By Zoe Ann Nicholson
The Hungry Heart is now one of my favorite books about
the women's movement. It is a passionate and moving
account of Zoe Ann Nicholson's Fast for Justice during
the struggle for the Equal Rights Amendment. From the
first page to the last, Nicholson shares her most intimate
thoughts and experiences during her non-violent resistance
to social injustice. She draws you into her incredible
personal journey of passion, sacrifice and sisterhood,
and reveals her spiritual transformation along the way.
Just try and put this book down - I couldn't! You will
laugh, you will cry, and your heart will be touched
With The Author
did you decide to write a book?
How do you inspire yourself to write?
I remember the conversation as if it was just this morning.
In fact it was 1992 at an afternoon meeting in a Hawaiian hotel.
Rama asked me to stay and speak with him. Since I had two projects
going (9 apprentices with me and a successful software business),
I assumed it was in regards to them.
me that he had decided to ask 10 students to write books about
him. These 10 students would be his emissaries around the world.
He went on to explain that he had called together nine and spoken
with them, but was waiting for the tenth to surface. He told
me that I was the final one. He said “You will be my Simone
de Beauvoir. I will send you all over the world to tell women
the book for one simple unequivocal reason, Rama asked me to
and I said yes. As you may know, I left on August 31, 1993.
It was a terrible meeting, a terrible departure, a terrible
fissure which took years to understand, accept and heal. But
I had said yes. I said yes to my Teacher. I had no thought,
not a hint, that I could or would or should not complete a promised
task. The relationship deserved it. Rama deserved it. I deserved
it. I was inspired at the root of my soul. There was no whim,
no drag, no finagling. My etiquette was always, and continues
to be, that a promise is a promise. I spent the next 75 nights
writing the 40 chapters of The Passionate Heart, in
its entirety. Only two names have been changed at their request.
you have any suggestions to help others publish their books?
Go to Dan Poynter’s website, buy everything he offers
on self-publishing. Follow it step by step. Skip nothing. And
you will find yourself fully covered, fully enabled, fully informed
on every one of a thousand steps to be self published. It is
only tedious, not lofty. http://www.parapublishing.com
you have any funny stories about things that happened while
you were writing the book?
I can’t think of anything funny, but a couple of very
intimate and dazzling things happened. The very man who encouraged
me to go public turned midstream and got VERY upset about the
book coming out. Several people have tried to stop me and they
are people whom I love entirely. So the fact is that I did it
against their advisement. It is between us now; a sad, dear
and unexpected price.
the reader who is a member of the Sangha might find it inspiring
and interesting that (I believe) Rama’s hand touched this
event three times this last year. The original manuscript was
unnamed. I had felt that since it was a gift to him, it was
his to name, so I never named it. Actually I still have the
original note I enclosed with it November, 1993, giving him
the naming of it. As the years peeled on, the unnamed manuscript
was growing mildewy in my garage and I began to feel a big pull
to put it into print. One morning I told Rama (in my heart)
that I would consider it if the title came into focus. By 4
P.M. the title was clear and LOUD; The Passionate Heart. Being
the stickler that I am, I went on to throw down another gauntlet
a couple of weeks later – that the cover theme surface.
That too became clear within a single day. Finally, and most
privately, upon waking on February 9, 2003, I prayed for forgiveness.
I forgave Rama, I forgave the Sangha, I forgave me. That day
did you learn by writing a book?
I will have to get back to you on that – ask me in ten
years – ok?
Do you have anything else that you would like to add?
I want to be asked, for whom did you publish this book, why
did you publish this book.
I could write a book about this and I just may do so, LOL.
this book to be read by people across a wide spectrum of ideas
and beliefs. I want people who love Rama to find him here. I
want people who are afraid or suspicious to find healing here.
I want parents and social cynics to find peace here. I want
to include and acknowledge all interested and effected parties.
I want to exclude or offend no one. This is most important to
that Buddhism naturally unfolds as a society evolves. It is
a simple and easy step in evolution. It is not transported over
continents, but bubbles up within a nation. It is a reflection
of the culture in which it evolves. Here in the US, it will
equally include men and women, the BGLT communities, people
of many colors and ages and even religions. It will be a new
form of Self-Discovery that celebrates Transcendentalism and
individualism, as opposed to the communal and team-oriented
Asian expressions of the Four Noble Truths. Rama and his students
are among the pioneers of this process. There may be 2,000 of
us, in one form or another. Each of us is seeking on a private,
elegant, discrete path upon which Rama walked, just a bit ahead,
lighting the way.