Episode 307: Mindfulness and Memoir — Interview with Mag Dimond

by Gabriela Pereira
published in Podcast

Hey there word nerds! Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Mag Dimond.

Mag Dimond has been a world traveler since the age of eleven, when her mother took her to live in Italy. She has traveled extensively in Europe and Central America, and ventured to such exotic landscapes as India, Cambodia, Bhutan, Japan, Kenya, China, Burma, Vietnam, Thailand, and Cuba. In her seventies now, she continues traveling, the most recent adventure being to Machu Picchu and the Amazon jungle.

After a career teaching writing to college students in San Francisco and Taos, she often volunteers as a writing tutor at 826 Valencia, an esteemed literacy program launched by David Eggers. A practicing Buddhist for twenty years, she is a classical pianist, photographer, gourmet cook, animal rescuer, and philanthropist.

Today we’ll be discussing her book Bowing to Elephants, which has been honored by Kirkus Review with a starred review as one of the best Indie memoir/biographies of 2019. Prior to publication, excerpts from Bowing to Elephants appeared in American Literary Review, Travelers Tales Solas Awards, the Tulip Tree “Stories that Must be Told” awards, and the 2017 William Faulkner Wisdom awards. Additionally, she has also published essays in Elephant Journal, a prestigious online magazine with a readership of almost two million people. It is truly an honor to have her here at DIY MFA today.

In this episode Mag and I discuss:

  • How journaling can lead to memoir-writing.
  • A technique to help writers tap into their memories.
  • Why clear thinking is crucial to clear writing. 
  • How mindfulness and meditation can be powerful writing tools.

Plus, her #1 tip for writers.

About Mag Dimond

Mag Dimond has been a world traveler since her mother took her to live in Italy from ages eleven to fourteen. She traveled extensively in Europe and Central America, and ventured to such exotic landscapes as India, Cambodia, Bhutan, Japan, Kenya, China, Burma, Vietnam, Thailand, and Cuba. In her seventies now, she continues traveling, the most recent adventure being to Machu Picchu and the Amazon jungle. After a career teaching writing to college students in San Francisco and Taos, she often volunteers as a writing tutor at 826 Valencia, an esteemed literacy program launched by David Eggers. She has been a practicing Buddhist for twenty years and is a dedicated member of Spirit Rock Meditation Center north of San Francisco. She is a mother to two daughters, grandmother to five grandchildren, and great grandmother to a young boy living in Oregon. She is a classical pianist, photographer, gourmet cook, animal rescuer, and philanthropist.

Most recently Bowing to Elephants has been honored by Kirkus Review as one of the best Indie memoir/biographies of 2019 (it received a starred review). Prior to publication, excerpts from Bowing to Elephants were honored in American Literary Review, Travelers Tales Solas Awards, the Tulip Tree “Stories that Must be Told” awards, and the 2017 William Faulkner Wisdom awards. Additionally, Dimond has published essays in Elephant Journal, an online magazine with a readership of almost two million. You can find her essays on her website, and connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter

Dimond is offering a 10 minute loving-kindness meditation for all new readers at this site: www.bowingtoelephants.com/gift.

Meg Dimond

Bowing to Elephants: Tales of a Travel Junkie

A travel memoir with a twist―the story of an unloved rich girl from San Francisco who becomes a travel junkie, searching for herself in the world to avoid the tragic fate of her narcissistic, alcoholic mother. Haunted by images of childhood loneliness and the need to learn about her world, Dimond journeys to far-flung places―into the perfumed chaos of India, the nostalgic, damp streets of Paris, the gray, watery world of Venice in the winter, the reverent and silent mountains of Bhutan, and the gold temples of Burma. In the end, she accepts the death of the mother she never really had―and finds peace and her authentic self in the refuge of Buddhist practice.

If you decide to check out the book, we hope you’ll do so via this Amazon affiliate link, where if you choose to purchase via the link DIY MFA gets a referral fee at no cost to you. As always, thank you for supporting DIY MFA!

Link to Episode 307

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