here because of you

December 19th, 2011

To the woman pulling out of the parking lot on Friday who rolled her window down and said, “Are you Momma Zen?”
To the ones who asked.
And the ones who came.
To the one who wrote, “If I’d known what your workshop was about I wouldn’t have come.”
To the people who traveled across states and south from Canada.
Who saw a sign that said, “turn here.”
And even though it was far they thought, “It’s not too far.”
For the airport rides and the spare bedrooms.
For the reunions and first meetings.
The coffee, the breakfast, the dinner, the talks, the tears.
For the last-minute cancelations.
For the names I didn’t remember.
And even the “constructive criticism.”
For not saying, “You’re older than I thought.”
For the sun in Asilomar, the rain in Pittsburgh, the old friends in Houston, the new ones in DC, the love in Georgia, and the stars in Colorado, oh the stars in Colorado.
For meeting your children. For bringing your mother.
For looking me in the eye.
And for sending me on my way.
To the man at the Zen Center on Saturday who said, “I’m here because of you.”
That’s only half of it.
I’m here because of you.
I’m here because of you.
I’m here because of you.

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


  1. “Because of you, I will live on forever.”

    Comment by Jena — December 19, 2011 @ 6:19 am

  2. How about we’re here for each other?


    Comment by Robin — December 19, 2011 @ 11:20 am

  3. i am honored to have personally experienced a few of your here’s. i am right here, in this exact moment…content, happy, with peace of heart…because of you.

    Comment by Tamara — December 19, 2011 @ 3:32 pm

  4. So beautiful. Thank you.

    Comment by Jane — December 19, 2011 @ 4:57 pm

  5. Some day I hope to say at your workshop: I’m here because of you.

    Comment by Jim — December 20, 2011 @ 5:14 am

  6. Here because of you, and also here for one another. Isn’t that what it’s all about?

    Comment by Katrina Kenison — December 20, 2011 @ 5:32 am

  7. Happy you are and continue to be … wish here would be in the DC area again. ; )

    Comment by Shawn — December 20, 2011 @ 6:31 am

  8. Thank you Karen. Just thanking you.

    Comment by Hannah Marcotti — December 21, 2011 @ 7:04 am

  9. we all belong to one another… (a nod to Mother Teresa for saying something like that!)

    Karen, I have such deep gratitude for your writing and your teachings. To me, you truly embody “engaged dharma.” One of the highlights of my year was meeting you and being in the magical garden that you steward so lovingly. Thank you for simply being you and for offering so much to all of us via this blog and your workshops…

    Comment by Maia Duerr / The Liberated Life Project — December 21, 2011 @ 7:59 am

  10. A nod to Buddha for lifting his finger to point to “co-dependent origination” meaning we cannot see or be one without the other, although our words and concepts fail to convey the completeness.

    Thank you Maia. Sitting on my teacher’s shoulders, I can see that if it isn’t engaged, it isn’t dharma.

    Comment by Karen Maezen Miller — December 21, 2011 @ 8:07 am

  11. Tears streaming down my face yet again…thank-you Karen for your generosity of spirit. Your words truly change the world. Apart from the brilliance and magnitude of what you wrote…in this second you have allowed me for the millionth time to finish “being tired”…to finish my “break” (in my bedroom…on a computer)…and turn back to my family with love yet again. There are no words for how much I appreciate you…

    Comment by Kirsten — December 26, 2011 @ 2:39 pm

  12. Karen, your retreat in Pittsburgh was one of the highlights of the past year. Thank you so much.

    Comment by Audra — January 1, 2012 @ 6:01 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

archives by month