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The Truth of This Life

Zen Teachings on Loving the World as It Is
Paperback Book
Publisher: 
Shambhala
 | 
January, 2018
ISBN:
9781611804683
In stock now: 
4
$22.95 CAD
Banyen's Description: 

“The truth and joy of this life is that we cannot change things as they are.” The import of those words can be found beautifully expressed in the work of the woman who spoke them, Katherine Thanas (1927–2012)—in her art, in her writing, and especially in her Zen teaching. Fearlessly direct and endlessly curious, Katherine’s understanding of Zen was inseparable from her affinity for the arts. She was an MFA student studying painting with Richard Diebenkorn, the preeminent Californian abstract painter, when she met Shunryu Suzuki, author of Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, in the sixties. Soon thereafter she decided to drop painting to dedicate herself to Zen, which she did for the last forty years of her life.

In these essential teachings taken from her dharma talks given at the Santa Cruz Zen Center between 1996 and 2008, her love of art and literature shine through in her elegant prose and her vast references, from poets William Stafford and Naomi Shihab Nye to the Zen teachings of Dogen and Robert Aitken. Ranging on subjects from the practice of zazen to the meaning of life, Katherine urges us to “develop an insatiable appetite for inner awareness, to become proficient with this mind.” This slim volume is an important contribution by a well-loved and revered teacher.

A good way to study the conditions in which we want things to appear or to not appear is through working with pain, the sensation of burning, throbbing, hot, stretching, tearing—however it is arising for you. What happens when consciousness dares to enter this throbbing, burning sensation? When you enter the shape of pain, you go past the shape in your mind; you go past the aversion and fear in your mind. This direct experience lacks aversion and fear. There is simply direct knowing.

 

When a part of consciousness isn’t holding out, saying, “Oh, do I have to do this?” your whole being is hot, throbbing, on the verge. It’s on the threshold because you have entered the shape of pain in your mind. That experience goes beyond the appearance and nonappearance of conditions. You’re right on the margin, where your authentic life actually exists.

Publisher’s Description: 

Accessible and elegant teachings from a well-loved and revered woman Zen teacher.

“The truth and joy of this life is that we cannot change things as they are.” The import of those words can be found beautifully expressed in the work of the woman who spoke them, Katherine Thanas (1927–2012)—in her art, in her writing, and especially in her Zen teaching. Fearlessly direct and endlessly curious, Katherine’s understanding of Zen was inseparable from her affinity for the arts. She was an MFA student studying painting with Richard Diebenkorn, the preeminent Californian abstract painter, when she met Shunryu Suzuki, author of Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, in the sixties. Soon thereafter she decided to drop painting to dedicate herself to Zen, which she did for the last forty years of her life. In these essential teachings taken from her dharma talks—which make up her only book—her love of art and literature shine through in her elegant prose and her vast references, from poets William Stafford and Naomi Shihab Nye to the Zen teachings of Dogen and Robert Aitken. Ranging on subjects from the practice of zazen to the meaning of life, Katherine urges us to “develop an insatiable appetite for inner awareness, to become proficient with this mind.” This slim volume is an important contribution by a well-loved and revered teacher.

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