Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life, by Thich Nhat Hanh and Dr. Lilian Cheung (HarperOne) 292 pages, $25.99
Renowned Buddhist master Thich Nhat Hanh has helped thousands of people on the path to mindfulness. He is beloved by students around the world, and The New York Times writes that “among buddhist leaders influential in the West, Thich Nhat Hanh ranks second only to the Dalai Lama.” Now, together with Dr. Lilian Cheung, a nutritionist with the Harvard School of Public Health, Hanh applies his mindfulness teachings to our everyday life in the most fundamental way possible: focusing on the way that we eat. By weaving together Buddhist teachings with nutrition science, Hanh and Cheung offer a new and penetrating perspective on how the current obesity epidemic developed, and on what can be done, both individually and collectively, to reverse it.

Most Good, Least Harm : A Simple Principle for a Better World and Meaningful Life, by Zoe Weil (Beyond Words), 224 pages, $15
With a world steeped in materialism, environmental destruction, and injustice, what can one individual possibly do to change it? While the present obstacles we face may seem overwhelming, author and humane educator Zoe Weil shows us that change doesn’t have to start with an army. It starts with you. Through her straightforward approaches to living a MOGO, or “most good,” life, she reveals that the true path to inner peace doesn’t require a retreat from the world. Rather, she gives the reader powerful and practicable tools to face these global issues, and improve both our planet and our personal lives. Weil explores direct ways to become involved with the community, make better choices as consumers, and develop positive messages to live by, showing readers that their simple decisions really can change the world.

Mandela’s Way: Fifteen Lessons on Life, Love, and Courage, by Richard Stengel (Crown), 256 pages, $23
We long for heroes and have too few. Nelson Mandela, who recently celebrated his 91st birthday, is the closest thing the world has to a secular saint. He liberated a country from a system of violent prejudice and helped unite oppressor and oppressed in a way that had never been done before. Now Richard Stengel, the editor of Time magazine, has distilled countless hours of intimate conversation with Mandela into fifteen essential life lessons. For nearly three years, including the critical period when Mandela moved South Africa toward the first democratic elections in its history, Stengel collaborated with Mandela on his autobiography and traveled with him everywhere. Eating with him, watching him campaign, hearing him think out loud, Stengel came to know all the different sides of this complex man and became a cherished friend and colleague.

In the Heart of the World : Thoughts, Stories, and Prayers, by Mother Teresa (New World Library), 112 pages, $12.95
In the Heart of the World is a powerful portrait of one of the most beloved women of all time, told in her own words through a fascinating blend of daily life experiences, prayers, and spiritual wisdom. Follow Mother Teresa to the streets of Calcutta, Rome and New York and listen as she offers pearls of spiritual truth as relevant today as when she began her work more than sixty years ago. With humor, compassion and lyrical clarity, Mother Teresa illuminates the sacred in the intimate everyday tasks of living. In the Heart of the World bears indisputable testimony to the influence of a soul wholly dedicated – with a heart of love – to a life of service. Through this book, Mother Teresa will inspire you to reach out with love and compassion to others, and to work together for world peace.

In the Absence of God: Dwelling in the Presence of the Sacred, by Sam Keen (Harmony Books), 224 pages, $23
In his new book, bestselling author Sam Keen challenges the notions and habits we’ve formed about religion over the centuries in order for us to build a deeper faith, that is relevant today. He asks:

  • How has religion failed us?.
  • Must we choose between dogmatic religion and atheism?
  • How might religion unite rather than divide us?

The answers, Keen discovers, point the way back to the primal emotions, to the life-giving sense of dwelling in the presence of the sacred. In the Absence of God sets out to recover the elemental experience of the sacred in everyday life. By appreciating emotions like wonder, gratitude, anxiety, joy, grief, reverence, compassion, outrage, hope and humility we may once again find ourselves in the presence of an unknowable but all present G-D. We may also regain the commonalities between Christians, Jews, Muslims, and other spirit traditions and end the contentious differences that have divided them and our world.

Roll Around Heaven: An All-true Accidental Spiritual Adventure, by Jessica Maxwell (Beyond Words) 256 pages, $25
Successful magazine travel writer Maxwell didn’t intend to write a book about spirituality. The author of books on golf, fishing and other nature adventures claimed an “allergy to religion,” yet spirituality seemed to find her anyway. After stumbling upon a lovable pig farmer/spiritual teacher, the self-proclaimed spiritual klutz finds herself wading through adventures with auras, demons, psychics and Jesus. In this book, Maxwell catalogs 16 years of spiritual experiences. The reader is taken through her quest for peace and understanding as she discovers that, regardless of the path, all religions call for loving others. Maxwell draws on religious symbolism from all world religions and quotes everyone from C.S. Lewis to Ramakrishna; the book is essentially spiritual and syncretistic. Readers who find Maxwell more superstitious than authentic should still appreciate her distinctive writing style.

When God Spoke to Me: The Inspiring Stories of Ordinary People Who Have Received Divine Guidance and Wisdom, by DavidPaul Doyle (New Page Books), 256 pages, $15.99
Have you ever wondered whether your sudden inspiration, insight, or shift in experience was the result of divine guidance? Never before has a book been written that shares the true-life stories of ordinary people from around the world who have experienced hearing God’s Voice. When God Spoke to Me: The Inspiring Stories Of Ordinary People Who Have Received Divine Guidance and Wisdom will not only move you to see life from a new perspective, it’s filled with such raw and captivating authenticity and emotion that it’s causing a tremendous stir amongst ministers, professors, and readers from all walks of life. Mariel Hemingway, actress and author of Mariel’s Kitchen, says, “This book is delightful because it confirms that all of us can speak with the Divine. In these stories we hear regular people and how their lives shift because of their connection to God. It is very inspiring!”

The Generosity Plan: Sharing Your Time, Treasure, and Talent to Shape the World, by Kathy LeMay (Beyond Words), 272 pages, $15
Many of us have the desire to make a difference. But when it comes down to it, how many really know what steps to take and how to fit philanthropy into our lives. The Generosity Plan shows readers the unexpected benefits and joys of generosity in our daily lives. This smart, practical guide to philanthropy illuminates the power of giving by helping readers to discover what inspires them, clarify what he or she can afford to give, and direct that generosity toward a better world. Contributing time or money to causes far removed from the immediacy of our individual lives may feel overwhelming, especially in times of financial stress and uncertainty. Author Kathy LeMay breaks through these initial roadblocks to give easy and valuable tools to spur definite and rewarding action, demonstrating how our time, treasure, and talents can make a world of difference. By building and acting on a generosity plan, each one of us can create change simply by doing what we can, where we are, with what we have.

The Fifth Agreement: A Practical Guide to Self-Mastery, by Don Miguel Ruiz and Don Jose Ruiz (Amber Allen), 248 pages, $19.95
Since 1997, The Four Agreements has transformed the lives of millions of people around the world with a simple but profound message. Now bestselling author don Miguel Ruiz and his son, don Jose Ruiz, collaborate with this powerful sequel The Fifth Agreement. The Four Agreements provides the foundation for breaking thousands of agreements that create needless suffering and with The Fifth Agreement you recover all the power of your authenticity, which is who you really are when you are born. Don Miguel Ruiz is the international bestselling author of the Toltec Wisdom series, including The Four Agreements (more than seven years on The New York Times bestseller list), The Mastery of Love, and The Voice of Knowledge. He continues to share the wisdom of the ancient Toltec through lectures, workshops, and journeys to sacred sites around the world. Don Jose Ruiz was chosen by his father to carry on the centuries-old family legacy of healing and teaching. For the past seven years, he has lectured widely across the United States and at sacred sites around the world.

Ancestral Blueprints: Revealing Invisible Truths in America’s Soul, by Lisa B. Iverson (Family Constellations West), 136 pages, $19.95
Ancestral Blueprints: Revealing Invisible Truths in America’s Soul provides a way to relate to this silence by offering:

  • Insight into the wisdom of our elders and the influence of their lives on ours;
  • Consciousness regarding the consequences of unacknowledged truth in our families and country;
  • A compassionate look at American history through the eyes of a psychotherapist who specializes in transgenerational loss and trauma;
  • A unique perspective on the place of psychotherapy in American culture; and
  • A framework for observing and interacting with life, inspired by our ancestral blueprints.

Lisa Iversen received her Masters in Social Work from the University of Washington in 1992 and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Her Bachelor of Arts degree, a double major in Sociology and English and minor in Women’s Studies, is from the University of Minnesota. Lisa’s psychotherapy practice has been based in the Pacific Northwest since 1993. She has been integrating Systemic Constellation wisdom into her private practice and leading circles rooted in ancestral resonance since 1999.

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