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Book Study



Book Study, Summer, 2014

Every summer we have a group book study at ZCOC. The purpose is to read and discuss a book together, after our regular sitting schedule, with emphasis upon its relationship to our own lives and practice.

Click below to purchase the book on Amazon (the Zen Center receives a small portion of your purchases):


Most Intimate
A Zen Approach to Life’s Challenges
by Pat Enkyo O’Hara



Dates for 2014:  4 Sundays, July 13 to Aug.3


Book Study Schedule

  • We will read about 30 pages per session.
  • If you do not have time, try to read the chapter which in bold and italics type.
  • Our study guide this year will be the meditation and writing exercises at the end of each chapter, especially for the bolded chapter.
# Date Pages Titles
1 July 13 1—31 Foreword by Joan Halifax

Introduction:  What is Zen?

Chap. 1: Becoming Intimate with Yourself

Chap. 2:  Relationship:  You and Me and the Spaces


2 July 20 33—71 Chap. 3:  Sex:  Close, Closer, Closest

Chap. 4:  Living in the Suffering World:  Lotus in

the Fire

Chap. 5:  Anger:  Harnessing the Energy

3 July 27 73–94 Chap. 6:  Healing:  The Universal Medicine

Chap. 7:  Work:  The One Who Is Not Busy

4 Aug. 3 95–124 Chap. 8:  Death and Dying:  Life and Death Are of

Supreme Importance

Chap. 9:  Making Peace with Loss:  Entering the

Tiger’s Cave

Chap. 10:  Joy:  Moment-to-Moment Possibility

Evening Schedule

5:00 to 5:30…..Zazen/meditation

5:30 to 5:40…..Walking meditation

5:40 to 6:10…..Zazen/meditation*

6:10 to 6:20…..Walking meditation

6:20 to 7:00…..Book Study

7:00 to 7:30…..Optional tea & social

*For those who are not regular practitioners, the program will begin at 5:30 pm with 30 minutes of meditation, followed by the book study and optional social. Brief meditation instruction will be given at 5 pm at the first session.


The program is free of charge to ZCOC Practitioners.

For those who are not Practitioners, the fee is $100 and registration is below.

For Friends of the Center who have attended previous programs, the fee is $60.

Suggestions for Participation in the Book Study

You may choose to participate in the book study in a number of ways. The summer book study is designed to be flexible, so practitioners may come to all or some of the sessions. The chapters can “stand alone” and do not have to be read sequentially.  If you are participating, please bring your book and place it under your mat in the Zendo.

Full: Do all readings in advance, prepare written responses to the questions and participate actively in the discussion.

Part: If you are not able to do all of the reading, read what what you wish. You may wish to prepare responses to the discussion questions which pertain to the sections you read. If you have not been able to do any reading for a particular evening, you may attend as usual, listen and participate as you wish.

What if I don’t want to participate?

Practitioners who choose not to participate in the book study are encouraged to continue their practice as usual. You are welcome to come for Zazen, work practice, and individual instruction. You may also attend the book study sessions, listen to the discussion, and stay for optional tea and social.

Registration ($100) for those who are not ZCOC Practitioners:

For those who are not regular practitioners, the Book Study Program will begin at 5:30 pm with 30 minutes of meditation, followed by the book study. Optional tea and social is from 7:00 to 7:30 pm. Brief meditation instruction will be given at 5 pm at the first session on July 7.

Book Study in Recent Years:









Ending the Pursuit of Happiness: A Zen Guide  Warm Smiles from Cold Mountains: Dharma Talks on Zen Meditation On Zen Practice: Body, Breath, and Mind

How to Raise an Ox: Zen Practice as Taught in Master Dogen’s Shobogenzo

You Have to Say Something

The Art of Just Sitting, Second Edition: Essential Writings on the Zen Practice of Shikantaza

Mindful Politics: A Buddhist Guide to Making the World a Better Place

The Mind of Clover: Essays in Zen Buddhist Ethics

Previous Book Studies


ZCOC has recommended reading under  ”Getting Started” at the left menu tab.

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