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About the author
JAN WILLIS is a professor of religion at Wesleyan University and the first African American scholar-practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism in America. In addition to earning a master’s degree from Cornell University and a Ph.D. from Columbia University, she has studied with Tibetan Buddhists in India, Nepal, Switzerland, and the United States for more than four decades and has taught courses in Buddhism for thirty-five years. The author of several books, including Enlightened Beings: Life Stories from the Ganden Oral Tradition and The Diamond Light: An Introduction to Tibetan Buddhist Meditation, she has also published numerous essays and articles on Buddhist meditation, hagiography, women and Buddhism, Buddhism in America, and Buddhism and race.
Jan Willis is not Baptist or Buddhist. She is simply both. Dreaming Me is the story of her life, from growing up a Baptist in the segregated South, dealing with racism in an Ivy League college, and becoming involved with the Black Panther Party to traveling to a Tibetan Buddhist monastery. It was upon meeting the great teacher Lama Yeshe that she found a way to understand both herself and the complicated world around her, a way to find peace. Willis went on to become a professor of religion at Wesleyan and is also an internationally recognized educator and innovator. Dreaming Me is the inspiring story of her spiritual journey of transformation.
In the press
”Jan Willis's book is a compelling, beautiful, and informative guide for anyone interested in transformation. She skillfully weaves together her personal story and the Buddha's teaching, evoking the reality of walking a path to liberation.”Sharon Salzberg, author of Lovingkindness
”A truly uplifting book of personal empowerment and the triumph of human heart. This remarkable book touches upon themes that every genuine pilgrim especially those who seek to integrate their cultural and religious heritage with newfound personal spiritual path
must address at some point in their journey.”Thupten Jinpa, founder of the Institute of Tibetan Classics, and personal translator for the Dalai Lama.
”Willis delivers a gripping, intimate account of her spiritual journey that will move anyone who is compelled by the examined life.”Publishers Weekly
”Destined for the same shelf as Anne Lamott's Traveling Mercies and Kathleen Norris's The Cloister Walk and Amazing Grace, this is a powerful memoir of a "Baptist Buddhist" who writes with courage, compassion, and forgiveness. This searching memoir is recommended for all collections.”Library Journal
”Willis is a philosopher with a bold agenda.”-TIME
”Jan Willis's honest, lucid, mindful, and heartful account of her amazing life thus far, its struggles and woundings, its triumphs and joys, is certainly the roar of a lioness of truth-awakening, empowering, inspiring! Listen to it with pride and pleasure!”Robert Thurman, author of Inner Revolution
”Willis writes frankly about family, race, spirituality, and finding grace among life's most difficult challenges. Dreaming Me is more honest and fascinating than anything I've read in a long time.”David Pesci, author of Amistad
”Intensely felt...highly personal...A moving story that aims to reconcile the experiences of faith and racism.”Kirkus Reviews