In Zen Miracles: Finding Peace in an Insane World, Brenda Shoshanna applied the timeless wisdom of monks and Zen Masters to the rigors and strains of our hurried and harried lives. In this paperback, the focus is on using basic Zen practices to better negotiate and understand the profoundly mysterious workings of a love relationship. Shoshanna is a practicing psychologist, therapist, and workshop leader. As a practitioner and teacher of Zen for over 30 years, she has taught Zen and psychology classes at Marymount College, the Zen Studies Society, the New Seminary, the Learning Annex, and elsewhere. She is the relationship expert on iVillage.com and teaches Zen on Barnes and Noble University.com. Visit the author online at www.DrShoshanna.com/.
"Zen and love are incredibly compatible," writes the author. With lively quotations from Zen sages and stories from those struggling with the main issues in intimate relationships, Shoshanna spells out 13 Zen practices that can be applied to the art of falling in love. They include Taking Off Your Shoes (Becoming Available), Sitting on the Cushion (Meeting Yourself), Doing Nothing (Releasing Control), Cooking (Nourishing Others and Oneself), Receiving the Stick (Dealing With Blows), and Struggling With Your Koan (Working on Problems). She makes it quite clear that the everydayness of this kind of practice makes it especially valuable to those seeking to express themselves in marriage and partnerships.
Little things make all the difference in the world when one is doing inner work on an important relationship. Zen practices such as making friends with every aspect of ourselves and others and leaving nothing out come in very handy. When you find yourself replaying the old tapes of bad moves, think of the wheel of karma as you work through these repetitive cycles. Patience is a virtue that must be at the forefront of any intimate relationship. In one of the best pieces in the book, Shoshanna applies the work of solving koans to the art of falling in love. Here the work of the rational mind and tried and true formulas are of no value. The challenge is to keep an open heart. Or as Eshin said: "When you become you, / Zen becomes Zen. / When you become you, / The whole world falls in love."