The Simms/Mann - UCLA Center for Integrative Oncology is part of UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center and UCLA Oncology.


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Living and Thriving in Not-Knowing: Zen Buddhism and Cancer

Living and Thriving in Not-Knowing: Zen Buddhism and Cancer

About the Lecture

A cancer diagnosis throws us into the unknown and forces us to bear witness to the changing nature of life by challenging our belief systems, personal conditioning, spiritual beliefs, and shaking up our hopes and dreams. Wendy will speak to how Zen Buddhism uses these very elements of upheaval as a skillful means for living with the sense of groundlessness that accompanies major illness. She will explore the potential healing power of The Three Tenets of Not-Knowing, Bearing Witness, and Healing Action of the Zen Buddhist Peacemaker tradition. She will consider Not-Knowing as a capacity we all have to ride the breath to openness and spaciousness; Bearing Witness as the capacity of tapping into our innate capacity to listen intimately to our condition; and how Healing Actions can arise from these practices. It is, in fact, the very nature of upheaval that can provide us with the raw ingredients to make the important shifts that can lessen our suffering as we each traverse the terrain of cancer in our own unique way in our everyday life.


Wendy Egyoku-NakaoRev. Wendy Egyoku Nakao, a Zen Buddhist priest, is the Abbot of the Zen Center of Los Angeles. Ordained in 1983, she trains Zen Buddhist priests and practitioners in an on-going Zen Center Zen practice environment in the heart of Los Angeles’ Koreatown. She also serves as Head Priest and Teacher, emphasizing and experimenting with the collective awakening of community. In addition to her love of guiding individuals to deeper self-understanding and exploring the nature of reality, she has an abiding interest in organizational spirituality and collective awakening and serves as a resource to other spiritual communities.

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