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Buddhism for Mothers: A Calm Approach to Caring for Yourself and Your Children [Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged] [MP3 CD]

Sarah Napthali , Rebecca Macauley , Inc. Brilliance Audio
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

May 1 2012

Firmly grounded in day-to-day reality, Buddhism for Mothers discusses Buddhist teachings as applied to the everyday challenges of bringing up children.

Parenthood can be a time of great inner turmoil for a woman yet parenting books invariably focus on nurturing children rather than the mothers who struggle to raise them. This book is different. It is a book for mothers.

Using Buddhist practices, Sarah Napthali offers ways of coping with the day-to-day challenges of motherhood. How can this be done calmly and with a minimum of anger, worry and negative thinking? By acknowledging the sorrows as well as the joys of mothering Buddhism for Mothers can help you shift your perspective. This is Buddhism at its most accessible, applied to the daily realities of ordinary parents.

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From Publishers Weekly

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.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"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
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars too bad about the new cover July 16 2010
By liz
I really enjoyed this book. It constantly brings us back to what's important and why we are parenting. I do think the new cover is a shame though, as it gives the impression that the book is for parents of infants, when in fact it is for parents of children from 0 - adulthood. Or at least I find the teachings applicable to parenting older children.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read for Every New Mother June 16 2008
I highly recommend that every mother read Buddhism for Mothers, even if you do not practice Buddhism. Bringing the insightful 2500 yr old teachings of the Buddha and blending them into practical advice for mothers of young children is so necessary for every parent to read and implement.

The author Sarah Napthali (from Australia) is so real and easy to identify with. Several years ago, I tried reading a different parenting buddhism book and felt the author was way to "perfect" to relate to and put it down half read.

Each chapter of Buddhism for Mothers deals with an area to work on (dealing with anger, finding calm, parenting mindfully) and offers ways to evolve to a more mindful loving parent.

I also thoroughly enjoyed "Creating Loving Relationships" and "Living With Partners". Packed with many helpful tips to create connections in a real and honest way, something our society is seriously lacking.

I think my favourite chapter was "Finding Happiness". Being a mother is absolutely wonderful, however, if all of us mothers were honest we can say that mothering is hugely challenging and lonely and selfless and occasionally stressful, having a positive outlook and changing your "delusion" or "perception" of your reality is absolutely necessary to create a sense of calm peacefulness, which I think every one needs. In Buddhism for Mothers, Napthali gives you the starting tools to create your new mindful path.
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5.0 out of 5 stars does the trick Aug. 27 2003
Since the whole Old Testament thing has become back in vogue due to Dubya's administration, isn't it refreshing that little gems like this exist? This one presents highly useful ideas to Moms and parents everywhere on alternatives to the "spare the rod, spoil the child" motif. Thank God.
I presented this book to a Mom who was open-minded to the ideas presented and it was very well received, indeed.
Glad I made the purchase.
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5.0 out of 5 stars My go to book for bad days Jan. 5 2014
By Heidi
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I read this book when I first got it and loved it but don't always have time to put the suggestions into practice but on days when I have lost patience and loosing my mind - I go and take a five minute time out - open this book to whatever page it's at and read. I find her views on child rearing and how to apply a buddhist mind to it in practice and in our own busy brains is calming. Her words help me to put the situation that is frustrating me into perspective and calms me down so that I can then deal with my children from a place of peace and respect rather than anger and irritability.

I have this book and Buddhism for Mothers of Young Children - by the same author and kind of refer to them as my motherhood bibles.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  67 reviews
55 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Refreshing, Life Changing. Sept. 7 2006
By Kristin M. Scott - Published on Amazon.com
IF YOU'RE A MOM, BUY THIS BOOK! I am sceptical of anyone trying to preach an idea to me, and I do not claim to be Buddhist. I just LOVE this book. I checked it out from a local library, but am now purchasing it so I can always have it around. It not only approaches ways to be a calmer mom, but a calmer being in your daily encounter with the world. It has changed how I approach issues, big or small; it's also inspired me to demonstrate the same zen-buddhist coping tools for my children; and it has helped me to stay in the present moment. This book taught me that Buddhism is a spirituality more than a religion. It's all about being responsible for your own feelings and your own perception of the world. My 6-year old is already practicing the Buddhist principle of impermanence - I overheard him telling my 2-year old that his feeling scared about starting preschool would pass, and soon he'd be having fun and forget that he was ever scared. WOW!
36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book to savour Sept. 15 2006
By Suzanne Spector - Published on Amazon.com
One of many great things about this book is that it seems to have been designed to be read in little snippets. I find that I am reading 5-10 pages, then cogitating on them for a few days, and then continuing to read.

The author is very honest and refreshing. She tells of her near blissful joy at seeing her young childrens' smiling faces when she picks them up at childcare at the end of the day. Then tells how, at times, her mindset is replaced a few hours later by thoughts of the "I just can't take this mind-numbing drudgery and redundancy of entertaining preschool children for another minute!" variety. If we are honest, we've all harbored those thoughts at one time or another.

On every page, you get the sense that the author is a very real person who can relate to both the best and the stressed in us all.
40 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank You Sarah Napthali... Nov. 13 2006
By Krista - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
...for writing this book. There is so much wisdom condensed into its pages. I've highlighted and Post-It tagged so much of this book because there is so much of it I want to remember, so much of it by which I want to live. I've been able to apply some of the techniques in my day-to-day life with my 23 month old daughter and it has been very helpful. I highly recommend this book to any mother or father, or really anyone who wants to better deal with negative emotions, moodiness and stress and be more kind.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading for Moms Feb. 6 2008
By Julia Flyte - Published on Amazon.com
I am not a Buddhist, although there is much about the religion that I think can help us in everyday life. I picked up this book more for the tips on parenting than to learn more about Buddhism. For this reason I only skimmed through the initial and final chapters which are more about Buddhism, and concentrated on the segments in the middle.

What I particularly like about this book is that is very upfront about how difficult and lonely parenting can sometimes feel. Sarah Napthali (and the other women whom she quotes) are very frank about the times when they've been angry with their children or partners, when they've felt depressed or anxious or when they just fail to enjoy parenting as much as they'd like to. It's clear that being a Buddhist doesn't mean that you never feel these difficult emotions, just that you work on not giving in to them. Because this book is written in such an unjudgemental and empathetic way, I found it very inspiring. I think this should be required reading for every mother!

My only critique really is that the book is too topline. Although Napthali does give a handy list of techniques to help you parent in a more calm way, I found that some of them were more headlines than how to-s. The book also includes a chapters on topics like concerns about ageing and relationships with your partner and while these were interesting I would have preferred her to spend more time on parenting issues.

Nevertheless, it's a fabulous book to keep on your bedside table. I liked to read a few pages and reflect back at the end of the day.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Liked it, didn't love it Nov. 15 2009
By MichClay - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I really admire and like the author's brutal honesty about her experiences with motherhood: the anger, the impatience, the expectations, etc...She was so honest and didn't sugarcoat/glaze things over to look better that I couldn't help but remark over and over how "real" she was. I know many women can relate to the emotions and the sometimes out of control emotions we can experience and I liked that it was being stated outright. I particularly liked the chapter on Anger and the author's explanation/comments on karma. The second half of the book seemed repetitive of what had already been said throughout and seemed to drag a bit. I appreciate the book, but found only the first half very helpful. The rest, again, seemed overstated, repetitive, and a bit forgettable. Overall, a good read for mothers though.
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