Widening Circles: A Memoir

Widening Circles: A Memoir

Joanna Macy / Jun 17, 2019

Widening Circles A Memoir In this absorbing and sometimes thrilling memoir well known eco philosopher Buddhist scholar and deep ecology activist teacher Joanna Macy recounts her adventures in the key social movements of ou

  • Title: Widening Circles: A Memoir
  • Author: Joanna Macy
  • ISBN: 9780865714205
  • Page: 260
  • Format: Paperback
  • In this absorbing, and sometimes thrilling memoir, well known eco philosopher, Buddhist scholar, and deep ecology activist teacher Joanna Macy recounts her adventures in the key social movements of our era Macy s autobiography reads like a novel as she relates her multi faceted life experiences and reflects on how her marriage and family life enriched her service to theIn this absorbing, and sometimes thrilling memoir, well known eco philosopher, Buddhist scholar, and deep ecology activist teacher Joanna Macy recounts her adventures in the key social movements of our era Macy s autobiography reads like a novel as she relates her multi faceted life experiences and reflects on how her marriage and family life enriched her service to the world.Macy s formative years with an abusive father and oppressed mother set her on an irrevocable path of self definition and independence A short lived stint with the CIA exposed Macy first hand to the Cold War s darkest threats the construction of the hydrogen bomb and the building of the Berlin Wall With three children in tow, Macy and her husband traveled with the Peace Corps to Africa, India, and Tibet, where her encounter with the Dalai Lama and Buddhism led to Macy s life long embrace of the religion and a deep commitment to the peace and environmental movements.In Widening Circles, the unique synthesis of spiritualism and activism that define Macy s contribution to the world are illuminated by the life events and experiences that have paved her uncommon path.

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    About "Joanna Macy"

      • Joanna Macy

        Dr Joanna Macy, activist, ecologist and author, is one of the pioneers of engaged Buddhism Her online work includes the article World as Lover, World as Self Bestiary an ode to wildlife Nuclear Guardianship, her testimony at the World Uranium Hearings in Salzburg, 1992 and The Vegan Vision, on the ethics of a vegan diet Her other books include Mutual Causality in Buddhism and General Systems Theory The Dharma of Natural Systems, World as Lover World as Self and Rilke s Book of Hours.


    1. I loved reading Joanna Macy's memoir, which covers her life from birth through her early 60s. Her life is inspiring, thought-provoking, and adventurous. She mentions and provides some insight into the ups and downs of her family life, but she does not delve much into details - probably to protect her family, which I totally respect. However, it leads her life to seem too good to be true at times. However, I was certainly filled with admiration for her. She has an amazing capacity to throw hersel [...]

    2. This is the activist's version of Eat, Pray, Love. It is a deep, powerful and facinating true story of Macy's life which spans coutries, religions, philosophies, social movements and true loves. It is amazing how many expereinces she has had in her lifetime! Very inspirational!!

    3. This is one of the most extraordinary autobiographical journeys I've takene way Joanna Macy reflects on her journey and relates it to the Dhammachaka is profound. The wisdom and candidness in which she conveys her life story and unfoldment makes me want to queue this book up for read number two.

    4. I live my life in widening circlesthat reach out across the world.I may not ever complete the last one,But I give myself to it.I circle around God, that primordial tower.I have been circling for thousands of years,and I still don't know:am I a falcon, a storm,or a great song?Rainer Maria Rilke, The Book of Hours- translated by Anita Barrows and Joanna MacyThe above poem is the source of the title for Joanna Macy's memoir, Widening Circles. Macy has led a pretty amazing life, and I liked how she [...]

    5. I heard Joanna Macy in an interview with Krista Tippett on On Being and fell in love with her. A wise woman, she converted to Buddhism, became an environmental and peace activist, and a translator of Rilke. My favorite part of the conversation was her discussion of Rilke, the meaning she has found in his poetry, the impact he has had in her life, and her reading of several poems. Unfortunately, this was not discussed at all in her memoir.I loved the beginning--the first pages are exquisite. She [...]

    6. Devoured this book in the first two weeks of the new year. I'd like to write a letter to Joanna to thank her for this book. It wove together so many of the paths I've been down and so many of the questions I've had in the past five years. I could identify with so many parts of her journey, listening to her was like replaying parts of my own short adult story. I wonder if everyone feels this sort of resonance because Macy herself is so open and vulnerable and human? It seemed like more than that [...]

    7. This book was so interesting to me. I loved it. One of my favorite parts:"What happened then felt so primordial, and so important somehow for the ongoing order of things, that I imagined at moments whole populations gathered below our window beating drums and cymbals. Clearly, this physical call and response was the primary phenomenon of the cosmos. How else do the planets swing so steadily in orbit, how else do the starfish attach to their rocks? Here the wildness inside me and the tenderness t [...]

    8. anna's honesty in her memoir is both inspiring and unsettling at times. the trust that she places in the vulnerability life brings is simply wonderful-the reader joins joanna through her many life changes and varying paths of philosophy, belief, and practice. perhaps the most inspiring (and deeply unsettling at some moments) is the lack of apology found in joanna's voice. she speaks her truth in hopes that the truth does not destroyyone with interest in the origins of the peace corps, the civil [...]

    9. So inspiring. Renewed my commitment to conservation work and reinforced the importance of it. Reawakened my interest in Tibetan Buddhism and the benefits of its practice. Reminds me that there are so many options as far as how we define ourselves and how we choose to live; and that many of them are outside of boxes.Joanna Macy is one of the few true heroes to emerge from American culture in modern times. I can't wait to read more of her work.

    10. A stunning example of what a memoir can be: part mindful manifesto, part personal healing, part call to action, and all fierce, universal compassion. Joanna Macy has had an incredibly rich and varied life, and has so much wisdom to share. Many images in this book will stay with me for years. I am enchanted by the concept of the Shambhala warriors, and I think that I could be one. This is a great read for those seeking new intention and gratitude in their lives.

    11. Macy is an interesting person and has had a fascinating life. I would probably have ranked her higher except for the sense of her throughout the book of her "neediness" (that why she embarks on all of these interests is not so much intellectual but attempt to fill some void) and her utter unawareness of that.

    12. Very interesting autobiography. Somebody of my generation with a very different life experience. I admire what she has done and admire her husband for sticking with her. Certainly someone who has been on the eco/Buddhist lecture circuit if not the originator of same. For the most part well written and fascinating as her circles widen.

    13. A marvelous, honest memoir from a teacher on Buddhist philosophy, system theory and deep ecology. I picked up this book because I had been reading another book of hers - "Active Hope". The memoir follows her spiritual transformation and her call to create a better world through new programs to heal the climate, address poverty and nuclear systems that destroy creation and people's lives.

    14. I like the IDEA of Joanna Macy's books so much better than the real thing. She's an amazing theorist, but not such a great writer. I was very excited by the first 80 pages or so, and then I got bored.

    15. Wonderful memoir, and so inspiring, especially about her endless sense of adventure and courage through her life.

    16. Wonderful autobiography of a thoughtful, heartful individual whose life spans the last half of the 20th century and reflects and responds deeply to what is going on in the world.

    17. I love Joanna Macy. I just struggled with the pacingbut I adore her perspective and her life is a beautiful testament to courage and persistence.

    18. Joanna Macy is one of my heroes, and in this autobiography she explains how she developed her amazing compassionate perspective on the world and social justice activism.

    19. Not a quick read, but a worthwhile read. Peace Pilgrim, meets Peter Paul & Mary, meets Siddhartha, meets Peace Pilgrim, all crafted in the voice of an academic and poet.

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