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"This book is at once a love letter to Zen practice and a critique of late twentieth century American Zen. Judith inspires us to investigate our own karmic knots, and in the middle of this suffering, she invites us to walk quietly down to the neighborhood pond and take a cooling dip in the moonlight." --Natalie Goldberg, author of Writing Down the Bones, and many other booksUntangling Karma is a memoir of accepting and healing personal trauma, both on and off the meditation cushion. Author Judith Ragir, an American Zen teacher, has used her spiritual practice to overcome anger and self-imposed isolation and become more loving. In Buddhism, the personal and the systemic are interwoven. If we are to heal from trauma, we need to find and face our deeply held, often hidden pain. Because we have been raised in a society of greed, aggression, and confused values, this is something we all must do, regardless of our ethnic or racial background.Ragir lets fall the stereotypical cool, calm Zen teacher's demeanor to reveal her complicated, emotional self. She discusses what she has done to find greater inner peace as well as the personal impacts of transferring an Eastern philosophy onto her Western mind and applying a male-inspired monastic model to herself as an American woman, Jew, and mother. Untangling Karma is at once a love letter to Zen Buddhism and a critique of turn-of-the-century American Zen.If we can be bold when facing our personal pain and traumatic experiences, says Ragir, and curious about our own karmic histories, then we can help build a more inclusive, healing-focused, 21st-century Buddhism.
About the Author
Judith Ragir is a Dharma teacher in the Zen lineage of Katagiri Roshi. She cofounded Clouds in Water Zen Center in St. Paul, Minnesota, where she was the Guiding Teacher for nine years and is currently Senior Dharma Teacher Emeritus. An accomplished artist, Ragir dedicates her quilting and calligraphic work to the exploration of Zen. Her short pieces have appeared in many anthologies, including Zen Teachings in Challenging Times, The Hidden Lamp, The Path of Compassion, and Receiving the Marrow. She Lives in Marine on St. Croix, Minnesota.