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Buddhadharma : Winter 2011
BUDDHADHARMA: THE PRACTITIONER’S QUARTERLY WINTER 2 0 11 88 During his 1985 American teaching tour, Thich Nhat Hanh and about a dozen retreatants were in a small room at the Providence Zen Center when he suggested to longtime Zen practitioner Arnie Kotler that they start a publishing company. Kotler agreed, and over the next eighteen months he established the infrastructure of Parallax Press and transcribed and edited some of Thich Nhat Hanh’s lectures into what would become the landmark book Being Peace. “When the first 5,000 copies were delivered, it felt like giv- ing birth,” Kotler wrote in the Spring 2007 issue of Inquiring Mind. “I kept the trunk of my car filled with books and felt joy and gratitude as Bookpeople agreed to distribute copies, Black Oak Books put them on a front table, and retreatants in Santa Barbara and other cities where Thich Nhat Hanh taught purchased copies directly from the publisher. Parallax Press was up and running.” Now, Parallax is celebrating its twenty-fifth anniversary. Being Peace is in its fourteenth printing and Parallax—based in Berkeley, California—releases about a dozen titles a year. As the publishing arm of Thich Nhat Hanh’s Unified Buddhist Church, Parallax has been instrumental in spreading his teach- ings. It is the core publisher of his books, as well as the books of other teachers dedicated to socially engaged Buddhism. Among its notable authors are Joanna Macy, a Buddhist eco- philosopher with five decades of activism under her belt; Sulak Sivaraksa, a prominent Thai intellectual and social critic who founded the International Network of Engaged Buddhists; and Robert Aitken, the late American Zen pioneer who cofounded the Buddhist Peace Fellowship. Plum Blossom Books is an imprint of Parallax Press that’s dedicated to publishing books on mindfulness and peace edu- cation for children and young adults. Plum Blossom’s most Profile By Andrea Miller Thich Nhat Hanh with Parallax Press staff and advisory board members in September at Deer Park Monastery in Escondido, California, during his recent teaching tour. He is flanked by Parallax senior editor Rachel Neumann and publisher Travis Masch. PARALLAX PRESS PHOTOBR.PHAPNGUYEN