Posts Tagged ‘Giveaway’

absence of explanation

September 16th, 2010    -    2 Comments

In the absence of an explanation, Amazon is currently telling its customers that it could take up to four months to get a paperback copy of Hand Wash Cold. Need I tell you this is a bold-faced lie? A scheming way to rev up backorders and Kindle sales?

I’ll simply tell you to go here, to the web home of of the artfully inexplicable Terri Fischer, to nab your own free copy. She has numerous gifts to bestow, and she’s not withholding them. There you will see, absent explanation, not only how to get the laundry, but your own life back.

random acts

September 13th, 2010    -    No Comments

Announcing the winners of last week’s book giveaways, all randomly drawn:

The winner of Brad Warner’s new Sex, Sin and Zen: Kendra, commenter #14

The winner of Hand Wash Cold: Kristin, commenter #43

The winner of Sitting Moon and Momma Zen: Jessica, commenter #14

“When we notice life, really notice, it is the birth of everlasting goodness. We might see through the illusion we’ve created for ourselves, as separate and inviolable, and do something nice for a change.” – Hand Wash Cold

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unfailingly generous

September 8th, 2010    -    86 Comments

When I first heard that Lori Deschene of the hugely popular inspirational site Tiny Buddha was going to review Hand Wash Cold, I wondered how she would define my life’s work.

After all, plenty of people don’t like the book, and a goodly number don’t hesitate to say so. Compared to Momma Zen‘s sweetly sentimental musings about the transcendent love of motherhood, Hand Wash Cold can smack some people upside the head like a wet, stinky dishrag. As Deschene writes:

Most of us don’t want to be ordinary. We want to be special. We want to live bold, extraordinary lives punctuated by moments of passion, excitement, and adventure.

We want to fill our days with people, things, and activities that make us feel vibrant, and outsource the rest to someone else – someone paid to handle the mundane.

We want to discover something, uncover something, build something, invent something, found something, prove something – be something. We want to be extraordinary. We want to be excellent. We want to be great – or at least moving in that direction.

I don’t write about how to do any of that. I don’t write about the life all of us wish we had. You can read something else if you’re still looking for that. Almost anything else will deliver the promise of escape to somewhere – anywhere – else. Instead, as Deschene says about my approach:

She turns herself inside out to reveal her vulnerability, her ego, her humanity – everything you might assume doesn’t exist underneath the trappings of priesthood. She is unfailingly generous in sharing her own journey to right here and now.

Despite my failings, Tiny Buddha has inspired me to be unfailingly generous all over again.  I’m giving away a signed copy of Hand Wash Cold right here and now. Leave a comment to enter. Double your chances by tweeting the following.

RT @kmaezenmiller Giveaway: Hand Wash Cold

Note to Readers: Hand Wash Cold is on back order at Amazon, but personally signed copies are always available on the Books page of my website. Click “Special Friends Offer”

It’s giveaway week! I’ll be giving away books on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Check back and enter often. Winners for all three, including, Brad Warner’s latest eyebrow-raiser, drawn next Sunday, Sept. 12.

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fill-in-the-blank sex

September 6th, 2010    -    60 Comments

I read Brad Warner’s new book and panted over it. It’s called Sex, Sin and Zen: A Buddhist Exploration of Sex from Celibacy to Polyamory and Everything in Between. If you’d like to have more ___ in your life, enter my giveaway of the book by leaving a message on this post.

Brad is very clever, but what matters more is that Brad is very clear. Clarity about ___, let alone clarity about the practice of Buddhism, is rare.

Nothing new can be said about sex, nor does it need to be said. The obsession with sex is just a placeholder for all ego-driven delusions about life and death. Everything we think and say about sex applies to any other delusion.  If only I had more ___ I’d be satisfied. I need ___ right now or I’ll go crazy! If you really loved me, you’d give me  ___.  Everyone seems like they have better ___ than I do. I can’t live without ___!

I don’t know nearly as much about sex as Brad Warner does (like, what is polyamory?) but Brad knows his followers and reads their minds.  What’s on their minds is “Sex sex sex!” From time to time, my readers think about sex as well, but what troubles them more often is something like this, “We’re out of Palmolive Antibacterial.” read more


July 5th, 2010    -    12 Comments

If you’ve read Hand Wash Cold or Momma Zen, unfurl your colors. Go to Amazon or Goodreads and enter a new rating or a review for either or both books, then come back here and leave me a comment telling me so. At the end of the week I’ll draw a winner from the comments here to receive two free signed copies. So you can have your flag and wave it too.

Edited to add: Winners of this giveaway are Shana and Jim. But the commenters have already given me the grand prize. Thank you, everyone!

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going home

June 15th, 2010    -    52 Comments

Mondays, in her wash house
between the garden and the hen coop,
my grandmother sang,
“Mine eyes have seen the glory
of the coming of the Lord,” while she
pulled khaki pants and denim shirts
through her wringer washing machine.
Work clothes that bore a day’s
cargo of sweat and red dirt,
without daring to wrinkle.

Before the dust kicked up
or the storm blew in, she unpinned
the wind stiffened clothes, singing
“I’m forever blowing bubbles,
pretty bubbles in the air.”
Tuesdays, brown beans and salt pork
hissed on the stove as she sprinkled
and rolled enough clothes
to fill two bushel fruit baskets.
Only towels and wash rags
escaped the grip of her mangle,
the hot kiss of her iron
as she sang, “If I had the wings
of an angel, through this prison
wall I would fly.”

Some days I crave the smell of steam
rising from clean cotton,
long for the steady slow pulse
of Tuesday routine:
pillowcase, tablecloth, handkerchief,
press, fold, press, fold, press;
rote progression of blouses and shirts,
facing, yoke, facing,
back, “Swing low, sweet chariot,
coming for to carry me home.”

Swing low.  Carry me home.  Swing low.

From Mansions, by Donna Hilbert, 1990, Event Horizon Press.

A month or so ago I went to a book festival. I never go to book festivals. Choosing which of three breakout sessions to sit in, I picked a poetry reading. I never pick poetry readings. The room was small. The chair was plastic. I questioned my whereabouts.

A woman spoke and called my name. She gave my address; she typed in my password. She transfused my blood; she sequenced my DNA. I was home. read more

a day without laundry

May 26th, 2010    -    15 Comments

“A day without work is a day without eating.”
– Zen saying

This expression might strike you as a grim resignation. You might even call it depressing. Perhaps you think of work as drudgery. But when you realize the dependency between work and life, it can turn your notion of work upside down. Work does not detract from life, interrupt life or hinder life. Work sustains life. All work sustains life, whether we think of it as important or unimportant. It is vital and enhancing. It keeps us alive.

This brings me to the laundry. (Everything brings me to the laundry.)

The other day I put something up at the Huffington Post that I’ve published elsewhere: 10 Tips for a Mindful Home. It is a simple list to help us see how life is enriched by doing the little things we might disdain as insignificant, like laundry, dishes and bedmaking. It’s amusing to see the unrest that is stirred by the modest suggestion that we make our own beds!

One comment on the post was a variation of the kind of objection I encounter from time to time, a slow boil of outrage over gender inequality, a denigration of what is sometimes called “women’s work.”

“Women wind up doing a lot of the things that ‘never get totally done,’ that must be redone again in a short time, over and over again – while the man gets more time to build and repair things the result of which can be appreciated and used for years.”

Really? The things men build and repair last for years? Tell that to the man in my house who fixes the sprinklers and the leaky toilets, who changes the light bulbs and the oil in the cars, who clears out the cardboard shipping boxes that multiply mountainously in the garage. Tell it to the man in my house who builds spacecraft that break down dozens of times before they ever launch, might disappear before they ever arrive, and whose instruments routinely malfunction (if they work at all) over and over. Tell that to the boys who drill deepwater wells, and to the ones who keep trying to fill them. Tell that to the Wall Streeters who ride the stock exchange up and back down again. Tell that, but don’t ever for one second believe it.

Nothing that anyone does is ever done for good. Everything is undone and redone. That’s how life is. Why value big work over small, a monstrosity over the miniscule? I’ll do the laundry any day, and I’ll happily eat too.

But there is such a thing as a day without laundry! That would be called a Mother’s Plunge, my signature one-day retreat for mothers and all others coming up real soon in Seattle on Sat., June 12 and here in Sierra Madre (Los Angeles) on Sat. June 26. You must register now. But even before that, check out the post at Shutter Sisters today and see how you can win free admission to a Mother’s Plunge by merely lifting a finger!

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give it the sun

May 4th, 2010    -    9 Comments

Gardens, like children, are forgiving; gardens grow. Love, even clumsy and unrefined, cultivates. Time, unhurried, is never wasted. Plants grow heavenward, strong and true, toward the even and ever-present light.

Right in front of me, in plain sight, I have finally seen what the full sun can do. The sun gives attention, and attention fixes everything. It is up to me to put into practice the larger lesson I’ve been shown.

If I encounter you on my way today, I’ll look at you and say hello.

If the phone rings, I’ll answer. If you send me a message, I’ll respond.

When my husband opens the front door, I’ll stop what I am doing to greet him.

When my daughter comes home from school, I will have nothing to do. We will have no place to run. We will lounge on the floor or linger on the lawn. When she speaks, I will listen, without steering the conversation to a conclusion. If she has a scheme, I’ll go along, and let her pull me off course. We will let the hours lapse and the afternoon drift. When she looks at me, and even when she doesn’t, I will embrace her in the shine of my smile.

Today, for a moment more than I think I can bear, I will give her attention. I will give you attention. I will give this world my complete attention. I will give it the sun.

Chapter 16, Hand Wash Cold

You’re just in time for two, count ’em, two giveaways of Hand Wash Cold this week: at the Wishstudio blog and at Imene’s Journey to a Happy Simple Life. Give them both your complete attention before the winners are named this weekend. Good luck!

For a pictorial reader’s guide to my home and garden, view the photo album on the Facebook Momma Zen fan page. Photos by Chris Bertrand.

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everything happens

April 14th, 2010    -    5 Comments

It doesn’t look like anything happens in those torturous few minutes of motionlessness. But everything happens when you meditate. Whole worlds are dismantled, innumerable scores are settled, grievous deeds are undone, and the entire universe settles at rest.

Please click here and read an exclusive excerpt from Hand Wash Cold featured by my good friends at Shambhala Sun magazine. Then, everything happens. I’ll award a signed book to one commenter on their post by this Saturday, April 17.

may flowers

April 7th, 2010    -    8 Comments

From time to time I hear from a faithful reader in a neighboring town. Today she wrote to me and said that each morning when she arrives at work, the first thing she reads in her inbox is this blog. This post is for her and everyone else who reads their mail.

I took this photo today in my backyard. The azaleas are laden with blooms and they bend low over the ponds. Blooms on perennials like azalea bushes reappear each year, although they aren’t really perennial. The spring show comes out of nowhere, and returns nowhere. The flowers won’t be here by early May, but I hope you will.

Please come to my kitchen and garden
to celebrate the homecoming of my new book
Hand Wash Cold
Sunday, May 2, 2010
2-4 p.m.
397 N. Lima St., Sierra Madre CA
Everyone, everyone
come talk, walk and listen
you needn’t tell me you’re coming
I’ll be waiting just the same
There will be room for us all
We may run out of chairs, we may run out of cookies
but we won’t run out of breath
I’ll be reading, signing and selling words on a page
(just in time for Mother’s Day).
Now, take out your pen or i-gadget and write down the date, time and place. It won’t be the same without you. Without you, it won’t happen at all!

Today’s Bouquet: Another web giveaway of Hand Wash Cold. Go to this site and you’ll not only see the first blush of my chapter on parenting, but if you leave a comment there you’ll be in close company to win the book.

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basket of goodies

April 5th, 2010    -    18 Comments

Have you torn into the kids’ Easter baskets yet? I set aside a secret backstash for myself, although I have to admit that this year I was far more excited about what the bunny brought than my daughter was. She smiled benignly at me and then asked if she could dye a pink streak in her hair. (She’s always one hop ahead of me.)

I have a basket of goodies for you to tear into:

To have a 40-minute gabfest with me, open this. Or, download it onto your iPod and listen to me laugh all during your 3-mile run.

To win a free signed copy of Hand Wash Cold, open this. You have until Friday to win, so if I were you I’d leave a long trail and keep coming back for a taste!

To choose one thing to read  besides Hand Wash Cold, open this. I mean every word of what’s written.

To find the motivation to start this week’s laundry, open this. And share it too. Those pages can use some cooler heads.

To make sure you’re in on all the goodness I’ll be sharing at the next Mother’s Plunge Retreat on Sat., May 22 in the Bay Area, open this and register. It’s about time to load up your eggs in one basket. The Mercy Center sisters need an early count on the chickens, and remember, you need not be a mother to come!

To give me an idea of how to handle the pink hair thing, please leave a comment with your parental wisdom!

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inexpressible beauty of ordinary

March 22nd, 2010    -    108 Comments

Read an excerpt here.

Embed this video in a blog post, share it on Twitter or Facebook, and leave a comment here telling me that you’ve done so. You could win two (yes, 2) of the first autographed copies of Hand Wash Cold – one for you and one for a laundry buddy. Runners-up will win a subscription to Get Born magazine. Because we all know it takes a tribe to birth a new little one. Winners drawn March 28. Good luck and bless you.

Edited to add: The giveaway has concluded and the winners have been notified! Thank you.

nothing left over

March 10th, 2010    -    54 Comments

One of my readers is having a giveaway of Momma Zen this week. Not even a new Momma Zen, but one she’s read a couple times. (Those are the best kind.) Seeing the enthusiasm people have for the leftovers gave me the idea to do something I haven’t done for a while: empty the closet. I have a load that’s drying on the line, and it’s time to make room.

Leave me a comment if you’d like to claim any of these books, held by my own grubby hands and greedily consumed by my literary appetite. I’ll choose the winners on Sunday evening, March 14 and ship them out.

Gardens of Water by Alan Drew – a stunning first novel about the cultural cataclysm between American Christians and Turkish Muslims in the aftermath of the 1999 earthquake.

How Starbucks Saved My Life by Michael Gates Gill – decidedly latte fare, a sweet, warm, and true tale of the fall and rise of a working man.

Seeking Peace by Mary Pipher – (hardback) The bestselling author and psychologist writes about waking up on the dark side of fame, and how Buddhism saved her.

Momma Zen – a brand new one, because when you drop everything you’re holding onto, it’s always brand new.

Edited to announce winners: Bridget, Corinne, Marilyn and Jillian.

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