Reviews written by NCR Staff or Affiliates
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This book is a much needed 21st century synthesis of shamanism and the transformative role it can play in our lives. Shamanism, the world’s first spiritual practice, guides us through the experience of direct revelation, to the wisdom within each of us. The practice of shamanism opens doorways into other realms of reality where helping spirits reside who share their guidance, wisdom, and healing for ourselves and the world we live in. Shamanism reveals to us, through this mystical experience, that we are an integral part of Nature and one with all life.
Ingerman, Wesselman and their collaborators, who together embody more than 100 person years of shamanic teaching, writing, and healing, weave together the ancient roots and past wisdom, and provide instruction for bringing shamanic practice into the Western world. They quote aboriginal shamans who say that it is time for us in the west to adopt this practice to help ourselves and others to restore a sense of meaning and mystery into our frenetic lives.
The authors describe the history of shamanism, how it shaped the world’s spiritual traditions, and why it is still relevant today. The art of the shamanic journey—the jewel of shamanism, which helps us to connect with the spiritual world—is explained and the CDs that accompany the book provide drumming and guidance to begin to journey. The major topics of shamanic practice are explored, from the art of the shamanic journey itself, working with ceremony and ritual, life transitions, including death, transforming communities, and working with children.
This book will play a seminal role in grounding shamanism in the 21st century. By brining several contributors together, the authors are able to explore several shamanic cultural traditions in one book. Thus, the reader learns something about the universal nature of the core of this spiritual and healing tradition. The authors transmit an appreciation of the cultural differences and individual approaches that are so central to its vitality and why it had endured so long.
I teach and practice shamanism myself, and have many books on shamanism on my shelf. This is the book that I now recommend to my students who want to understand the scope of this beautiful practice, and the important role it can have in their own personal transformation.
Two CDs accompany the book: one contains drumming for journeys and the other instructions for beginning to journey. There are suggested practices throughout the book and a list of references at the end.
Review by Analouise Williams
Last updated: October 13, 2009
Top 50 Reviewer -
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 -
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
I am inspired by "Tendon Nei Kung" to take better care of a part of my body I'd never previously given much thought to. Who would have thought that one's tendon health is so important for overall health and well-being? I'm excited to learn ways to keep myself feeling young, energized, healthy and strong, that are simple and easy.
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