what not to wear

March 8th, 2010

I bet Publisher’s Weekly has no idea which line in this lovely review of Hand Wash Cold thrills me most:

“Miller uses daily household chores—laundry, kitchen, yard—to demonstrate timeless Buddhist principles. The skillful weaving of personal anecdotes, a few Zen terms, and acute insights—sometimes addressing the reader directly—distinguish this book from others in the genre. Miller argues for “the faultless wisdom of following instructions” when going about the mundane activities that form the substance of everyday life. Candid about some of the difficulties of her past, Miller stresses the importance of changing perceptions, which can lead to more beneficial outcomes for oneself and others: “All practice is the practice of making a turn in a different direction.” The book wears its Zen lightly; indeed, Miller skates over the years of study—as well as the decision to become a priest—that undoubtedly ground her current perspectives. This disarming book is full of deft and reassuring observations.”

I likewise have nothing to wear when I speak at the Whittier College Bookfaire on Saturday, April 3, where I’m a late, and as yet, undressed addition to the roster of speakers. Coming in my jammies!

9 Comments »

  1. My guess would be:

    “Miller uses daily household chores—laundry, kitchen, yard—to demonstrate timeless Buddhist principles”

    At least that would the line that thrilled me but maybe I’m too attached to the idea of being considered Buddhist or Zen by others.

    Comment by J. Andy Lambert — March 8, 2010 @ 6:16 pm

  2. One more thing to rinse.

    Comment by Karen Maezen Miller — March 8, 2010 @ 7:09 pm

  3. I’m guessing:
    “The book wears its Zen lightly;”
    In the same way “Your life is your practice”, the entire content of the book is the Zen.

    Comment by Joan — March 8, 2010 @ 7:43 pm

  4. Thank you Joan. The Zen of no-Zen is Zen. And it takes the guesswork out of it.

    Comment by Karen Maezen Miller — March 8, 2010 @ 7:46 pm

  5. awesome. I should have seen that. It’s funny. I rail against zen ritualism in my blog, today even, and then I’m guilty of s form of it myself. Like I said in my post today even Dogen was afflicted by the attachement to being Zen.

    One of the hardest attachments to break is the attachment to your Pratice and the trappings of it.

    One more thing to rinse, indeed.

    Comment by J. Andy Lambert — March 8, 2010 @ 9:51 pm

  6. Lightly is the new black.

    Comment by Marianne — March 9, 2010 @ 12:19 am

  7. It’s the old black too!

    Comment by Karen Maezen Miller — March 9, 2010 @ 12:44 am

  8. Fabulous! Congratulations!

    Comment by Trish — March 11, 2010 @ 2:19 am

  9. my favorite is: “All practice is the practice of making a turn in a different direction.”

    beautiful

    Comment by Allison — March 22, 2010 @ 3:36 am

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