New Books | Summer 2016


a-way-to-godA Way to God: Thomas Merton’s Creation Spirituality Journey, by Matthew Fox (New World Library), 304 pages — This powerful book was prompted by an invitation Matthew Fox received to speak on the centennial of Thomas Merton’s birth. Fox says that much of the trouble he’s gotten into — such as being expelled from the Dominican Order in 1993, after 34 years, by Cardinal Ratzinger (who later became Pope Benedict) — was because of Merton, who prompted Fox to attend the Institut Catholique in Paris to undertake a doctoral program in spirituality. Fox reimmersed himself in Merton’s journals, poetry, and religious writings, finding that Merton’s marriage of mysticism and prophecy, contemplation and action closely paralleled that of Meister Eckhart, the 13th-century mystic who inspired Fox’s own Creation Spirituality. In A Way to God, Fox explores Merton’s pioneering work in interfaith, his essential teachings on mixing contemplation and action, and how the vision of Meister Eckhart profoundly influenced Merton in what Fox calls his Creation Spirituality journey.

beautifulBeautiful — Being an Empowered Young Woman, by Naomi Katz (iBooks), 154 pages — I was a seventh-grade teacher while I was living in New York City, and many of my students were attractive young women who looked a lot more like college students than middle-school kids. Were they getting called out and leered at too? Lara was in eighth grade. She was very tall and thin, and looked like a supermodel. She knew it, and liked to dress a little too skimpily for my taste. But I love her anyway. We were very close, and I knew if I asked her a question, she’d answer me honestly.
“Lara, can I ask you something?”
“Sure, Katzie, what’s up?”
“When you’re walking around on the street, do random guys call you out and tell you things they want to do to you?”
“Oh my God!!! All the time!” I heard a real sense of relief in her voice.
“How does it make you feel?”
“Horrible. Like a piece of meat.”
We talked about the problem for a long time. At the end of the conversation I had really mixed feelings. On one hand, I felt better that I was not the only person who suffered this kind of treatment. On the other hand, I felt a lot worse, because not only did I have to deal with this, but now I realized that my students-middle-school girls-were being catcalled on the street by men who were probably at least twice their age. This, I decided, was not cool. I had to do something about it. First of all, you should know that it is normal for you to be feeling insecure and unsure of yourself. You are going through a tough time, during which it seems as if everything about you is wrong. It’s easy to hate on yourself when the pictures of beauty you see don’t look like you. It’s even easier to hate on yourself when your friends are judging the way you look and act every day. The truth is, though, that they are judging and criticizing because they share the same insecurities. I’m not sure that helps you, but at least keep it in mind the next time you feel bad about yourself because of something a friend says. She’s probably saying it because she feels bad about herself. In this book, I try to be honest with you about what I’ve learned about being a teenage girl. I’ve learned these things from my own life as well as from the experiences of my students. I’m sharing them with you because I think that we can do a lot better. We shouldn’t have to feel insecure, and we certainly shouldn’t feel like we have to compete with the women around us to feel better about ourselves. We should be able to feel good about ourselves, and be proud of the strong, beautiful, interesting, capable, young women we are. I hope my words can help you do just that.

becoming-natureBecoming Nature: Learning the Language of Wild Animals and Plants, by Tamarack Song (Bear & Company), 304 pages — Animals and plants are in constant communication with the world around them. To join the conversation, we need only to connect with our primal mind and recognize that we, too, are Nature. Once in this state, we can communicate with animals as effortlessly as talking with friends. The songs of birds and the calls of animals start to make sense. We begin to see the reasons for their actions and discover that we can feel what they feel. We can sense the hidden animals around us, then get close enough to look into their eyes and touch them. Immersed in Nature, we are no longer intruders, but fellow beings moving in symphony with the Dance of Life. In this guide to becoming one with Nature, Tamarack Song provides step-by-step instructions for reawakening the innate sensory and intuitive abilities that our hunter-gatherer ancestors relied upon?–abilities imprinted in our DNA yet long forgotten. Through exercises and experiential stories, the author guides us to immerse ourselves in Nature at the deepest levels of perception, which allows us to sense the surrounding world and the living beings in it as extensions of our own awareness. He details how to open our minds and hearts to listen and communicate in the wordless language of wild animals and plants. He explains how to hone our imagining skill so we can transform into the animal we are seeking, along with becoming invisible by entering the silence of Nature. He shows how to approach a wild animal on her own terms, which erases her fear and shyness. Allowing us to feel the blind yearning of a vixen Fox in heat and the terror of a Squirrel fleeing a Pine Marten, the practices in this book strip away everything that separates us from the animals. They enable us to restore our kinship with the natural world, strengthen our spiritual relationships with the animals who share our planet, and discover the true essence of the wild within us.

being-trueBeing True: What Matters Most in Work, Life, and Love, by Tami Simon (Sounds True), audio book — When I took my first steps on the spiritual path,” says Tami Simon, “I was looking for answers to life’s greatest mysteries. Over time I learned that the best books and teachers pointed us inward–to our own experience–and that this is where we can find our greatest sense of aliveness and purpose.” On Being True, the founder of Sounds True distills essential lessons learned from 30 years of exploring the edge where spiritual wisdom meets the challenges of work, life, and love. Join her for four intimate sessions on:
• Being true as a process–five keys for living in integrity
• Spirituality in action–how we can apply our highest values in the workplace and in our relationships
• Her most transformative encounters with spiritual teachers.
Sounds True listeners and followers of the Insights at the Edge podcast series have heard Tami introducing and interviewing leading voices in spirituality, science, and creativity. Now she speaks to you directly as a fellow traveler on the journey–sharing her most valuable insights on honoring your inner imperatives in the real world, meeting setbacks with an open heart, and remaining alive to the inner voice that always encourages each of us to “be true.”

be-your-own-herbalistBe Your Own Herbalist: Essential Herbs for Health, Beauty, and Cooking, by Michelle Schoffro Cook (New World Library), 256 pages — This complete guide will get you growing, harvesting, using, and healing with herbs — the world’s oldest and most effective natural medicines. Popular health writer Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook profiles 31 common and easy-to-grow (or readily available) herbs, sharing scientific discoveries about their usefulness and offering more than one hundred easy ways to use them in delicious recipes, healing teas, and soothing body treatments. You’ll discover ways to delight body and mind as you incorporate Mother Nature’s medicines into daily life, where they nurture and protect.

book-of-hooponoponoThe Book of Ho’oponopono: The Hawaiian Practice of Forgiveness and Healing, by Luc Bodin, Nathalie Bodin Lamboy and Jean Graciet (Destiny Books), 160 pages — A simple practice to heal your past and cleanse negative memories to live a more peaceful and harmonious life. Based on an ancestral Hawaiian shamanic ritual, the healing practice of Ho’oponopono teaches you to cleanse your consciousness of negative memories, unconscious fears, and dysfunctional programming and grant yourself forgiveness, peace, and love. The process is deceptively simple–first you must recognize your own responsibility for creating the events in your life, then you are ready to apply the mantra of Ho’oponopono: I’m sorry, Forgive me, Thank you, I love you. Repeated several times over a dedicated interval, the negativity is replaced with inner peace, love, and harmony–and, as the stories in this book show, sometimes even miracles take place. In this step-by-step guide, the authors explain how to apply Ho’oponopono to traumatic past events, destructive thought patterns, family dynamics, daily annoyances, or any other disagreeable event in your life, from traffic jams to relationship break-ups. Drawing on quantum physics and epigenetics, they explore how Ho’oponopono works–how thoughts and consciousness can affect the expression of your DNA, the materialization of your goals, and the behavior of those around you. They explain how negative thought patterns and memories unconsciously guide your life and draw more negativity to you, perpetuating the cycle of bad events and clouding your recollection of the past. By apologizing to yourself, your memory, and the event in question, you can forgive yourself, heal your memories, and cleanse your perceptions. By reconciling with yourself, you open your heart to love for your experiences, yourself, and others and bring harmony to your mind, body, and the world around you.

global-mindThe Global Mind and the Rise of Civilization: The Quantum Evolution of Consciousness, by Carl Johan Calleman (Bear & Company), 320 pages — How the global mind drives the evolution of both consciousness and civilization. In each culture the origins of civilization can be tied to the arising of one concept in the human mind: straight lines. Straight and perpendicular lines are not found in nature, so where did they come from? What shift in consciousness occurred around the globe that triggered the start of rectangular building methods and linear organization as well as written language, pyramid construction, mathematics, and art? Offering a detailed answer to this question, Carl Calleman explores the quantum evolution of the global mind and its holographic resonance with the human mind. He examines how our brains are not thinking machines but individual receivers of consciousness from the global mind, which creates holographic downloads to adjust human consciousness to new cosmological circumstances. He explains how the Mayan Calendar provides a blueprint for these downloads throughout history and how the global mind, rather than the individual, has the power to make civilizations rise and fall. He shows how, at the beginning of the Mayan 6th Wave (Long Count) in 3115 BCE, the global mind gave human beings the capacity to conceptualize spatial relations in terms of straight and perpendicular lines, initiating the building of pyramids and megaliths around the world and leading to the rise of modern civilization. He examines the symbolism within the Great Pyramid of Giza and the pyramid at Chichén Itzá and looks at the differences between humans of the 6th Wave in ancient Egypt, Sumer, South America, and Asia and the cave painters of the 5th Wave. He reveals how the global mind is always connected to the inner core of the Earth and discusses how the two halves of the brain parallel the civilizations of the East and West. Outlining the historical, psychological, geophysical, and neurological roots of the modern human mind, Calleman shows how studying early civilizations offers a means of understanding the evolution of consciousness.

hitchhikers-guideThe Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Soul: A Collection of Transcendental Encounters with Kindred Spirits, Scenic Views of Volunteerism and Lessons in Compassion, by Robert Clancy (Mohawk Street Press), 200 pages — Driving down life’s highway, en route to our life’s purpose, we each have opportunities to exit. Whether deliberate or by chance, these exits often route us away from our true path and into despair. How can you retain your focus and remain on your life path? What will your next encounter with a kindred spirit mean to you, your family or the world? Does your volunteerism really make a difference? The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Soul is an evocative collection of the transcendental journeys, spiritual tips and chance encounters that will transform the way you think about your compassion for humanity while bringing deeper meaning in your everyday life. Now, throw your thumb in the air and get ready to venture beyond the core of your soul!

i-am-here-nowI Am Here Now: A Creative Mindfulness Guide and Journal, by The Mindfulness Project (TarcherPerigee), 192 pages — Mindfulness is the simple and powerful practice of training your attention. It’s simple in that it’s just about paying attention to what’s happening here and now, and powerful because it can keep you from getting lost in thoughts about the future or past, which often generate more stress on top of the real pressures of everyday life. While learning to live in the moment, the joyful mindfulness exercises, meditations, coloring pages, and habit-breakers in this beautifully designed and illustrated book will challenge your powers of observation, investigation, and cultivation while bringing new awareness to your senses, thoughts, and emotions. I Am Here Now inspires readers to explore the world with greater curiosity and find moments of mindfulness in everyday life, while unleashing your creativity along the way.

inefficiency-assassinThe Inefficiency Assassin: Time Management Tactics for Working Smarter, Not Longer, by Helene Segura (New World Library), 312 pages — Who doesn’t want more time and energy for family, friends and personal passions? Author Helene Segura coaches real people in the real world to operate more efficiently during the workday, so they can have a life outside it. Her engaging time management program caters to diverse learning styles, offering case studies that allow readers to self-diagnose and zero in on the strategies most appropriate for them. Anyone wanting to streamline workflow and improve productivity can employ her wonderfully doable techniques — for clearing task lists, handling reminder systems, scheduling a variety of priorities, and even managing emails and phone calls. Thanks to Segura’s astute attention to personality, The Inefficiency Assassin meets readers where they are struggling and details quick and easy-to-implement strategies to, as Segura promises, “kick chaos to the curb.”

its-never-too-lateIt’s Never Too Late to Begin Again: Discovering Creativity and Meaning at Midlife and Beyond, by Julia Cameron and Emma Lively (TarcherPerigee), 304 pages — Julia Cameron has inspired millions with her bestseller on creativity, The Artist’s Way. In It’s Never Too Late To Begin Again, she turns her eye to a segment of the population that, ironically, while they have more time to be creative, are often reluctant or intimidated by the creative process. Cameron shows readers that retirement can, in fact, be the most rich, fulfilling, and creative time of their lives. When someone retires, the newfound freedom can be quite exciting, but also daunting. The life that someone had has changed, and the life to come is yet to be defined. In this book, Cameron shows readers how cultivating their creative selves can help them navigate this new terrain. She tells the inspiring stories of retirees who discovered new artistic pursuits and passions that more than filled their days–they nurtured their souls. A twelve-week course aimed at defining–and creating–the life you want to have as you redefine–and re-create–yourself, this book includes simple tools that will guide and inspire you to make the most of this time in your life:
• Memoir writing offers an opportunity to reflect on–and honor–past experience. This book guides you through the daunting task of writing an entire memoir, breaking it down into manageable pieces.
• Morning Pages–private, stream-of-consciousness writing done daily–allow you to express wishes, fears, delights, resentments, and joys, which in turn, provide focus and clarity for the day at hand.
• Artist Dates encourage fun and spontaneity.
• Solo Walks quell anxiety and clear the mind.
This fun, gentle, step-by-step process will help you explore your creative dreams, wishes, and desires–and help you quickly find that it’s never too late to begin again.

lab-girlLab Girl, by Hope Jahren (Knopf), 304 pages — An illuminating debut memoir of a woman in science; a moving portrait of a longtime friendship; and a stunningly fresh look at plants that will forever change how you see the natural world. Acclaimed scientist Hope Jahren has built three laboratories in which she’s studied trees, flowers, seeds, and soil. Her first book is a revelatory treatise on plant life–but it is also so much more. Lab Girl is a book about work, love, and the mountains that can be moved when those two things come together. It is told through Jahren’s remarkable stories: about her childhood in rural Minnesota with an uncompromising mother and a father who encouraged hours of play in his classroom’s labs; about how she found a sanctuary in science, and learned to perform lab work done “with both the heart and the hands”; and about the inevitable disappointments, but also the triumphs and exhilarating discoveries, of scientific work. Yet, at the core of this book is the story of a relationship Jahren forged with a brilliant, wounded man named Bill, who becomes her lab partner and best friend. Their sometimes rogue adventures in science take them from the Midwest across the United States and back again, over the Atlantic to the ever-light skies of the North Pole and to tropical Hawaii, where she and her lab currently make their home. Jahren’s probing look at plants, her astonishing tenacity of spirit, and her acute insights on nature enliven every page of this extraordinary book. Lab Girl opens your eyes to the beautiful, sophisticated mechanisms within every leaf, blade of grass, and flower petal. Here is an eloquent demonstration of what can happen when you find the stamina, passion, and sense of sacrifice needed to make a life out of what you truly love, as you discover along the way the person you were meant to be.

life-between-heavenLife Between Heaven and Earth: What You Didn’t Know About the World Hereafter and How It Can Help You, by George Anderson and Andrew Barone (Harmony Books), 256 pages — The New York Times bestselling authors of Lessons from the Light offer a new and provocative understanding of heaven and how messages from the afterlife can assist you in the here and now. We live in a world of near-universal acceptance that once our lives on the earth come to an end we continue to a greater world. Whether that destination is called “Heaven,” “Nirvana,” or simply “The Other Side,” tradition teaches us that there is, in most cases, a fairy-tale ending to life, a place where joy and harmony reigns supreme. Yet, as this book attests there is still more to heaven and earth than is dreamt of in our philosophies. George Anderson is considered by many to be the greatest medium living today. After more than 50 years of hearing from souls who have transitioned to the world hereafter, he is constantly reminded by those who have passed that our preconceived notions of this life — and the next — aren’t always accurate. The nine stories in this book illuminate times when unusual circumstances such as sudden death, unresolved emotions, abusive relationships, and painful family dynamics, make it necessary for the dead and the living to find new doors to healing. In session with Anderson, survivors and those who have passed meet again in encounters that are profound, bittersweet, highly emotional and sometimes, downright, funny. What we learn is that there are little-known spiritual treasures–and lessons to be learned–about heaven and earth that can restore, revitalize, and make new what was once broken. Life Between Heaven and Earth is an inspiring, thought-provoking, path-changing work, one that affirms that no matter how complicated a circumstance is, resolution, peace and acceptance can be found in deep and remarkable ways.

mindful-coloringMindful Coloring: Calming the Mind Through Art, by Diana Elisabeth Dube (W.W. Norton & Company), 208 pages — Discover the therapeutic benefits of coloring.This gorgeously detailed coloring book is filled with whimsical and relaxing art that inspires, soothes the mind, and unlocks the mental health benefits of coloring. Hand-drawn by an expert illustrator and teacher, the artworks in this book are both representative and abstract. Each page offers a unique opportunity for self-expression and reaching a peaceful state of mindful awareness. Readers will find everything from sunsets, gentle rain, and other images from nature to abstract patterns specially designed to help them color away their stress, reflect on their day, and emerge with a healthier sense of self.Coloring is not only calming and rejuvenating but also therapeutic. An introduction by New York Times best-selling author Daniel J. Siegel, clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine, sets the stage for understanding the mental and emotional benefits of coloring.

miracle-powerThe Miracle Power of Your Mind: The Joseph Murphy Treasury, by Joseph Murphy (Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin), 944 pages — An unprecedented collection of rare and life-changing classics from the pioneering author of The Power of Your Subconscious Mind. The newest Tarcher Success Classic pulls together, in one convenient and inspiring compendium, some of the rarest and most extraordinary books by mind-power master Joseph Murphy. This unmatched anthology features more than 20 books and pamphlets, including Murphy’s most beloved works, such as The Power of Your Subconscious Mind and How to Attract Money–as well as extraordinary but difficult-to-find early classics, such as The Meaning of Reincarnation, Nuclear Religion, Why Did This Happen to Me?, and Fear Not. These works are drawn from the most prolific and potent period in Murphy’s career, in the years just before he shook the world with his self-development landmark The Power of Your Subconscious Mind (1963). It is a must-have for Murphy readers.

Origjnal-LightOriginal Light: The Morning Practice of Kundalini Yoga, by Snatam Kaur (Sounds True), 292 pages — The Kundalini Yoga tradition speaks of a call to the Divine that awakens “the Original Light of the soul.” In gatherings across the globe, Snatam Kaur and her fellow musicians have shared that radiance through sacred chants. With Original Light, this beloved devotional singer guides us into the heart of the path, with the Aquarian Sadhana as a foundation to understand the tradition’s daily principals, morning practices, and sacred chanting experiences. Kundalini, the universal life force, has for centuries been shrouded in misconception and lore. But in fact, Snatam Kaur assures us that, through Kundalini Yoga, the capacity to experience it is within all of us — a natural and limitless source of physical health, stillness, joy, energetic strength, and loving connection with others and all of creation.
Original Light was written for those seeking a compassionate and supportive guide to creating a vibrant and sustainable daily spiritual practice. Here, Snatam shares with honesty and gentle humor her own stories, challenges, “aha” moments, and many practical pointers gained from her lifelong journey. Readers first explore the philosophy and foundational principles of Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan, and then learn the five morning practices of the Aquarian Sadhana, including:
• The Wake-Up Routine — establishing a sacred space, bathing and purification, healthy diet and elimination guidelines, and more
• Jap Ji–from 15th-century sage and founder of the Sikh tradition, Guru Nanak, this sacred recitation is both a map and a direct expression of our union with the Divine
• Kundalini Yoga Kriyas — nine energizing posture and movement sets for creating a somatic space for your spirit
• Aquarian Sadhana Mantras — seven devotional chants as the sun rises to open the doors of liberation and experience bliss and ecstasy through sacred sound
• Gateway to Divinity — the closing transition stage that integrates your own spiritual tradition and helps you to focus your energies and set your intentions for the day ahead
For those of all faiths, Original Light provides an ideal introduction and resource to improve our health, find greater freedom and stillness within, and illuminate each moment of the day. Includes two CDs of guided chants and practices with Snatam Kaur.

our-dolphin-ancestorsOur Dolphin Ancestors: Keepers of Lost Knowledge and Healing Wisdom, by Frank Joseph (Bear & Company), 312 pages — Wild animals avoid contact with humans, but wild dolphins seek us out to play and socialize, even going so far as to voluntarily rescue people from drowning. What explains this remarkable natural affinity? Revealing the evolutionary basis for our special relationship with dolphins, Frank Joseph explains how we are both descendants of the same ancient branch of humanity. Building upon the aquatic ape theory, he details how we both began on land but devastating floods forced our distant ancestors into the seas, where humanity developed many of the traits that set us apart from other primates, such as our instinctive diving reflex and our newborns’ ability to swim. But while some of the aquatic apes returned to land, later evolving into modern humans, some remained in the cradle of Mother Ocean and became our dolphin cousins. Integrating scientific research on dolphin intelligence, communication, and physiology with enduring myths from some of the world’s oldest cultures, such as the Aborigines, Norse, Greeks, and Celts, the author examines our physical commonalities with dolphins, including their vestigial thumbs and legs, birth processes, and body temperature. He explores dolphins’ uncanny ability to diagnose disease such as cancer in humans and how dolphin therapy has had miraculous effects on children with autism, victims of stroke, and those suffering from depression. He provides evidence for dolphins’ different attitudes toward men, women, and children, their natural affinity with cats and dogs, and their telepathic communication with other species, including ours. He explores dolphins’ mysterious role in the birth of early civilization and their connections with the Dog Star, Sirius, and Atlantis and Lemuria–a bond still commemorated by annual gatherings of millions of dolphins. As Frank Joseph shows, if we can learn to fully communicate with dolphins, accessing their millennia-old oral tradition, we may learn the truth about humanity’s origins and our shared future, when humankind may yet again quit the land for a final return to the sea.

owner-manual-for-mindOwners Manual for the Mind, by Patrick Andries (Ozark Mountain Publishing), 199 pages — The idea for this book began with a single thought, “What if we were given an owner’s manual when we were born?” Imagine what our lives might be like if we had received this guidance. We have manuals for just about everything else. An owner’s manual allows us to learn how to use something more effectively and to troubleshoot problems. The truth is that we have been given instructions on how to live a healthy and prosperous life. This is the foundation of many great philosophies and religions. The problem that sometimes arises is that these teachings take on a certain twist that alienates people from it. This has at times created as many problems as solutions.There is a certain fascination in the incredible untapped potential of our minds. Some studies once suggested that we use only 10 percent of the capacity of our minds. Today that estimate has been revised to about 2-3 percent of the power that lies within. Imagine what more can be done with all of that as yet unrealized potential. What is standing in our way? How do we move into a more full realization of who we are? These are the questions that we seek to answer in this book.

practicing-the-taoPracticing the Tao Te Ching: 81 Steps on the Way, by Solala Towler (Sounds True), 320 pages — Most people think of the Tao Te Ching as a book on philosophy or a treatise on leadership. Yet, there is a little-known treasure hidden within the familiar passages of Lao Tzu’s work: step-by-step practical guidance for the spiritual journey. With Practicing the Tao Te Ching, renowned teacher Solala Towler reveals a new facet to this spiritual classic, offering accessible instructions paired with each of the 81 verses of the Tao Te Ching. “Tao is a way of deep reflection and learning from nature, considered the highest teacher,” writes Towler. “It teaches us to follow the energy flows within the heavens, the earth, and our own bodies.” With lucid instruction and deep insight, he guides you through meditations, movement and breathing practices, subtle energy exercises, and inner reflections–all to help you to embody Taoist wisdom in every aspect of your life.

self-acceptanceThe Self-Acceptance Project: How to Be Kind and Compassionate Toward Yourself in Any Situation, edited by Tami Simon (Sounds True), 208 pages — Even after years of spiritual practice, self-improvement, or therapy, many of us still have trouble with one essential challenge: self-acceptance. How do we stop from constantly judging ourselves as inadequate, finding fault with our bodies, or being plagued by our inner critics? The Self-Acceptance Project was created to help us find a solution. In this collection of essays, contemporary luminaries in spirituality, psychology, and creativity offer insights and teachings for truly embracing who we are no matter what our circumstances, including:
• “Waking Up from the Trance of Unworthiness”–Tara Brach illuminates the source of self-rejection and offers a powerful process to reverse unconscious patterns
• “Compassion for the Self-Critic”–Dr. Kristin Neff shows how self-judgment is often a misplaced but well-meaning survival instinct
• “Held, Not Healed”–Jeff Foster on making the space to accept anything that arises with open-hearted curiosity
• “No Strangers in the Heart”–poet Mark Nepo helps us reconnect to the sense of deep aliveness that we were born with
• “Taking in the Good”–Dr. Rick Hanson offers effective neuroscience-based insights and practices for overcoming our “negativity bias”
• “Transforming Self-Criticism into Self-Compassion”–Dr. Kelly McGonigal reveals practical strategies for changing the habitual way we treat ourselves
Why is it often so much easier to feel compassion and forgiveness toward others than toward ourselves? Where do our self-critical voices come from? Can we be motivated to grow and excel while still accepting ourselves as we are? In these 19 offerings, some of today’s most trusted teachers share their most valuable practices and techniques for building confidence, transforming our relationship with our inner critics, and using any circumstance as an opportunity to treat ourselves with kindness, compassion, and love.

super-mindSuper Mind: How to Boost Performance and Live a Richer and Happier Life Through Transcendental Meditation, by Norman E. Rosenthal (TarcherPerigee), 320 pages — The noted research psychiatrist and New York Times-bestselling author explores how Transcendental Meditation permanently alters your daily consciousness, resulting in greater productivity, emotional resilience, and aptitude for success. Most of us believe that we live in only three states of consciousness: wakefulness, sleep, and dreaming. But there is so much more. In Super Mind, clinical psychiatrist and bestselling author Norman E. Rosenthal, M.D., shows how the incredibly simple daily practice of Transcendental Meditation (TM) can permanently improve your state of mind during the routine hours of waking life–placing you into a super-mind state of consciousness where you consistently perform at peak aptitude. In his most ambitious and practical book yet, Rosenthal shows how TM is more than a tool for destressing or for general wellness. It is a gateway to functioning physically, emotionally, and intellectually at levels we never knew we could attain. Written in Rosenthal’s trademark style of restraint and intellectual carefulness, Super Mind explores how we can aspire to so much more than we ever thought possible.

tears-to-triumphTears to Triumph: The Spiritual Journey from Suffering to Enlightenment, by Marianne Williamson (HarperOne), 240 pages — The internationally recognized teacher, speaker, and New York Times bestselling author of A Return to Love argues that our desire to avoid pain is actually detrimental to our lives, disconnecting us from our deepest emotions and preventing true healing and spiritual transcendence. Marianne Williamson is a bestselling author, world-renowned teacher, and one of the most important spiritual voices of our time. In Tears to Triumph, she argues that we–as a culture and as individuals–have learned to avoid facing pain. By doing so, we are neglecting the spiritual work of healing. Instead of allowing ourselves to embrace our hurt, we numb it, medicate it, dismiss it, or otherwise divert our attention so that we never have to face it. In refusing to acknowledge our suffering, we actually prolong it and deny ourselves the opportunity for profound wisdom–ultimately limiting our personal growth and opportunity for enlightenment. Frozen by denial, we are left standing in the breech. Whole industries profit from this immobility, and while they have grown rich, we have become spiritually poorer. As Marianne makes clear, true healing and transcendence can only come when we finally face our pain and wrestle with what it has to teach us. Written with warm compassion and profound wisdom, Tears to Triumph offers us a powerful way forward through the pain, to a deeper awareness of our feelings, our lives, and our true selves.

waking-up-spiritual-ageWaking Up in the Spiritual Age, by Dr. Dan Bird (Ozark Mountain Publishing), 103 pages — A major Spiritual shift is occurring in this world, and more people are experiencing unexpected phenomenon in their daily lives. This book is for those who are experiencing this shift but are not sure of what they are feeling. It is an introduction of sorts for “newly awakening” individuals who feel there is more to life than we are aware of using our five senses. What if those intuitive thoughts and dreams are messages? What is their purpose? I believe they can help us make sense of why we are here, and guide us to reach our highest potential and goals. This help is available to everyone, but only if we are aware of it. Spiritual help is all around us. If you are ready to begin your own Spiritual journey, this book is for you!

way-of-spiritual-warriorThe Way of the Spiritual Warrior, by Imre Vallyon (Sounding-Light Publishing), 350 pages — The Way of the Spiritual Warrior is the Original Path for humanity, but it has been forgotten. So this noble path has degenerated so that the modern-day warrior is a fighter, a soldier, a person skilled in killing. But this is a long way from being a Spiritual Warrior, an infinitely long way. The Way of the Spiritual Warrior starts with self-knowledge, learning to harmonize your personality, bringing the several parts of you together so that your body, emotions and thoughts are coordinated and function as a unit. Here you practise physical techniques, emotional control techniques and mind control techniques so that you are integrated in yourself and in your environment. This is the stage where most modern martial arts schools stop. The next stage of the Spiritual Warrior Path is Self-knowledge, also called the stage of withdrawal. Here you use meditation and other spiritual techniques to withdraw your awareness slowly inside you, deeper and deeper, until you make a connection with yourself as a Living Soul and recognize that you are an immortal spiritual being-omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent. Nowadays this would be called the stage of Union with the Higher Self or Self-Realization, which would be the end product in the Way of Yoga, the Way of Sufism, the Way of Zen and other Spiritual Paths. In the Way of the Warrior, however, this is only the second stage. Once your personality is integrated with you as a Living Soul, that is, you are a personal self able to think, feel and act in the world but at the same time are totally aware of yourself as an eternal, transcendental being, then the third stage begins. This stage is called Union with God or Union with the Divine Principle within you and within the Cosmos. This happens when you have united the Soul with the personality and you are functioning as an integrated, holistic unit and then you move further inward to reach the Transcendental Divinity within you This is the stage of activity-divine activity; you move with the influx of divine energies moving through you and your environment. But this is not “you”, not the personal “I”, and it is not even your Soul; you’ve gone beyond that. It is your Soul-person mechanism acting as an agent for the Divine. And that is the Spiritual Warrior, the one who knows the Divine Plan and works to fulfil it, changing people and the destiny of nations and the planet.

whose-mindWhose Mind Is It Anyway?: Get Out of Your Head and Into Your Life, by Lisa and Franco Esile (TarcherPerigee), 176 pages — Most of us spend our lives trailing after our minds, allowing our brains to take us in directions that are safe and secure, controlled and conformed. Your mind doesn’t want you to take that new job, sign up for that pottery class, or ask someone out. It wants you to stay unemployed, unfulfilled, and single because it enjoys routine and is resistant to change, no matter how positive the change may be. But more often than not, that’s not what you want. Whose Mind Is It Anyway? will help you learn how to separate what you want from what your brain wants and how to do less when your mind is trying to trick you into doing more. In a colorful, funny, and nonthreatening way, it answers the difficult question of how we can take control of our self-defeating behaviors. Filled with charming illustrations, this book will be the friendly voice in your head to counter your negative thoughts, and it will teach you how to finally be at peace with all that you are.

zecharia-sitchinZecharia Sitchin and the Extraterrestrial Origins of Humanity, by M. J. Evans (Bear & Company), 256 pages — An in-depth analysis of Sitchin’s revelations about the Anunnaki, early humanity, and Earth’s future. Known for his provocative interpretations of ancient Sumerian and Akkadian clay tablets, Zecharia Sitchin (1920-2010) read the words of our most ancient ancestors as fact and, through decades of meticulous research, showed that these ancient tablets revealed a coherent narrative about the extraterrestrial inhabitants of Earth and the origins of modern humanity. Drawing upon her many conversations with Zecharia Sitchin over nearly 20 years, M. J. Evans, Ph.D., longtime Sitchin friend and colleague, provides an in-depth analysis of Sitchin’s revelations about the Anunnaki, focusing on Anunnaki activities on Earth and Earth’s future. She explores the genesis of Sitchin’s interest in the Nefilim, the leaders of the Anunnaki, and the controversy caused by the publication of Sitchin’s first book, The 12th Planet. She examines Sitchin’s research into the Nefilim family tree, the Anunnaki arrival on Earth to mine gold to repair the atmosphere on their planet, Nibiru, and their creation of modern humans as workers for their mines and to build their civilization on Earth. She shows how, in the context of 21st-century technological capabilities, Sitchin’s work casts a different light on ancient events, with implications for our future. The author reveals the details of the love and lust proclivities of the Nefilim gods Anu, Enlil, and Enki and the goddess Ishtar/Inanna and shows how we inherited these tendencies from our Anunnaki creators as well as their use of war for problem solving. Concluding with an examination of Sitchin’s prediction of a nuclear event on Earth in 2024 AD, she shows how we would be repeating the aggressive warlike behaviors of our Anunnaki creators, who may very well become our saviors when Nibiru next returns to our solar system.

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