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Penguin Random House OMNI Drop-ins March 2019

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A Jewish Mother in Shangri-La
By (author): Rosie Rosenzweig
9781570624599 Paperback, Trade English General Trade BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Religious Jul 09, 2019
$29.95 CAD
Active 5.49 x 8.48 x 0.41 in 192 pages Shambhala
An old joke tells of a Jewish woman who treks to the Himalayas to seek an audience with a guru sitting in seclusion on a mountaintop. When at last she comes before him, she implores: "Sheldon, come home!"

Rosie Rosenzweig became that Jewish mother—but in real life, the story has a different ending. Instead of asking her Buddhist son, Ben, to come home, Rosie accepts his invitation to find out about Buddhism firsthand. Together they visit retreat centers in Europe and Asia and meet leading meditation masters who are Ben’s gurus: Vietnamese teacher Thich Nhat Hanh and Tibetan lamas Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche and Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche. While struggling to come to terms with Ben’s choice of a spiritual path so different from everything that she cherishes, Rosie finds that she is learning more about herself than she anticipated.

The adventures of Rosie recounts take her from her Boston suburb to a Zen hermitage in France, an enclave of Tibetan Buddhists in Nepal, and finally to her own spiritual home in Jerusalem. Whether she is practicing mindfulness meditation, sharing a cup of tea with a Zen master, or worrying about bowing down to idols, Rosie is intent in her quest to find common ground between two ancient traditions, to deepen her understanding of her son, and to find a way to her own authentic experience of truth. Hers is a mission of peace that seeks to build a bridge of understanding between cultures and faiths while remaining true to her own Jewish identity.

Publication History: Shambhala HC, ’98 (9781570623530)

An extraordinary travel memoir: Rosie Rosenzweig takes the reader along with her in the path to understanding the new, vastly different world that her son has chosen to be a part of, traveling all over Asia and chronicling her experiences. Her careful attention to the Buddhist path allows the reader to see into these traditions as they are practiced in places like India, Nepal, a Zen hermitage in France, and even Jerusalem.

A touching and genuine narrative: The way Rosie writes is authentic and raw, taking the reader by the heartstrings and painting for them a vivid picture of the experience—whether they are a mother struggling with a similar issue or someone completely foreign to the situation.

A feel-good guide and welcome story in a time full of division: Recent racial and religous struggle has left many these days with a sour taste in their mouth, wanting something more than the divisive news stories that saturate the media. This book is a breath of fresh air, an uplifting account of how religious differences don’t have to tear people apart—in fact, it teaches that these differences can strengthen relationships and open the mind to the many wonderful traditions that are hiding in plain sight.

Rosie Rosenzweig is a poet, journalist, Jewish educator, and the author of The Jewish Guide to Boston and New England. The mother of three grown children, she lives with her psychotherapist-husband in Wayland, Massachusetts.

Author Residence: Massachusetts

“This beautiful book is all of our journeys toward deep and mutual understanding. It is both a guidebook for Jewish moms and a blueprint for insight and love.”—Arnold Kotler, Founding Editor of Parallax Press

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