I’m a wife and mother as well as a Zen Buddhist priest at the Hazy Moon Zen Center in Los Angeles. Don’t let that last part confuse you. I’m not the kind of priest you have pictured in your mind. I’m the kind of priest that looks a lot like you do, doing the same kinds of things you do, every day.
If every Tuesday afternoon you wheeled your garbage cans out to the curb and saw your next-door neighbor doing the very same thing, your neighbor would be me.
I write about spirituality in everyday life. My next book is Paradise in Plain Sight: Lessons from a Zen Garden (New World Library, May 2014). I also wrote Hand Wash Cold: Care Instructions for an Ordinary Life (New World Library, 2010) and Momma Zen: Walking the Crooked Path of Motherhood (Shambhala, 2006) My writing is also included in several anthologies. The most recent are The Best Buddhist Writing 2013 (Shambhala, 2013), The Mindful Way Through Pregnancy (Shambhala, 2012), The Mindfulness Revolution (Shambhala, 2011) and Right Here With You: Bringing Mindful Awareness into Our Relationships (Shambhala, 2011).
My middle name is pronounced “May-zen” and it is my dharma name, or Buddhist name. When my daughter was little, I wrote a book called Momma Zen, and now some people call me that. I also answer to Maezen, or to Karen, or to Mom, or to Mrs. Miller, or to anything at all. The point is, I answer. And when I do, I say, “yes.” I try to say “yes” to whatever I’m asked. That means I’m happy to speak to community groups, schools, churches or conferences – any group that wants to be transported to a realm of calm assurance and infinite patience in 90 minutes or less. I also host my own one-day retreats around the country. For information about where I’m speaking soon, look here. For details about upcoming retreats, check here. Contact me to arrange an appearance near you.
My husband, daughter and I live in Sierra Madre, California, where we have a century-old Japanese garden in our own backyard. We are very lucky. Plus, I do a lot of weeding, raking and picking up after the dog. It helps me not take myself so seriously.
Author photo by Denise Lynnette Andrade