Karen Maezen Miller

Karen Maezen Miller

Karen Maezen Miller is a priest in the Soto Zen lineage of Taizan Maezumi Roshi and a student of Nyogen Yeo Roshi. In daily life, as mother to daughter Georgia and as a writer, she aims to resolve the enigmatic truth of Maezumi’s teaching, “Your life is your practice.” Miller is the author of Momma Zen: Walking the Crooked Path of Motherhood, and most recently, Paradise in Plain Sight: Lessons from a Zen Garden.


Recent Articles

10 Tips for a Mindful Home

Karen Maezen Miller offers 10 simple tips for a mindful home.

Karen Maezen Miller Happiness New Years Zen

Una bendición de Año Nuevo

La maestra zen Karen Maezen Miller nos ofrece algunas palabras para ayudarnos a comenzar bien el año.

water pouring into pool with pink flower floating

Las instrucciones de Dogen para el jardinero

Karen Maezen Miller habla sobre el cultivo de las tres mentes: la mente alegre, la mente amable y la mente grande.

Barbie wears a shirt that says  be yourself

El dharma de Barbie

Karen Maezen Miller se sintió desgarrada cuando su hija entró en la etapa de Barbie. Pero, ¿qué era peor, el comercialismo y los estándares de belleza poco realistas de la muñeca, o los prejuicios y conceptos adultos de la mamá?

Barbie wears a shirt that says  be yourself

The Dharma of Barbie

Karen Maezen Miller was torn when her daughter entered the Barbie stage. But what was worse—the doll’s commercialism or Mom’s grownup judgments?

water pouring into pool with pink flower floating

Dogen’s Instructions to the Gardener

Karen Maezen Miller on cultivating the three minds—joyful mind, kind mind, and great mind.

Despiertos en el ahora

“Buda” significa “el despierto”. Karen Maezen Miller sobre de qué se despertó el Buda y cómo puedes despertar tú también.

Awake In the Now

“Buddha” means “the awakened one.” Karen Maezen Miller on what it is the Buddha woke up from—and how you can wake up, too.

Karen Maezen Miller Happiness New Years Zen

A New Year’s Blessing

Karen Maezen Miller gives her New Years well wishes.

Holiday Blues

Zen teacher Karen Maezen Miller on enjoying the holiday you’re having, not the one you were hoping for.

Karen Maezen Miller, Dishes, Leaves, Lion's Roar, Shambhala Sun, Joshu, Zen, Life

Do Dishes, Rake Leaves: The Wisdom of the Ancient Homemakers

Karen Maezen Miller on how the domestic practice of ancient Zen masters can lead us to intimate encounters with our own lives.

Cómo descubrí mi respiración (¡y mucho más!)

Contar las respiraciones -la práctica de presencia mental o mindfulness más simple- llevó a la maestra Zen, Karen Maezen Miller a un profundo camino espiritual. 

How I Discovered My Breath (and So Much More)

Counting breaths—the simplest of mindfulness practices—took Zen teacher Karen Maezen Miller on a profound spiritual journey. It’s one we can take too.

Blank notebook.

Doing Nothing

Karen Maezen Miller on how meditation helps her bring "doing nothing" into everything she does.

How to Look at a Wall

Zen teacher Karen Maezen Miller explains Bodhidharma's famous practice of wall-gazing.

True Practice is Never Disengaged

If we feel like our practice is here, and the world is over there, says Karen Maezen Miller, then we’re missing the point of practice.

5 Ways to Make the World Better Through Facebook

Karen Maezen Miller gives us tools to engage with our fellow Facebookers in ways that benefit us all.

Teachings Your Practice Zen Karen Maezen Miller Maezumi Roshi

Maezumi’s Three Teachings

Three teachings on meditation passed on from Maezumi Roshi to Karen Maezen Miller.

10 Vows to Not Make Things Difficult

Who’s really making things difficult? asks Zen teacher Karen Maezen Miller. Here are ten ways to take care of your end.

Waking Up Alone

Everything changes; nothing lasts. In matters of the heart, this can be hard. Karen Maezen Miller on what to do after the love story ends.

Meditation hall.

6 tips for getting ready for a meditation retreat

Karen Maezen Miller with tips on preparing for a retreat.

Three people crying.

Be Sad

Karen Maezen Miller looks at the important role of sadness in life.

The First Noble Misunderstanding

There's a lot of misunderstanding about meditation. In fact, that's pretty much all that meditation is — the process of seeing how very much you've misunderstood about it and everything else.

The Unhappiness Gap

Karen Maezen Miller looks at why people the world over are finding themselves unhappy, despite being told of more and more ways to find happiness.

Karen Maezen Miller Parenting Your Practice Zen Maezumi Roshi Attachment

Wanting What’s Right

Karen Maezen Miller on trying to curb the budding consumerism of her children and their attachment to things.

Buddha statue.

Buddhism’s Big Lies

Karen Maezen Miller breaks down the three most common lies in Buddhist discourse.

8 Practical Guidelines for Mindful Parenting

Taking care of the little (and not-so-little ones) can be a challenge, but that doesn't mean that "mindful parenting" has to be an oxymoron. Here then are some simple tips from Karen Maezen Miller.

The Heart of a Garden

The pond in her garden isn't like those decorating fancy homes and magazine covers. In time, however, Karen Maezen Miller discovers the right view of her muddy water: they’re not always pretty, but they are beautiful.

Macaroni Art — Karen Maezen Miller on Joyful Giving

Karen Maezen Miller looks at why generosity is the starting place of all the virtues.

What Are Teachers For?

Given how difficult Buddhist teachers can be to locate, trust, understand, accept, admire, and follow, are they even necessary?


Karen Maezen Miller’s “The Laundry Line” — Coming Home

Karen Maezen Miller's advice on coming back from retreat and finding mindfulness in our daily life.