No particular order

March 8th, 2008

If you need a little inspirational company this weekend, keep scrolling or take the short cut to my interviews with Jen Lemen, Sally Dworsky and Wendy Cook.

Perhaps it would interest you to know that, through random acts of kindness, Lorianne won the Jen Lemen poster, Phyllis won the Sally Dworsky CD and Andrea won the Wendy Cook button bracelet.

But no one is excluded from these riches. Here by their own inclusion are this week’s initiates into the order of soul sisterhood, an order that naturally has no particular order:

Sandra Jena Strong The Whole Self Mama Zen Lorianne jessamyn denise Shelli Busymomma66 Jessica Girl con Queso Moanna bella Phyllis Sommer kathryn Shawn nyjlm Jennifer marta ladybug-zen Barbara Wendy Jenell Shurn Joan jen lemen Janet Thompson Megan RocketMom Missy k Shalet blissful* Susan shanspec Kyran melody is slurping life Jennifer/The Word Cellar Michelle Shannon Haley andrea scher nina bagley Robyn Mika Someone Being Me Anna and the earliest bird under the wire, Kirsten Michelle.

Looking back, I can say that this was one of the most delightful weeks of my life, and I’m so glad you were here to share it.

But why would I want to look back?


  1. oh, to see so many names in the sisterhood makes my heart want to burst with happiness! thank you, thank you SO much for making this week magic for me, too, in more ways than i can say in these little boxes. yours in sisterly love, jen lemen

    Comment by jen lemen — March 8, 2008 @ 5:18 am

  2. I’m thrilled to be part of this family.

    Comment by Kathryn — March 8, 2008 @ 5:47 am

  3. i’m honored to be included in such a fantastic and soulfull group of ladies.

    Comment by ladybug-zen — March 8, 2008 @ 10:19 am

  4. If you’d ever blog about attachment, I’d love to read your thoughts. I just read your chapter about your mother dying, which was beautiful. I also read the one about control and change — give in, move, pirouette, instead of plowing through with your plan.

    In parenting, I try to give in, move, adapt, and play more than I force, fight, or control. But I want, want, want my boys to live. I panic and seize up to think of adapting/accepting life without them.

    I lost my first three children (triplets born premature), and in the five years since have learned so much from meditation and Buddhism (random readings), and am growing in/around/beyond my conservative evangelical commitments. But I wonder about attachment in Zen Buddhist perspective. What does maternal attachment mean, and what does loss mean? I do believe in an essential unity, and I experience my lost children with and in my own existence every day, but I still feel the separation.

    I’m not trying to share my whole story or ask you to speak directly into my story — just giving you context for my wonderings about how Zen Buddhism, or your personal incarnation of it, speaks to the nature of maternal attachment.

    And if you don’t have thoughts or time or interest to blog about it, still, thank you for your lovely book and lovely blog.

    Comment by Jenell — March 8, 2008 @ 12:36 pm

  5. Jenell,
    Perhaps I will, without getting too attached to the thought. Because you yourself just said it: “I panic and seize up to think of adapting/accepting life without them.” It is the thought that causes you a problem. There is no philosophy that teaches nonattachment, not even Buddhism, which is not a philosophy anyway. Life itself teaches nonattachment. The simple truth is that we can hold onto nothing. Everything changes all the time. Sometimes the changes appear big. Sometimes the changes appear small. Sometimes the changes don’t appear at all. And look, we actually adapt to them immediately. It is only the thought of change that we have a hard time adapting to. So I understand the difficulty. That is why in all ways, meditation is the only practice I have that can help. It helps not because it keeps things from changing, but it allows us to see change, and to also see how our panicked thinking causes us to suffer unnecessarily.

    There are many academic and philosophical writings on the Buddhist view of maternal attachment. I say, “Bah!” They mean nothing to me. You can see my own view of maternal attachment in the photo in this post. You can see why I startle people by saying that “true love is non-attachment.”

    I’ve written a sermon! And perhaps one day I’ll write more but not before I write about another something that doesn’t last for long: cookies. Come back next week before they are all gone!

    Always feel free, indeed I insist that you contact me by email through my profile page if you’d like to talk more.


    Comment by Karen — March 8, 2008 @ 2:59 pm

  6. mmmmm. and i’ve been looking for a soulful sisterhood, too . . . πŸ™‚

    i wonder if we could do a little email distribution list or something so we could share our journeys? what do you think?

    Comment by Michelle — March 8, 2008 @ 7:37 pm

  7. This sisterhood makes me feel full in a way I have never felt. But, there is always room for cookies!
    One of the best weeks of discovery to be sure!

    Comment by Shannon — March 8, 2008 @ 7:43 pm

  8. Looking back is a bad habit of mine. Still this was a wonderful week of exploration. Thanks for leading me to so many other soulful sisters.

    Comment by RocketMom — March 8, 2008 @ 8:13 pm

  9. Thanks again for hosting this week of richness, and for inviting us all to the sisterhood. Seeing what I have of Jen Lemen’s work, I’m sure I’ll love her poster!

    I’d love it if you wrote about attachment sometime since I find it’s the one “Buddhist idea” that non-Buddhists have the biggest misconceptions about. (I put “Buddhist idea” in quotes because Buddhism–or Zen at least–isn’t about ideas…but folks read books about Buddhism/Zen and see the word “non-attachment” and get all kinds of ideas about what that means.)

    A dear friend of mine who’s not a Buddhist recently wrote about “Love and Attachment,” and her post focused on this whole question of how you can love someone you’re not “attached” to. There was an interesting dialogue in the comment thread involving Buddhists from various traditions talking about the different synonyms for “non-attachment” they use. My Zen school talks about “clinging”; another dear friend explained that his Tibetan school uses the term “grasping.” So it’s okay to be “attached” to your parents, spouse, children, etc…but if you “cling” or “grasp” onto these people, your relationship isn’t going to be healthy. How can you, your loved ones, and/or your relationships grow if you’re “clinging” or “grasping” onto them?

    Anyhow, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter, when you find yourself with nothing else better to talk about… πŸ™‚

    Comment by Lorianne — March 8, 2008 @ 9:10 pm

  10. Thank you for including me! I am humbled and honoured to be in the same sentence as these wonderful, inspiring, articulate, intelligent and spiritual women!

    And such a beautiful photo.


    Comment by Mika — March 8, 2008 @ 11:24 pm

  11. Awww, Karen, I love that picture!

    Pass the cookies!

    Comment by Mama Zen — March 9, 2008 @ 3:04 am

  12. Your generosity is grand, and this site I’m afraid I’m attached to. But I’ll work on it.

    Thanks for you.

    Comment by marta — March 9, 2008 @ 4:35 am

  13. Thanks for including me in the sisterhood. I’m enjoying visiting all of the others.

    Comment by Moanna — March 9, 2008 @ 5:50 am

  14. What an amazing group to be included in!

    Comment by Shalet — March 9, 2008 @ 6:20 am

  15. Wow – YOU provide a wonderful weekful of reads, and then YOU shout out to us? I think that is the definition of sisterhood right there. Thank you!

    Comment by Jessica — March 9, 2008 @ 3:39 pm

  16. I have enjoyed reading these interviews so much, and I always enjoy your blog. I learn so much here. Thank you so much for including me into this circle of inspiring women.

    Comment by Shelli — March 9, 2008 @ 9:35 pm

  17. What an honor to be listed with such great women! Thank you.

    Comment by Shawn — March 9, 2008 @ 10:38 pm

  18. You are right – life itself is the teacher. Even death or loss doesn’t require learning or detachment — a surviving parent can live the rest of her life clinging and grasping to the child she lost. But if you want to learn, the opportunity is there. Life taught me that love is always there, and my children always _are_, also, even if not in the way I desire. It is a huge challenge in parenting after loss, to not overly control the safety and health of living children. I need to reflect more (or perhaps e-mail you) about ‘true love is non-attachment.’

    Comment by Jenell — March 10, 2008 @ 1:57 am

  19. Thanks, Karen, and to all of the women, for reminding me that sometimes inspiration comes from the person you have to borrow a baby wipe from at the park — a person who seems to be just another mom like you but somewhere not so deep inside her is a magnificent being who is creative, vibrant and full of wisdom.

    Comment by Holly Lash — March 10, 2008 @ 3:18 am

  20. Holly,
    Amen. Hallelujah. Amen.

    Comment by Karen — March 10, 2008 @ 3:29 am

  21. Jenell,
    Sounds like you know what to do. Take the backward step, and trust life as it unfolds. It is the greatest gift we can give to our children: spaciousness, enormity, possibility, trust.

    Comment by Karen — March 10, 2008 @ 3:32 am

  22. i am sooooo honored to be a part of the sisterhood and i so look forward to the continued sharing and support!

    with metta…
    michelle (blissful*)

    Comment by blissful*thinking — March 10, 2008 @ 2:36 pm

  23. i am so happy to be included as part of this soul sisterhood.
    i learn something new each time i visit this space.
    thank you for an uplifting and inspiring week!

    Comment by jessamyn — March 11, 2008 @ 3:00 am

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