About this item

Andy Couturier captures the texture of sustainable lives well lived in these ten profiles of ordinary - yet exceptional - men and women who left behind mainstream existences in urban Japan to live surrounded by the luxuries of nature, art, friends, delicious food, and an abundance of time. Drawing on traditional Eastern spiritual wisdom and culture, these pioneers describe the profound personal transformations they underwent as they escaped the stress, consumerism, busyness, and dependence on technology of modern life. This intimate and evocative book tells of their fulfilling lives as artists, philosophers, and farmers who rely on themselves for happiness and sustenance. By inviting readers to enter into the essence of these individuals' days, Couturier shows us how we too can bring more meaning and richness to our own lives.

About the Author

Andy Couturier

ANDY COUTURIER is the son of a biographer and a civil rights activist. During his four years of living in Japan, he wrote for the Japan Times; worked with local environmentalists fighting large dam projects, rainforest destruction, and huge electric power plants; taught English; and studied the interconnections between Japanese aesthetics and innovative new forms of writing. In California, he and his partner built their own house using only hand tools, developing a piece of raw land into a functioning rural homestead with solar and hydro-electric power, running hot and cold water, and a Japanese-style bath.

Andy has studied Buddhist meditation and many other Asian philosophical systems, and has traveled extensively in Africa, Southeast Asia, and India. He has been a researcher for Greenpeace and has taught writing for more than a decade. He is the author of Writing Open the Mind: Tapping the Subconscious to Free the Writing and the Writer and has written for Adbusters, the MIT Press, Kyoto Journal, Creative Nonfiction, The North American Review, The Oakland Tribune, and Ikebana International. He directs his own creative writing center, The Opening, at www.theopening.org.

Andy welcomes your thoughts and comments on this book, either by mail to P.O. Box 881, Santa Cruz, CA 95061 or by email to andy@theopening.org.

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