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Bringing Zen HomeThe Healing Heart of Japanese Women's Rituals$
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Paula Arai

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780824835354

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824835354.001.0001

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Mapping the Terrain

Mapping the Terrain

(p.1) Chapter 1 Mapping the Terrain
Bringing Zen Home

Paula Arai

University of Hawai'i Press

This book examines the ritualized activities of mature and devoted Japanese Buddhist women and their significance to a Sōtō Zen mode of living. Drawing on interviews with twelve Zen laywomen, the book explores a domestic aspect of Zen that is ripe with wisdom for responding to a host of everyday challenges, difficulties, and fears. It describes the Way of healing, a paradigm of healing rooted in Zen Buddhism and particularly the teachings of Dōgen, and shows that healing rituals are a catalyst for powerful healing experiences among Buddhist women. It considers how Zen Buddhist rituals allow people to cope with various emotional and psychological needs as they respond to the inevitable challenges of human existence such as love, loss, birth and death, and the longing to belong. The book also discusses the healing power of beauty as an integral component of domestic Zen, along with the concept of personal Buddha for dealing with loss and grief.

Keywords:   ritual, Sōtō Zen, Japanese Buddhist women, wisdom, healing, Zen Buddhism, healing, beauty, domestic Zen, Buddha

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