About the author

James Hilgendorf

<strong>We are living in a time when personal and social relationships are fraying and fracturing.&nbsp;<br><br>The Surgeon General of the United States, Vivek Murthy, recently sounded an alarm about an epidemic of loneliness erupting throughout the United States.&nbsp; Young people, especially, feel a growing sense of loneliness, isolation and powerlessness, even as online social media use expands in their lives.<br><br>People are looking for new and meaningful connections to the life around them.&nbsp;<br><br>In December, 2020, Elizabeth, my wife of 50 years, passed away after a two year struggle with pancreatic cancer and stroke.&nbsp; During this time, the pandemic was raging, and America was struggling to salvage its very identity and survival.<br>&nbsp;<br>“In response to all this, I wrote a book - “Capricorn &amp; Cancer” - to confront the heart of death itself - not only of my wife’s passing, but of an America, fractured and dying - and the need here in America for a deep transformation in the way we view our own lives, our relationship with the universe around us, and to life and death itself.<br><br>At the heart of “Capricorn &amp; Cancer” is the story of the enormous transformative power of our 50-year journey with Buddhism - the Buddhism of the SGI, or Soka Gakkai International, the largest Buddhist lay organization in the world now, a movement dedicated to peace, education, and culture, with 12,000,000 members in 192 countries and territories around the world chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo - a simple, basic practice that allows anyone to bring forth from within their own lives the potential and power to surmount their problems and become absolutely happy.<br><br>It’s the story of the world that all of us are now struggling to find - a world beyond the old distinctions of race, ethnicity, nationality and even religion - the world of a new common heart and humanity.<br>&nbsp;<br>Since then, I’ve written personally to thousands and thousands of people- young people especially - in towns and cities all across America, sharing our story; and Elizabeth and I have embarked, online and in-person, on a journey together (yes, we are together still) with “Capricorn &amp; Cancer” and another of my books, “Traveling to a New America”, a collection of 74 pieces from my previous books, of articles, poems, blogs, historical portraits, and interviews with people I interviewed randomly on the streets of America, to combine both books into one new book and journey called “Traveling Together to a New America”.<br><br>I hope you read and enjoy this book, and I would greatly appreciate, if you find time, to share an awareness of the book and of this journey with all of your friends everywhere.<br><br>You can explore my website at:&nbsp; jameshilgendorf.org <br><br>To arrange talks and discussions with your group, in-person or on Zoom video, contact me at jameshilgendorf1 (at) gmail (dot) com.<br><br>If you would like to support our journey of Traveling Together to a New America, we would deeply appreciate it.&nbsp;<br>To donate either one-time or on a continuing basis using Paypal, or your credit or debit card, go to this link:&nbsp; https://www.bit.ly/42yHVMT </strong><br>&nbsp;<br><strong>Thank you!</strong><br><br><br>