Nisker, Wes 1942–
Nisker, Wes 1942–
(Wes "Scoop" Nisker)
PERSONAL: Born December 22, 1942, in Norfork, NE; son of Jack and Esther Nisker; married, February, 1998; children: one daughter. Education: Received B.A. and attended graduate school. Religion: Buddhist.
ADDRESSES: Home and office—2208 Derby St., Berkeley, CA 94705.
CAREER: Writer and editor. Founder and co-editor of Inquiring Mind (international Buddhist journal); Omega Institute, Oakland, CA, faculty member; workshop leader and speaker at various Buddhist insight meditation retreats; affiliate of Spirit Rock Meditation Center, Woodacre, CA; teacher at Esalen Institute, Big Sur, CA, and University of California. Has also worked as a journalist and radio announcer.
MEMBER: International Transpersonal Psychology Association (secretary of the board of directors).
AWARDS, HONORS: Awards of excellence in FM programming, Columbia School of Journalism and Billboard, 1980.
(As Wes "Scoop" Nisker) Crazy Wisdom, Ten Speed Press (Berkeley, CA), 1990.
(As Wes "Scoop" Nisker) If You Don't Like the News—Go out and Make Some of Your Own, Ten Speed Press (Berkeley, CA), 1994.
Buddha's Nature: A Practical Guide to Enlightenment through Evolution, Bantam (New York, NY), 1998.
You Are Not Who You Think You Are: A Course in Evolutionary Intelligence, Bantam (New York, NY), 1998.
The Essential Crazy Wisdom, Ten Speed Press (Berkeley, CA), 2001.
The Big Bang, the Buddha, and the Baby Boom: The Spiritual Experiments of My Generation (autobiography), Harpers (San Francisco, CA), 2003.
Nisker's teachings and books can be found on videotapes and audio cassettes.
SIDELIGHTS: Author and Buddhism instructor Wes Nisker has written books that combine his personal philosophy with a larger view of the world. According to a Publishers Weekly reviewer, Nisker's Buddha's Nature: A Practical Guide to Enlightenment through Evolution initially appears to be a basic guide to the practice of Buddhism, but later compares Buddhist principles with modern scientific breakthroughs. The Publishers Weekly contributor found Nisker's treatment of science less convincing than his knowledge of Buddhism, as Nisker chooses some unorthodox scientific viewpoints and quotes others "out of context," resulting in a book which "reads more like a disjointed diary than a refined, considered personal reflection." Nisker's Crazy Wisdom examines wisdom from the East and West and from a variety of sources, from spiritual leader Siddhartha Guatama (known as Buddha, the founder of Buddhism), Indian activist Mohandas K. "Mahatma" Gandhi, to American counterculture figure Abbie Hoffman. Utne Reader contributor Dana Ullman described Crazy Wisdom as "deeply wise" and a "joy" to read. Nisker is also the author of the books If You Don't Like the News—Go out and Make Some of Your Own and You Are Not Who You Think You Are: A Course in Evolutionary Intelligence.
Nisker combines philosophical musings with autobiography in The Big Bang, the Buddha, and the Baby Boom: The Spiritual Experiments of My Generation. Starting with his childhood as a member of one of two Jewish families in his Nebraska hometown, the author recounts how these early experiences were followed by college and involvement in the mind-altering, drug-oriented youth revolution of the 1960s, all of which helped lead him to Buddhism and radical politics. Calling the book a "jaunty memoir," Spirituality & Health Web site contributors Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat went on to note the author's "wry sense of humor." James F. DeRoche, writing in the Library Journal, commented: "This enlightening book will appeal to many readers." A Publishers Weekly contributor called the book a "wry, hip, fast, breezy account" of the author's life and beliefs.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Nisker, Wes, The Big Bang, the Buddha, and the Baby Boom: The Spiritual Experiments of My Generation, Harper (San Francisco, CA), 2003.
Thompson, LeAnn, A Word from the Wise, privately printed, c. 1997.
Booklist, April 15, 2003, Donna Seaman, review of The Big Bang, the Buddha, and the Baby Boom, p. 1430.
Kirkus Reviews, February 15, 2003, review of The Big Bang, the Buddha, and the Baby Boom, p. 290.
Library Journal, April 1, 2003, James F. DeRoche, review of The Big Bang, the Buddha, and the Baby Boom, p. 110.
Publishers Weekly, August 17, 1998, review of Buddha's Nature: A Practical Guide to Enlightenment through Evolution p. 65; February 10, 2003, review of The Big Bang, the Buddha, and the Baby Boom, p. 180.
Utne Reader, January-February, 1991, Dana Ullman, review of Crazy Wisdom, p. 132.
Moscow Food Co-Op, http://www.moscowfood.coop/ (February 3, 2006), Bill London, review of The Big Bang, the Buddha, and the Baby Boom.
Omega Institute Web site, http://www.eomega.org/ (January 12, 2006), faculty profile of author.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center, http://www.spiritrock.org/ (February 3, 2006), brief profile of author.
Spirituality & Health, http://www.spiritualityhealth.com/ (February 3, 2006), Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, review of The Big Bang, the Buddha, and the Baby Boom.
Wes Nisker Home Page, http://www.wesnisker.com (February 3, 2006).