Press Release May 18, 2009

For Immediate Release

Media Contact: Donna Rachelle 

Phone Number: (360) 982-2784  – Email:


Author Finds Inspiration for Fictional Character’s Zen Journey in his own Life Tragedy

Washington State Ferries Captain by night, soon to be published author by day




ANACORTES, Wash., May 18, 2009 – Washington author Ted Biringer introduces his debut novel, “The Flatbed Sutra of Louie Wing, ” published by American Book Publishing and available in book stores and on in August. The book, about a six-and-a-half foot illiterate farmhand’s Zen journey, has already been well-received by early reviewers for its authority, sincerity and relevancy.

The novel tells the story of Louie Wing, who delivers some strawberries and stumbles into self-realization. Thirty-five years later the now Zen-master Wing, is dying and people from all faiths and lifestyles journey to hear his last words of wisdom. The crowd is assembled in a meadow where the Zen master speaks to them from the back of a flatbed truck. The novel is steeped in the wisdom of Zen; yet conveys a message to contemporary readers.

The Flatbed Sutra addresses the great questions of life and death, conveys the Zen teachings on the nature of time and existence, truth, reality, and true human potential. It explains the meaning and function of meditation, koans, spiritual practice and enlightenment. Much of the book’s Zen knowledge is conveyed through stories and dialogues that entertain as well as inform.

Biringer, a merchant marine officer, and first class pilot currently working as a captain for The Washington State Ferries in the San Juan Islands, wrote the book from his more than 20 years of study, practice and experience sharing the liberating message of the classic Zen masters.

He was drawn to Zen study and practice in 1986 by the wisdom and humor of the classic masters. He applied himself to a regular routine of study and meditation. Biringer was confident he was on the path to competence, serenity, and wisdom. In July 1993, that confidence was shattered with the death of his daughter, Jade Alexandria Biringer. He felt that all of his knowledge, practice, and study were a worthless waste of time. It was a very dark time for him. He spent months in solitude and despair, simply going through the motions of living.

Then one day, nearly sixteen years ago, the source of the authority he had sensed in the great Zen masters became suddenly clear to him. “The Flatbed Sutra of Louie Wing” was inspired by Biringer’s path to, through and back to Zen. It validates the importance of Zen’s teaching on sudden enlightenment, and shows how it is accessible to all.

Biringer studied writing with the late David Smith a Northwest-based investigative journalist and war correspondent. The author’s website is

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Comments, questions, and suggestions appreciated!