Selfless Love shows how meditation can help us realize that we don’t love—we are love.
Gentle, elegant, and radically inspiring, Selfless Love presents a holistic, experiential meditative path that enables us to see beyond our preconceived notions of identity, spirituality, and humanity. Drawing equally from Zen parables, her experience as a mental health therapist, and the Gospels, Ellen Birx shows us that through meditation we can recognize that our true selves are not selves at all - that all beings are united in unbounded, infinite awareness and love, beyond words.
Recognizing the limitations of language in describing the indescribable, Birx concludes each chapter in the Zen tradition of "turning words" with a verse meant to invite insights.
Ellen Birx has a PhD in psychiatric nursing and for the past twenty-seven years has been a professor at Radford University. She is a Zen teacher and cofounder of New River Zen Community and a member of the White Plum Asanga and the American Zen Teachers Association. She is the author of Healing Zen and the coauthor, along with her husband, of Waking Up Together. She lives in Radford, VA.
“Birx's inclusive use of Zen, Christianity, and contemporary science allows her to weave seemingly disparate threads of spiritual and secular thought together into an organic whole anchored by meditation. Those seeking an alternative and encompassing process for expanding the concept of self, experiencing godly love, and living compassionately should look to Birx for guidance.”
– Publishers Weekly
“To see through yourself, however momentarily, is to see Buddha and to be Buddha. A wise man said that ‘The ugliest word in the English language is Them.’ Ellen Birx lovingly leads us beyond such separations and duality into the heart of the divine Dharma of awakefullness.”
– Lama Surya Das, author of Awakening the Buddha Within
“‘Boundless’ is the word Dr. Ellen Birx uses to describe her life and vision in her latest book, Selfless Love. As a Zen master, Dr. Birx has closed the gap completely and leaves no separation at all between life and death, heaven and earth, and God and the world. Read whatever she writes. Read this book!”
– Roshi Robert Jinsen Kennedy, author of Zen Spirit, Christian Spirit and
“In my opinion, love is the common element that all of humanity strives for. Ellen's exposition of selfless love shows how we can attain this. A wonderful book. I heartily recommend it.”
– Bernie Glassman, cofounder of The Dude and the Zen Master
“Seldom do I get to read a book where I agree with everything in it! But here it is. Ellen Birx could only have written such profound things in such a simple and accessible way, if she has first lived them--and knows love from the inside out.”
– Fr. Richard Rohr, author of Falling Upward
“This masterfully simple book introduces the art of meditation and describes the fruits of this practice as it unfolds into a life of selfless love and compassion toward all beings, beginning with those in one's immediate circle. Zen teacher, professor, and psychiatric nurse, author Ellen Birx brings a tender touch in her descriptions of the spiritual life, with examples from her own intimate experiences as a wife, mother, and grandmother.”
– Ruben L.F. Habito, author of Living Zen, Loving God
“This is a wise and intelligent book, clear-sighted and full of heart. Rooted in the listening silence of meditation and informed by her rich and varied experiences as nurse, educator, grandmother, Zen teacher and Christian, Ellen shows us that we are not separate from each other or from the earth. This is an eloquent exploration of love, God, nonduality, and living fully. I highly recommend it.”