Lotus in the Fire by Jim Bedard

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In 1995, Jim Bedard, a martial artist and Zen student, was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia and given ten days to live. This is the story of how he used his spiritual strength to bring himself into full contact with a death sentence as well as with painful medical treatment, including chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant. It is also the inspiring story of how the faith of his family, Zen teacher, close friends, and the Buddhist community helped him.

Bedard's story introduces us to Zen practices that can help us cope with emotional turmoil and physical pain. His words on compassion, on karma, on gratitude, on impermanence and the inevitability of death—all from a nonsmoking, meditating, aerobically fit vegetarian who became suddenly and "terminally" ill—are inspiring and sometimes funny. He explores, too, the fundamental question of suffering, its cause, and how the teachings of karma can help us accept illness, ultimately using it as an opportunity to deepen our spiritual lives.

About Jim Bedard

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Jim Bedard began practicing Zen meditation twenty-five years ago as a student of Roshi Philip Kapleau. He also studied martial arts for fifteen years and holds a fifth-degree black belt in karate. Since his bone marrow transplant in 1995, he has been in a state of remission from leukemia. He divides his time between a sales and marketing job and working at the Toronto Zen Centre. He lives in Bethany, Ontario.
Published February 9, 1999 by Shambhala. 208 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Religion & Spirituality, Law & Philosophy. Non-fiction

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In this remarkable document, Canadian writer Bedard tells how his Zen Buddhist faith helped him overcome terminal cancer.

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Spirituality & Practice

Throughout it all he relied on the love and support of his wife and four children, his spiritual teacher Sensei Sunyana Graef, his birth family, and the chanting services and other ceremonies held for him in Zen centers across the world.

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