Peter Coyote and Host Steve Heilig

Things As It Is

A Roving Discussion of Zen in the Vernacular, Crow Poetry, and Beyond

Join Host Steve Heilig as we bring back author, actor, and local celebrity Peter Coyote to The New School. They will talk about Peter’s recent books—Zen in the Vernacular: Things As It Is and Tongue of A Crow—and ramble across many other topics.

Peter Coyote

Peter has written five books including the international bestseller Sleeping Where I Fall and The Rainman’s Third Cure: An Irregular Education, which reached second on the Marin County bestseller list. His third book, entitled The Lone Ranger and Tonto Meet the Buddha, outlines a long-standing series of classes he runs using acting, improvisation and masks to induce temporary ego-free states and is based on Peter’s work as a Zen Buddhist student of more than 40 years. As an actor, he has performed for some of the world’s most distinguished filmmakers, including Barry Levinson, Roman Polanski, Pedro Almodovar, Steven Spielberg, Martin Ritt, Steven Soderberg, Sidney Pollack and Jean Paul Rappeneau. He was the co-host of the Academy Award show with Billy Crystal in 2020. He is a double Emmy-Award winning narrator of more than 160 documentary films, including Ken Burns acclaimed The Roosevelts, for which he received his second Emmy nomination in July 2015.


Host Steve Heilig

Steve Heilig is an editor, epidemiologist, ethicist, environmentalist, educator, and ethnomusicologist trained at five University of California campuses. He is co-editor of the Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics and of San Francisco Marin Medicine at the medical society he has long been part of. A former volunteer and director of the Zen Hospice Project, AIDS Foundation, and Planned Parenthood, he has helped improve laws and practices in reproductive and end-of-life care, drug policy, and environmental health. He is a longtime book critic and music journalist and emcee of the Sierra Nevada World Music Festival. He’s been part of Commonweal for 30 years now.