Selfless Love: Beyond the Boundaries of Self and Other

Ellen Birx. Wisdom (Simon & Schuster, dist.), $15.95 trade paper (240p) ISBN 978-1-61429-075-9
In her newest, Zen teacher Birx (Healing Zen) offers a multi-faceted approach to transcending the illusion of a singular self and realizing the unbounded, connected self that is immersed in love. Meditation is the backbone of the practice Birx teaches, and it is consonant with three different viewpoints: Zen Buddhism, the Christian Gospels, and cognitive science. She urges her audience to consider how holding onto the unexamined idea of an isolated self has resulted in an unfortunate separation between self and other. By rethinking this divide, the world is opened. Opening to God (likened to mystery, infinite, absolute, presence) allows an individual to open to the love that is the basis of all existence. Learning to love allows an individual to act ethically and on the basis of compassion. Birx's inclusive use of Zen, Christianity, and contemporary science allows her to weave seemingly disparate threads of spiritual and secular thought together into an organic whole anchored by meditation. Those seeking an alternative and encompassing process for expanding the concept of self, experiencing godly love, and living compassionately should look to Birx for guidance. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/27/2014
Release date: 02/04/2014
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