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Lions Roar : September 2006
SHAMBHALA SUN SEPTEMBER 2006 85 tions that brings suffering. So I have to disagree with Miller when she encourages adults to withdraw when children are feel- ing emotional, rather than giving the child attention. I would encourage Miller to al- low her daughter to come into the safety of her lap, to let emotions to be emotions, to allow them to come and go with breath and posture. Because once we make friends with our feelings, they come and go at a faster pace, bringing more happiness. Hold- ing anger in one’s lap is the same as holding anger on the Zen cushion. We see anger and let it go—Suzuki Roshi called this “riding the wide tiger.” Similarly, Thich Nhat Hanh teaches us to say, “Oh, my baby anger,” while cradling it in our loving arms. Setting that minor criticism aside, Momma Zen is a book you can read again and again. It’s both a light and serious read, a book that will offer different wis- dom depending on which phase of moth- erhood you are in. And if Miller is ahead of your current phase of parenting, you will have a guide to show you the way. As you read these Zen Momma experiences, you will relax—and what a great gift that is. Because when mothers are more re- laxed, children become more relaxed. And as children are more relaxed, society be- comes more relaxed. We can only imagine how far that process could go. Above all else, a child wants her mother to be happy. So can we practice being hap- py? It’s Miller’s suggestion that we can— what a daring, simple, and profound sug- gestion. A mother’s practice is to accept that this—the poopy diaper, the scream- ing child—is Zen. And the teaching is to be happy—yes, happy right now—and with what is! Poopy diaper is Zen? Yes! Zen brings our attention to the question What is this?—whether it is on the cushion, on the pot, or crammed into a little two- seater make-believe ship. Mothering is not different from Zen; in fact, it is Zen—it is life. It is the manifestation of emptiness, the unknown. Momma Zen demonstrates that Zen is not special. Zen is wiping up doo-doo. Show me a Zen monk who can do that with a smile in his heart and I’ll show you a mom who can sit still for hours facing a white wall. She does both. ♦ Own this spectacular Asian Adobe residence on 25 acres adjacent to a Tibetan Stupa built by Tulku Tenzin Sagngag in memory of Nagpa Yeshe Dorge. Located high in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo mountains yet only minutes from the historic Plaza in Santa Fe. www.vorenberg.com A Special Opportunity ALAN AND ANNE VORENBERG 888.257.6750