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Book details
  • Genre:SELF-HELP
  • SubGenre:Personal Growth / Happiness
  • Language:English
  • Pages:176
  • eBook ISBN:9781667898995
  • Paperback ISBN:9781667898988

The Intimacy of Not Knowing

Finding Your Truth With Zen Koans

by Chris Wilson

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The book provides any intellectually-curious person with a description of how Zen Koans are used to diminish mental suffering. Koans, sometimes called "Zen riddles" are paradoxical teaching stories that can trigger Buddhist enlightenment. The book discusses how responding to koans does not allow wordy explanations but leads the aspiring student to demonstrate their grasp of a given koan bodily, through physical actions and gestures. It is designed to give its readers a sense of the benefits of working with koans; even if they are not Buddhists and do not meditate.
This book is is entitled, "The Intimacy of Not Knowing: Finding Your Truth with Zen Koans". In koan training, the student is not allowed to offer verbal explanations but must respond with bodily actions that show, rather than say, what they have learned from each koan. The book treats 14 koans that illustrate the Zen view of the mind-body relationship. The book does not provide traditional "answers" to koans, but does suggest bodily approaches that can generate breakthrough insights into the true nature of that relationship, thus revealing our hidden true nature in a way that transforms our view of the world and our own lives. The resultant wisdom can diminish our anxiety and mental suffering. The book concludes with simple exercises to help anyone who has dabbled with mindfulness techniques get a sense of the mental freedom promised by Zen. This should should be of interest to people following the current developments in neuroscience that are affecting Western philosophy and psychology by revealing that bodily feelings and emotions can't be separated from our exercise of reason.
About the author
Christopher Wilson has been a practicing Zen Buddhist for 56 years. He has completed the koan curriculum of the Sanbo Zen and Pacific Zen Institute training programs. He was educated at Stanford University and Yale Law School. He is a retired attorney and a former investment banker and software executive. His wife and he have four grown children and nine grand children. He lives in Mill Valley in Northern California.