cover image Zen and the Art of Falling in Love

Zen and the Art of Falling in Love

Brenda Shoshanna, Author Simon & Schuster $21 (272p) ISBN 978-0-7432-4335-3

To find love, take off your shoes, sit on a cushion and do nothing, advises the author of Zen Miracles. These and 10 other Zen-based practices, Shoshanna says, will help prepare you to receive love, and, eventually, to build lasting, meaningful relationships. Each Zen instruction is like""a metaphor for our entire lives"": consciously taking off our shoes teaches us about mindfulness; sitting quietly on a cushion allows us to get to know ourselves and our patterns of behavior; doing nothing helps us learn to let go of our need to control things and people. Shoshanna goes on to explain how other practices, from cooking to""struggling with your koan,"" also help us find our way to being in love,""our natural state."" For readers seeking hands-on, practical advice for romantic rejuvenation, Shoshanna's guide may feel as weightless as the smoke rising from the nearest incense burner: there are no chapters on the Zen method to approaching that office crush, or dating someone who already has children, for example. But readers searching for broader meaning will revel in her ability to weave together the basic tenets of relationship psychology with the self-realization techniques of Zen practice. Nor is Shoshanna's advice limited to affairs of the heart; much of her counsel--to be open, loving and full of faith--feels relevant to all aspects of life.