Buddha on Infidelity

Sexual misconduct creates suffering. Period. Whether we are the ones engaging in it or are the victims of it, everyone involved suffers. Marriage & intimacy_Nancy OHara_July-14To understand just how corrosive and harmful this is to forming a true partnership and how it interferes with an intimate connection to another person, we only have to look at our own community and perhaps our own family and friends. Who doesn’t know someone who has been affected by the misuse and abuse of sex? 2,600 years ago, Buddha, a human being just like you and me, knew how destructive such behavior could be: it is number one on his list of five hindrances and number three on his list of ten precepts. The good news is that he also prescribed a way out of our suffering and offered us a clear path to liberation from our suffering and from our own misbehaviors.

The first of the five hindrances that Buddha warned us about is lustful desires. The first of the three poisons is greed. And the first of the four noble truths of Buddhism is Dukkha, which is often translated as suffering. In The Dhammapada, a concise collection of Buddha’s teachings, he said: “Lust and greed ruin the mind as weeds ruin fields.” This is an image that we can all relate to and have probably at one time or another experienced for ourselves.

So, if we have been a victim or a perpetrator of infidelity, how can Buddhism help us today in the twenty-first century to understand, cope, and deal with it? How can we move from ill-will, hatred or anger (the second hindrance) toward our self or our partner, to healing and forgiveness? … Read more

*This article first appeared in the July 2014 issue of Complete Wellbeing magazine.

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Seppo’s Potato Salad

It’s summertime, which in my house means lots of salads with farm fresh vegetables, corn on the cob and veggie burgers. Or salmon on the grill when we’re in the country.

Threebowlscover

And what is a real summer meal without good old-fashioned potato salad? Here’s a version that I haven’t made in a while, but definitely will in August when we’re vacationing in Vermont. I can almost taste it now!

Seppo’s Potato Salad Recipe

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Only 2 Weeks Left!

KILLING SACRED

Killing Sacred, the second installment in the Alex Sullivan mystery series, is set to be released in two weeks time!

If you haven’t already downloaded the chapter reveal, check it out here!

Pre-order Killing Sacred for a special price of $1.99 from iBooks or Barnes & Noble  before it goes on sale for the regular price of $4.99. This is the second book in the Alex Sullivan Zen Mystery series.

 

Last, but not least, if you missed the first book in the series, One Hand Killing, now’s your chance to catch up for free! For a limited time, download One Hand Killing from AmazoniBooksBarnes & Noble, or Kobo Books.

 

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Who Are We Without Our Dreams?

There are so many things in my life that I never would have experienced or accomplished without first having the dream. To name just a few: writing books; living alone in Paris for a summer; becoming a life coach and working for myself; creating a loving, lasting, intimate relationship; cycling through Ireland and Mallorca.

Cycling Warrior

My husband, Michael, just satisfied a lifelong dream of his and as his partner I am so proud and in awe of what he did. Here’s a note from him about this and some cool pictures to look at. At 65, he was the oldest guy out there, but not the last one up every mountain!

Michael: Last month I fulfilled a life long dream of cycling some of the iconic mountain passes of the Tour de France. In fact, it was so dreamlike that after getting off the plane in Geneva and traveling up into the snow capped Alps of Switzerland and France, it took nearly a week for the fact that I was actually there to sink in and become real.

I have done some outrageously satisfying adventures in my life that started out as seemingly insurmountable and intimidating challenges, but this trip ranks high as an epic undertaking of an unimaginable accomplishment and completion.

The sheer beauty of the place, and the beauty of the effort was life changing. I am really grateful to Nancy, who also exercised enormous endurance in supporting me while I followed through on this challenge!

Click here to see more photos of Michael’s trip

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Mindful Quotes for July

On an unfamiliar road,IMG_0462
Don’t pretend you’re
Not lost.
Just ask where you are:
It’s a real shortcut.
Japanese Folk Zen Saying

“We ought to listen to music or sit and practice breathing at the beginning of every meeting or discussion.”
Thich Nhat Hanh

“Zen is not some kind of excitement, but concentration on our usual everyday routine.”
Shunryu Suzuki

Live in this moment.
The starry sky is just there—
Where else can you be?
Nancy O’Hara

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Killing Sacred Chapter Reveal!

NancyOHara_KillingSacred_8x5_eResFINAL

With Killing Sacred’s release less than one month away, I have an additional treat for all current (and new!) fans: I’m revealing the fourth chapter in this newest book, which is available for pre-order now!

Here’s the setup:

Desperate to put some distance between herself and New York City and to recover from a freak bicycle crash, NYPD Detective Alex Sullivan flees to Albuquerque. As soon as the wheels of her plane touch down, the bodies begin to drop.

Far from the sanctuary she was seeking, Alex finds herself isolated in a hot, desolate landscape surrounded by scorpions, rattlers and all things venomous. Under the ferocious sun of New Mexico’s endless deserts, Alex is tested by the hellfire of a sinister cult and her head injury makes chasing bad guys a high-risk gamble. How in the world will she survive the heat?

And don’t forget to get a FREE copy now of the first book in the series, One Hand Killing, also for a limited time.

Download Killing Sacred’s Chapter 4 and Enjoy!

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Free and Almost Free! Pre-order Now!

Killing Sacred

Be the first to read it!

$1.99 for a limited time!

Preorder your ebook copy now from

iBooks

Barnes & Noble

Before it goes on sale for the regular price of $4.99.

 This is the second book in the Alex Sullivan Zen Mystery series.

KILLING SACRED

One Hand Killing

Download a FREE copy now

iBooks

Barnes & Noble

Kobo Books

If you missed the first in the series,

or want to read the new, improved, rewritten and reedited version,

here’s your chance!

Before it goes back on sale for the regular price of $4.99.

NancyOHara_OneHandKilling_large

 

Foundations Photo

View My Amazon Page

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View My Goodreads Page

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Almost Ready!

I got my box of books today to send out to the forty Goodreads Giveaway winners. The writing of them seems like a distant memory. And now I know once again: there’s more to writing than just writing!Box of Books

It’s hard to believe I had the idea for this series so long ago and now there are two. Alex, the main character—NYPD Detective and erstwhile Zen student—keeps nagging at me to write the third one. I think she wants to stay in New York City this time. And Uncle Charlie has been whispering sweet nothings as well. I can’t decide if I should kill him off or give him his own book.

The next five weeks, leading up to the release of book #2, Killing Sacred, will be full of promotional surprises: freebies, sneak peaks, special prices…

I’ve never sent a child off to college, but I imagine it might feel something like what I’m feeling now. One good thing: if I get lonely once Killing Sacred is on its way to readers, I’ll always be able to create another book. And since my writing group started up again this month, I’ll get started soon as these books are in the mail…

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Mindful Quotes for June

“All of man’s woes derive from the fact that he cannot sit quietly in a room alone.”AbtLNw1207JFManRE3W4pkP72LKEPMMhRHeMzq2mJzI
Blaise Pascal

 

“As long as you are conscious of yourself, you can never concentrate on anything.”
Buddha (by way of Walpola Rahula)

 

“Practice not-doing, and everything will fall into place.”
Lao-tzu

 

“Real strength is not in power, money, or weapons, but in deep, inner peace.”
Thich Nhat Hahn

 

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Mindfulness in Motion

This week I received a lovely email from a reader thanking me for my book Serenity in Motion, which was first published in 2003.

“I got your Serenity In Motion book many years ago, and it has been one of the only Screen Shot 2014-05-29 at 1.39.41 PMbooks I can pick up and receive a blessing from, even when in resistance or disconnect. …your book is the one that has consistently spoken to my heart and all parts of me. …I lost (your book) a year or so ago. …Just finding (it again) and your website gives me a sense of ‘oh, here are those simple yet elegant reminders of how a single moment can bring comfort and strength’. Thank you for who you are and your book.”

I am so grateful to this reader for taking the time out to thank me. It is gratifying to know that my books are out there helping others to embrace a mindful and peaceful way of living.

If I wrote this book today, it would be different. I am different. But the message would be the same. As it has been for thousands of years. The nice thing about itand mebeing the same but different, is that I can pick up and read my own book as if I were just a reader, and be reminded of the time-tested practical tools of mindfulness, pure and simple.

When I wrote this book the word mindfulness was not in vogue, as it is today, but that is what this book is all about. So I will be posting excerpts from it on a regular basis to remind myself and my readers that to be present, in this moment right now, is the key to Inner Peace: Anytime, Anywhere.

 

From the Introduction:

The complexity of our lives, the daily challenges that we encounter, and the myriad large and small decisions that we continually must make can challenge even the most serene of us. Yet even as we resist it, most of us are up to this challenge, because we intuitively know that we can rise above it all and not allow it to defeat us.

So let this book be your guide until you can tap into your own intuitive reservoir for all the solutions. Here you will find suggestions for dealing with some typical issues that might come your way on any given day. Keep in mind that it cannot cover every possible scenario. Your life is unique, as are your particular life’s circumstances, not to mention the feelings and personality that you bring to everything. No one can know without a doubt what the future holds. In the end, it is up to you to meet each moment as it arrives, with honesty, integrity, and an open and willing heart.

All it takes is a decision. Not just one decision, but many throughout each day. Make a vow to yourself at the start of your day and renew it as often as necessary as the day progresses. This is the key to serenity. This is about accepting that each new moment is just that—new. And that no one moment can be duplicated exactly. This will give you a fresh start, a new opportunity to reinvent yourself every moment and live fully and completely, aware and awake, present in the magnanimous now.

Serenity in Motion is a primer for learning how to approach the world without reservation, fear, or self-imposed impediments. It is a tool to use while you train yourself to rely on yourself. Carry it with you, refer to it, and take the suggestions. Try new ways of looking at situations, of communicating with others, of seeing the world. Then start to take bigger risks and, finally, let your intuition guide you. Trust it. It will never fail you or let you down. And if you maintain a positive attitude, your worries will not overwhelm you. And most of all: remember to laugh. Simply laugh and be grateful for your life. In the end, it is all you have.

There are a few main themes or threads running through Serenity in Motion. They are:

•Embrace whatever it is that pains you

•Loosen the tight hold you have on people, places, and things; good and bad

•Just breathe

•Expect nothing

•Keep a positive attitude

•Cultivate a sense of gratitude

•Pay attention and

•Practice, practice, practice

Some of these may seem contradictory, like embracing something only to then let it go. Think of it instead as a paradox that’s not supposed to make conceptual sense. Right here, right now, is the perfect opportunity to practice these two suggestions. Here’s how: embrace your confusion; don’t let it detain you or stop you from moving on. Allow yourself to be confused and then keep going. Once you’ve accepted your confusion, fully and completely, you no longer have a need to hold on. Just let go. Relax your grasp on it. And then notice how easy it is to let go once you’ve embraced it, compared to how impossible it was to resist it, push it away, and make it disappear.

Anytime you get stuck, refer to this simple exercise and practice it on the spot. Keep practicing it until it becomes second nature. Strive for perfection, but don’t expect it. You may never reach perfection, but you will come to understand that the process itself is perfect.

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