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Momma Zen

Walking the Crooked Path of Motherhood

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Paperback published by Trumpeter (Shambhala)

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About This Book
Combining humor, honesty, and plainspoken advice, Momma Zen distills the doubts and frustrations of parenting into vignettes of Zen wisdom.

Drawing on her experience as a first-time mother, and on her years of Zen meditation and study, Miller explores how the daily challenges of parenthood can become the most profound spiritual journey of our lives.

This compelling and wise memoir follows the timeline of early motherhood from pregnancy through toddlerhood. Momma Zen takes readers on a transformative journey, charting a mother’s growth beyond naive expectations and disorientation to finding fulfillment in ordinary tasks, developing greater self-awareness and acceptance—to the gradual discovery of “maternal bliss,” a state of abiding happiness and ease that is available to us all.


In her gentle and reassuring voice, Karen Miller convinces us that ancient and authentic spiritual lessons can be as familiar as a lullaby, as ordinary as pureed peas, and as frequent as a sleepless night. She offers encouragement for the hard days, consolation for the long haul, and the lightheartedness every new mom needs to face the crooked path of motherhood straight on.
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Combining humor, honesty, and plainspoken advice, Momma Zen distills the doubts and frustrations of parenting into vignettes of Zen wisdom.

Drawing on her experience as a first-time mother, and on her years of Zen meditation and study, Miller explores how the daily challenges of parenthood can become the most profound spiritual journey of our lives.

This compelling and wise memoir follows the timeline of early motherhood from pregnancy through toddlerhood. Momma Zen takes readers on a transformative journey, charting a mother’s growth beyond naive expectations and disorientation to finding fulfillment in ordinary tasks, developing greater self-awareness and acceptance—to the gradual discovery of “maternal bliss,” a state of abiding happiness and ease that is available to us all.


In her gentle and reassuring voice, Karen Miller convinces us that ancient and authentic spiritual lessons can be as familiar as a lullaby, as ordinary as pureed peas, and as frequent as a sleepless night. She offers encouragement for the hard days, consolation for the long haul, and the lightheartedness every new mom needs to face the crooked path of motherhood straight on.
Product Details
Paperback (192 pages)
Published: November 13, 2007
Publisher: Shambhala
Imprint: Trumpeter
ISBN: 9781590304617
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    It’s easy to think that meaning, fulfillment, and bliss are “out there,” somewhere outside of our daily routine. But in this playful yet profound reflection on awareness, the compelling voice of a contemporary woman reveals the happiness at the bottom of the laundry basket, the love in the kitchen sink, and the peace possible in one’s own backyard. Follow Karen Maezen Miller through youthful ambition and self-absorption, beyond a broken marriage, and into the steady calm of a so-called ordinary life. In her hands, household chores and caregiving tasks become opportunities for self-examination, lessons in relationship, and liberating moments of selflessness. With attention, it’s the little things — even the unexpected, unpleasant, and unwanted things — that count.

Favorite QuotesFROM THIS BOOK
  • This book took time.

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  • If I can't control what my kid eats, what can I control? p. 89

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  • The words my daughter will use are the ones she hears; the words I want her to use she must hear from me....How would I have her speak? With all the subtlety, comopassion, kindness, and...

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  • Children are exemplars of the art of being. Whereever they are, they are completely immersed: in mud, in make-believe, in laughter, in tears, or in spaghetti sauce up to their eyeballs....

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  • We prize our thinking in a way that we value nothing else about our existence, and in so doing we think that without our thoughts we would surely cease to be. We exist when we are...

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  • The truth always reveals itself... This truth, this ultimate irrefutable truth, is what Buddhists call the Way. The other truth, the truth you try to figure out and manipulate, is called...

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  • Happy is the sign that all is well and will be. It is the seed of faith, optimism, and commitment. It is such fertile ground. Everything thrives there. p. 165

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  • You don't have to work so hard at this. You don't have to do so much. You don't have to endeavor to be natural, normal, and good. It happens by itself when you least expect it. If you are...

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  • May we all live happily ever after.

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