ferret through the falsehoods of our quotidian existence so as to arrive at a semblance of self-knowledge. It is both charming and disarming.

Tomorrow is a day for meditations of all kinds.

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