ZEN MIRACLES: Finding Peace in an Insane World

Brenda Shoshanna, Author . Wiley $24.95 (233p) ISBN 978-0-471-41481-0

It's virtually axiomatic now that America has its own brand of Zen Buddhism, and the author of this skilled volume proves the point. Shoshanna is a Hasidic Jew who has been both practicing zazen and maintaining a psychotherapy practice for more than 25 years. Here she weaves a fine tapestry out of these splendid, assorted threads. Five sections ("Getting Started," "Cravings and Compulsions," "Letting Go," Dissolving the False Self" and "Zen, God and Enlightenment") use traditional Buddhist and contemporary American stories and quotes and lucid prose to invite anyone and everyone down Zen's calming, clarifying garden path. These forms are supplemented by both provocative koans and "Zen in Action" exercises at the conclusion of each of the 18 short chapters. The last chapter, "Zen and God," might well have been placed first, since it elucidates the neutrality of Zen that can make it completely compatible with other institutionalized or personalized beliefs. This book has less to do with the mechanics of sitting and more to do with the realities of integrating Zen practice into real life. Shoshanna extends an empty and richly filled hand, offering both the sublime and the practical, which are one and the same in the Zen world. This is a highly recommended volume for beginners and new practitioners who are coming to the truth that "to find the answers to your life questions, you must look within. Nothing less will do. Nothing more is needed." (Apr.)

Forecast: Shoshanna is the "relationships expert" on ivillage.com, which should help with the strategic marketing of this title.

Reviewed on: 03/18/2002
Release date: 03/01/2002
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 252 pages - 978-0-471-26340-1
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-0-9765855-9-6
Open Ebook - 256 pages - 978-0-470-25264-2
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