Turning Suffering Inside Out: A Zen Approach for Living with Physical and Emotional Pain

Shambhala Publications

Darlene Cohen discovered the secret to finding happiness in the midst of debilitating pain. She shares her knowledge in her popular workshops and now in this book. Cohen, who has suffered from rheumatoid arthritis for eighteen years, was hobbling painfully to her local Zen center one day, when she made a discovery that changed her life: if she focused on the foot that was in the air rather than the one that was hitting the pavement, her stamina increased enormously. It was the beginning of a completely different approach to the crippling pain that had beset her for so long. As she demonstrates here, this approach can be expanded to all types of pain: physical, psychological, and spiritual.

Cohen—a certified massage and movement therapist and Zen teacher—proposes a radically liberating alternative to the usual desperate search for pain relief: paradoxically, she says, release from suffering lies in paying closer attention to it. When we keep pain at bay, we keep pleasure at bay, too. The two are interdependent, and our ability to experience each is totally dependent on our understanding of the other.

"Enrich your life exponentially," Cohen advises. If your pain is one of the ten things you are aware of, then it constitutes a tenth of your total awareness. Expand your awareness to a hundred things, however, and your pain is only a hundredth of your awareness. With stories, strategies, exercises, and an awareness born of long Zen practice, Cohen shows us how to tap into that enrichment—and how we can lead a satisfying and even joyful life in the very midst of pain.

This book was published in hardcover under the title Finding a Joyful Life in the Heart of Pain.
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About the author

Darlene Cohen is a Zen teacher who counsels chronic pain clients and gives arthritis workshops, classes, lectures, and pain seminars in private practice and at medical facilities and meditation centers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, as well as Spokane, Washington, and Evanston, Illinois. She is author of Arthritis: Stop Suffering, Start Moving—Everyday Exercises for Body and Mind.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Shambhala Publications
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Published on
Oct 8, 2002
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Pages
272
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ISBN
9780834828650
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Language
English
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Genres
Health & Fitness / Healing
Health & Fitness / Pain Management
Medical / Holistic Medicine
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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The intense pressure of daily life gets to everyone eventually-we are all just too stressed out. The demands of modern lives-job, relationships, children, housework, exercise, meals, even spiritual fulfillment-combine to overwhelm and weigh us down. We seem to get through this struggle day by day, week by week, praying that we have the fortitude to survive until the next weekend, the next vacation, when we can totally crash. Along with the daily stress comes the edgy realization that despite all the effort we've made, we still don't have what we want. Even when everything seems caught up, contentment still eludes us. Author Darlene Cohen seeks to rejuvenate the weary professional, busy parent, and harried student by offering a path on which to walk away from exhausted frustration toward a holistic approach to time management. The One Who Is Not Busy introduces two fundamental and specific skills to make this happen: the ability to narrow or widen the mind's focus at will the mental flexibility to shift the mind's focus at will from one thing to another: to go from "narrow" to "narrow" to "narrow" Sound impossible? This is the notion of simultaneous inclusion. In The One Who Is Not Busy, Cohen illustrates that a person could be both busy and not busy at the same time by following six busy professionals through this unique process. Cohen affirms that it is learning to be simultaneously "busy" and "not busy" by living the principles of simultaneous inclusion that will allow us to experience work-and the rest of our lives-in a deeply meaningful way. In a culture that rewards only the final product, many professionals find themselves always looking to the next project, the next reward, the next vacation. Learn how to focus on the present, and stop missing what is right in front of you. Darlene Cohen, M.A., LMT, earned her graduate degree in physiological psychology and spent the majority of her Zen training-thirty years-as a laywoman. After developing rheumatoid arthritis, she became a movement teacher for people with joint restrictions, and was then certified as a massage and movement teacher. Currently, she sees clients and gives workshops, classes, lectures, and seminars that emphasize mindfulness, at various medical and meditation centers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, Washington State, Illinois, and New York City.
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