Saturday, May 10, 2008

Buddha Mama

I've just discovered Sarah Napthali has a new book out and I can't wait to read it. Buddhism for Mothers of Young Children: How to Be a Mindful Parent, follows Buddhism for Mothers, a Calm Approach to Caring for Yourself and Your Children which I have worn literally to tatters. I've only just ordered Napthali's newer book from Amazon, but I want to share with you the first book. This is the single most helpful parenting book I've read to date (and I've read a ton). You do not have to be a Buddhist to benefit from this book, in fact, those who will benefit the most are probably the non-Buddhists.

Buddhism for me is a philosophy, a pragmatic way of approaching life and NOT a religion. I am totally seduced by the art and imagery of Buddhism, but I do not subscribe to any religion and find them all for the most part a divisive and destructive force in the world. However, Buddhism is different. Buddha himself said, here are some tips, but you have to find nirvana for yourself, you don't get it through worship. When viewed as a blueprint for life, Buddhist principles are very handy and practical, particularly in the parenting department.

Buddhism teaches you to stay in the moment and gives you a clear cut path to do that. A beautiful and useful (and doable) code of ethics help you stay mindful during all the mindless chores of motherhood and back you up in those moments where things can go awry. Right Speech, for instance, reminds you to watch more closely what comes out of your mouth when speaking to your children. Swearing, for me, is a hard one.

I go back to this book over and over--it's out on loan to one of my friends or I'd go back to it right now to give you specifics. If you need comfort or some helpful non-obvious tips, this is a great book. There's nothing flowery or cutesy, it's just real stuff for real life.

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