Sutra is the Sanskrit name for a short spiritual teaching, and it comes from the same root as the English word suture, or stitch. This story of motherhood as a path to awakening is, says yoga and meditation teacher Anne Cushman, “an homage to the long threads that run through all human lives, stitching up what’s shredded in our hearts.”
In this interview, Anne Cushman, a longtime yoga and dharma teacher, talks about her new book The Mama Sutra: A Story of Love, Loss, and the Path of Motherhood(Shambhala, 2019). This thoughtful book spans an eighteen-year journey through motherhood as a spiritual practice, chronicling Cushman’s first pregnancy, her daughter’s tragic stillbirth, the joyful birth of her son, the “home retreat” of early motherhood, the challenges of parenthood, the diagnosis and gifts of her son’s developmental differences, the meltdown of her nuclear family and its reconfiguration into a new and joyful form, and more. This is a powerful story of the rawness and beauty of life.
Anne Cushman is a creative writer and mindfulness meditation teacher whose work focuses on the intersection between spiritual practice and the wild, messy, heartbreaking, and hilarious details of ordinary life. She is the author of Enlightenment for Idiots, From Here to Nirvana, and the meditative yoga program Moving Into Meditation.