New Books, Music & Video | Winter 2013


bookPreviews of New Books and Video for Body, Mind & Soul



60-seconds-fixThe 60 Seconds Fix: The Brain Changing Toolkit That Stops Unwanted Habits and Starts Surprising Joy, by Regalena Melrose, Ph.D. (60 Seconds Press), 193 pages, $15The 60 Seconds Fix is the timely response to our collective calling for quicker, easier solutions to our stressful lives. Keeping up with our fast-paced, technologically driven world has stressed us beyond tolerance and we’re tired of not feeling good! In an easy, fun, and experiential format, The 60 Seconds Fix empowers us all: to notice quickly when we are in or out of The Zone: the feeling good place of optimum arousal that makes peak performance possible; to savor more abundantly the times when we are in The Zone performing our best; to know exactly how to get back in The Zone fast to feel good and perform well no matter what our endeavor. Within the pages of this book, Dr. Regalena “Reggie” Melrose keeps us laughing about the way we are currently juggling it all while giving us a solid, practical toolkit that will have us feeling less stressed and more playful, less worried and more joyful.

ancestral-continuumThe Ancestral Continuum: Unlock the Secrets of Who You Really Are, by Natalia O’Sullivan and Nicola Graydon (Atria Books), 304 pages, $26The Ancestral Continuum is an extraordinary investigation into the spiritual and emotional legacies we inherit at our birth from our ancestors, and a powerful and revolutionary blueprint for transforming how we feel about ourselves. The book takes you on a journey to discover how humanity, throughout time and around the world, acknowledges loved ones who have died and honors those who came before them. And it will give you the tools to explore your family tree, meet your ancestors anew and find your way through the labyrinth of your own legacy. You will begin to see yourself as just one strand in a never-ending tapestry of history and emotion, personality and achievement, tragedy and death, that will continue through your family into eternity. There is a massive interest worldwide in people tracing their roots. But researching into our forebears’ lives often unearths surprising or turbulent histories. The past 250 years have seen more change and upheaval than at any other point in history, and almost everyone alive now will have ancestors whose lives were touched by war, migration, mass upheavals and major turning points in society. Although we may not know their names, the stories of these ancestors have an impact on our lives now and will in the future. We are all connected. By remembering those who have gone before us, we can step into our true power and realize our highest potential.

chi-kungChi Kung for Prostate Health and Sexual Vigor: A Handbook of Simple Exercises and Techniques, by Mantak Chia & William U. Wei (Destiny Books) 176 pages, $16.95 — Age need not be a death sentence for men’s sexual health and vitality. Taoist Master Mantak Chia and William U. Wei explain how to use the energetic and physical practice of Chi Kung to not only maintain a flourishing sex life well into old age but also reduce prostate enlargement and prevent prostate gland cancer. With fully illustrated step-by-step instructions, the authors provide exercises and techniques to open the energetic pathways connected to the male reproductive organs and clear the energy blockages that lead to sexual dysfunction and illness. They explain how to perform sexual energy and prostate gland massages and detail stretching exercises and the practice of chi weight lifting–attaching weights to the penis and scrotum to enhance sexual vigor. They explain that while these techniques are primarily preventive, they can also act to regenerate and restore function, forestalling the need for surgery in early stages of prostate disease. The authors present a routine of exercises to be practiced daily as well as guidance on supporting your practice with nutritional and herbal supplements.

color-your-lifeColor Your Life: How to Use the Right Colors to Achieve Balance, Health, and Happiness, by Howard & Dorothy Sun (Tarcher), 240 pages, $16.95 — Alter the colors around you to improve your quality of life! Color has been used for thousands of years to represent an individual’s mental and emotional state. The colors that we surround ourselves with allow for a deeper exploration into the inner self. Used positively, color can have a profound healing quality, enhance our well-being and improve our lives. Now, in Color Your Life, veteran color therapists Howard and Dorothy Sun explain how color can be used to promote health, healing, and personal growth. This book will help you discover how to do your own Color Reflection Reading, learn about your aura and chakra colors and discover how color in your life can be the answer to spiritual growth and well-being. Howard and Dorothy Sun, who have been working as color therapists for more than twenty years, are the creators of Living Colour, a color awareness and personal growth organization. Their innovative approach offers a fresh and unique vision, which has helped many people around the world transform their lives.

complete-illustrated-encyThe Complete Illustrated Encyclopedia of Magical Plants, Revised: A Practical Guide to Creating Healing, Protection, and Prosperity using Plants, Herbs, and Flowers, by Susan Gregg (Fair Winds Press), 304 pages, $19.99 — The ultimate guide to magical plants gets even better in this new edition of The Complete Illustrated Encyclopedia of Magical Plants! Learn how to improve your life using the spiritual properties all around you in nature. This revised and expanded guide includes the magical properties and uses for nearly 300 plants. Entries describe how to use spells or rituals and potions that solve everything from shooing evil spirits out of a reader’s house to finding the perfect mate to using herbs, flowers, and plants in Wiccan and earth magic festivals. New entries are woven throughout the book to reflect the newest popular healing plants and herbs. Expert Susan Gregg shows you how to concoct tinctures, oils, and bath salts, work with dried leaves, and use fresh plants and flowers to call in fairies and plant divas that will enhance your life. The smaller size of this bestselling encyclopedia makes it a perfect gift for a friend, a family member, or yourself!

crystals-and-sacred-sitesCrystals and Sacred Sites: Use Crystals to Access the Power of Sacred Landscapes for Personal and Planetary Transformation, by Judy Hall (Fair Winds Press), 192 pages, $19.99 — From the pyramids of Giza to Stonehenge to Machu Picchu, people are captivated by the magic of the world’s most sacred and mysterious sites. Crystals and Sacred Sites teaches you how to tap into the healing energy of these sites from anywhere in the world using the power of crystals and sacred stones. Noted crystal authority Judy Hall takes you to the most revered sacred sites in the ancient world as well as newly discovered ones that are emerging as power points critical to our evolution as a planet. With the assistance of specially selected crystals and accompanying meditations and rituals, you can open the doorways to transformation and healing.

essential-yogaEssential Yoga: One-Hour Classes You Can Take at Your Own Pace, by Sarah Herrington (Fair Winds Press), 160 pages, $19.99 — Yoga is incredibly rewarding. It soothes the nerves, focuses the mind, and gets you ready for life’s challenges. It also gives you a knockout body. But between work, family and a social life, who has the time to plumb the depths of this ancient practice? Enter Essential Yoga, the ultimate guide to yoga for busy people. Essential Yoga is perfect for the beginning student who wants to begin practicing yoga–and getting the benefits–immediately. Covering all of the essential skills, poses, and postures, this essential guide breaks down the practice into 24 one-hour lessons that readers can take at their own pace whether they want to do several lessons in a row or one lesson per day, week, or month. Step-by-step photos, captioning, timing instructions, and tip/caution sidebars take the guesswork out of learning and get readers up to speed in no time.

featherFeather And The Writer Of The Water, by Fletcher Schwartz (Flowing Downstream Publishing) 74 pages, $7.99Feather And The Writer of the Water is a story about a feather who goes on adventures and learns a great deal from his teacher the Wind. Feather meets a boy whose great dream is to travel to Outer Space and she meets a girl who dreams of taking a ride down the Alphine Slide. Along the way Feather learns about dolphins and how weather is created. It is a creative and imaginative tale that is good for all ages.

five-point-touch-therapyFive Point Touch Therapy: Acupressure for the Emotional Body, by Pierre-Noël Delatte, M.D. (Healing Arts Press), 208 pages, $16.95 — Does emotion rule you or do you rule your emotions? With five point touch therapy, you can quickly counter negative emotional states as they arise, leaving you better able to cope with a crisis, as well as treat long-term issues such as depression and anxiety. More than just a self-help method, this technique, also called psycho-bio-acupressure (PBA), is also effective for children and babies, particularly for sleep problems and colic. Based on Dr. Delatte’s 20 years of research and decades of hands-on practice, PBA works by sequential activation of 5 acupressure points to produce an energetic circuit in the body. This circuit can provide immediate relief from acute negative emotions and, when applied regularly, prevent future emotional overreactions and treat deep-seated destructive emotional states. The book includes 22 five-point sequences for specific emotional issues, such as panic attacks or suppressed anger, and for removing the emotional blocks and scars at the root of many common physical ailments, such as eczema, asthma, and weight gain. Dr. Delatte explains how to combine the 22 sequences to treat more than 70 additional emotional and physical ailments as well as how to use this technique with homeopathy and Bach Flower Therapy for more stubborn conditions. Providing a daily routine of self-treatment to combat stress and balance your energetic centers, this book allows you to take control of your emotions as well as protect and enhance your health.

healing-with-the-artsHealing with the Arts: A 12-Week Program to Heal Yourself and Your Community, by Michael Samuels, M.D., and Mary Rockwood Lane, Ph.D. (Atria Books/Beyond Words) 256 pages, $18 — From musicians in hospitals to quilts on the National Mall — art is already healing people all over the world. It is helping veterans recover, improving the quality of life for cancer patients, and bringing communities together to improve their neighborhoods. Now it’s your turn. Through art projects, including visual arts, dance, writing, and music, along with spiritual practices and guided imagery, Healing with the Arts gives you the tools to address what you need to heal in your life–physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. An acclaimed twelve-week program lauded by hospitals and caretakers from around the world, Healing with the Arts gives you the ability to heal your family and your friends, as well as communities where you’ve always wanted to make a difference. Internationally known leaders in the arts in medicine movement, Michael Samuels, MD, and Mary Rockwood Lane, RN, PhD, show you how to use creativity and self-expression to pave the artist’s path to healing.

how-roland-rollsHow Roland Rolls, by Jim Carrey, illustrated by Rob Nason (Some Kind of Garden Media), 68 pages, $16.95 , for ages 4-8How Roland Rolls, winner of a 2013 Gelett Burgess Children’s Book Award, is a story about a wave named Roland who’s afraid that, one day, when he hits the beach, his life will be over. But when he gets deep, he’s struck by the notion that he’s not just a wave – he’s the whole big, wide ocean! The story shows humanity’s interconnectedness through the metaphor of a wave in the ocean. The book is lavishly illustrated by Rob Nason, who won a Golden Reel award for his work as Art Director on the film Anastasia, as well as an Annie Awards nomination. His work on Thumbelina garnered the Hans Christian Andersen award. His cover for the inspiring grass-roots children’s book, Saltwater Taffy, was nominated as Cover of the Year and was a finalist for the prestigious Benjamin Franklin award.

kiss-the-windKiss the Wind: Understanding the Elementals and Faeries, by Victoria Hunt (Ozark Mountain Publishing), 100 pages, $12 — Do you know the difference between elementals, faeries and elves? In Kiss the Wind: Understanding the Elementals and Faeries, this usually ignored difference is explored and revealed. These separate species impact the Earth in a way that is normally unseen to human eyes, but work together as a whole to keep our planet healthy and functioning smoothly. Kiss the Wind combines ancient history, myth, folk lore and personal experience to explore this subject. Weaving together beautiful imagery and concrete explanations, Victoria Hunt’s book takes you deep into the world of Elementals and Faeries. The primary elementals of our world — air, earth, fire and water — all consist of subtle spiritual energies that animate each element in its natural state. And where the Elementals create, the Faery beings sustain. Hunt explains the doorway into the Otherworld where the gods/Faeries live is a portal that leads symbolically to the spiritual realm inside each and every one of us and is accessed normally when communing with Source or Creator.

meaning-of-markThe Meaning of the Mark: Discover the Mysterious Success Power Behind the Classic It Works, by RHJ (Tarcher) 160 pages, $15.95 — Since 1926, the mind-power classic It Works has sold more than 1.5 million copies. To the many devoted readers of It Works, that book’s mysterious author — known by the initials RHJ — had just one message to share. Yet, the master thinker behind It Works had a final legacy to bestow upon the world. He called it The Meaning of the Mark. In 1931, five years after publishing It Works, RHJ — a Chicagoan named Roy Herbert Jarrett — published The Meaning of the Mark to more fully explain the ideas, magical methods, and mysterious symbols in his earlier work. Jarrett intended his longer and final follow-up book as the “inner key” to It Works. This rediscovery volume makes The Meaning of the Mark available for the first time in a generation. The many readers who hunger to learn more about the success power behind It Works will be thrilled with this substantial and detailed guidebook. It expands upon techniques and ideas only hinted at in It Works.

my-son-and-the-afterlifeMy Son and the Afterlife: Conversations from the Other Side, by Elisa Medhus, M.D. (Atria Books/Beyond Words), 304 pages, $16 — Dr. Elisa Medhus never believed in life after death. As an accomplished physician, she placed her faith in science. All of that changed after her son Erik took his own life and then reached out from the other side. Intimate, heartbreaking, and illuminating, go on an incredible journey from grief and skepticism to healing and belief. Based on Medhus’s wildly popular blog, Channeling Erik, My Son and the Afterlife provides answers to the most universal questions of being human. At once tragic and uplifting, Erik speaks from the other side with candor, wisdom, and depth as he describes his own experiences and provides new answers about the nature of souls, death, and the afterlife–answers that have the potential to change our lives forever. Dr. Medhus is a physician and mother of five who has practiced internal medicine for over thirty years. She is the author of three award-winning parenting books and has lectured on parenting for schools, parent groups and corporations. After the death of her 20-year-old son, Erik, Dr. Medhus began journaling her grief on her blog, Channeling Erik.

nothing-is-impossibleNothing Is Impossible: 7 Steps to Realize Your True Power and Maximize Your Results, by Tom Oliver (McGraw-Hill), 256 pages, $27 — Tom Oliver has shared his extraordinary secrets with Bono, Richard Branson, the Dalai Lama, and Deepak Chopra. Now he shares them with you. Are you ready to lose your self-doubt and use the tools you already have to turn your wildest dreams into tangible reality? This book is about to put them all at your fingertips. In this extraordinary new road map for success, Tom Oliver–a motivational self-made entrepreneur and coach to many of the world’s most notable CEOs, philanthropists, and entertainers–shows you how to dramatically alter your life path. Nothing Is Impossible is a proven seven-step whole-brain plan anyone can use to improve his or her business, life, and career from the man Deepak Chopra calls “an extraordinary leader.” Have you ever struggled with success? Have you ever felt that your strengths were left untapped–your true talents unrecognized? Do you have a different plan for yourself from the one others might imagine for you? As Oliver explains, what really distinguishes people who get things done and realize their dreams from those who don’t is that they don’t allow their self-doubts to stop them–they don’t cultivate what the Buddha called the “habit of doubt.” This book dispels that doubt, freeing you to set and meet the personal and professional goals most people only dream about. Clearly, step by step, with personal anecdotes from some of the world’s most influential leaders and his own remarkable life, Oliver presents a practical playbook for anyone who wants to change his or her life and future. It also features comprehensive exercises and abundant resources.

prayer2The Prayer, A Love Story, by Jacqueline von Zwehl (Johann Press) 216 pages, $14.95The Prayer, A Love Story is the award-winning finalist: Christian Inspirational, 2013 USA Best Book Awards. It is an inspirational true story of one woman who discovers the secret to living a life filled with miracles, unconditional love and answered prayers. The journey begins with a divine promise, continues with unforeseen life challenges, and eventually leads to Jerusalem. Inside the Old City, a prayer will unlock the key to a life of miracles. This journey is proof heaven is real and its gifts are available to you now. Whether you have stopped believing in God or not, God believes in you. The journey holds a promise for everyone. No matter how much darkness exists in your life, it cannot diminish the flicker of even the tiniest light. That light will lead you to your destiny and it will change your life forever.

secrets-of-heavenSecrets of Heaven, by Marshall Vian Summers (New Knowledge Library), 334 pages, $19.95 — From the depths of mystery come the Secrets of Heaven. They have come to take you deeper into the experience of mystery and purpose that surrounds your presence in the world. The angels of heaven seek to share with you what has long been forgotten in the world. Miraculously, as if whispered across time and space, these secrets have now come to you. You have found them. At a time of great change in the world, Heaven seeks to reveal to you the long-forgotten truths that once guided the prophets, poets, messengers and mystics throughout the ages. Here the ancient memory and awareness that dwells within you can be rekindled, revealing your greater gifts and purpose in the world. The Secrets of Heaven hold the power to unlock these gifts, deep at the heart of humanity. With these gifts, there is new hope for the world. Heaven asks you to receive its secrets. Each secret is a window into a greater reality. Each secret is an opportunity to peer through the looking glass, and see ourselves as we are seen from above. Now we are looking through the eyes of Heaven to see ourselves, others and the world as never before. The newest book of revelation from The New Message from God, Secrets of Heaven contains the first and earliest utterances of the New Message from God. These secrets were revealed starting in 1983 in the deserts of the American Southwest, upon the Messenger Marshall Vian Summers’ initiation by the Angelic Assembly and their mysterious mandate that he open himself to their presence and begin to “record.” What you will find in these pages are those first words, recorded, preserved through time and now made available to the world.

sense-of-being-stared-atThe Sense of Being Stared at: And Other Aspects of the Extended Mind, by Rupert Sheldrake (Arrow Books Ltd) 384 pages, $18.95 — Nearly everyone has experienced the feeling of being watched or had their stare result in a glance in their direction. The phenomenon has been cited throughout history in nearly every culture, along with other commonplace “paranormal” occurrences, such as premonitions and telepathy. In this newly updated edition, Sheldrake shares his more than 25 years of research into telepathy, the power of staring, remote viewing, recognition, and animal premonitions. Drawing on more than 5,000 case histories, 4,000 questionnaire responses, and the results of experiments on staring, thought transference, phone telepathy and other phenomena carried out with more than 20,000 people as well as reports and data from dozens of independent research teams. Sheldrake shows that these unezplained human abilities — such as the sense of being stared at — are not paranormal but a normal part of our biological nature.

shivaShiva: Stories and Teachings from the Shiva Mahapurana, by Vanamali (Inner Traditions), 272 pages, $19.95 — Shiva, the most ancient and complex deity of the Hindu pantheon, has been portrayed in many contrasting lights: destroyer and benefactor, ascetic and householder, wild demon slayer and calm yogi atop Mount Kailash. Drawing from the Hindu sacred text the Shiva Mahapurana — said to be written by Shiva himself — Vanamali selects the essential stories of Shiva, both those from his dark wild side and those from his benevolent peaceful side. Vanamali discusses Shiva’s many avatars such as Shambunatha and Bhola, as well as Dakshinamurti who taught the shastras and tantras to the rishis. She explores Shiva’s relationships with Durga, Shakti, Sati, and Parvati and with his sons Ganesha and Kartikeya. Examining Shiva’s acceptance of outsiders, Vanamali explains why ghosts and ghouls are his attendants and why his greatest devotees are demon kings, like Ravana. She includes famous Shiva stories such as the Descent of the River Ganga and Churning the Milky Ocean as well as those that reveal the origin of the festival of lights, Diwali; his creation of the cosmic couple, or hierogamos; and how Shiva and Parvati taught the world the secrets of Kundalini Shakti. The author also draws upon Shaivite teachings to illustrate the differences between Western science and Vedic science and their explanations for the origins of consciousness. Integrating Shiva’s two sides, the fierce and the peaceful, Vanamali reveals that Shiva’s form depends on the needs of the devotee. Understanding his teachings allows one to see through the illusions at the root of all grief and alienation in human life, for Shiva is the wielder of maya who does not fall under its spell. While Ganesha is known as the remover of obstacles, Shiva is the remover of tears.

soul-choicesSoul Choices: Six Paths to Find Your Life Purpose, by Kathryn Andries (Ozark Mountain Publishing), 224 pages, $16.50 — The first book to teach the top 6 methods of self-awareness. Reading this book will bring you face to face with your true self and help you discover parts of yourself never before encountered. Full of unconventional ideas, thought-provoking questions and engaging activities, this book will propel everyone, regardless of age or religion, to examine their life’s mission in a new light. A guidebook, resource manual and workbook all in one! Soul Choices: Six Paths to Find Your Life Purpose shows how to successfully use six different methods of self-awareness to understand yourself and your life mission. More than 130 thought provoking questions, exercises and tasks will lead you to uncover your strengths and weaknesses. This is the first time these six intuitive sciences have been brought together in one book. Andries shows how to synthesize the information from the six methods into a cohesive message that pertains to your life mission. Best of all, Soul Choices teaches you how to do it on your own, or how to get in contact with people and resources that can help you.

soul-of-all-livingThe Soul of All Living Creatures: What Animals Can Teach Us About Being Human, by Vint Virga, D.V.M. (Crown), 240 pages, $25 — Based on the author’s 25 years of experience as a veterinarian and veterinary behaviorist, The Soul of All Living Creatures delves into the inner lives of animals – from whales, wolves, and leopards to mice, dogs, and cats – and explores the relationships we forge with them. As an emergency room clinician four years out of veterinary school, Dr. Vint Virga had a life-changing experience: he witnessed the power of simple human contact and compassion to affect the recovery of a dog struggling to survive after being hit by a car.  Observing firsthand the remarkably strong connection between humans and animals inspired him to explore the world from the viewpoint of animals and taught him to respect the kinship that connects us. With The Soul of All Living Creatures, Virga draws from his decades in veterinary practice to reveal how, by striving to perceive the world as animals do, we can enrich our own appreciation of life, enhance our character, nurture our relationships, improve our communication with others, reorder our values, and deepen our grasp of spirituality.  Virga discerningly illuminates basic traits shared by both humans and animals and makes animal behavior meaningful, relevant, and easy to understand.  Insightful and eloquent, The Soul of All Living Creatures offers an intimate journey into the lives of our fellow creatures and a thought-provoking promise of what we can learn from spending time with them.

spiritual-toolboxSpiritual Toolbox: Meditations and Spiritual Exercises to Expedite Spiritual Growth, by Sherri Cortland, N.D. (Ozark Mountain Publishing), 250 pages, $17 — With her third book, Spiritual Toolbox, Sherri Cortland continues her search for the truth about who we are and why we’re here, as she shares channeled information communicated through automatic writing by her Guide Group, whom she affectionately refers to as the “GG.” Cortland has packed Spiritual Toolbox with channeled wisdom, meditations, and Spiritual exercises from the “GG” and from a diverse gathering of metaphysical professionals (including an intuitive medium, a crystal healer, an Akashic Records practitioner, fellow authors, and a psychic medium/Spiritual wellness & soul coach) with the intention of giving her readers a set of Spiritual tools that will allow them to raise their vibrations, expedite their Spiritual growth, and develop on-going and direct communication with their Higher Self and Spirit Guides. Spiritual Toolbox is for Lightworkers and Truth Seekers who want to communicate directly with Spirit, raise their vibrations, and expedite their Spiritual growth.

stepping-into-consciousnessStepping Into Consciousness: A Guide to Living A Life of Joy, Meaning, and Abundance, by Nicky Rolland (CreateSpace), 150 pages, $12.95 — It is one thing to be conscious on the yoga mat and quite another to lead a conscious life out in the world. Stepping into Consciousness: A Guide to Living a Life of Joy, Meaning, and Abundance enables you to make that transition from mat to life. With a clear vision of helping you explore some of life’s big questions, Stepping into Consciousness combines results-oriented solutions typical of a self-help book with the insights of a tome on spirituality. Will this book help make you happier and richer and reduce your stress levels? Yes, but perhaps not in the way you expect. As you become curious about who you are, begin to question what you thought to be true, and become aware of your place in the Universe, a whole new world of possibilities will open up to you. This book is for anyone who is ready to live a life filled with joy, meaning, and abundance now, rather than simply read about one.

tune-inTune In: Let Your Intuition Guide You to Fulfillment and Flow, by Sonia Choquette (Hay House), 224 pages, $16.95 — Join New York Times best-selling author and internationally renowned teacher and intuitive guide Sonia Choquette as she reveals a simple four-step plan for achieving lifelong inner transformation. In this revised and expanded edition of her book The Power of Your Spirit — and distilled from more than 35 years of helping others get in touch with their true selves and discover their souls’ purpose — Sonia provides profound yet accessible wisdom to those seeking to transcend the strictures of an ego-driven existence and experience the joy and fulfillment of an intuitively guided, Spirit-driven life. Illuminated with even more engaging and powerful stories of personal transformation from her life and practice than in the original version, this invaluable book instructs seekers at all stages of their spiritual journeys how to directly tune in to their intuition. Sonia also provides additional practical exercises and rituals-including breathing techniques, visualizations, journaling questions, and a step-by-step guide to setting up and using a personal altar-to help us place our intuition at the helm of our spiritual quests and in the heart of our daily lives. Whether you’re just beginning to tap into your intuition or are already living in the flow, Tune In offers a wealth of inspiration that will enable you to engage more deeply with your inner Spirit, your authentic Self, and live a more rewarding, fearless, and compassionate life.

writing-to-wakeWriting to Wake the Soul: Opening the Sacred Conversation Within, by Karen Hering (Atria Books/Beyond Words), 304 pages, $24 — Whether you approach this book primarily as a reader or a writer, you can open a rich correspondence with yourself and learn what your own heart has to say. Karen Hering offers a path of self-exploration and a contemplative practice of writing that engages memory and imagination, story and poetry, images and the timeless wisdom of world religions and mythology. It will open your ear to your own truths while opening your heart to the world around you. Blending writing prompts, meditations, and stories, this book invites you to begin wherever you are and discover your own unique relationship with language, spirituality, and the world around you. The next chapter is yours to write, and Writing to Wake the Soul offers all you need to write it. Perfect for writers and non-writers, and for theists, atheists and agnostics alike, this book offers readers an accessible method to articulate and explore the difficult questions of our time.

zero-pointThe Zero Point Agreement: How to Be Who You Already Are, by Julie Tallard Johnson (Destiny Books), 320 pages, $18.95 — Everyone wants to experience purpose and inspiration in their lives, but the search for meaning often leaves a seeker in the hands of fate. Offering a different approach to self-discovery, one where we create our meaning from within rather than seek it from the outside world, Julie Tallard Johnson shows there is a science behind personal spiritual experiences and creativity. She reveals simple evidence-based methods that can be applied to any situation to generate enthusiasm, inspiration, and direct spiritual experience and transform the inner and outer landscapes of your life. Drawing from the Heart Sutra, the I Ching, indigenous wisdom, and the teachings of the Dalai Lama, Joseph Campbell, and the Kadampa master Atisha, Johnson outlines a practice centered on what she calls the Zero Point Agreement — the realization that you are the zero point of your life, that life’s purpose comes from within. She explains how to discover who you truly are by naming what you want to be and taking steps to make it a reality. Providing 11 core principles for the Zero Point Agreement, as well as thought exercises, meditations and journaling practices, Johnson shows how to break free from negative habitual states, liberate yourself from your attachment to the behaviors of others, take full responsibility for motivation and effort, express gratitude, focus your intention, and learn to co-create with the natural world. She also explores how to transform repressed material and how to apply the Zero Point Agreement to heal both personal and global relationships. Revealing how we can tap in to the creative, creational power that lies within and around each of us, Johnson offers a spiritual technology for self-illumination, creative restructuring of your life, and manifestation of your life’s purpose.



dream-spaceDream Space, by Dean Evenson (Soundings Of Planet) — Flutist Dean Evenson is well known for his beautiful, spacious music, in which peace and serenity mingle with nature and soft melodies. With Dream Space, Evenson and friends (Dudley Evenson on harp, Tibetan bowls and tamboura, Phil Heaven on viola) present an atmosphere that is meant to be transcendent and otherworldly. Evenson’s flutes wander through the recording with haunting grace, while flowing keyboard ambience, dotted with Tibetan bowl tones and cosmic effects, gives the feeling of floating through space. The strings of heaven and the harp of Dudley further add an enchanting accent to the music when they make an appearance. The music also incorporates the Earth Resonance Frequency (ERF) at 7.83 Hz, which entrains the brain to a state between alpha and theta for maximum meditative potential. This is certainly Dean Evenson’s most ambient album to date, providing the potential for deeper states of relaxation than ever before.

flight-14Flight 14, by Uwe Gronau (Time Rider Music) — When composer and keyboardist Uwe Gronau creates a new recording, it’s as if he is taking an adventurous flight. His musical journeys sometimes have the feeling of blasting off in a spaceship, or soaring above the clouds in an airplane, or hang-gliding alone a few hundred feet above the earth, or free-falling like a bungie-jumper. And so he titled his latest musical excursion Flight 14. Gronau is a German musician, a master of many styles with numerous eclectic recordings. His musical enthusiasm and boundless creativity cannot be contained. Flight 14, for example, contains solo piano (“Magic Tree,” “Father, I Miss You,” “The Cleaning,” “Elegy” and “What I Forgot To Say”), piano-and-synthesizer (“Lend Me Your Heart”), all-synth (“Flight 14”), electric-piano and drums (“The Other Way”), rhythmic-ambient (“Market”), a groove tune with a little vocoder (“Longing For”), spacey-and-soaring synth with drums (“Heaven”), progressive-rocking-new-age (“At The Beginning,” “The Ghost Behind You”), an uptempo vocal tune (“Prince of the Darkness”) and much more. “My friends have often said they feel like they are flying when they listen to my music,” explains Gronau. “Others talk about feeling like they are being lifted by the sounds. When I record the music in my studio, I am concentrating on what I want to say. But when I listen to it later with ‘new ears,’ I often start to fly with it. Sometimes it is the like falling into the music and you fall and fall and fall. Or, as my music professor at the University of Cologne said one day, ‘Think about a bass note, and go deeper and deeper with it, but below there is a big meadow waiting.’ I like that picture, that feeling.”

portalPortal, by Akasa (Sky Children Media) — This album consists of 12 original songs collaborated with keyboardists and co-producers Morris Hayes (Prince, Chaka Kahn, Martika, George Clinton), Nick Michaels (Pete Townsend, Robert Calvert of Hawkwind, Tara London), Aaron Michael Stern (Jon Anderson of Yes, Tin Soldier, Charles Castronovo), Andre Mieus (Steven Lee, and a CD titled The Tempered Klavier) and Shenkar (Shakti, Frank Zappa, Sting, Yoko Ono). Portal invites you to discover a cross genre fusion of sound with multicultural elements. Each song in Portal is a journey, an exploration and an imagination of possibilities. “‘Diamond Cor’ (with Morris Hayes) uses the metaphor of diamond to offer possibility of transforming suffering,” Akasa says. “As the diamond is the result of millions years of heat and suppression, humanity’s suffering can become a gateway to our collective deeper compassion and catalyst for revealing our potential goodness and radiance! ‘Sahara Rising’ is another song for humanity. Using the symbol of desert flower that arises in a harsh environment, our pain can be lead to the discovery of our inner river — the flow of our authentic soul that has the capacity and strength to overcome challenges and suffering.” Akasa is a New Age World Fusion songstress and performing artist who writes songs with multicultural elements and sings in vocalization, English and a fictional language like Enya, Lisa Gerrard, Era, Enigma and Sigur Ros.

songs-to-the-goddessSongs to the Goddess, by Annette Cantor (Source Being) — The latest album from new age vocalist Annette Cantor takes as its theme sacred deities from around the world with the common denominator being a focus on the universal Mother Earth. Cantor, who this time sings all wordless vocals, says the music is meant to praise the planet, give thanks for birth and living, and also ask for guidance in creating a good life. Well-known new age instrumentalist C.G. Deuter plays all the (mostly-acoustic) instruments. Cantor’s vocals are absolutely beautiful, whether just one voice is heard or when she sings with herself. The vocals are uplifting and joyous while at the same time being relaxing and calming. This album is right in the pocket of great new age music and is one of the better examples of new age wordless vocals.

songversationSongversation, by India.Arie (I Soulbird/Motown) — Sometimes you have to step back to move forward. Coming to that realization — let alone taking that crucial first step –can be a daunting endeavor. Now on the other side of a self-imposed four-year hiatus, India.Arie returns with the most illuminating album of her career. SongVersation reunites the Grammy-winning singer/songwriter/producer with longtime writing partner/co-producer Shannon Sanders. “This is where I’ve been for the last four years,” reflects the singer. “I’ve struggled most of my career to feel comfortable with how things were, how I was treated, the politics of the music industry. I needed to pull back from the public eye to ground myself and rebuild my life and career. It’s a process many of us go through: spiritual maturation, spiritual awakening, clearing out the old and starting anew.” Her inner renewal pulsates throughout SongVersation, starting with lead single “Cocoa Butter.” The mid- tempo groove and image-rich verses mirror the soothing balm that is the song’s namesake.

soundtrack-to-lifeSoundtrack to Life, by Cosmo Frequency (Good Moves Music) — Cosmo Frequency is the name of a musical group formed by keyboardists and tech-wizards Paul Martinson and Brent Vincent (with occasional vocals by Lisa Wegener). The group has released its debut album, Soundtrack to Life, containing a dozen mostly-instrumental tunes that includes some soft pieces, many mid-tempo numbers featuring a variety of synth sounds including the Electronic Woodwind Instrument, and some up-tempo tunes with dance rhythms. The album includes the sounds of synthesizers, Native flute, drums, bass, trumpet, flugelhorn, electric guitars, piano, percussion, background singing, and much more. “We connect to the cosmos, which allows our inner light-worker to absorb the messages and turn them into sounds,” Martinson explains. “We tune into the vibrations and positive influences, which allows us to capture the music that surrounds us.”



from-neurons-to-nirvanaFrom Neurons to Nirvana: The Great Medicines, directed by Oliver Hockenhull, 108 minutes, — A stylish, in depth look at the renaissance in psychedelic drug research in light of current scientific, medical and cultural knowledge. The film explores these socially taboo substances as adjuncts to psychotherapy, as crucial but neglected medicines, and as technologies of consciousness. From Neurons to Nirvana: The Great Medicines features interviews with some of the world’s foremost researchers, writers, and pioneers in the growing field of psychedelic psychotherapy. The film explores the history of five powerful psychedelic substances (LSD, Psilocybin, MDMA, Ayahuasca and Cannabis) and their previously established medicinal potential. These radical healers and dissenters are using everything from ancient concoctions to newly created designer molecules to the once demonized psychedelic drugs of the 1960s. They argue convincingly for the legal right to incorporate these substances into therapeutic practice.

wisdom-treeThe Wisdom Tree, written and directed by Sunil Shah,, January 2014 releaseThe Wisdom Tree is a gripping mystery film, which blends science, art, music and mysticism. This thought-provoking feature film dares to weave theories from diverse disciplines into the storyline, taking viewers on a unique and ever-deepening sci-fi mystical journey certain to have audiences buzzing. A haunting background score, coupled with carefully sketched cinematography and subtle sound design adds novel dimensions and intrigue. Struggling to decipher a mysterious car accident, a self-conflicted quantum physicist (Patrick Alparone), an unwavering neuroscientist (Sheetal Sheth), and an anguished FBI agent (Eric Holter) are drawn into an ever-deepening mystery. Their transformative journey takes them through a maze of subliminal artworks, baffling scientific discoveries, and a series of puzzling events which make for a uniquely bizarre set of coincidences. Stuck in an enigmatic entanglement, they must unravel the most profound discoveries ever and save the human race from an impending danger. Not in their wildest dreams could they have foreseen what lay ahead — and neither will viewers. The film heavily relies on — and attempts to bind — theories and doctrines, as well as hypotheses, from science and math, music, art, philosophy, mysticism, spirituality and intra-disciplinary possibilities, to create an engaging whole.


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