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Special Karma: A Zen Novel of Love and Folly Paperback – November 2, 2011
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"Special Karma is a beautiful little book, and anyone interested in Zen practice viewed through a very personal lens will find value in it." - Philip Ryan, Tricycle Magazine
"I want to express my gratitude for Benezra's steady view of Zen practice--both its shining beauty and its shadows. Benezra has illuminated important topics in a well written, gripping novel." - Abbess Myoan Grace Schireson, author of Zen Women: Beyond Tea Ladies, Iron Maidens, and Macho Masters
"Special Karma is the only novel I know of that presents the theme of the sexual misconduct of a Zen master, a delicate subject Benezra handles with understatement and irony. I hope you will read Special Karma with as much pleasure as I have." - Sandy Boucher, author of Turning the Wheel: American Women Create the New Buddhism
"For anyone interested in the fine-print of spiritual life, Special Karma is special indeed, a wonderful picture of what it is like when the challenge is accepted and the implications of that invitation are, for better and for worse, embraced." - Genkaku Adam Fisher, author of Answer Your Love Letters: Footnotes to a Zen Practice
"It is my sincere hope that the continued dialogue prompted by such courageous and revelatory writing as Merry's will keep the pressure on." - Genjo Marinello, Abbot of Chobo-Ji, Seattle.
A wonderful evocation, Special Karma is part of the opening up of a desperately needed conversation about what is genuine in the "spiritual" quest - in Zen in particular. – Eric Storlie, author of Nothing on My Mind: Berkeley, LSD, Two Zen Masters, and a Life on the Dharma Trail
From the Back Cover
"Special Karma is a fascinating novel, of interest to anyone who has attempted to do meditation practice or follow a spiritual discipline, to anyone who has fallen in and out of young love. In it one experiences the intensity of life deeply apprehended, the attractiveness of a character who is both honest about and just slightly amused by the events of her life. Central to the story is the theme of a spiritual teacher (the Japanese Zen Roshi) who abuses his position by initiating sexual liaisons with his female students--and whose approaches to the protagonist, Iris, ultimately lead to her disillusionment about practicing Zen and living in a Zen center. Special Karma is the only novel I know of that presents the theme of the sexual misconduct of a Zen master. Benezra handles this delicate subject with an understatement and irony consistent with the thoughtful, personal tone of the whole book. I hope you will read Special Karma with as much pleasure as I have." - Sandy Boucher, author of Turning The Wheel: American Women Creating The New Buddhism
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