The Virtue of Vice

The Virtue of Vice: Paradox and Desire in Everyday Life
July, 2016


As seekers, it’s easy to fall into the trap of pretending to be better than we are. We often focus on trying to be too good, scrubbing away our illicit desires, and wayward parts that contradict the ideal self-image we wish to project. Masking our own shadows can lead to both deception and hypocrisy. In this month’s edition of The Seekers Forum, we’ll be looking at the virtues of vice in leading an awakened life. How can we shake off Puritan notions of goodness, self-improvement, and so-called purity, without losing integrity? Leave room for vice, transgression, self-contradiction, and falling, in the spiritual life? “We are poor, indeed, if we are only sane,” as psychologist D.W. Winicott reminds us. When we allow for the value of our shadow impulses, we only strengthen the connection to vitality and passion — as well as humility — on the path of personal evolution.

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Guest Interview with Roshi Pat Enkyo O’Hara

Roshi Pat Enkyo O’Hara

220px-Pat_Enkyo_O'Hara_12Roshi Pat Enkyo O’Hara serves as Abbot of the Village Zendo. She received priest ordination from Maezumi Roshi and Dharma Transmission and Inka from Bernie Tetsugen Glassman. Roshi Enkyo’s lineage comes through Maezumi Roshi whose teaching was uncommon, bringing together Soto priest training and study of the Rinzai koan system. Moreover, Roshi Glassman’s focus on social engagement and peacemaking underlies much of her vision of Zen practice.

Roshi is a Founding Teacher of the Zen Peacemaker Family, a spiritual and social action association. Roshi’s focus is on the expression of Zen through caring, service, and creative response. Her Five Expressions of Zen form the matrix of study at the Village Zendo: Meditation, Study, Communication, Action, and Caring.