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Mad Monk Shozan Jack Haubner

A "punk of a monk" dishes on the trials and tribulations of monastic life in his new book, Zen Confidential.

Practice
Zen practice is good for angry people. The form is tight. It squeezes that deep red heart pulp, pushing up emotions from way down inside you. A lot of “stuff” comes up when you do this practice. Zen gets your juices flowing. And with these juices come seeds—the seeds of your behavior, your character, your anger, all flushed out into the open for you to see.None of this happens in a vacuum. Zen is a group practice, but the thing about groups is that they’re made up of people, and we all know what people are like. So not only does Zen practice flush your issues out into the open, it flushes them into the “container” of your relationships with fellow monks and nuns. Energies and issues that had no discernible dimension within you are externalized and embodied with the “help” of your peers, one of whom, say, unwittingly takes on the form of your stepmother, who once bullied and humiliated you. Meanwhile, to this peer you represent the weakness and stupidity within himself that for more than 30 years he has felt the compulsive need to stamp out, as his father once tried to stamp it out of him. Only neither o …

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