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Zen Rohatsu is the A to Z of Zen, as it is the backstory of why we meditate, live mindfully and have a spiritual practice. The Zazen Meditation combines the practice with mind and body from a 2,700 year old philosophy. It informs us of the potential enlightenment from suffering that historical Buddha experienced while sitting under a fig tree in ancient times. Meditation keeps us in the present with focus, equanimity and stress management.
Rohatsu is a spiritual practice of meditative zazen that occurs on the eighth day of the twelfth month on the Gregorian calendar. The meditation sessions, which focus on Zazen Meditation rather than scriptures or rituals, are celebrated for seven days in advance of December 8th by Zen practitioners all over the world. The Rohatsu days and nights are replicated enactments of how we think historical Buddha from the Shakyamuni tribe achieved enlightenment. It includes a look at why Buddha sat in front of that banyan fig tree known as a peepul tree in Bodh Gaya in India.
Zen is but one branch of the Buddhist tradition that emerged as a result of those eight days, many years ago before written word. This is the story of how the concept of Buddhist enlightenment emerged from the Buddha’s days on earth. Rohatsu is unique to Mahayana Zen — Japanese Zen which celebrates the Rohatsu experience. It is an introduction to the spiritual practice. We learn from the historical perspective in this book of what motivated Siddhartha’s experience and the men and women who ultimately expanded it globally to share the core concepts. Buddha was a man, not a deity, who found his enlightenment and set his path, avoiding suffering by controlling his thoughts and desires. Buddha always replied, according to ancient verbal communications, “I am awake.”
Zen Rohatsu Reviews from Readers’ Favorite:
If you are interested in learning about Zen Buddhism, this book is for you. Rohatsu commemorates the enlightenment of the Gautama Buddha. Buddha taught that one can avoid suffering by controlling their thoughts and desires. Zen opens a portal to view life in the present. It is a spiritual path. In Zen Rohatsu, Nora D’Ecclesis shares the history of Zen Buddhism and some of its more famous leaders. Buddha’s teachings deal with the Middle Path. Following Buddha teaches that materialism is not what gives life meaning. I found it very interesting that this book contained information about Ignatius Loyola and Francis Xavier and their spiritual transformation. The Jesuits adopted much of Buddhism and took it to the rest of the world. The monk, Bodhidharma, is known as The Father of Zen.
The central teachings of Buddhism are the Four Noble Truths that Buddha found while he sought enlightenment. These are followed by the Eightfold Path. Both concepts are discussed and explained in Zen Rohatsu by Nora D’Ecclesis. The Four Noble Truths are as follows: 1) life means suffering, 2) the origin of suffering is attachment and desire, 3) the cessation of suffering is attainable, and 4) there is a path to the cessation of suffering. To reach the cessation of suffering, one must follow the Eightfold Path until one achieves the Middle Path. Buddhism also elevated women to an equal footing with men in meditation. While there is a physical distinction between men and women, according to Bankei, the Buddha Mind makes no distinction. Nora also writes about the connection between Buddhism, the Tea Ceremony, and Haiku. This book covers the basics of Buddhism.
-Philip Van Heusen
With the rising influence of social media and the advent of a major global pandemic, there has been a drastic increase in anxiety, stress, and other mental health disorders among the general populace. One of the most proven and effective ways to combat stress and negate those harmful disorders is through meditation. Zen Rohatsu by Nora D’Ecclesis is a thorough study of meditation and other Zen practices to help readers develop their understanding and knowledge of a sect of Buddhism that can guide them on the path to enlightenment. In this book, D’Ecclesis discusses the origins and spread of Zen Buddhism and its practice throughout the world and how it became a source of comfort to people seeking peace and fulfillment.
Japanese Zen Buddhists commemorate the enlightenment of the historical Buddha with a celebration on the eighth day of the twelfth month of the Gregorian calendar. Nora D’Ecclesis gives an in-depth account of its origins, going back in history to retell the story of Gautama Buddha during his days in Bodh Gaya, India, and gives a detailed explanation of the Four Noble Truths and the Steps of the Eightfold Path. She also provides a short account of Bodhidharma, the patriarch, and Father of Zen. This short book is not only informative but also illuminating because it showcases the rich history and influence of Zen Buddhism, a practice that has given so many people clarity and meaning in their lives. I found Zen Rohatsu to be a fascinating read and highly recommend it.
Zen Rohatsu entails intensive meditation sessions in which the people practicing Zen dedicate all their waking time to meditation, which is the acme of Zen. Unlike most practices of meditation that only emphasize spirituality, Zen Rohatsu also focuses on mindfulness and intuitiveness. Zen is a Japanese branch of Buddhism that has been in existence for approximately 2,700 years. Rohatsu refers to the eighth day of the twelfth month, which is considered a sacred holiday of zazen (sitting) meditation. How did Zen come to be? Who conceived the practice of meditation and mindfulness? Nora D’Ecclesis answers these and any other questions you may have on Zen (and Buddhism) in her book Zen Rohatsu. She also addresses the benefits of Zen meditation and mindfulness and shares detailed techniques for practicing Zen meditation.
Nora D’Ecclesis plunged me into the spiritual realm of Buddhism, detailing the birth of Zen, the life of Buddha (Siddhartha Gautama), and the spread of Zen, all the way to mindfulness and spirituality. She presents her thoughts and ideas in a chronological format in fourteen chapters. She outlines her ideas from a historical and transcendental point of view. Through the insights provided in Zen Rohatsu, I was led to fully grasp and appreciate the core values of Zen, which emphasize achieving control over thoughts and desires to avoid suffering. I learned interesting facts about important Buddhist deities, Buddhism’s (Zen’s) history, and more. Despite being of royal blood and enjoying royal privilege, Buddha (Siddhartha Gautama) was motivated to search for the meaning of life and to practice mindfulness. You will find this a great read if you are trying to wrap your head around the whole concept of Zen and its practice.
In her well-researched book Zen Rohatsu, author Nora D’Ecclesis uses the historical approach and develops a hermeneutic work on Zen Buddhism that’s simple enough for a beginner but is also deep enough for the seasoned practitioner. It’s based on important and significant figures, events, teachings, practices, traditions, and concepts that served as the foundation that built up the universe of Buddhism as it evolved and established itself as one of the world’s largest religions and philosophical traditions. She begins by leading the reader through a guided visualization of Zen Meditation or Zazen, before providing background information on Rohatsu and explaining why it is observed on December 8th. She then discusses the founder, Gautama Buddha, and his extremely intriguing life. She also speaks of the most important and influential figures who followed him, how the religion diversified into various schools of thought after Buddha’s passing, and the key elements of each branch. The book also has a chapter on Haiku poetry, which is a creative writing discipline that best represents Buddhism because of its ability to be poignant and to evoke a wide range of emotions and thoughts that can lead to a larger feeling or idea, despite the required brevity. The book’s last chapters speak about mindfulness and spirituality, Zen Meditation practices, and a short discourse on her own religious experience and journey as a follower and practitioner of the Zazen.
Even though the book has a simple cover that depicts the austere beauty of a Zen Garden, its content and substance go way beyond being simply informative. Nora D’Ecclesis subtly touches on pertinent topics by using significant facts, dates and events, and observations. For example, by bringing up the point that the predecessor of Tibetan Buddhism was a woman, she ultimately tells us that enlightenment transcends gender. And with her eloquent discussion about the “Unborn Mind”, she is able to clearly explain how our prejudices are a result of learned delusions that polluted our originally unbiased and unattached disposition at birth. Her historical approach helps the reader realize that teachings on compassion for animals have been in existence even before 227 BC. Without much use of high-sounding or flowery language, D’Ecclesis effectively explains Buddhism’s profound and important principles and values. Her book addresses a belief system and a way of life that remains necessary and relevant. This book also serves as an exposition of timeless and adaptable universal truths that teach us to follow a trusted pathway to peace in the midst of a very chaotic and destructive modern-day rat race. Zen Rohatsu is brilliant and delightful and is definitely a treasure trove of useful facts and insights to learn from and reflect on. I’m quite grateful that I had the opportunity to read this amazing book. Highly recommended.
The non-judgmental acceptance of the feelings that emerge in our thoughts and emotions, in the present, manifests into a lifelong mindful practice. The similarities of the various modalities found around the world to practice mindfulness are more numerous than the differences in some cases than the activities of a culture. They are passed down from generation to generation with the name of the activity rather than the more trending term of mindfulness. Make no mistake, the names change from countries and cultures around the globe, but the intention is identical. Join me on a journey of how mindfulness exists in other cultures with the diversity and of the way things are done in other countries to formulate a lifestyle of staying in the present.
Click here to purchase Multicultural Mindfulness: Nourishing The Soul in ebook format
In 2019 Blacktone Publishing purchased Spiritual Portals: A Historical Perspective, to produce an Audio Book. Spiritual Portals is professionally narrated by Award winning narrator for Blackstone, Ann Richardson. The Audio is available November 12, 2019. Also in 2019 Spiritual Portals won the New Apple Literary Award as the Solo Medalist in Spirituality and International Book Award for Best Cover.
Click here to purchase Spiritual Portals in audio format
Spirituality is a uniquely individual experience resulting from an introspective assessment of the moral, ethical and compassionate components of our lives. It includes the non-materialistic aspects of life. Exploring one’s spirituality is a transformative process of the core need for solitude and includes ethical and moral choices. A human’s true self experiences personal growth during the contemplative process usually resulting in a more compassionate existence for themselves and others who they interact with during their lifetime. This book provides an in depth view to techniques, methodology and most importantly the history of modalities selected to bring the reader toward a more spiritual existence without or in combination with faith-based religions. The spiritual component to our daily lives is always a transformative path intended to create change as a result of spiritual practice.
Challenging situations will always arise and stress in certain situations can be a healthy way to keep us focused on handling a problem or accomplishing a task. However, once the challenge is over, many bodies fail to return to a restful state because we are so accustomed to stress and anxiety. In order to accomplish this baseline of tranquility, we must immerse ourselves in activities that bring about this state of rest. A technique that has proven to be especially effective in the area of stress reduction is meditation through guided visualizations.
Awareness of tick-borne diseases is critical in order to prevent an increase in incidence of the disabling conditions that accompany them. Tick-Borne is a comprehensive identification and explanation of the various diseases in the United States transmitted by tick bites and known to medical science to date.
Twin Flame is a blending of views about faith, love and perseverance from a universal spiritual perspective. The fiction chapters are interwoven with introspective analysis of how all twin flames endure the process as they quest toward equanimity. The narration includes insights from her expertise in Zen, meditation, Reiki and Christianity. The book embraces the concept that there is a higher plan for everyone and that twin flames are created long before birth.
I am thankful for….with deep gratitude…. On a daily basis begin to think of every good thing someone you met along the way has done for you or others. Feel the gratitude for those acts of kindness deep in your heart. Take an introspective journey with me and commit to a weekly gratitude journal. The format of this book is to give the reader a few starting ideas on how and why to keep a gratitude log and then to personalize it. Gratitude enables us to embrace equanimity which is, in simple terms, a more balanced life.
Haiku does not require any special technique or equipment like most art. The simple tools of pen and paper enable anyone anywhere to be a poet. Haiku is three short little lines in a small poem that speaks volumes about how we think when viewing nature. We connect our true feelings of things in nature with a hint of the season and how we perceive it. Once touched by the words in the haiku poem our feelings flow in free association. Haiku is seeing beauty in nature and then expressing it in the written word describing how we feel about it.
Coloring creates an environment to de-stress and stay in the present. For optimal quality of life we should find ways to control stress in our lives. Chronic stress decreases the quality of our lives, therefore we should eliminate at least some of our daily disquietude in order to approach our lives with equanimity and a calm perspective. A coloring book experience is a major tool to achieve this goal.
The Retro Budget Journal is a companion to our bestselling 2014 release, The Retro Budget Prescription. This journal will give you a clear depiction of where your money is going and puts you in control of your financial health. Twelve monthly budget worksheets are included, as well as straightforward insight into the realities of personal finance.
Lock Your Door presents a system of using a written journal that contains all of the information necessary to easily find and retrieve passwords and allocates space to change a password a minimum of four times a year. If you prefer written to online storage of your information, this is the system for you.
If there were 28 hours in a day what would you do with the extra time? Is it the same thing you would do with the first 24 hours? If you are not happy with your current organizational skills this book will show you an alternate path. Join me on a journey of minor fine tuning that will result in a more productive schedule and less stress.
Skillful personal finance is an essential element of stress management. The ‘Retro Budget Prescription’ offers everyone a clear, concise, and down-to-earth look at how to succeed with everyday finances. This book offers help for every age and uses excellent examples to accomplish your goals. A quick and educational look at money matters.
Nora D’Ecclesis recently a guest on The C.A.P. Podcast to discuss The Retro Budget Prescription. Click here to play.
Building a balanced life begins with eliminating stressful habits while cultivating good actions. “Mastering Tranquility” is a guide to the uplifting practices that have helped countless people manage and overcome the debilitating effects of stress. It is a companion for anyone who wants to adapt to the many anxieties, fears, and worries encountered in everyday life by pursuing fulfillment through revitalizing activities.
The practice of Reiki with another person creates healing for both. Healing occurs as we allow ourselves to be the conduit for the universal spiritual wisdom of Reiki. Reiki empowers us as a stress management technique.