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Buddhism for Mothers
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About the Author

Sarah Napthali is a mother of two young boys who tries to apply Buddhist teachings in her daily life. Her working life has ranged from teaching English as a Second Language and corporate training, to human rights activism and interpreting. Since becoming a mother she has focussed on writing, initially for companies and later for individuals wanting to record their memoirs. With seven memoirs completed, she is the author of Buddhism for Mothers (Allen + Unwin, 2003) which has been translated into nine languages to date, and Buddhism for Mothers with Lingering Questions (Allen + Unwin, 2007). Since the children started school, Sarah is very pleased to report that she manages to meditate daily.

Reviews

Buddhist practitioner Napthali has written an eminently practical book that gives frazzled mothers usable advice and empathy. At a time in their lives when women must balance the pulls of instinct, hormonally charged emotion and familial and social expectations, it is both possible and highly beneficial to practice Buddhism. While Buddhism has a long history of monastic practice and application, its modern expansion into the West has emphasized its relevance to householders. Parenting books are a logical application, though still relatively few in number (e.g. Jacqueline Kramer's Buddha Mom: The Path of Mindful Mothering). In a highly selective culling of teachings, Napthali wisely focuses on maternal mind states and how Buddhism can give a mother insight and literal breathing space before she responds to any parenting situation. The essential Buddhist teaching that all things are impermanent is highly relevant when responding to, for example, a toddler throwing a tantrum in public. The book is perhaps less deep than those written by longtime teachers, as so many Buddhist books are. But precisely because she is not a teacher and is in the midst of mothering, Napthali offers the approachable and authentic perspective of a rank-and-file practitioner who lives the techniques and situations she writes about. This book will be most useful for mothers of young children, providing them spiritual resources at a life stage when women need all the help they can get. (Oct.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

What do motherhood and the concept of self-reliance have in common with Buddhist philosophy? In a familiar, conversational style, Napthali, a mother and a Buddhist writer, thoughtfully explores this question, teaming Buddhist teachings (e.g., to be truthful, compassionate, and tolerant) with the ordinary experiences of mothers. She aims to convey the message that developing inner resources will help women nurture themselves so that they may parent wisely and well. With simple instructions for meditative practice and a one-minute breath meditation, the author guides busy women in the art of transforming their lives in the midst of chaos. She asks good spiritual questions, too-the real strength of the book-e.g., How am I interpreting a given situation? Am I upset due to unsolved family issues? One criticism is a lack of illustrations. Ultimately, what readers learn is that treating our children as though they are respected parts of ourselves hastens compassion toward others in our inner circle, rewarding us with less isolation and loneliness in our daily lives. For all public libraries in a category bridging self-help and comparative religion.-Lisa Liquori, M.L.S., Syracuse, NY Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

"This is an excellent, practical guide to everyday Buddhism not just for mothers, but for everyone who has ever had a mother." --Vicki Mackenzie, author, Why Buddhism
"The author guides busy women in the art of transforming their lives in the midst of chaos." --Library Journal
"An eminently practical book that gives frazzled mothers usable advice and empathy . . . the approachable and authentic perspective of a rank-and-file practitioner who lives the techniques and situations she writes about. This book will be most useful for mothers of young children, providing them spiritual resources at a life stage when women need all the help they can get." --Publishers Weekly on Buddhism for Mothers

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