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Momma Zen: Walking the Crooked Path of Motherhood by Karen Maezen Miller

Published by Shambhala Publishers

Publishers Summary: 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.

Flashback Review: This review was the first review I ever wrote and has only been published on Goodreads prior to now. That’s not to say I didn’t love the book, it’s exactly that reason I tucked it away to be shared when I knew it would be better appreciated perhaps. This is by far my FAVORITE book about parenting, life, being a mother and so much more. I hope you enjoy the review!

Momma Zen is a book I picked up on the recommendation of a friend and fellow mother and I will never be able to thank her enough for it. Miller is a mother and recently converted Buddhist Priest whose perspective will alter your own views on how to handle everyday occurrences. She shares experiences that the reader can connect to even in the event they have never had a child of their own. During my own journey through this book I have found greater peace and comfort and feel better equipped to handle the challenges that come my way.

Every mother or future mother I know will be receiving a copy of this book. I can hardly begin to explain how inept you feel as a new mother (even the second time around) and Miller helped me to know that I am not alone in my feelings. She shares experiences that make you laugh out loud, but in almost every chapter I also found myself crying. From the actual experience of having a child to caring for and loving my own, I finally have begun to understand that I am not alone.

This is a book that I would also recommend to anyone seeking more peace in their own lives. Miller discusses how she handled the loss of her mother and how it affected the way she cared for those around her. Her writing and explanation of this one experience is beautiful beyond words. If you are interested in learning more about meditation I would read this book, because she offers advice even to those with only a few minutes to spare. There is even a “When you need a little help” section in the back of the book referencing each chapter with a subject to refer to, brilliant.

Momma Zen is a beautiful book that breathes new life into its readers. I plan on rereading it over and over again as I grow older to see how my perspective changes.

The1stdaughter Recommends: Anyone in need of comfort in the midst of change or even just a great laugh to bring out the sun again.

For the Comments: Is there a book that changed the way you looked at how you lived your life? Fiction or Non-Fiction.

Karen also has a new book out, Hand Wash Cold: Care Instructions for an Ordinary Life, that I’m looking forward to reading very soon!

This book was purchased for our home library.
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5 Responses to Book Review: Momma Zen by Karen Maezen Miller

  1. Sounds amazing. I think I will buy this for my sister in law. She is a new mother and is really suffering from the “I suck at this” condition. Thanks for the recommendation.

  2. Abbie says:

    I love this book too and have you to thank for that! A great book to help any mother feel normal when those tough days of motherhood come around. 🙂

  3. Stephanie says:

    Momma Zen sounds wonderful! I enjoy mindful, honest parenting memoirs.

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