I’m pleased to be part of author Brenda Shoshanna’s “The Unshakeable Road To Love” Book Tour. Brenda is a long term zen practitioner as well as an author, and she integrates teachings of both East and West in all her work, including her latest book “The Unshakeable Road To Love” where she explores the differences between real and counterfeit love. Before I interview Brenda, here’s a quick summary of her book…
The Unshakeable Road to Love (Value Centered Relationships) is based upon Eternal Principles from all world scriptures, including Zen. These tried and true Eternal Principles, the Pillars of Love, show how to build foundations for relationships where happiness and well-being are inevitable. And where pain and conflict can dissolve on the spot.
A radically different approach to love and psychology, the book offers a completely new perspective on fulfillment and what is truly needed to thrive. For example, one of the Pillars of Love upon which the book is based is:
To Be Happy, You Do Not Have To Be Loved, You Have to Learn What It Means to Be Loving.
The book explores the difference between Real and Counterfeit Love. We discover how all suffering in relationships is due to being caught in the trap of Counterfeit Love. And how easy it is to break free from bondage and leave that trap behind.
This is a book of practice, filled with Turning Points, Pillars of Love, Interventions, and many enjoyable exercises so the reader can practice these principles in all their relationships and in their everyday lives.
Written by a psychologist, Interfaith Counselor, and long-term Zen practitioner, the book combines the practices and principles of both East and West, helping us to discover and celebrate the best in ourselves and others.
Publisher: Brenda Shoshanna (October 2022)
Print length: 208 pag
A warm welcome to the blog Brenda …
Hello! I am Brenda Shoshanna, Ph.d. author of The Unshakeable Road to Love (Value Centered Relationships. A psychologist, author, playwright, speaker, long term Zen practitioner, and Interfaith Counselor. Overall, my work has focused on integrating the teachings and practices of East and West and showing how to make them real in our everyday life. I’ve offered talks, workshops, and meditation sessions for many years. My workshops are focused on both personal and spiritual development, and living an authentic life. My favorite teachers are my children and grandchildren. They constantly remind me to be playful, expect the unexpected and join them in all their different journeys, with an open mind. I’ve just started a blog called Turn The Page, where I hope to integrate what I have discovered in the many different streams of life.
Your book, “The Unshakeable Road To Love”, is truly inspirational – an integration of both East and West teaching. What made you decide to write your book in the first place?
I have been working with these principles for many years, have always been fascinated by the power of relationships and love in our lives. The idea to write the book came during Covid. I was inspired to write thebook as, along with Covid, the epidemic of loneliness, anxiety and isolation was at its peak. I had come by then to realize that isolation, loneliness and anxiety could be easily dissolved through the experience of Real love. And often upset and conflict dissolved on the spot.
You are a long term Zen practitioner and you have a weekly podcast called “Zen Wisdom For Everyday Life” … but when did you first realize this empowerment that practicing Zen can make a difference in love and life in general?
I actually started reading about Zen practice when I was fifteen years old, was give a small book on Zen by a teacher in school and could never put the book down. I read it again and again. About fifteen years later I actually met my Zen Master here in NY. After the first night at the zendo (place where Zen is practiced, place for Zen meditation), I could not stay away. It called to me immediately. Then, sitting by sitting, month by month, year by year, the power and strength of practice became more and more evident in my life. It became my life. In fact there is no difference between true practice and one’s life. They interfuse one another.
Your book is jammed pack with hints, projects and situations to help on that road to love. Were there any aspects of writing “The Unshakeable Road To Love” that surprised you, either by being harder or easier to write about than you expected?
It surprised and fascinated me, to realize again and again, how all encompassing and powerful the practice of love is, how important it was to keep mindful of it, and to keep practicing it myself.
You have authored over 20 books, including self help titles, books on Zen, mindfulness and meditation- very impressive 😊 However, are you a reader too? What genre of books do you read to relax?
Believe it or not, I still love to relax with books on Zen, and also on the practice of releasing, love, and truths from all scriptures.
You are also the Playwright in residence at The Jewish Repertory Theater and the Ensemble Studio Theatre, both in New York. When writing your plays, do you use the same preparation as you would writing your books? Would you (or have you) written a play based on the advice given in “The Unshakeable Road To Love”?
I “was” playwright in residence at both of those theaters. I still write plays and actually, just received honorable mention from Tennesse Williams/New Orleans Literary Contest, for a play called “Searching For The Ox,” on Zen! The Master is the hero, it takes place at the zendo, and in Central Park among the homeless.
When writing plays I approach them the same way I would fiction. I just allow the characters to arrive and to reveal themselves. I let things happen, unfold as they do. I don’t usually plot things out, but enter into a dialogue with my characters. And yes, yes, I use the tools I talk about in The Unshakeable Road to Love.
I welcome every character, grant them the right to be who they are and allow them to speak their truths. No rejecting them or trying to control them. In a sense it is a divine encounter I mention in the book. A true meeting.
Growing up, what career aspirations did you have?
I wanted to be an actress for many years. That morphed into being a playwright. Then I wanted to be a philosophy professor and also have a large family.
Is “The Unshakeable Road To Love” available to purchase worldwide?
The Unshakeable Road to Love is available on amazon.com, bn.com, and other online platforms. Not sure about worldwide?
What are you working on now?
Just finished an Inspirational Memoir, called A Flash of Lightning. Working on finding the right agent and publisher for this work.
I’d love for you all to subscribe to my blog. There’s a place there to interact, and share your thoughts and feelings – The Forum. The blog will offer all kinds of articles on personal and spiritual growth, opportunities for dialogue, and a new upcoming podcast.
Also working on making the five and half years of my podcast Zen Wisdom for Your Everyday Life, into a series of books and also offering many articles based upon it on my new blog – TURN THE PAGE (www.turnthepage.live)
Personal now – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing?
I love colorful, simple, lively outfits, dresses, slacks and beautiful, printed top
Do you have any favourite shops or online sites ?
I like Coldwater Creek, Orvis, Bloomingdales.
What’s next on your clothes/shoe wish list?
I love long, knit dresses as the weather gets cooler, slacks and beautiful sweaters.
Boots or Shoes?
I like boots outdoors and shoes inside. Shoes are usually easier to get around in, and to get into at home.
Links you would like to share e.g. website/facebook etc
I am on Facebook: Facebook.com/brenda.shoshanna
Linkedin.com Dr Brenda Shoshanna
BOOK TOUR DATES
All photographs have been published with the kind permission of Brenda Shoshanna. My thanks to Brenda for the review copy of “The Unshakeable Road To Love “.