Sandy Boucher is the author of six books including Opening the Lotus: A Woman's Guide to Buddhism and Discovering Kwan Yin, Buddhist Goddess of Compassion. In 1995 when she was 59, she was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer. This heart-affecting memoir charts her experiences during a one-year battle against cancer and the lessons she learned from it. The one "still point" in this crisis was the Buddhist practice she had cultivated for 20 years.
Without health insurance, Boucher becomes a patient in a county hospital. Her love relationship falls apart under the stress of an operation and chemotherapy treatment. Boucher squares off against her own isolation from most people and joins a cancer support group.
Near the beginning of the book, the author quotes Maurine Stuart Roshi as saying: "Whatever comes, good or bad, don't make a move to avoid it." Boucher learns through the meditation practice to stay with her pain and suffering. She prays: "Please help me be always considerate and kind to the people who are coming to help me, and grateful to them. Please help me to be very large, large enough to contain what is going to happen to me, and to keep my center." In the end, it is Boucher's Buddhist practice that pulls her through: "It does not shield us from anything. It softens and opens us to meet everything that comes to us." Hidden Spring is a convincing and inspiring memoir.