Posts Tagged ‘Giveaway’

one better

January 2nd, 2013    -    86 Comments

open-bird-cage

In my last post I suggested three books on faith to begin the year. Here are ten reasons to begin exploring faith in your life starting now:

1. Now is the only time to begin.

2. Everything ends.

3. People you love will die.

4. There is no way to prepare.

5. One day you might get married.

6. You will face the reality of your choices every day.

7. Children don’t make you happy.

8. They make you grow up.

9. You don’t know as much as you thought.

10. Answers appear as you go.

And one better:

11. It’s free.

The questions in life are universal, and with them, our doubts and fears. In Katrina Kenison’s books, she writes through the questions we share: how do we parent, make a home, let go, be a friend, find a path, and become a true companion to ourselves? I am honored to share her art and kindness with you.

I’ve recommended other books on faith, but here’s one better. Katrina has offered a copy of her newest book, Magical Journey, as a gift to one of my blog readers. Please leave a comment on this post by Friday, Jan. 4 for a chance to take flight on Katrina’s latest journey.

And remember Katrina’s visit to Pasadena’s Vroman’s Bookstore on Feb. 8. Come sit with me in the front row.

Subscribe to my newsletter • Come to a retreat • Facebook me • Follow me.

 

two handfuls

November 3rd, 2012    -    97 Comments

For those times when you feel the need to give your children something more than your non-distracted attention, give them A Handful of Quiet. But first, take two handfuls for yourself. — Karen Maezen Miller

Developed by Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh, the pebble meditation described in this book is an easy-to-understand, hands-on way for children to experience interconnection with nature and calm busy bodies and minds. When asked to review the book, I gave it two handfuls. They sent me a copy of the book for helping out.

I’m sharing this very small favor with parents who’ve ended the week up late, wigged out, and worried sick, all in search of a blessed moment of silence. Leave a comment on this post for a good chance to win A Handful of Quiet: Happiness in Four Pebbles by Thich Nhat Hanh. Winner drawn on Monday, Nov. 5.

For more on teaching children to meditate, read on. I hope that everyone who enters cultivates a meditation practice for themselves.

Note: The contest has closed and the prize has been awarded.

Subscribe to my newsletter  • Friend me •  Like me • Follow me

breath is fearless

October 23rd, 2012    -    3 Comments

Just this one little thing, the breath, delivers all the wisdom in the world. Each inhalation powers your strength, endurance, and concentration; each exhalation releases your resistance and fears. Life gives continuous testament to the miracle of the breath, and yet, do we really know what the breath is?

 

When we bring our agitated minds into focus by following the movement of the breath in and out of the body, we experience the reality of the present moment, clear from confusion and anxiety. The breath is fearlessness personified. That can matter a great deal to you in times of pain and panic. How wonderful that all the sages and wise ones, the birth educators and coaches, the doulas and midwives, tell you to breathe! Focusing on the breath is the safest, surest way to overcome fear and let the immediacy of any experience move forward.

When all other schemes and devices fall away, the breath is all we have to use. It never fails us. Now is a good time to get to know your breath, through simple awareness practices such as meditation and yoga. While sitting, lying down, walking, or moving, bringing your attention to your belly and the natural movement of the breath will strengthen your connection to your own life force, the awareness that is everpresent and unafraid. The breath will not only transport you beyond fear, it will deliver you to joy. In the flow of the breath, mother and child come into being, and joy springs to life.

Excerpted from my essay, “Preparing for Childbirth,” in the book, The Mindful Way Through Pregnancy.

###

Get Maezen’s writing delivered to your inbox.

Subscribe to my newsletter • Come to a retreat • Friend me • Follow me.

giving a way

September 21st, 2012    -    126 Comments

The best thing about my work is that it gives me the freedom to give. Here are four brand new books I’m offering as gifts. Read the descriptions below and leave a comment telling me which one(s) you’d wish for. Winners will be drawn by random at the end of the day Wednesday, Sept. 26, so make a choice while you’re here.

Everything is the WayThese days, when Zen has become a kind of shorthand for anything that’s enigmatic or aesthetically spare, it’s refreshing be reminded that Zen is at heart a practice for waking up from the dream we inhabit—in order to free ourselves from the suffering the dream imposes on us. Elihu Genmyo Smith’s Zen teaching never loses sight of that central concern: Whether it takes the form of zazen (meditation), koan work, or just eating your breakfast, the aim of Zen practice is nothing other than intimacy with ourselves and everything around us.

Turning Dead Ends Into Doorways — Whether we like it or not, control is an illusion. God and the universe laugh when we make plans. We can try hard to materialize something—a new job, the perfect body, trust, our dream partner, inner peace—without success. And sometimes life deals unexpected blows: illness, divorce, or death. With practical honesty and humor, healing practitioner Staci Boden introduces eight teachers to help us navigate the unknown in daily life—fear, awareness, choice, body, intuition, energy, intention and surrender.

Growing Happy KidsA book designed to help parents, teachers and adults cultivate a deeper sense of confidence and ultimately, happiness in their children. Maureen Healy brings together western science and eastern wisdom in a simple yet profound approach to cultivating confidence. It begins with the “Five Building Blocks of Confidence” supported by pediatricians, child psychiatrists, educational specialists and teachers across multiple spiritual traditions.

The Mindful Way through Pregnancy — Pregnancy is a time of wonder and of momentous change, both emotionally and physically, filled with excitement and awe but also with great uncertainty and vulnerability. This book-and-audio program brings together writings and simple daily practices for bringing the transformative power of mindfulness to this special time. This book includes a new essay from me on childbirth, so I will sign this book as a personal birthday gift from me.

Thank you so much, everyone, for reading this blog and being unafraid to ask for what you need. All winners have been notified.

Subscribe to my newsletter  • Friend me •  Like my page • Follow me

with no help from me

August 12th, 2012    -    15 Comments

for Jena

I can’t remember when we first talked
the middle of March, end of September
before a shower, after walking the dog
third cup of coffee gone cold
beyond the particulars
of hot and cold
before and after
March or September
You must be so busy
she might have said when she called
because everyone says that
She asked questions
that weren’t the real questions
And one more thing
I answered without answering
what, I can’t remember
but she remembers
everything, that is,
with the kind of memory you don’t keep
the way the old message floats up from an empty pad
ghost words birthed by a pencil rubbing
Don’t miss this
the way the ancient turtle returns to shore
a heavy bellied resurrection
against the tides of extinction

I always invite folks to get in touch with me, and some do. Accept invitations, that is. Jena Strong is one who does. I honestly can’t remember the first time we talked. There was a second time, and maybe a third, and then two meetings, one on each coast. Whenever the need or opportunity arose. Sometimes it sounded like we were talking about writing, or ambition, marriage, money, career, or children. But we weren’t really talking about that. What passed between us—what passes in-between the words—is truth.

Jena is a poet who wrote poems nearly every day while believing she should be doing something else. Isn’t that what we do? Endure the life we think of as kinda-sorta, not yet real, a stepping stone, a holding pattern? And then one day she stopped believing she should be anything other than who she was. She just published her first collection of poems, Don’t Miss This, a memoir, with no help from me.

This poem is a tribute because she reminds me that we’re all poets. If you read, you’re a poet. If you write, you’re a poet. If you speak, listen, shout, cry, rant, sing, live or die, you’re a poet. Every moment expressing the eternal truth beyond the particulars.

As a writer, I like to give away books. But I like it more when someone buys them with no help from me,  so please don’t miss this.

Subscribe to my newsletter  • Friend me •  Like my page • Follow me

early birthday gift

July 29th, 2012    -    41 Comments

I’m giving away a copy of the book, Preemie, by Kasey Mathews, because my daughter was born on August 12 and she will turn 13 in two weeks.

These facts were once inconceivable to me. Equally impossible for her to be born on that date, and for her to grow up so fast. Is there any parent yet who can believe his or her own eyes?

Georgia was born early. Not as extremely early as allowed by today’s medicine, but early enough for us to ask, in the haste of emergency intervention, whether or not she would be able to breathe at birth. The answer was, “Maybe.” Because of the steroids I’d been given, she did breathe, and we were lucky, and she was fine, eventually. We went home after a few weeks in the hospital, and figured out the rest one day at a time.

But there is a whole story I’ve left unsaid.

What brings this recollection near is that I’ve just finished reading Preemie by Kasey Mathews. Kasey’s daughter Andie was a micro-preemie born four months early. In impeccably etched detail, Mathews tells the whole unthinkable story of an implausible birth, the reality, the setbacks, the disbelief, denial, and fury. What she tells most courageously are those things that are so hard to say.

She was afraid of her baby.
She was afraid to look at her, to touch and tend her.
She was afraid of what she’d done wrong and what might yet go wrong, the hidden trapdoors, the other shoes.
She was afraid of what she knew and what she didn’t know, the permanent scars and looming catastrophes, the not-yets, the maybe-nevers.
She was afraid to love.

We share these fears no matter when or how we become parents, no matter how or when our children arrive, each of us unprepared, undefended and stripped naked of all our expectations.

Our babies survive our fear and failings. They outlast our ignorance, our desperate strivings, and the virulent certainty that we, and they, are somehow damaged or inadequate.

I don’t often address my daughter directly on this page, but it’s time to tell her the only thing I know for sure, the thing she’s known all along.

You have never been too early, too little, or too late. It’s only me who struggles to keep up, who labors at the pace, who resists the steady insistence of your momentous arrival.

I can hardly believe my eyes, but you’re here already!

Kasey Mathews is offering a signed copy of Preemie to a commenter on this post. No matter where you are in your parenting journey, how old or young your children, we are all about to be born into the inconceivable, a new day and stage, and we feel frightened and unprepared. Leave a comment by this Friday, August 3 and claim your early birthday gift.

finding you in France

May 22nd, 2012    -    50 Comments

Somewhere in the deep trench of what I call my “first life,” a friend gave me the book, A Year in Provence. The happy misadventures of an English novelist and his wife in the French countryside was a megaseller. It went on to spawn a TV miniseries, several sequels and the undying flattery of imitators—an entire genre of nonfiction pretenders that persists to this day. You know, books like A Year of Doing This, A Year of Doing That. They appeal to us because we all want to ditch our lives and end up somewhere other than a ditch. Makes for pleasant tripping, if only in our dreams.

My friend inscribed the book with ebullience, “Savor the taste of life!” She clearly knew something I didn’t, like why in the world you would ever use an exclamation point.

These were the days when I didn’t make time to read books or take trips and couldn’t conceive that life had a taste other than the bone-dry dread of worry, work, hurry, and sleeplessness. My life had no flavor because I had no appetite for it. Eventually, of course, I turned myself around, and glory be.

It only takes a flutter of your lids to open your eyes to a wider world.

First, I nibbled books like the one I’d been given. Then I took my first trip to France. (It wasn’t fancy, just four days piggybacking on my roommate’s airline buddy pass, sleeping on a stranger’s floor, eating on the streets. In other words, it was heaven.) I learned, and I’m learning still, that life has many flavors, not all savored, and not all sweet. I don’t live in France, but my plate is full. I’m never hungry, and I don’t want for more.

I’ve just finished a delicious book along these lines, Finding Me in France. Here’s why I liked it. Bobbi French (real name) wasn’t another writer with a book meme. She was a stressed out psychiatrist with a terribly important life in Halifax who did the unthinkable: she sat back, wised up and clocked out, selling nearly everything to give herself a flying start at saving her own life. Her infectious memoir, drawn from her hilarious blog, recounts the comedic first year of living (with her agreeably nimble husband) in a medieval town in Burgundy. It sounds fancy, but it’s not. It’s humble and endearing. She fumbles with the language, the customs, the personal hygiene, and the plumbing. Her new life required, as all heavens do, a face-first landing in a ditch or two. Interesting strangers put roofs over her very tall head and floors under her bad back; she ends up overeating quite nicely on the streets.

You can taste it all through her scrumptious stories and sumptuous photos. The taste is fresh and original: the freedom to find yourself.

Everyone has reasons to love France, but Bobbi gives you the best reason to love the French: herself, even if she’s really Canadian. I fell in love with this book. I’m giving away my coffee-stained pristine copy (each page turned only once!) at random, on Friday, to a lucky traveler who leaves a comment on this post. If you’ve been looking for something to bite into, come and get your life! This means you.

Subscribe to my newsletter • Come to a retreat • Facebook me • Follow me.

a little light

March 26th, 2012    -    18 Comments

Reading my friend Dan Barden’s  new book wasn’t altogether pleasant. It was a lot like trying to get around the borderless sprawl of Los Angeles. A contradiction, to say the least. Here you are, cruising under the blinding sunshine of an earthly paradise, and over there is a body under a blanket. Watch out for that sofa thrown onto the street. There’s a mattress in the middle of the freeway. The high-speed lane is stalled, and the off ramp is closed. Beautiful people drive by plumped up on collagen and hair extensions, and under the overpass is an invisible underclass. We must be in the wrong neighborhood. Let’s not get out of the car. I love it.

In the soft hills behind the beaches, everyone is hurting, and hurting each other, and trying to keep from hurting.

Barden wrote about that, in the form of a noir thriller, set in a place I know — Orange County — with people like us, people who have totally messed up and now are trying to do The Next Right Thing. You might think it’s strange for me to read a mystery, at least one with a lot of flying fists and f-words, but it’s no stranger than my real life. I love it.

 The Next Right Thing gives us a most unlikable kind of love. It ranges through the blight of addiction, anger, graft, betrayal and decomposing bodies in the basement, all to prove that the ugly underside is the incubator of goodness.

It’s thrilling, for real, and deeply wise, and I’m giving away a brand new copy. Leave a comment by this Friday to enter my giveaway. I’d love it.

Subscribe to my newsletter • Come to a retreat • Facebook me • Follow me.

be careful of the words

January 9th, 2012    -    67 Comments

This probably puts me in the category of a Kevin Costner sympathizer.

I’ve begun thinking in apocalyptic terms about what seems certain to be the demise of the US Postal Service. Admittedly, I’m a cultural throwback. I still think of writing as something that you do on paper, with your whole hand, in a cursive script that is elegant and intrinsic, like your DNA. I still think of community as consisting of people with bodies, using arms and legs and good manners to stand in line patiently at the post office, where we buy stamps, grouse about the three-penny price increase, see somebody we know, say a kind word, conduct our minor essential business, and go on our way, until next Monday or Thursday or tax season or the holidays.

I’ve noticed that they’ve started selling greeting cards in my little post office, which is ingenious, really, in a demoralizing way, since the only people who enter a post office these days are the sappy has-beens like me. People who saw those lame Kevin Costner movies in the 1990s predicting the disappearance of the post office, global warming, and the end of the world as we know it. And now we really do know it. read more

tiny favor

December 13th, 2011    -    115 Comments

Back in September 2010, I was surprised one morning by what turned up on my computer: a generous review of Hand Wash Cold on the Tiny Buddha website.

You may know how relatively unschooled I am at social media, and if not totally unschooled, at least unconvinced. Still, I knew that hitting the Tiny was hitting the Big, at least on the computer.

I wondered how someone with so much media muscle — more than 235,000 Twitter followers, 70,000 Facebook fans, and 12 million web page views — could do something so selflessly kind?

The answer is, by being tiny.

I hope I can be twice as small in returning the favor.

Tiny Buddha founder Lori Deschene has a new book out, Tiny Buddha: Simple Wisdom for Life’s Hard Questions. I’m offering my pristine review copy right here as a giveaway, and you’ll want to do yourself a favor by commenting to enter by this Friday. (If you win, I promise the book will arrive to you by Christmas.) It’s a great gift for yourself or a friend, full of good old fashioned common sense and new-fangled how-tos. It captures some things you might have seen whiz past you on the web, and some things you’ll want to reflect on for more than a blink of time.

Lori is a smart and fluid writer (no wonder she has made a career as a web copywriter) and she weaves in crowdsourced contributions from her Twitter followers (like me) on such hefty topics as pain, change, love, money, fate, happiness and control. But the gem here is something that can never be quoted in 140 characters: the true story of Lori’s transformation from a recluse to a community builder, from a self-loathing misfit to an inspiring changemaker. This is a story we all share in one small way or another — it is the story of the Buddha’s leap over the wall of delusive, egocentric thought. This is the journey we all make, little by little, without a map, toward our complete potential. Taking that leap is the only way we can ever do good.

For starters, the book has shown me how to do something great today: return a tiny favor.

This one’s for you.

###
Leave a comment on this post by the end of the day this Friday, Dec. 16 to enter the giveaway. Favor yourself with an extra entry by posting this tweet:

RT@kmaezenmiller Giving away @tinybuddha book here: http://bit.ly/szQIre

The winner of this giveaway has been notified. Thank you for participating.

Subscribe to my newsletter • Come to a retreat • Fan me • Follow me.

swimming in joy

December 5th, 2011    -    40 Comments

If you want to keep me awake at night, ask me about my writing process.  (I haven’t ever figured it out.) So I took notice when my friend  Christine Mason Miller dropped by for no good reason during the last, mad deadline for her new book, Desire to Inspire. (Win a copy here.) Turns out she doesn’t have a writing process either. Hers is the process of no process. (Sounds Zen.) She likens it to surfing. (I haven’t ever figured surfing out either.) Read more of her guest post, and if  Desire to Inspire inspires you to desire, leave a comment on this post by the end of the day Thursday, Dec. 8 and you could be swimming in joy (without getting wet).

Before the ink began to dry on my contract with North Light Books for the publication of my next book, I made a decision. I declared that, no matter what, my work on the book was never going to take place in a space of stress, anxiety, worry, or fear. This book was going to be created from joy, and in order for that joy to flourish unfettered, I was going to have to trust – Trust with a capital T.

With five major deadlines, nineteen contributors, more than one hundred images, and ten chapters, there were loads of opportunities to lose my cool. Not to mention the usual creative hurdles that have the potential to throw the best laid plans into a rapid tailspin such as writer’s block, procrastination, or, in my case, an eight-week old puppy who joined our family soon after the book contract was finalized. I had my work cut out for me, not only as the author of the book, but as a self-proclaimed devotee of Trust in the Process and Commitment to Joy. Had I faltered on the latter, the book could certainly still be written, but then the experience of writing it and pulling together the stories of its nineteen extraordinary contributors would have been less akin to riding the perfect wave and more like being pummeled by the surf. read more

winging it

October 24th, 2011    -    17 Comments

And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make. – The Beatles

I’ve just completed 13,000 miles of travel this fall. What’s the takeaway? A giveaway.

Go to Taslim’s blog this week to win a signed copy of Momma Zen. Go see Roos to win tokens of love.  And here on my blog, leave as many comments as you like and I’ll be giving away a signed copy of Belly Button Bliss, a book of happy birth stories compiled by my generous friend Jennifer Derryberry Mann.

Enter often. Take all the love that comes. All contests end Friday, Oct. 28.

With love, Maezen.

The winner of Belly Button Bliss is Jim, who had the presence of mind to enter three times!

warm to Texas

September 2nd, 2011    -    No Comments

Texas has a heart like the sky, and a mind of its own.

I’ve just learned that my sweet hosts at The Art of Mindfulness are giving away four passes to my workshop in Houston next Saturday, Sept. 10. If there’s any way you or someone you know can drive, fly, swim or crawl there, this is your invitation to come on down and get even warmer. Enter before next Monday, Sept. 5 when the goodies will go out. Details on entering here.

One week before The Art of Mindfulness Retreat in Houston
Two weeks before The Practice of Everyday Life Retreat in Colorado
Four weeks before The Plunge Retreat in Pittsburgh
Five weeks before the Beginner’s Mind One-Day Retreat in LA

Subscribe to my newsletter • Come to a retreat • Fan me • Follow me.
Pages: Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 Next

archives by month

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.