"In the zendo love wasn't a word or fleeting emotion. . . . It was the fierce determination to practice, no matter what came — no matter what hit you or hurt you, no matter how tired, discouraged or alone you became. Just come to the zendo, put on your robe, sit down on the cushion, face yourself and shut up. That was true love. For yourself and everyone else you came in contact with along life's road."
That is a spunky synopsis of Brenda Eshin Shoshanna's 40 years of practice in New York City where she has savored and struggled with the wisdom and the beauty of Zen. There are tears of joy and fears aplenty as she opens her heart and mind to the world of silence, meditation, and fellowship in the zendo.
"Whatever comes, welcome it one hundred percent, nothing left over. Leave no traces. Do not escape your experience. Do not avoid it in any way. This is mindfulness taken to its fullest extent, with no reservations. It is an antidote to the bondage of life which is caused by our struggle against whatever comes our way."
Shoshanna takes us along as she attends her first weekend retreat, as she deals with her adoration for her Zen teacher, as she works for a year with a formidable koan, and as she travels to Japan and experiences a shock when she returns.
"All beings are flowers,
In a flowering universe"
— Soen Roshi
There is always something blooming in our consciousness after reading a book by Brenda Shoshanna who integrates psychology and spirituality and applies it to everyday life. In Just Grab The Dust Rag, she reveals the deep spiritual value of perseverance, of staying with your practice no matter what happens. She is right in sync with the Christian spiritual director Abbe Henri de Tourville who wrote : "Let us be patient and persevering in our aspirations. Everything will be accomplished in time and will come right in the long run."