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Most intimate : a Zen approach to life's challenges

Author: Pat Enkyo O'Hara
Publisher: Boston : Shambhala, 2014.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : English : First editionView all editions and formats
Summary:
"The joy of intimacy--with yourself, with others, and with the whole universe. The long-awaited first book from a prominent modern American Zen teacher. For Roshi Pat Enkyo O'Hara, intimacy is what Zen practice is all about: the realization of the essential lack of distinction between self and other that inevitably leads to wisdom and compassionate action. She approaches the practice of intimacy beginning at its  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Electronic books
Additional Physical Format: Print version:
O'Hara, Pat Enkyo.
Most intimate.
(DLC) 2013023141
(OCoLC)851420671
Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Pat Enkyo O'Hara
ISBN: 9780834829701 0834829703
OCLC Number: 881279880
Description: 1 online resource (xii, 140 pages)
Contents: Machine generated contents note: Annotated Table of Contents: --
Foreword by Roshi Joan Halifax --
Introduction: Why Zen? Zen is a way of being in touch with our wholeness --
our self without the overlay of what may have crept up in our history, without the stories we make about our life, without the defensiveness or delusions that we have built up to protect ourselves. By clearing the space in our minds we open our life to appreciation of and confidence in whatever shows up. --
1. Becoming Intimate with Yourself: To me, intimacy is the underlying liberation of Zen. When I talk about intimacy, I'm talking first about intimacy with ourselves, then with our lovers and our partners and close friends. I'm talking about intimacy with the work that we do and the colleagues we work with, and intimacy with our community and with the great earth --
intimacy with everyone. --
2. Relationship: You and Me and the Spaces Between: We tend to think that we exist independently of our environment, of the people and things around us. But when we sit in meditation and experience ourselves completely, breath by breath, we realize that we do not exist in a vacuum, but coexist with the elements, and with all those with whom we're connected --
consciously or unconsciously, directly or indirectly, in time and in space. This is what wakes us up. --
3. Sex: Close, Closer, Closest: Sex in the Zen tradition is not something to be avoided or repressed. We can be intimate in the moment when body, mind, and heart are joined with each other. When we are honestly aware of our feelings and thoughts and are willing to include them in our experience, we are on the way to authentic sexual response. We have everything we need to realize who we are, to be present in the moment, to be true to who we are in the moment. --
4. Living in the Suffering World: Lotus in the Fire: A long time ago in China, a Zen student asked if any of the sages had ever fallen into hell. His teacher answered that they are the first to go there! The shocked student asked, "But if they are enlightened, why would they fall into hell?" The teacher looked at the student, and with smile said, "If I didn't fall into hell, how could I help you?" --
5. Anger: Harnessing the Energy: What can we do when the volatile winds of anger shake us? In some spiritual circles, anger gets a bad rap and is relegated to being smothered. In Zen, however, there is a long tradition of investigating the mind of anger. --
6. Healing: The Universal Medicine: Even when we are ill, we are wholly and completely who we actually are. In my case it was to recognize that my fatigue and suffering self, just as I was, was intimately all that I could be in that moment. Clinging to an idea, pulling away, or judging my condition only falsified what was truly present. Seeing our life in that way, we become whole. --
7. Work: The One Who Is Not Busy: Who has not felt, in a moment of great activity, both the energy and aliveness of the activity and at the same time the leisure, the ease, the simple movement? It is not poky and not frenetic: the smooth and unhurried quality of doing each thing at exactly the right moment --
not too fast, not too slow, but just at the right moment. It has actually nothing to do with fast or slow; it has to do with whole body connecting to reality itself. --
8. Death and Dying: Life and Death Are of Supreme Importance: Is it difficult to face the reality of death? Of course it is. That's why it is so rich! Let's not turn away, because the rewards of truly connecting to the life span that we have is the key to our awakening, to living a meaningful life. What would it be like to be astonished by the reality of your life and death? Be astonished! In that way you will recognize your true self. --
9. Making Peace with Loss: Sometimes people are surprised when a Zen person or a Buddhist cries. Often there is an expectation that somehow to be "spiritual" is to be stoic, unruffled by emotions. But this is not so. The deeper our practice, the more open are our hearts. To cry at loss is a human thing, and our intimacy with such humanness is profoundly true. --
10. Joy: Moment-to-Moment Possibility: We can't control joy. It is something that bobs up when we are truly alive and when we meet the whole world in an instant. We can experience joy in every aspect of our life --
in working, in caring, in creating, and even in suffering. I think the key to experiencing joy is, as we so often say, being awake.
Responsibility: Roshi Pat Enkyo O'Hara ; foreword by Roshi Joan Halifax.
More information:

Abstract:

"The joy of intimacy--with yourself, with others, and with the whole universe. The long-awaited first book from a prominent modern American Zen teacher. For Roshi Pat Enkyo O'Hara, intimacy is what Zen practice is all about: the realization of the essential lack of distinction between self and other that inevitably leads to wisdom and compassionate action. She approaches the practice of intimacy beginning at its most basic level--the intimacy with ourselves that is the essential first step. She then shows how to bring intimacy into our relationships with others, starting with those dearest to us and moving on to those who don't seem dear at all. She then shows how to grow in intimacy so that we include everyone around us, all of society, the whole world and all the beings it contains. Each chapter is accompanied by practices she uses with her students at the Village Zendo for manifesting intimacy in our lives"--

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