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Book review: Momma Zen, by Karen Maezen Miller

Mommazen

Somehow, this book came to me a couple of weeks ago. I had never heard of it and it was published a decade ago. Still, I was intrigued and read that it was good. I ordered a copy online and just finished reading it today.

Wow, what a great book! This is the best parenting-related book I have ever read. I wish I had found it a decade ago, when my kids were younger, but I am still grateful it made its way to me now. The book is beautifully written, and takes a peaceful and understanding Zen-like approach to parenting and life. 

The book is written by Karen Maezen Miller, a Zen Buddhist priest and meditation teacher in Los Angeles. She shares her wisdom and that of other Zen teachers as it relates to parenting, marriage, and family. Each brief chapter offers eye-opening insight and advice, ranging from fatigue and being satisfied to having enough time to thinking of your home as a garden. Every chapter offers wonderful nuggets of insight that can be used in life and in understanding ourselves and our children better.

While this book is excellent for would-be mothers and those who still have babies and infants, it should not be ignored by those who's children are beyond that stage. The passages are too beautiful to cast aside because your child is beyond toddlerhood. Rather, the words of wisdom can be used throughout raising your children and throughout your life. I like to write down quotes that I love when I read books, and I filled 1.5 pages of writing quotes from this book. One of my favorites is "There are many things you can do in life, but the things that you accomplish are those to which you commit."

Two thumbs way up for "Momma Zen." I highly recommend this book to every mother (and grandmother) out there. It's wonderful!

- Jacqueline Bodnar

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