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Zen Cancer Wisdom: tips for making each day better

Zen Cancer Wisdom: tips for making each day better
Daju Suzanne Friedman
In stock, will ship in 2 – 3 business days
200 x 125
With a much-needed sense of levity, Daju Suzanne Friedman teaches the art of keeping one's body, mind, and spirit together while living with cancer.

"Layman Wang once asked his attendant,'What would you do if a dragon suddenly arrived here?' His attendant answered, 'I wouldn't pay attention to anything else.' This is how it feels when you've been diagnosed with cancer. Your attention and focus shift dramatically towards just this one thing. While single-minded focus can be beneficial, it is also important to remember that you are more than your diagnosis, and that there is more to life than being a patient."
—from the introduction

In Zen Cancer Wisdom, Daju Suzanne Friedman—Zen teacher, Chinese medicine doctor, and Qigong specialist—shares the inspirations, insights, and humor that helped her to continue to live fully in the face of cancer. With sections devoted to soothing the spirit, harnessing the mind, nourishing the body, and qigong stretches for soothing aches and pains, Friedman provides thoughtful guidance on topics ranging from hair loss and constipation to coping with stress and learning to laugh again. Each chapter begins with an anecdote drawn from the Zen tradition, followed by personal reflection, and a brief guided practice specifically for cancer patients. Pocket-sized, with short, buoyant chapters, and meditation exercises designed to be practicable anywhere in only a few minutes time, Zen Cancer Wisdom is the perfect companion book for cancer patients.


"A refreshingly up-beat, humorous, compassionate treasury of practical wisdom for those living with cancer."
—Willa B. Miller, coauthor of The Arts of Contemplative Care

"This remarkable book combines the deep and authentic wisdom of Zen ancestors' pithy teachings with the everyday practical intelligence required to live with cancer. If you are ill, this book is required reading, but it is also recommended for those of us who face aging and mortality—everyone. This book brilliantly addresses living fully each day while facing a life that ultimately veers beyond our control."
—Grace Schireson, author of Zen Women

"As a person living with chronic illness, this book has become one of my most valuable resources. It's a rich and comprehensive guide to opening our minds to our life as it is and for soothing our struggling bodies."
—Toni Bernhard, author of How to Be Sick and How to Wake Up

"Daju Suzanne Friedman gives us a wise, practical and compassionate fusion of modern and ancient Zen mind body approaches that allow one to live with cancer."
—Herbert Benson, MD, author of The Relaxation Response

"Something truly astonishing can happen when we are pushed to the edge of our life. Daju Suzanne Friedman met her cancer diagnosis with the courage of everyday Zen. She leads us through the mundane and the horrific with such steadfast wisdom that her book reminds us what is possible for our lives as we engage the inevitable challenges of old age, sickness, and death."
—Rodney Smith, author of Lessons from the Dying

"As straightforward as a Zen Master, and as compassionate as a Bodhisattva, Daju gently unveils the path of living with cancer. This is a healing jewel, studded with ancient wisdom and good humor. I will be giving this to many friends as a companion on the way of doing illness."
—Roshi Pat Enkyo O'Hara, author of Most Intimate: A Zen Approach to Life's Challenges

"You have cancer: Now what? You begin your journey of fears, hopes, and…laughter? In Zen Cancer Wisdom, Daju Suzanne Friedman shares her deep insights of Zen, knowledge of healing, and her irreverent sense of humor to all those who find themselves on this path. Let her show you the freedom of don't know mind so that you can fully embrace the love, joy, and, yes, laughter, surrounding you now."
—Reishin Denise Leong, Zen priest, Hollow Bones Rinzai Order

I. Practical Navigation Wisdom

1. Learning is Not the Path · 9
How Much is Enough Information?

2. Head Like a Coconut · 12
Remembering the Important Stuff

3. Not-Knowing Mind · 15
Staying Open to Options

4. Flawless Jade · 19
Looking Good, Regardless

5. To Know The Road Ahead, Ask Someone Returning · 22
Getting Answers to Key Questions

6. The Expert Archer Does Not Try to Hit the Target · 25
Learn Something New

7. Empty Your Cup! · 28
Being Flexible

8. Beware the Three-Inch Scholar · 30
Find the Experts

9. The Supreme Way is Not Difficult · 32
Choosing What Fits

10. Without Words, Without Silence · 34
Reaching Out to Others

11. Do Not Fight with Another’s Bow and Arrow · 36
Following Your Own Path

12. When Two Thieves Meet, They Need No Introduction · 39
Sharing in Community

13. The Build Goodness Temple · 41
Welcoming the Positive

14. Tame the First Lion · 45
Trying New Approaches

15. You Can’t Call it a Wooden Stool · 47
Making Tough Decisions

16. When the Moon Reaches the Window · 51
Setting Simple Goals

17. The Ultimate Teaching · 53
Remembering What Matters

II. Soothing Your Spirit

18. Tree Stumps · 59
Developing a Meditation Practice

19. Meditation in Action · 62
Bringing Presence Into Your Day

20. Make Every Place a Temple · 64
Creating a Home Altar

21. Be A Light Unto Yourself · 67
Slowing Down and Checking In

22. The Sound of One Hand Clapping · 70
Listening Meditation

23. The Mind is an Unruly Monkey · 73
Stilling the Mind

24. Donkey Milk · 76
Looking for Spiritual Teachers

25. The Summit is Obscured · 80
Cultivating Moments of Awareness

26. Sit in the Bodhi Seat · 83
Owning Your Power

27. Light Another’s Lamp and Your Own Path Brightens · 86
Being of Service

28. Riding an Ox While in Search of an Ox · 89
Recognizing Your True Nature

29. No Self, No Other · 92
Opening to Interconnection

30. Your Treasure is Within, Containing All You Need · 96
Remembering Who You Are

31. The Master’s Special Medicine · 100
Appreciating the Ordinary

32. Sun-faced Buddha, Moon-faced Buddha · 105
Valuing Your Time

33. A Drifting Fishing Line · 109
Meditating With Water in Nature

34. Boil Some Tea · 112
Developing a Mindfulness Ritual

35. Crawling Turtles · 116
Opening To What Comes

36. Dig Inside · 119
Practicing Internal Focus

37. Like An Arrow · 123
Walking Meditation Outdoors

III. Harnessing Your Mind

38. Worthy! · 129
Using Positive Mantras

39. A Fallen Flower Doesn’t Return to the Branch · 132
Being Here Now

40. Everyday Mind is the Way! · 134
Writing Little Poems

41. Go Wash Your Bowl! · 138
Taking Action to Change Your Mood

42. When To Pick Up Your Nose · 140
Laughter is the Best Medicine

43. Contentment is True Wealth · 145
Accessing Internal Wealth

44. Express your Mind Without Your Tongue · 148
Channeling Emotional Energy

45. Wisdom Shines Through Darkness · 151
Who (Not) To Spend Time With

46. Thusness · 154
Accepting What Is

47. Stuck Like Ice · 158
Moving the Bodymind

48. Baby Snake or Dragon? · 161
Embracing Strength and Vulnerability

49. Sometimes the Obstacle is the Path · 163
Acknowledging Any Benefits

50. A Lustrous Pearl in Your Hand · 168
Appreciating the Beauty Around You

51. Laughing Now · 171
Letting Your Emotions Flow

52. Bushido: The Way of the Warrior · 174
Coping with What Arises

53. The Essence · 177
Narrowing Your Focus

54. Your Nose · 180
Stepping Away from Your Routine

55. Losing Your Eyebrows · 183
Double-checking Your Habitual Thoughts

56. Heads and Tails · 186
Following Through

IV. Balancing and Nourishing Your Body

57. Drink Some Tea! · 191
Staying Hydrated

58. Three Pounds of Flax · 193
Keeping Things Moving

59. One Flavored Zen · 195
Deciding What to Eat

60. Flowers Planted When the Ground is Ready · 199
Using Aromatherapy

61. Try Not to Remember What I’m Saying · 203
Eating to Help Mental Focus

62. Bitter Taste, Good Medicine · 206
Taking Appropriate Herbs

63. A Mosquito On An Iron Bull · 208
Packing Small Meals

64. Stick a Needle In It! · 211
Feeling Better With Acupuncture

65. Burning the Buddha for Warmth · 214
Keeping Warm for Comfort

66. A Bee Doesn’t Return to an Old Hive · 217
Standing Tall For A Better View

67. Sky Above, Earth Below · 219
Taking In The Outdoors

68. No Goats or Hounds · 221
Enjoying Chocolate (Yes, Chocolate!)

69. The Taste of Salt · 223
Drinking Healthy Soup

70. Dragon’s Mouth · 226
Soothing Your Mouth and Lips

71. A Mere Grain of Rice · 229
Cooking Smart

72. Speaking Fire · 231
Easing Stomach Discomfort

73. Attaining the Marrow · 233
Soothing Broths and Stews

74. To Catch a Rabbit · 236
Bouncing Your Way to Better Health

75. Sleeping Zen · 239
Getting Adequate Sleep

76. A Picture of Cake · 242
Avoiding Sugar

V. Self-Healing Qigong Exercises

77. Water Wears Down the Hardest Rock · 249
Releasing Fear

78. Not Found in Understanding · 252
Acupoint Self-Massage for Calming and Sleep

79. Monkey Screeches · 255
Releasing Anger and Anxiety

80. When Mind and Body Become One You Are Free · 258
Cultivating Meditative Mind

81. No Consciousness in the Skull · 261
Breathing to Ground and Center

82. Hakuin’s Duck Egg · 264
Visualizing to Relax and Renew

83. Take What I Say As Dirty! · 267
Purifying Your Energy

84. Heaven and Hell · 271
Creating an Energetic Boundary

85. Draw Your Bow Before the Thief Runs · 274
Stretching for Bravery and Energy

86. Dragging A Cat · 279
Coping with Pain