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Sarah Conover

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Sarah Conover holds a Bachelor of Arts in religious studies from the University of Colorado, a degree in education from Gonzaga University, and a Masters of Fine Arts in creative writing from Eastern Washington University. Conover lives in Spokane, has been a Buddhist practitioner for nearly three decades. She now teaches meditation at various places throughout the city, including the Airway Heights Prison. She has taught creative writing in the public schools, and now works with senior citizens. Previous to her role in education, she was a senior producer at Internews, an international NGO committed to fostering open media throughout the world. Conover is the author of young adult, multigenerational, and adult books as well as poetry. Her books include “Kindness: a Treasury of Buddhist Wisdom for Children and Parents,” “Chaos and Wonder and the Spiritual Adventure of Parenting;” “Ayat Jamilah, Beautiful Signs: A Treasury of Islamic Wisdom for Children and Parents;” “Daughters of the Desert: Remarkable Women of the Christian, Jewish and Islamic Traditions;” “Harmony: a Treasury of Chinese Wisdom for Children and Parents;” “Muhammad: the Story of a Prophet and Reformer.”

Conover’s Ask a Buddhist caveat: know that my slice of perspective is necessarily narrow. I’m a white, middle-class, happily-married, Spokane mother of two who grew up with no knowledge Buddhist teachings or cultures in a WASP (white-anglo-saxon-protestant-middle-class) suburb of New York City. She studied comparative religions in college, and was a religious “tourist” for a time before committing to a Buddhist path for the last three decades in the Southeast Asian Theravada tradition. Most importantly, she says she’s not liberated, not even close. However, she is fascinated that Buddhists find themselves in the midst of a quickly evolving global religion, a cross-pollination of the ancient East and the modern West, the modern East and the ancient West. “As someone with a love of the Buddha’s teachings, over- blessed with curiosity, I’m willing to ask those who are more experienced, committed and smarter than myself to help me wrestle with the issues raised by readers,” she said.

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Tracy Simmons

About Tracy Simmons

Tracy Simmons, who teaches journalism at Gonzaga University, is an award winning journalist specializing in religion reporting, digital entrepreneurship and social journalism. In her 13 years on the religion beat, Simmons has tucked a notepad in her pocket and found some of her favorite stories aboard cargo ships in New Jersey, on a police chase in Albuquerque, in dusty Texas church bell towers, on the streets of New York and in tent cities in Haiti.
Simmons has worked as a multimedia journalist for newspapers across New Mexico, Texas and Connecticut. Currently she serves as the executive director of SpokaneFAVS.com, a digital journalism start-up covering religion news and commentary in Spokane, Wash.

She also writes for The Spokesman-Review and for the Religion News Service.

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