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Spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle and “Mutt” cartoonist Patrick McDonnell have teamed up to give us a fun visual romp through the concepts in the book “The Power of Now.” If you have read any of Tolle’s works, you know he is an animal lover and that he has a dog. After Patrick McDonnell read “The Power of Now,” he approached Tolle about working together on a project and “Guardians
of Being” is the result. The artwork is simple and teamed up with words such as “When you pet a dog or listen to a cat purring, thinking may subside for a moment and a space of stillness arises within you, a doorway into being.” This is a wonderful way to dip into the concepts during the day, visiting them briefly, and allowing them to flow through you into whatever you have in front of you at the moment.
Many of us have companion animals and will appreciate the highlighting of the part they can play in the process of our enlightenment. Although we might already be aware of this, “Guardians of Being” helps us touch it in a new and profound way. You might want to put this on your holiday shopping list for the animal lovers in your life.
This is a fine film about “the serious business of happiness.” It is, essentially, a film about spirituality and an opportunity for luminaries from various walks of life to share their spiritual wisdom and insights to help uplift humanity. What sets this film apart from others of a similar bent is the people who are featured in it. In addition to the well-known names such as Eckhart Tolle, Marianne Williamson, and Don Miguel Ruiz, we meet Nachum Schifren—the surfing Rabbi, Geronimo (Pratt) Ji Jaga—a man who spent twenty-seven years in jail for a crime he didn’t commit, Reverend Robert Schuller (the Crystal Cathedral), the Venerable Tibetan Lama Chodok Gyatso Nubpa, and many others who bring varied perspectives to the common theme of self-realization and spiritual developemnt.
Rather than just a series of talking heads, the film has some wonderful creative elements that give it interest and variety. There is a loose storyline about a young man who is searching for happiness (the film is subtitled “The Awakening of Sean Mulvihill”) and it is through his journey that we meet these various spiritual “experts.” I have one criticism that in an effort to create a “plot,” the film seemed a bit choppy visually and a little clunky, particularly in the beginning. Fortunately, this is a minimal design element distraction in what is overall a film worth watching over and again. (A nice touch to bring in Swami Beyondananda to bridge segments of the film with a little spiritual comic relief.)
Last updated: December 02, 2009
#1 Reviewer - View all my reviews
It’s a sign of the times that a book like this has been published by a large publishing house (Red Wheel/ Weiser). The author, Monica Holy, is an ordinary woman and yet she has extraordinary abilities to move through alternative states of consciousness. She accesses these other states primarily through the dream state, and Fringe Dweller is her attempt to describe how she assists people from within this state who are both living and passed, or passing.
She calls herself “an afterlife paramedic” since she is usually called to intervene in situations that are urgent, with no forewarning and no one to explain what is required or to translate the non-ordinary into something that she can understand.
After decades of not understanding her bizarre but innate nocturnal events, and on the edge of collapse, Holy found some direction and mentoring in the physical plane to get her re-grounded. Once she accepted her gifts and reoriented her purpose, guides and “co-workers” from her dream state introduced lessons and schooling for navigating through astral realities during, which continue to this day.
This book is an authentic and brave revelation; the author pioneers a landscape that is unfamiliar to most of us, but that we suspect exists in some form. In this regard, it is human consciousness that is now on the fringe of understanding more fully, thanks to Monica Holy.
Mother Theresa once said: “We cannot do great things in this world, we can only do small things with great love.” She could have been referring to the life and teachings of Henri Nouwen (1932-1996), a Dutch-born Catholic who in his lifetime authored forty books on the spiritual life. He was a secular psychologist, Roman Catholic priest, pastor, Yale professor, Christian writer and philosopher, social/political activist, and more; his life reflected the depth and breadth of his vision: “…that each of us can find a deep, secure home in a God of love, and that together humanity can co-create a house of love in which all people, communities, and nations can live in peace.”
In the brief preface to the chapter “Prayer and Contemplation” the editor captures the essence of Henri Nouwen: “Yes, we are embodied creatures whose inner experience is a continuous river of intellectual, emotional, and sensory data, but what interested Henri was a longing in the heart, a longing of love and for love…”
The Essential Henri Nouwen is a collection of Nouwen’s sermons, with a lengthy introduction to Henri and his life by his friend and editor, Robert Jonas. Nouwen’s ideology had a Catholic foundation but the overwhelming message was one of universal love, and he expressed no interest in hierarchical structures or religious dogma. He did, however, draw strength and insight from Jesus’ spiritual ministry, and challenged himself to understand how he himself could be a minister, counselor, social worker or psychologist and stay in touch with his own vulnerabilities, as Jesus had.
Each sermon is a gentle yet penetrating portal into intimacy: our own and Henri’s. “Nouwen believed that what is most personal is most universal; he wrote, ‘By giving words to these intimate experiences I can make my life available to others.’”
His life is a gift and this collection of sermons a treasure.
I read Belinda Gore's first book on ecstatic postures, Ecstatic Trance: new Ritual Postures and while I liked it, I was dubious about reading her second book. My skeptical mind chattered: "Hmm, what could be exciting about more body postures?” However, I must say, I enjoyed this book even more than the first one. Maybe it was the cd of ecstatic rattle and drum music that came with it; maybe it was reading the forward and knowing this book came out after Belinda Gore's friend and teacher Felicitas Goodman passed over.
Whatever it was, this book wrapped a spell around me that lingered for days afterward. It intrigued me to find some of the ecstatic postures were ones I naturally made in everyday life. My six year old son felt the pull, too; out of multiple books and music he repeatedly found this book to open and ask to be read the names of the postures, out of multiple ipod listings, he kept picking the accompanying trance music. We both were intrigued by the history of the indigenous and ancient people we got in the intros to each posture. If you have read Belinda Gore before, you will be delighted to find this book as powerful as her previous one, if you are new to her work, get ready to have your world expand.
I found this book to be a quiet title wave....
Such a seemingly simple process, seemingly simple idea: ask to receive a symbol of healing for yourself and others. When first reading it, I was on guard against the potential of it being too hokey for me. I was pleasantly surprised by the easily readable format, and the clear, nonsense details of the process (with wonderfully easy "cliff notes" at the end of each chapter.)
I originally described this book as a quiet title wave because I could imagine the far reaching effects possible with this technique. This is something accessible in the moment of terror, pain or confusion, fostering a sense of easily accessible healing and relief. While anyone could benefit from this, I think this book would be particularly helpful to people easily overwhelmed by "trying to do things right," children and people who don't feel at home with words.
Last updated: October 13, 2009
Top 50 Reviewer - View all my reviews
If you want to look at your existing or intended relationships, this book takes a radically different approach based on various energies in the human body, both physical and subtle. One of these energetic forces within us is what the authors call, gender attraction. What makes the book unique is the focus the authors bring to these feminine and masculine gender energetics and the enormous influence they have on our intimate relationships.
Candidacy is the term in the book used describe those individuals seeking new relationships and they provide many pointers from the perspective of this new paradigm on how to go about connecting with a suitable long-term partner. I found myself wishing I had been given this book years ago as it has insights that would undoubtedly have improved my long-term relationships.
Sprinkled throughout the book are Energetic Facts of Life many of which I was unaware until reading this book. For example, “The culture encourages people to believe that, deep down, they instinctively know all that they really need to know about love. In fact no single human endeavor demands more attention, study and insight than romantic relationship.” “People think that romantic love is about duos. This isn’t true. An extraordinary relationship is really a trio, a three-way connection between you, your partner, and the intelligent force of gender.” “Although physical beauty gives people confidence and thus is almost universally seen as the cause of attraction, in fact physical beauty is a relatively minor player.” Your personal confidence and willingness to engage the full machinery of energetic attraction are the key factors in sexual allure.”
The authors claim, “You can be taught to speak and understand a whole language of give-and-take with other people, and of separation and merging, that will allow you to do great things in the area of relationship and attraction and in many other worthy pursuits.” Further, “The more you pay attention to gender outside yourself, the greater the chance that you will respect the needs and interests of the gender within yourself and potential or actual mates.” The authors discuss how to distinguish unsafe or unavailable partners from those who are safe and available, and how to assess your own availability or ‘unsafeness.’.
Gender attraction goes much deeper than lust. “.. both gender essences are driven by one overwhelming demand: to experience the other as deeply and completely as possible, the ultimate expression of this being the complete merging of male and female essences of two people.” It can take many forms. “The drive is fundamentally energetic.” There are physical moves that can enable a person to control their own genderness and attractiveness. The authors demonstrate these powers by asking various volunteers to stand in various poses and having the audience evaluate their effects.
The book points out that the sitcom is one expression of the culture that serves to undermine gender attractiveness by glorifying male-female antagonism. They feel the effect of sitcoms on children serves to instill unnecessary pain in their futures. Quite a claim. Men and women out to get each other or insulting, abusing and making derogatory jokes about each other is no basis for an intimate relationship.
One of the most distinguishing differences between the genders is that men value themselves and therefore want recognition for what they “do,” women for “who they are.” “Extraordinary relationship depends on moving past need to a place where creative expression and mutual exploration of the Mystery becomes the predominant intent.” The partners must go beyond the merely sexual content and this book offers many clues on how to do that. For example, a frequent complaint by women is that they are not sufficiently claimed by their mates. The beginning of the essence of relationship is the exaltation of the feminine; the feminine is a first among equals and, in a sense is more fundamental than the male. Sorry guys. Celebrating the feminine is important. “Failing to pay attention is the number one shortcoming of men in relationships.” “The female person must feel this attention or she will feel unseen and unloved.” It is apparently possible to convey this attention even when reading the newspaper at breakfast when one’s mate comes into the room. Unfortunately, “People are trained to think they have a license to be who they think they are and still get love. No such license exists in the worldview of Wild Attraction.” “Perhaps the most single bit of wisdom Wild Attraction has to offer both men and women is this: anything that damages any person’s innate ability to love and appreciate both gender essences is a grave and terrible injury.”
The authors touch on what they call ‘noncandidate love.’ They use such terms as ‘the hobbled male’ and ‘the woman in a bottle’ to characterize these people, and go on to discuss the languages of gender. One of their energetic facts states: People think they love and need the male or the female. This is wrong. In reality you need what the male and female together create: a blended “supergender.” “Extraordinary relationships must in the end exist to affirm that love exists, rather than to serve the false good of need.”
Much of the second half of the book devotes itself to discussing ways in which relationships can be improved, and asserts that many if not most relationships can be made extraordinary. The three prime building blocks to achieving extraordinary relationship are composed of three lists, the six stages of relationship, the five steps to candidacy, and the power rituals required for extraordinary love.
Spirituality is important in that “The cultural model for engaging spirituality and the non-ordinary often involves a diminished, marginalized view of the physical body and the celebration of the imagination and personality.” Feeling the energy is more important than the visualization.
I found the Wild Attraction model to offer many new insights into creating and maintaining extraordinary committed relationships, even gay relationships. As an engagement or wedding present it has the potential to transform the relationship of a couple into a memorable one for all concerned, far more profound than some spoons or quilt or set of towels.
--Jim Ward, Echo Magazine
Last updated: October 09, 2009
Top 50 Reviewer - View all my reviews
Michael Moore's Grapes of Wrath
Review by Dan Seigel, Huffington Post
Michael Moore has made the most important and urgent political film of our time. In fact, he might have made the most American of films since the populist cinema of Frank Capra.
I hope that Capitalism: A Love Story gets the proper national hearing and deep respect it so well deserves at this time in our history.
Moore provides us a much needed alternative narrative to the new Gilded Age fantasies first launched on TV screens during the rule of Reagan, unchallenged or even seconded in the Clinton years, and taken to extremis by the Cheney/Bush crowd.
Read the rest of Dan Seigel's review at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dan-siegel/michael-moores-grapes-of_b_309146.html
It takes courage for a Jew to write critically of Israel and brave the inevitable backlash from co-religionists. Kim Chernin, a psychotherapist, has dug deeply into her soul and psyche to present her personal view of the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. She strives to present both sides with balance and objectivity, acknowledging the influence of her own history as a Zionist who immigrated to Israel and then left.
While there have been immense historical wrongs against the Jewish people, and they have had to learn to fight for survival, Chernin’s willingness to justify Israel’s heavy-handed military actions against the Palestinian people eroded as the pain of their daily lives weighed heavily on her. I think the value and importance of this book is in the intellectual and emotional process Chernin goes through to get beyond the historical rights and wrongs of both sides and focus instead on the brutalization the conflict has inflicted on all of them. I remember a quote from Golda Meir when she was Prime Minister that is particularly apropos. She said, “I can forgive the Arabs for killing my sons, but I can never forgive them for turning my sons into killers.”
Chernin point out that “Realpolitik has been steadily failing since the 1940s and will continue to fail precisely because it doesn’t have a sufficiently complex view of reality – one that requires fundamental change on the part of the participants so they can hold to the agreements on which everything depends.” There are no easy answers, and all the peace agreements in the world will be hollow until both sides start seeing each other’s humanity and accept their mutual right to a decent life.
The book does point to glimmers of hope in this direction. There are quite a few initiatives on both sides to further peace and reconciliation. One of the most notable is Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam, an organization that teaches conflict resolution and has established a number of schools where Arab and Israeli children learn together.
This book was written over several years, and it is interesting that in the Afterword Chernin reflects that, “Almost every opinion I held when I began this book I no longer hold… Looked at more clearly, facts turned out to be opinions... and opinions are preferences or beliefs. As Lao Tse said, “The more you know, the less you understand.”
Last updated: October 07, 2009
Top 10 Reviewer - View all my reviews
This book is fun, engaging and has something for every fitness level! The basis is a selection of simple but effective 90 second exercises that should not take more than 3 minutes a day or 15 minutes total a week - any one can cope with that, right?
The vook is based on Pete Cerqua's hardcover book by the same title published in December, 2008. Pete is one of New York's most respected and in-demand fitness trainers, and the embedded video in the vook lets his energy shine through. It is also really useful to see the exercises demonstrated rather than trying to imagine how to do them.
He also offers recipes and guidelines for healthy eating and quick emergency weight loss. Can't wait to try them out...
Last updated: October 06, 2009
Top 10 Reviewer - View all my reviews
For a few weeks I staunchly resisted opening The Lost Symbol because I had other books claiming my attention. Two days ago I cracked it open and was immediately sucked into the world of Dan Brown, emerging bleary-eyed and contemplative. While many elements echoed The Da Vinci Code – reluctant hero, damsel in distress, fanatic villain, wise mentor, ancient secrets – they are such archetypes that Brown can be forgiven for the resonance. He really is a master storyteller who weaves history, suspense and arcana into a fairly compulsive page-turner full of adrenalin rushing action, and a labyrinth of unexpected twists and turns. The dialogue can get a bit forced on occasion, especially when presenting paragraphs of obscure factoids, and I did find myself skimming a bit.
But this is first and foremost a thriller, and since I don’t want to give away the plot, I'll focus on what might be the impact of The Lost Symbol.
Like good art and literature generally, I think this book both reflects and will affect the collective psyche. It taps into the same profound yearnings to understand life’s mysteries that rocketed The Secret to popularity a few years ago. It dangles the notion that there are indeed answers out there that “they” (government, illuminati, the Church, anyone in power, etc.) are keeping from us - grist for the mill of our inner conspiracy theorist. His research is exhaustive and meticulous, and I noticed that there are already three “guides” to the book out there or on the way.
The book can be read on several different levels: as a jolly good read, as pop history, as a popularized introduction to esoteric ideas, and/or as a big wake-up call. I’m not sure it will have the same impact as the Da Vinci Code, because the conclusions are more personal and require reflection.
The ending straddles the border between magic and plausible possibility, between victimhood and the dazzling power of creation. I recall the immortal words of Pogo, “We have met the enemy, and they are us…” The Lost Symbol would suggest, “We have met God, and God is us…” Let’s hope this work is a self-fulfilling prophecy.
“When you are going through hell, keep going.” ~ Winston Churchill
Bulletproof Spirit is a vital resource to keep you going when you’re in the midst of your own “hell.” This book offers valuable guidance that will help you get through your darkest days and into the new “normal” that eventually emerges out of trauma. “Bounce Back Boot Camp” at the end of each chapter provides practical step-by-step actions to reinforce the chapter’s lesson and to move you forward gently and steadily.
Two points in particular resonated for me:
1. In our society, we do not know how to grieve well. The grieving process is important for all kinds of hits, large and small. Secret #8, Grieve Like a Guru, is worth the price of the book, even if you read nothing else.
2. The authors explain the value of forgiveness better than anything I’ve read. Reframing forgiveness, as an indulgence I deserve rather an obligation to someone else, was a completely new perspective. Secret #14, The Real Meaning of the F Word, has several other ideas that make forgiveness a powerful tool for current and past losses.
The authors have each faced devastating losses. They briefly mention their own challenges in this book, but keep the content focused on providing steps for the rest of us to keep going through our own “hits” and to the other side. They each, separately, determined to rise above their pain and to help others do the same, and Bulletproof Spirit is a shining example of their success.
No matter how old you are, if you ever felt like you were born into the wrong place, the wrong family, or the wrong body, I highly recommend INDIGO AWAKENING. It will inspire you to recognize that your childhood challenges of not fitting in may have to do with your being an “indigo” – a child who has come into this world with special qualities of enlightenment and often special challenges to overcome.
The forward by Christine Page, MD, succinctly explains this story as about one Indigo’s challenge to be successful in a world that neither recognizes nor necessarily supports her gifts. Once I could put the book into a familiar context, I was hooked! I read the entire book in one sitting.
The author, now a successful osteopathic physician describes the torment of her early school years, from teachers that cruelly belittled her in front of the entire class, to needing to study long hours to compensate for undiagnosed dyslexia, to the hateful taunts of other children at recess.
All these experiences increased her sense of isolation and caused her to shut down emotionally, moving her farther away from her innate gifts of being able to see energies and auras, unusual artistic and healing talents, and accessing past life memories. Eventually, she learns to utilize her gifts to enhance her life and her practice as well.
This book offers insight and understanding of Indigo children, no matter when they were born. I enjoyed this book so much that I bought two additional copies for friends.
With an ear for human interest and eye for detail, Lynne McTaggart masterfully tells the true story in THE FIELD of how pioneers in science and consciousness research are working to achieve a more complete understanding of the true nature of reality -- an understanding which includes (rather than ignores) consciousness.
THE FIELD describes how scientists have gradually become aware of what appears to be a unifying energy structure in our universe. This "Zero Point Field" provides us with a simpler explanation for how things work than previous overly-complex ideas require. Simplicity in science is a good thing, because it generally indicates which theories will win out as time goes by. The Zero Point Field theory demonstrates it's elegant simplicity by allowing physicists to derive the famous equation F=ma (rather than take it as a starting assumption), and by helping medical practitioners understand the underlying scientific basis for homeopathy.
Our scientific conceptualization of this universe has changed considerably over the last few centuries and now faces one of the biggest overhauls ever -- and THE FIELD demonstrates why the Zero Point Field is likely to be the last frontier for us to explore. THE FIELD is packed with detailed descriptions of some of the most exciting experiments recently conducted by leading researchers in the field of consciousness such as: Cleve Backster, Jacques Benveniste, William Braud, Bob Jahn, Edgar Mitchell, Fritz-Albert Popp, Hal Puthoff, Rupert Sheldrake, Russell Targ, Elisabeth Targ, and Charles Tart.
I give this book my highest recommendation.
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