Buddhism for Mothers with Lingering Questions: Taking Stock of what Really Matters

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Allen & Unwin, 2007 - Family & Relationships - 256 pages
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Now the mother of a toddler and a primary school-aged child, Sarah Napthali is continuing onto the next stage of the parenting journey. Writing from personal experience, and weaving in stories from other mothers throughout her narrative, Sarah shows us how spiritual and mindful parenting can help all mothers - be they Buddhist or non-Buddhist - to be more open, attentive and content.

'If we choose', Sarah says, 'parenting can be a spiritual path, a means to cultivating wisdom and open-heartedness. On such a path, a mother uses whatever life presents to her as 'grist for the mill', to help her grow into someone who better understands herself, her children and what is required in each new situation, in each new moment.'

And Sarah, like so many other mothers, has a lot of 'grist' in her life. Juggling working from home, managing a family and worrying about whether she'll ever have a future career, she is now the mother of seven year old Alex and the unrelentingly naughty four year old Zac. While she's no longer changing nappies or carrying babies, she is contending with the next lot of parenting challenges that every mother will be able to relate to.

In her simple, clear and engaging way, Sarah takes us on a journey through the challenges (and joys!) of raising children, using Buddhism teachings and principles to help her answer the eternal questions of mothers everywhere: Who am I? Who are my children? Where am I going? And how can I do my best by my children and myself?

Sometimes, we painfully miss our old world. At times, we all struggle as we let go of the freedoms, our youth and all those evenings, weekends and holidays to ourselves. As mothers we might look in our mirrors, look at our messy living rooms or at the clock that reads three in the morning, and ask 'Where am I?'

A Buddhist would provide you with a short, simple answer: Here, now.'

 

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Contents

Preface
vii
1 Where am I?
1
2 Where am I going?
27
3 Who am I?
45
4 Who are my children?
69
5 Is this all?
93
6 What does this moment require?
119
7 What can I do about all the housework?
143
10 How can I be my best?
213
Conclusion
237
the teaching on emptiness
240
stopovers on the way to peace
244
Acknowledgements
248
Bibliography
250
Index
253
Back cover
257

8 Can I change my ways?
165
9 How do I handle my negativity?
189

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About the author (2007)

Sarah Napthali has never been on a retreat for more than two nights and she can't remember ever meditating for more than an hour and a half. She describes herself as no spiritual giant but rather someone who is bumbling along, constantly humbled by how much she still needs to progress but also amazed at how applying Buddhist teachings can improve her day. She has two children and is the author of Buddhism for Mothers (Allen & Unwin, 2003).

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