a wing and a prayer

September 27th, 2010

Do Buddhists pray? This Buddhist does.

Parenthood is like continuous prayer, and these days I’ve been praying a lot:
Dear Lord, let it just be allergies.
Dear Lord, let her sneakers still fit.
Dear Lord, let the lunchbox come home empty.
Dear Lord, let me see her smile.

No matter who or what you pray to, prayer works. If you’re looking for a modern miracle, I say, “Pray.” I don’t have a theological explanation for it, but prayer seems to work by itself. We gather our agitated worries into the palms of our hands, a single point of contemplation, and by our utterance, we release them. We are immediately calmed and comforted by our own action, regardless of any eventual outcomes. For me, prayer is a continuous loop of supplication, surrender and consolation.

Even though it’s not just allergies.
The sneakers no longer fit.
She traded her lunch for someone else’s.
But because the smile, the smile, I still see.

Prayers are answered all the time. For instance, if you’ve ever prayed for an easier way to parent, here’s your answer. Take wing and join me here:
Saturday, Oct. 16, 9-3:30 p.m.
Portland, Oregon
Portals of Love: The Spiritual Practice of Parenting
I’ll be giving a workshop on finding spiritual consolation amid the demands of home life, with plenty of time for personal supplication, encouragement and guidance. Hosted by Zen Community of Oregon at St. David of Wales Church. Register here.

And if you can’t come to Portland for answers, I’ll put them in your pocket by giving away a signed copy of Tracy Mayor’s poignantly delightful new book, Mommy Prayers, divine guidance for the everyday exasperations of motherhood. It’s the perfect answer for any mother in need of a little heavenly intervention when the sniffling won’t quit, the new shoes don’t fit, the kids won’t eat, and the smiles go missing. Leave your comment here by this Friday, Oct. 1 and I’ll draw a winner next weekend.

In the meantime, pray!

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  1. Sounds delightful. I’ve been praying quite a bit these last few weeks. Glad to know that Buddhists pray. That’s cool. πŸ™‚ I am a lapsed Catholic who loves learning about ZEN, meditation & all things spiritual. New prayers always welcome…especially ones related to motherhood. πŸ™‚

    Comment by kristal — September 27, 2010 @ 12:51 am

  2. Amen.

    Comment by Marybeth — September 27, 2010 @ 1:00 am

  3. I’d love a chance! thanks

    Comment by Elaine — September 27, 2010 @ 1:00 am

  4. Count me in. I believe God hears all prayers. Heaven knows I’ve sent a few of mine along regarding the kiddos!

    Comment by Sharon — September 27, 2010 @ 1:29 am

  5. dear lord, please let my name be picked.
    thank you,

    Comment by lanell — September 27, 2010 @ 2:02 am

  6. I love Tracy’s book, which has kernels of serious wisdom wedged in among laugh-out-loud humor and specific details wryly observed in the mommy culture she writes from.

    Comment by Lindsey — September 27, 2010 @ 3:03 am

  7. Pick me! Pick me!

    Comment by Mary (MPJ) — September 27, 2010 @ 4:53 am

  8. Since I can’t come to Portland – seriously, wΓ‘y to far from Amsterdam, the Netherlands, but it sounds like such an interesting event – I’d for sure love a chance at the book πŸ˜‰
    Have a good week!

    Comment by Roos — September 27, 2010 @ 6:09 am

  9. Pretty please, with sugar on top??

    Comment by Kitty Shannon — September 27, 2010 @ 6:50 am

  10. this is the best way to start a new week…with your words about prayer. thank you, karen. and so i begin…dear god, it’s me, melissa…please…and thank you.

    Comment by melissa — September 27, 2010 @ 1:01 pm

  11. How wonderful

    Comment by Aparna — September 27, 2010 @ 1:43 pm

  12. I am praying right now that my two kids stop fighting with each other LOL! πŸ™‚

    Comment by Barbara H — September 27, 2010 @ 1:44 pm

  13. LOVED your book, happy to have you recommend another. Hope to win, sorry I can’t come to your workshop, as I am on the East coast.

    Comment by Natalie Hanson — September 27, 2010 @ 3:39 pm

  14. This: “…prayer is a continuous loop of supplication, surrender and consolation.”

    Comment by Kaishu — September 27, 2010 @ 4:30 pm

  15. this would be perfect for my friend with a baby on the way!

    Comment by maire — September 27, 2010 @ 5:30 pm

  16. As we start a new week and a new lifestyle…homeschooling our 15 year old son, I will be saying many prayers…prayers for strength, focus and patience to make this new way of learning work! Would love to win your newest book recommendation!

    Comment by Kathi — September 27, 2010 @ 5:53 pm

  17. I’m praying that one of your next stops is central Virginia . . . Charlottesville seems like a good fit. Heck, I’ll even brave Wash., DC!

    Comment by Laura — September 27, 2010 @ 5:56 pm

  18. Laura, I’ll be in Washington DC on Sat., April 30. Details to come.

    Comment by Karen Maezen Miller — September 27, 2010 @ 5:58 pm

  19. It’s amazing how you “randomly” run across bits of wisdom when you need them most. Thank you for the honesty and courage to share your thoughts:)

    Comment by Kifferie — September 27, 2010 @ 6:08 pm

  20. Naptime here. A prayer just answered: sprinkle sleep dust and please help him nap today. It works for both of us. Then a prayer of gratitude, and quiet time to read and clean and cook before we head out to play again on a beautiful sunny fall day.

    Comment by Jen — September 27, 2010 @ 8:31 pm

  21. Portland would be amazing. Finding spiritual consolation amid the demands of home life has been blessedly easier since attending the Mother’s Plunge. Alas, Portland is too far to travel right now. Perhaps this book could help me on my path?

    Comment by Annie — September 27, 2010 @ 9:29 pm

  22. The poem….or verse, as it were…simply gorgeous…the 2nd part bringing a near tear of relief in the smile. =) Always so fabulous with words you are.

    Comment by Dawn — September 28, 2010 @ 2:27 am

  23. Your words are exactly what I needed now. Almost an answer to my prayer. Uncanny!

    Comment by M — September 28, 2010 @ 6:26 am

  24. You know, I want to believe that prayer works and I want to thin it’s as simple as that. For some reason I feel as though there should be some formula. I’m just not sure how to do it. But I’m finding my way there, slowly, very slowly, I’m figuring it out. And you, dear wise lady, are helping me. Thank you.

    Comment by Christine — September 28, 2010 @ 11:25 am

  25. Christine, belief is what happens when we stop wanting to believe.

    Comment by Karen Maezen Miller — September 28, 2010 @ 2:12 pm

  26. I liked your description of what a prayer is, of the loop, the release, regardless of the outcome.

    Comment by J, Connecticut — September 28, 2010 @ 2:35 pm

  27. Annie Lamott says the 2 best prayers are “help me, help me, help me” and “thank you, thank you, thank you”. We all do the first one, we need to remember the second.

    Comment by suzi — September 28, 2010 @ 4:40 pm

  28. I’ve loved Tracy Mayor via Brain,Child magazine for many years. Thanks for this giveaway.
    And love the above comment: thank you, thank you, thank you.

    Comment by 6512 and growing — September 28, 2010 @ 5:08 pm

  29. What a great book! It is just what every mother needs! πŸ™‚

    Comment by Shannon — September 28, 2010 @ 7:12 pm

  30. I couldn’t imagine parenting without prayer. Looks like a great conference and a great book! Thanks for letting us know about them.

    Comment by Jamie Richardson — September 28, 2010 @ 7:39 pm

  31. Add me in, I would love some more inspiration in raising 5 girls and surviving it πŸ˜‰

    Comment by Teri C — September 28, 2010 @ 7:42 pm

  32. Wish I still lived in Seattle and would totally be there. But alas… hoping you’ll pick my name instead!

    Comment by Caroline — September 28, 2010 @ 7:52 pm

  33. I’ve been wanting to read this for some time!

    Comment by Heather — September 28, 2010 @ 8:04 pm

  34. Fingers crossed all the way from Austin!

    Comment by becks — September 28, 2010 @ 8:08 pm

  35. Oooh, would love to read this book!

    Comment by sharon — September 28, 2010 @ 8:37 pm

  36. Thanks for the fantastic ideas for dealing with the stressors of our daily lives. Prayer comes in many forms.

    Comment by Jill K. — September 28, 2010 @ 10:14 pm

  37. Thank you for the opportunity. And yes, I pray all the time… as Anne Lamott says, the best prayers are “help me, help me” and “thank you, thank you.”

    Comment by Katje Sabin — September 28, 2010 @ 11:58 pm

  38. Sounds like a must have book!

    Comment by Maureen — September 29, 2010 @ 12:18 am

  39. This sounds really interesting! I’d love to take a look at it.

    Comment by Cate — September 29, 2010 @ 1:01 pm

  40. Ooh, I followed the link here from Brain, Child on FB. Happy to make your blog’s acquaintance and would love to check out this book!

    Comment by Sarah — September 29, 2010 @ 3:12 pm

  41. I always pray: during take off and landing, for my recently laid off husband, the list goes on. It does not have to be anything formal. Just a minute or two of pure prayer to put things in perspective and send good vibes. Cheers!

    Comment by Agnes — September 29, 2010 @ 4:20 pm

  42. This would be wonderful timing for me. Eight weeks after having my second child, I’m ready to cultivate a sense of beauty and reverence with respect to my parenting.

    Comment by Jessica Claire — September 29, 2010 @ 4:21 pm

  43. hi karen! looks like a good book!

    Comment by imelda — September 30, 2010 @ 4:29 pm

  44. My calendar is marked! See you there!

    Comment by Laura — September 30, 2010 @ 6:16 pm

  45. I believe parenting is a prayer

    Comment by Joanne M — October 1, 2010 @ 4:11 pm

  46. Sounds like a lovely book. I almost never pray, but really, I’m always praying.

    Comment by rani — October 2, 2010 @ 5:30 am

  47. ah..you are helping me not to dwell in the old (ie. my beloved Portland) is this a test?:)

    Comment by claire — October 5, 2010 @ 1:30 am

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