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Lotus in the Fire Paperback – Feb 9 1999


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Shambhala; 1 edition (Feb. 9 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1570624305
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570624308
  • Product Dimensions: 1.6 x 14.6 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 281 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #180,208 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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I kept wanting him to quit this brutal fight. Something for me to look at. Well written. Shone fresh light on the concept of Karma in action for me. Had borrowed a friends copy for my first reading and decided I needed to buy it so I could spend mor time with this real story.
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By Amy VG TOP 500 REVIEWER on March 26 2010
Format: Paperback
Wow. What an amazing book. I am so glad the author Jim Bedard shared his experience. The book was so moving, so heartfelt. I practice Buddhism, not Zen, more simply Vipassana, however, the faith he has is so real and so strong, I truly believe his experiences and he has completely inspired me. Thank you Jim!
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Format: Paperback
One of the poems quoted in this book, which begins the Ninth Chapter, goes in part as follows: "All night long / I cannot sleep. / Rising and sitting, / I think a thousand thoughts... / Only by observing / the state where there is no birth / can I remove these teardrops / from the wet sleeves of my robe." These eight simple lines form the essence of the message of this book, based upon the 1995 experiences of a Canadian Zen practitioner, Jim Bedard, who was diagonosed with acute myeloide leukemia (AML) and given ten days to live. It is the story of how he used his Zen practice to bring himself into full contact with the inevitability of his own death while at the same time having to deal with painful medical treatments which included a bone marrow transplant and life taxing chemotherapy.
While the experiences written about in this book explain how this one man used his exposure and grounding in the spiritual practice of Zen Buddhism to help him get through his unthinkable physical ordeal, the alert reader will notice that spiritual practice, whatever it may by, can not only help us transcend such trials in our lives, but also help us to understand and experience our practice in a deeper and more profound way such that it becomes a life transforming event in itself.
What Jim Bedard's experience of fighting AML taught him and what he struggled to understand were the very truths he had worked with in Zen, only this time in a life-threatening, three dimensional way. At one point he admits that, "Each of us had to do the work of awakening to our true Mind by ourselves; no one was going to do it for us."
He was in essence put up against a solid wall, his own mortality, and asked to look inside himself for the key to his release.
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Format: Paperback
How each of us faces our individual life challenges varies for we are as individual as our ventures. This is the story of one man's unanticipated journey into and through an unexpected illness, namely leukemia and the hidden treasures of his experience. The rollercoaster of mental, emotional, physical and spiritual change called for his attention all at once.
The indignations of procedures and reactions are vividly recalled. He tells of the everyday back and forth torment of his inner dialogue from his human state of suffering, feelings, thoughts and sensations, etc. to the divine acceptance of taking refuge in his Zen practices. The reader is riveted with attention as he weaves back and forth ackowledging the human suffering and then expanding to other realms of existence where he gained new insights from the perspective of the ill and the divine.
His continuing responsibilities and concerns about his family along with their daily adjustments and his brother's ultimate gift in the form of a bone marrow transplant are part of this engaging story. Their watch at his bedside and his mother's strong faith became anchors of strength along with the stoic presence of his father and other siblings.
His illness becomes his spiritual practice while he continues to touch lives from his hospital bed. Encounters with the terminally ill and their families and his extending of unconditional love to them by example is evident as they are allowed glimpses into the life of a devoted buddhist practitioner. He sets up his own altar in his hospital room as his spiritual practices sustain him. He engages the bodhisattvic vows which culminate in his gradual transition from the hell realms back into the world transformed in the midst of his critical illness.
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By A Customer on Nov. 3 1999
Format: Paperback
I am at 15 year old homschooled girl in Maryland. I have been researching buddhism for the past few months. I stumbled across this book in the library while doing a research project. I havent stoped reading it since. This book touched me in a religious and emotional way. My entire family is suffering from a number of illnesses and operations of our family memebers. This book gave me a better idea of what it is like for my relatives in this rough time. Plus i learned alot about Zen Buddhism and a little bit of medical info. I sudjested this book to everyone in my house so that they too can be more accepting of our families diffuculites.
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By A Customer on June 16 1999
Format: Paperback
This is the most moving book I have read in some time. It sums up what courage and faith are all about. The personal flavor of the writing made it impossible for me to put down once I started it. While it is written from a Zen Buddhist perspective, it doesn't matter what your faith is. Anyone can relate to this story. I read it shortly before my mother died and it gave me the courage to face the ordeal of her passing away. For that I am eternally grateful to Mr. Bedard. Thank you for such a wonderful, uplifitng story in this day and age.
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