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Most Intimate

A Zen Approach to Life's Challenges

Written by Roshi Pat Enkyo O'HaraAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Roshi Pat Enkyo O'Hara
Foreword by Roshi Joan HalifaxAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Roshi Joan Halifax

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Synopsis|Table of Contents


The joy of intimacy--with yourself, with others, and with the whole universe. The long-awaited first book from a prominent modern American Zen teacher.

For Roshi Pat Enkyo O'Hara, intimacy is what Zen practice is all about: the realization of the essential lack of distinction between self and other that inevitably leads to wisdom and compassionate action. She approaches the practice of intimacy beginning at its most basic level--the intimacy with ourselves that is the essential first step. She then shows how to bring intimacy into our relationships with others, starting with those dearest to us and moving on to those who don't seem dear at all. She then shows how to grow in intimacy so that we include everyone around us, all of society, the whole world and all the beings it contains. Each chapter is accompanied by practices she uses with her students at the Village Zendo for manifesting intimacy in our lives.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Roshi Joan Halifax
Introduction: What Is Zen?

1. Becoming Intimate with Yourself
2. Relationship: You and Me and the Spaces Between
3. Sex: Close, Closer, Closest
4. Living in the Suffering World: Lotus in the Fire
5. Anger: Harnessing the Energy
6. Healing: The Universal Medicine
7. Work: The One Who Is Not Busy
8. Death and Dying: Life and Death Are of Supreme Importance
9. Making Peace with Loss: Entering the Tiger’s Cave
10. Joy: Moment-to-Moment Possibility

Guide to Practice
About the Author


“Roshi Pat Enkyo O’Hara’s Most Intimate is exactly that: deeply forthright in its wisdom and fully at home in the body of her direct experience. Filled with precise instruction and insight, informed by the rigor of Roshi’s years of dedicated practice and service, her authentic voice speaks boldly and without compromise on these pages.”—Sharon Salzberg, author of Lovingkindness and Real Happiness

“Warm-hearted, clear, precise, and deeply loving, Most Intimate beckons newcomers and old-timers alike back to the cushion of their own lives to live them with awareness and appreciation. Roshi Enkyo’s voice is deeply personal and her teachings deceptively simple, for they manage to address our strongest needs for relationship, joy, confidence, and freedom from fear.”—Tetsugen Bernie Glassman, author of Instructions to the Cook

“We often think of Zen as a practice of stillness, and this book shows us the other half of mature spiritual practice: intimacy and expression. This is the kind of Zen that is loyal to both the monastery and the streets, and so the lessons here are vibrantly appropriate for this new century of dharma. Roshi Enkyo O’Hara’s voice is alive, bright, and welcoming.”—Michael Stone, author of Awake in the World and Yoga for a World Out of Balance

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