Sunday, December 2, 2012

Momma Zen

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


Yes, this crying-out-loud life is your crooked path, whose bumps and bends cannot be negotiated through mere reasoning. Time and again, you'll be stripped of your preconceptions, judgments, ideas, theories, and opinions... and left to go straight on through the inexplicable experience itself. These gulfs of incomprehension bring the opportunity for spiritual growth and self-acceptance.

Life keeps going. It keeps going within us. When we're not attentive, it keeps on going without us.

...thinking is not at all the same as being.

...for the light to reach any depth at all, you have to stop thinking so much.

Happy now? Yes, I would snap awake, realizing in that moment, that I could choose and change. And by changing my attitude, change everything.

Your life is a garden. And you are the only gardener.

This is your new spiritual practice: cracking a smile.

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 confused about what you should be doing, try this. Stop what you are doing. Take care of what is in front of you, when it is in front of you, and the confusion will pass. This is called the effort of no effort. No effort is what powers the universe. With time, your roots grow deep and your branches long. You lean a little less backward in fear and a little less forward in doubt, resting solidly right where you are. When the wind blows, you bend. When it stops, you straighten. Your boughs provide shelter and shade. Your strength supports the sky. Sitting quietly, doing nothing, spring comes and the grass grows by itself.

My practice is to see that nothing ever gets in the way of anything else. More to the point, my practice is to recognize that no one else is ever pushing me forward, and no one is ever holding me back.

And yet there is such a thing as happiness. There is such a place as bliss when you drop your expectations, lose your selfishness, forget your grievances, give up your worries, abandon the plan, stop your striving, let it out, let it go, let things pass, take a breath, take a break, quiet down, be still, empty your mind, open your heart, and come alive. What else is there to be but happy?

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