Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Big Loss in the Zen Community

I just found out that Charlotte Joko Beck died on June 15 while in hospice care. Granted I never met her, never studied under her, and only read one of her books (Everyday Zen: Love and Work), but that one book is considered necessary reading for anyone interested in Zen Buddhism, particularly Zen from a Western perspective. Beck taught, among other things, that we should work with our emotions and not seek to avoid them or dismiss them as not being real and powerful. Oftentimes people look at Buddhism as a sort of "feel good / not affected by anything" kind of religion or philosophy, when nothing could be further from the truth.

I confess that I'm going to have to go back and read that book again, but that is certainly not a bad thing. Since I have yet to find a teacher here in Nashville - although I did have a nice experience at a Theravadan temple a couple of weeks ago (more on that later) - more self study and meditation is called for.

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