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Naked in the Zendo: Stories of Uptight Zen, Wild-Ass Zen, and Enlightenment Wherever You Are (Paperback)
A collection of charming and funny stories on how to turn the awareness we find on the meditation cushion into wisdom for every day.
We need to remove our ego's clothing to truly see ourselves and the world as they are. Grace Schireson's stories about her Zen journey--from child to grandmother--share deep insight about how we can find awareness, feel it in our bodies, and experience it wherever we are. Grace's path is at times ordinary--with stories of youthful naiveite ("Will Zen Get You High?"), parenting ("You Exist; Therefore, I Am Embarrassed"), and pets ("The Honorable Roshi Bully Cat")--and groundbreaking--with stories of her studies with Suzuki Roshi ("What's Love Got to Do with It?"), Keido Fukushima Roshi ("Don't Bow"), and more. Each story, whether humorous or poignant, highlights the power of awareness to transform our lives and the remarkable work of this pioneering woman in American Zen.
About the Author
GRACE SCHIRESON is a teacher in the Suzuki Roshi lineage, Soto Zen tradition, empowered by Sojun Mel Weitsman. She has also practiced in the Rinzai tradition and was encouraged to teach koans by Keido Fukushima Roshi. Grace is the author of Zen Women and co-editor of Zen Bridge. Grace is the head teacher of the Central Valley Zen Foundation, president of the Shogaku Zen Institute, and teaches meditation at Stanford University. She is also a clinical psychologist.
“Forthrightness, strength, humor, and wisdom are threads that weave this marvelous book into a powerful tapestry of insight, inspiration, and teaching.”—from the foreword by Joan Halifax, author of Standing at the Edge
“Feisty and strong-minded, Grace Schireson has been a force in American Zen for a long time. In Naked in the Zendo she tells her story with verve, humor, and deep wisdom. You will enjoy her many real-life teaching stories, as well as the bracing experience of meeting an honest-to-god, life-as-it-is Zen teacher, who happens also to be a daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, psychotherapist, and feminist activist. This is a book for our Zen moment. For sure.”—Norman Fischer, founder and teacher of the Everyday Zen Foundation, author of The World Could Be Otherwise
“Grace Schireson is a force of nature and a master of wild-ass Zen. She has studied in Japan and America with Soto and Rinzai teachers. Schireson Roshi spent years investigating koans with the Rinzai master Keido Fukushima Roshi and received Dharma transmission from the Soto master Sojun Mel Weitsman. Naked in the Zendo draws upon turning points in her life to show critical aspects of our emerging Western Zen. This is a wonderful book. I highly recommend it.”—James Ishmael Ford, author of Introduction to Zen Koans
“This is a book about the heart of Zen practice, how to awaken to vast awareness and then engage that awareness in transforming distress into freedom and contentment in everyday life. Naked in the Zendo combines pithy Zen koans with illuminating stories from the author’s personal life as a wife and mother, from her adventures in Zen training in the US, and as a woman practicing in an all-male monastery in Japan.”—Jan Chozen Bays, author of Mindfulness on the Go
“You’re not sitting on your cushion, says Grace Schireson, to get good at meditation, but to transform your life. And not necessarily through the dramatic moments of realization we usually associate with Zen, but with the flowering of awareness into those seemingly little everyday acts of kindness and responsiveness. When I was just starting out in my own practice, I might not have had the sense to recognize and appreciate such undramatic wisdom. I hope Naked in the Zendo will inspire this awareness for both new and seasoned practitioners.”—Barry Magid, author of Ending the Pursuit of Happiness
“In these clear-headed, clear-hearted stories of American Zen (serious Zen framed by an American sensibility), Grace Schireson will grab your attention and open your awareness. Awareness is the hero of these stories and Schireson is your guide as she tells you what to hold on to and what to let go of when you engage your deepest intention to wake up to reality. Schireson is a wise, funny, and uniquely feminist American Zen teacher whose approach to practice will enrich everyone.”—Polly Young-Eisendrath, author of Love Between Equals