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doll making - paperdolls - media - educational books - books for kids

 

Books for Teens and Adults
Instructional and Inspirational
Susan Helene Kramer
Susan Helene Kramer
susan@susankramer.com

 

 

Book Reviews
1.
Aging with Grace by David Snowdon, Ph.D.
1a. A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle
2.
Art of Pilgrimage by Phil Cousineau
3.
Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda
4.
Bhagavad Gita translated by Antonio T. de Nicolás

5. Chakra Mantras by Thomas Ashley-Farrand
6.
Collected Works of Ramana Maharshi by Arthur Osborne, Editor
7.
Disappearance of the Universe, The by Gary R. Renard

8. Divine Interventions by Dan Millman and Doug Childers
9.
Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

10. Faith Club, The by Ranya Idliby, Suzanne Oliver and Priscilla Warner
10a. God Speaks through the Holy Spirit by Susan Helene Kramer
11. How to Know God by Deepak Chopra
12.
Integral Yoga Hatha by Sri Swami Satchidananda
13.
Karmapa - The Politics of Reincarnation by Lea Terhune
14.
Kite Runner, The by Khaled Hosseini

15. Left Behind Series, The by Jerry B. Jenkins and Tim LaHaye
16. Life After Death - The Burden of Proof by Deepak Chopra
17. Life of Pi by Yann Martel
17a.
Light Behind the Angels by Lauren D'Silva
18. Love, Medicine and Miracles by Bernie S. Siegel, M.D.

19. Man's Eternal Quest by Paramahansa Yogananda
20. Meditation for Teens and Adults by Susan Kramer
21.
Mudras - Yoga in your Hands by Gertrud Hirschi
22.
Mystics, Masters, Saints, and Sages by Robert Ullman and Judyth Reichenberg-Ulman
22a.
Our Lady of Fatima by William T. Walsh
22b.
Power of Now, The by Eckhart Tolle

23. Quiet Mind - One-Minute Retreats from a Busy World by David Kundtz
24.
Red Tent, The by Anita Diamant

25. Revelation of Saint John, The by Zachary F. Lansdowne
26. Second Coming of Christ, The by Paramahansa Yogananda
27. Singing Bowl Exercises for Personal Harmony by Anneke Huyser
28.
Soul Aflame - A Modern Book of Hours by Phil Cousineau and Eric Lawton
29.
Soul Mate Dolls by Noreen Crone-Findlay
30.
String and a Prayer - How to Make and Use Prayer Beads by E. Wiley and M. O. Shannon
31.
Yoga of Jesus, The by Paramahansa Yogananda
31a. Yoga of the Bhagavad Gita by Paramahansa Yogananda
32.
Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, The by Sri Swami Satchidananda

Magazine
33. Integral Yoga Magazine - Quarterly Journal

More Reviews
doll making - paperdolls - media - educational books - books for kids

 

 

Titles Beginning with A and B

 

 

1. Aging with Grace by David Snowdon, Ph.D.

 

I found his book, Aging with Grace: What the Nun Study Teaches Us About Leading Longer, Healthier, and More Meaningful Lives by David Snowdon, Ph. D. a human and compassionate study of these women who have dedicated their lives as nuns: School Sisters of Notre Dame, of the Mankato, Minnesota province.

(As a little aside, I'd like to mention that as a young girl I received my catechism lessons from the nuns of the Baltimore, Maryland province of this order.)
Aging with Grace by David Snowdon, Ph.D.
You can't help but admire the selfless service through their time spent with the researcher and their final gift to medical science of donating their brains to be examined for signs of the ravages of Alzheimers disease.

What was surprising to me was that even some nuns who showed decayed brain matter after death were still leading active lives with fully functional communication skills. I would have thought that brain deterioration would have meant that nearly all the time communication and higher functioning skills would be affected.

The nuns in the study lead lives teaching or in related services to the convent, so a wide range of women involved in various jobs were studied. I think that is important to get a well-rounded view in the study. After all, we each have our specialties in life, no one a carbon copy. And though the women were all nuns, they each had their own personality and strengths.

What tied them together as nuns would be their daily spiritual practices, prayer, meditation, reflection: those activities that help us stay inspired in service to humanity no matter what our tasks in the world.

I think you'll enjoy getting to know the individual nuns as Dr. Snowdon talks about them and seeing a close up view of mental acuity in advanced age or how the ravages of dementia affect both the brain and daily functioning.

Studies like this are important because depth of interaction over a period of time gives the researcher time to see the small changes along the way. And perhaps this research will help others learn how to age gracefully.

Highly recommended reading!

Details - 256 page paperback; Bantam Books (April 30, 2002); Size: 9.1 x 6.2 x 0.6 inches ISBN-10: 0553380923 ISBN-13: 978-0553380927

Available from Amazon.com
Aging with Grace by David Snowdon, Ph.D.

1a. A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle


The full title is A New Earth - Awakening to Your Life's Purpose. It is amazing to me that Eckhart Tolle has produced a book that even outshines his The Power of Now. I can understand why it is a selection in Oprah's Book Club.

In A New Earth Tolle takes us deeper and further into the unlimited eternal within, and talks us through how to bring out eternal insights. We find out that we are each harbingers of the new way of understanding and thinking about who we are.

Tolle uses concrete examples to promote each of his points so it is easy to follow along, or get back on track if you're distracted for a while. Though the concepts may seem esoteric the methods to understand are practical.
A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle
It seems the problem keeping us back from bringing in unlimited consciousness and creating a new us is our ego. Not the ego that keeps us concerned enough about personal care, but the ego that makes us look at others as more or less than ourselves.

All of this is explained in these ten chapters: 1. The Flowering of Human Consciousness; 2. Ego: The Current State of Humanity; 3. The Core of Ego; 4. Role Playing: The Many Faces of the Ego; 5. The Pain-Body; 6. Breaking Free; 7. Finding Who You Really Are; 8. The Discovery of Inner Space; 9. Your Inner Purpose; 10. A New Earth.

One of the insights that meant the most to me with the concept of inner spaciousness, that the products of our creativity come from that wide open inner sanctum that has no physical or mental constrictions.

I have found in my deepest meditations that a field of inner vision opens up, light, bright, with no horizon. And my vision is unlimited 360 degrees. Then I feel the peace that passeth all understanding. This book by Eckhart Tolle helps us realize we all live from within this space without separateness, without boundaries that these physical bodies trick us into believing incase and limit.

I've been on the spiritual path more than 30 years and I gained deeper insight reading this book.

Highest recommendation.

Details: 336 pages; paperback; Penguin; Reprint edition (January 30, 2008); 8 by 5.3 inches; ISBN-10: 0452289963; ISBN-13: 978-0452289963

Here is the link at Amazon.com:
A New Earth - Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

 

2. Art of Pilgrimage by Phil Cousineau


Phil Cousineau in his book, The Art of Pilgrimage - The Seeker's Guide to Making Travel Sacred gives the reader much to think about before embarking on an adventure - here or there. Whether around the world or close to home, travel can be made into a pilgrimage for awakening the soul by observing all impressions along the way.
The Art of Pilgrimage by Phil Cousineau
What I learned from reading this book is that pilgrimage is first an attitude of seeking lasting fulfillment, keeping an open mind, and savoring what happens, and to take your time in travel, really pay attention to each new event of the moment.

The book is divided into these chapters: I. The Longing; II. The Call; III. Departure; IV. The Pilgrim's Way; V. The Labyrinth; VI. Arrival; VII. Bringing Back the Boon.

Chapter IV. The Pilgrim's Way opens with the both light and profound verse by Christina Rossetti, 1867:

"Does the road wind uphill all the way?
Yes, to the very end.
Will the journey take the whole long day?
From morn to night, my friend."

To me this is saying every bit of travel and all the experiences, no matter how unrelated they seem are the bits and pieces that make up the pilgrimage. And, the same chapter concludes with:

"THE FIVE EXCELLENT PRACTICES OF PILGRIMAGES"

"Inspired by a fifth-century conversation between Zi Zhang and Confucius about the practice of wise rulers in The Analects, here are five excellent practices for travelers on sacred journeys:"

"Practice the arts of attention and listening.
Practice renewing yourself every day.
Practice meandering toward the center of every place.
Practice the ritual of reading sacred texts.
Practice gratitude and praise-singing."

I take these 5 reminders to be applied to any journey where one is seeking to be uplifted, not just in that moment but enduringly long after the physical travel is complete.

Phil Cousineau has traveled all his life, well suited to authoring this sacred travel book. Just a few of his previous works include: Soul Moment - Marvelous Stories of Synchronicity; Design Outlaws - On the Ecological Frontier; Soul - An Archaeology; and The Soul of the World. Plus he has many screenwriting credits in documentary films, winning more than 25 international awards.

In this current book he brings a wealth of insight on making travel a sacred journey and does remind the reader to take time to meditate and absorb new impressions on a regular basis while traveling.

I think you'll enjoy the text and the many black and white photographs enriching the book. I did.

Highly recommended!

Details - 288 pages soft cover; Conari Press (April 2000); 8 by 5.8 inches; ISBN: 1573245097

To order from Amazon.com go to
The Art of Pilgrimage by Phil Cousineau

3. Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda


Talk about life-changing books - Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda was the one that awakened my yearning for self realization!
Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda
A friend handed me the book and suggested it was a good read. Well, I put it off for 5 months, but took it with me on a trip. As I read chapter after chapter of the amazing mind-boggling, nay, mind-opening experiences of this early 20th century sage I knew these were the kinds of spiritual experiences I wanted for myself and as soon as possible!

So, I began meditating using a mantra that came to me in a dream from Sri Yogananda - which I will share with you, because it had such a profound effect on my life. The mantra is "Om Reveal" with the emphasis on the "m" of the word Om and the 2nd syllable of Reveal. Breathing in on "Om" and out on "Reveal."

This all happened more than 20 years ago, and still today, Autobiography of a Yogi sits at the top of my stack of bedside books - no matter where my travels around the world take me.

This may seem like an unusual book review, but all 49 chapters of Yogananda's travels and visits with saints of his day are inspiring - including Rabindranath Tagore, Luther Burbank and Therese Neumann, the Catholic Stigmatist, amongst many others.

What more can I say to convince you this is my all-time top rated spiritual read!

Details: 592 page paperback; published by Self-Realization Fellowship (June 1, 1979); ISBN: 0876120796

To order from Amazon.com go to

"Autobiography of a Yogi" by Paramahansa Yogananda

4. Bhagavad Gita translated by Antonio T. de Nicolás


Subtitled "The Ethics of Decision-Making" this is a clear and inspiring translation of the classic spiritual text The Bhagavad Gita.
The Bhagavad Gita translated by Antonio T. de Nicolas
The book is divided into 18 chapters plus a chapter titled Pronunciation of Sanskrit Words, and a very useful Glossary.

The Gita is seven hundred stanzas of the epic Mahabharata, which is two hundred thousand lines making up chapters 23 to 40 of the Bhisma-Parvam.

The author of this translation is well-credentialed. Antonio T. de Nicolás is Professor of Philosophy, Emeritus, SUNY at Stony Brook, and The Bio-Cultural Research Institute, St. Augustine, Florida.

To give you an ideas about the relevance of The Bhagavad Gita in today's world I'd like to quote from the Preface: "The text of The Bhagavad Gita has always been ahead of its time. It understands philosophy as a practice in moments of crisis - which is every moment of our life - and demonstrates how to overcome it. "

Though the story running through the verses takes the form of the master and student, it is to show us the relationship between our own body-mind-soul. And what a drama is portrayed - with all the challenges we face in the ultimate quest in life - mastering our own selfishness and realizing our true nature of bliss and harmony. Yes, indeed, for each it can sometimes feel like a battle during our personal struggles before self-realization.

There is so much to say that this short review cannot possibly tell much about the scope of this important work for personal evolution, but I will relate a portion to apply to your time in meditation from a quote in Chapter 12. The Yoga of Devotion:

"4. Who restrain all their senses, are even-minded,
Who take delight in the welfare of every being,
They also obtain me."

And, dear readers, my opinion about devotion in meditation is to keep caring and kind thoughts near and dear to your heart; that upon rising from sitting and stillness, you use those qualities in practical daily living.

Highest recommendation!

Details - 160 page paperback; Publisher - Nicolas-Hays (March 2004); English; 9 by 6 inches; ISBN: 0892540907

To order from Amazon.com go to
The Bhagavad Gita translated by Antonio T. de Nicolas

 

Titles Beginning C - D:

5. Chakra Mantras by Thomas Ashley-Farrand


Dear readers, you are in for a special treat with Chakra Mantras by Thomas Ashley-Farrand. Subtitled Liberate Your Spiritual Genius Through Chanting, we are given rare teachings through specific mantras arising from the spinal chakras that awaken our further spirituality.
Chakra Mantras by Thomas Ashley-Farrand
I was not able to put this book down all afternoon and evening. I felt my excitement rise from chapter to chapter as what Mr. Ashley-Farrand wrote spoke to me with the ring of - "Hey, this makes perfect sense."

The book is divided into 32 chapters under these larger headings: Part I: Cosmic Concepts; Part II: Ganesha, Shakti, and Will; Part III: The Chakras; Part IV: Divine Beings and Divine Us. Plus an Appendix titled: Summary of the Chakra Petals and Qualities, and a Glossary.

The author's writing, while imparting esoteric teachings about how we came to be on earth, and how we remain part of the greater divine substance always is in an easy to understand style of expression. I was able to follow his train of thought and get the points he was making.

And the blessed main point brought out in Chapter 28. The Spiritual Adult is that we must always keep love as the basis of our spiritual quest. In fact, I found this chapter valuable to me, as it was a reassurance that the spiritual quest is in seeing the world in a practical way as it is and dealing with it, rather than dwelling on how we wish it could be.

But back to the chakra mantras - we are given explanations, theory, and special mantras for each step of the way to self-actualization and full blossoming going from the base to the highest chakra.

Thomas Ashley-Farrand, also known as Namadeva, is a recognized authority in Sanskrit Mantra spiritual disciplines. He is a Vedic Priest and has taught at George Washington University and Chaffee College. He has been initiated or blessed by many spiritual personages including the Dalie Lama, the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa, Kalu Rimpoche, amongst others, and his guru was the late Sadguru Sant Keshavadas from Bangalore, India.

Namadeva has truly given us an uplifting book to inspire our meditation and mantra japa practice. Open it anywhere and that will be just where you need to be - it is that kind of book.

Highest recommendation!

Details 288 page paperback; Weiser Books (August 2006); English language; ISBN: 1578633672

To order from Amazon.com go to
Chakra Mantras by Thomas Ashley-Farrand

6. Collected Works of Ramana Maharshi by Arthur Osborne, Editor


Sri Ramana Maharshi (1879-1950) enlivened timeless paths from yore for our present day world. Even though he's left his physical incarnation, when I think on him I feel at once calm, uplifted, and more able to see grace and harmony in life. His presence remains with us always. Let's find out more about his life and teachings …
The Collected Works of Ramana Maharshi by Arthur Osborne, Editor
In this book, Arthur Osborne, as editor, has combined in one volume many of the essential teachings of this almost silent Spiritual Master. Part One includes Ramana Maharshi's Original Works: Self-Enquiry; Who am I?; Five Hymns to Sri Arunachala; Forty Verses and Supplement; Upadesa Saram (The Essence of Instruction), and Miscellaneous Verse.

Part Two - Adaptations and Translations - includes The Song Celestial; Translations from the Agamas; Poems from Shankaracharya; Vivekachudamani from Shankaracharya, and Drik Drisya Viveka from Shankaracharya.

We are also fortunate the editor has also included the useful Notes on Pronunciation, Glossary and Index. These ending chapters make understanding various points in the book much easier for the Western reader not familiar with Sanskrit or Eastern terms.

To begin, let's look into the first chapter titled 'Self-Enquiry', which was written about 1901 and is the Maharshi's first writing.

Of note is though he was only 22 years old at the time of writing, his words were mature and with full authority. The editor points out in the Preface that Ramana Maharshi's awakening experience never faded or left him; his life was forever changed.

This is not the usual progression for most of us who have our moments of enligtenment, and then eventually slide back into worldly ways and outlooks - sometimes taking an entire lifetime or many incarnations to be steeped in consciousness of Self, while simultaneously carrying out regular duties in the world.

Ramana Maharshi's words: "The Self is self-effulgent. One need give it no mental picture, anyway. The thought that imagines it is itself bondage, because the Self is the Effulgence transcending darkness and light; one should not think of it with the mind. Such imagination will end in bondage, whereas the Self spontaneously shines as the Absolute. This enquiry into the Self in devotional meditation evolves into the state of absorption of the mind into the Self and leads to Liberation and unqualified Bliss."

And on 'Atma-Vidya' - 'Self-Knowledge', here is a portion of verse Sri Ramana Maharshi wrote:

"3. The thought 'I am the body' is the string
On which are threaded divers thoughts like beads.
Therefore on diving deep upon the quest
'Who am I and from whence?' thoughts disappear
And consciousness of Self then flashes forth
As the 'I-I' within the cavity
Of every seeker's Heart. And this is Heaven,
This is that Stillness, the abode of Bliss."

Dear readers, this book has my highest recommendation for sincere spiritual seekers of Bliss, Joy, Realization!

Details - 192 page paperback by Weiser books, 1997; 8.3 by 5.4 inches; ISBN: 0877289077

To order from Amazon.com go to
The Collected Works of Ramana Maharshi by Arthur Osborne, Editor

7. Disappearance of the Universe, The by Gary R. Renard

 

Gary Renard's - The Disappearance of the Universe: Straight Talk About Illusions, Past Lives, Religion, Sex, Politics, and the Miracles of Forgiveness is one spiritual book that will pull out the rug from under your preconceptions. It will take you for a flying ride over much of the dross that has bogged down our notions of the physical world.

I had no idea what I was getting into when I picked up the book. My husband had been reading it for the 3rd time and just finished, and I asked him what it was about. He made that comment we may have often heard, "read it for yourself and find out." So I did.

The book is laid out in an interesting manner eliminating any chances for boredom. The author wrote it in conversation form with 365 passages from A Course in Miracles interspersed. And who was the conversation with? Two ascended masters, of course, who appeared out of thin air and left just as quickly after each of 18 meetings with Mr. Renard. We read the messages these masters give the author for his personal spiritual evolution, but they are meant for all of us, because outside the body and brain we are joined as one in mind.

The messages from the ascended masters - Pursah and Arten - are the words and message of the Holy Spirit and from the life of Jesus when he was on earth over 2,000 years ago. These are eternal messages for everyone and the name of Jesus or Holy Spirit can be translated into any language. The great message being that God is - no conditions, language or form can contain what just is.

All through the book the interwoven theme is forgiveness as our reason for incarnating, whether once or over eons of time. The theme of forgiveness is expanded over and over, written in different ways using many experiences of the ascended masters as examples.

Forgiveness is given as the key to setting aside any feelings of negativity or blame we may be holding against others. We are also instructed to forgive ourselves for whatever guilt we are holding on to that may be covering our native innocence - innocence native to our state in Heaven at the beginning and how by choosing to follow the separation of having an individual limited ego we lost our limitless innocence.

Pursah and Arten guide the author and all of us, through the ways of practicing true forgiveness - unconditional love - through our meditations, reflections and actions to the experience of permanent enlightenment, joined once again as One with all souls, near to and dearly beloved with God.

My highest recommendation!

Details - 418 pages paperback; Fearless Books (February 18, 2003); 9.2 by 6 by 1 inches; ISBN-10: 0965680959 ISBN-13: 978-0965680950

To order from Amazon.com go to
The Disappearance of the Universe by Gary R. Renard

 

8. Divine Interventions by Dan Millman and Doug Childers


Open this book to any page; after reading a paragraph you're hooked on the fantastic experience another has had in the out-of-the-ordinary.
Divine Interventions by Dan Millman, Doug Childers
Dan Millman and Doug Childers have included 50 stories in 50 short chapters of real experiences that inspire the reader that there is more to understand than science knows. But, more importantly, I found these true stories inspired me to be the best I can in my relationships and activities from now on.

The transformational events told in the book happened all over the world, to all ages of people, including those as young as 8 year old Lucia dos Santos, one of the children of Fatima, Portugal, in 1915. The 'Miracle of Fatima' has long been of interest to me; I took the name of the youngest child, Jacinta, for my confirmation name at age 12.

Another of the stories is called "A Sleeping Gift Awakens - The Revelations of a Modest Prophet" which is about Edgar Cayce who was born in 1877 on a Kentucky farm. Edgar was a devout child especially after losing a childhood friend, and from the age of 10 to 13 read the Bible all the way through 13 times. One day in reverie a presence spoke to him and said he was to be rewarded by whatever he wished. Edgar replied: "Most of all I would like to be helpful to others, and especially to children when they are sick." Now we all know Edgar Cayce did infact go into this great service.

In summary this book with 50 stories like the 2 above reinforced the value of virtue as the supreme way to live and gave me a boost of energy.

Highly recommended!

Details - 298 pages by Rodale Books; ISBN: 1579543383

Here is a link to Amazon.com if you wish to order this book:
Divine Interventions: True Stories of Mystery and Miracles That Change Lives by Dan Millman, Doug Childers

 

Titles Beginning E - I

 

9. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert


I really, really enjoyed Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. And why? Because I felt like this was a case of vicariously walking in her moccasins. And, I rarely have so much simpatico with an author.

The author's issues and ways of dealing with the effects of her actions struck me as so human that my emotions came forward during hers. This is a book that involves the reader thoroughly; you have to wonder if she's had a special peek into your life, while recounting her experiences.

Ms. Gilbert is not afraid to let her hair down with us and exposes much more of her deeper feelings and reactions to events than I would consider sharing out loud. And perhaps that is the secret to her success in engaging the reader in her journey. She comes across as a real flesh and blood human who works very hard at seeking. Seeking temporal answers; seeking eternal insight.

Not often do writers share so much of themselves as examples for the inspiration of others. But, Elizabeth Gilbert shows herself to be more than an author, she is an inspiring meditation practitioner; you just want to get down and sit still right along with her.

Her weavings of life insights and practical knowledge on her journey make this book an invaluable resource for both the casual reader wanting a look at how women tick, and for the sincere meditator or spiritual seeker.

The book title Eat Pray Love may seem confusing, but to me it represents dimensions of our human journey: eat of life for activity and physical experience; pray and meditate for spiritual insight; love for human fulfillment.

As such, I certainly recommend Eat Pray Love as a model of what one can accomplish on the path that includes the search for human fulfillment; divine experience.

Details - 352 pages; Penguin Books (January 30, 2007); Size: 8.3 x 5.4 x 0.8 inches ISBN-10: 0143038419 ISBN-13: 978-0143038412

Available from Amazon.com
Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

10. Faith Club, The by Ranya Idliby, Suzanne Oliver and Priscilla Warner


Why did reading The Faith Club: A Muslim, A Christian, A Jew - Three Women Search for Understanding bring tears of joy to my eyes? Let me explain.

For the first time in my life I felt like a book was helping the reader take a giant leap forward in understanding how religion influences and plays a part in our daily practical lives.
Description: Description: The Faith Club: A Muslim, A Christian, A Jew by Ranya Idliby, Suzanne Oliver and Priscilla Warner
The authors, Ranya Idliby, a Muslim; Suzanne Oliver, a Christian; Priscilla Warner, a Jew, are intelligent, educated and thinking mothers living in New York City and surrounding area.

This book, which is no less than inspired, is a collection of the authors' deep soul searching, shared through 3-way conversations in meetings. It is a pathway that allows readers to think and reflect and meditate, while pausing in reading, and ask the same questions themselves.

The Faith Club is not a novel or story or flight into fancy. It is a guide in a new kind of way - shared conversations for the reader to explore and experience as an expansion of knowledge about these 3 world religions.

Chapters are titled: 1. In the Beginning; 2. A Muslim, a Christian, and a Jew Walk into a Room . . .; 3. The Abrahamic Family Feud; 4. The Crucifixion Crisis; 5. Stop Stereotyping Me!; 6. Could You Convert?; 7. Oh, Where Are You, God?; 8. Ranya's Madrassah; 9. The Promised Land; 10. Prayer; 11. Rituals; 12. Intimations of Mortality; 13. Conversations with a Priest, an Imam, and a Rabbi; 14. A Day of Atonement; 15. Happy Holidays; 16. Facing Our Communities; 17. Awakenings; 18. Faltering Faith; From Here to Eternity. Also included is information about starting your own Faith Club.

Even if you do not call one of these or any other religion your own, it demystifies religions' influence. In that way it is a book for the cutting edge of the times since 9/11, when we "need" to understand our world brothers and sisters more deeply.

Because, in the overview like riding in a space shuttle revolving the earth, what is seen is not divisions of different people, but a beautiful planetary home to the one human family.

Highest Recommendation.

Details - 320 pages hardcover; Free Press (Simon & Schuster, Inc.) 2006; 8.8 by 5.9 inches; ISBN: 074329047X

To order from Amazon.com go to
The Faith Club: A Muslim, A Christian, A Jew by Ranya Idliby, Suzanne Oliver and Priscilla Warner

 

10a. God Speaks through the Holy Spirit by Susan Helene Kramer


Forge a strong union with the Holy Spirit through the meditation instructions given to use with the more than 100 spiritual topics and subtopics. This is my latest book and is 198 pages in a 6 by 9 inch format.

Topics from beginning to end move from personal development and relationship issues to finding the joy of our Creator Sustainer through direct communion with the Voice of God, the Holy Spirit.

Read the topics sequentially or at random. This book is an ecumenical approach to be inspiring and uplifting to everyone. This is a read that can be approached on your search for unspoken communion with God by using the meditation format laid out, or as a course of lessons in personal development on the pathway to self-realization.
Description: Description: God Speaks through the Holy Spirit by Susan Helene Kramer
Contents:
Introduction
PART I:
A Meditation to Use with the Topics
PART II: Topics
1. Growing into Our Humanity
2.
Standing Back Emotionally to View Issues Clearly
3.
Understanding Attachments and Transitions
4.
Developing Self Esteem
5.
Looking Inwardly to Find Happiness Outwardly
6.
Following the Voice of Conscience
7.
Use of Time
8.
Journeying
9.
Yoga in Living
10.
Awareness Precedes Change
11. Cause and Effect for Positive Results
12.
Habits
13.
Analyze, Accept, Incorporate
14. Nature's Gold
15.
Our Body of Energy
16.
Our Deepest Roots
17.
Panorama of Unlimited Consciousness
18.
Integrating Spiritual Teachings
19.
Personal Integrity
20.
Soul Force
21.
Reflection for Finding Answers
22.
Tapping into the Main Computer
23.
Why Are We Here?
24. Balancing Negative and Positive in Aging
25. Every Day Can Be a New Beginning
26. Get Up and Out When Down
27. Time as Flowing Silver
28.
Courage to Live Our Convictions
29.
Acceptance
30.
Loosening Knots
31.
Loving Unconditionally
32.
Alive in Relationship
33.
Loyalty
34.
Deeply Interactive Human Love
35.
Emotional Responsibility
36.
Experiencing the Joyfulness of Our Soul
37.
Loving Moment to Moment
38.
Friendship
39.
Our Greatest Friend
40.
Intertwining Lives
41.
Loving Is What Counts
42. Second Time Around
43. Sensory Awareness
44.
Tenderness
45.
The Power of Heart Energy
46.
True Love
Closing Message

Details: Author is Susan Helene Kramer; 198 pages; 6 by 9 inch paperback or a download; ISBN: 978-90-78099-07-9

To Buy http://www.susankramer.com/godspeaks.html

 

11. How to Know God by Deepak Chopra


'The Soul's Journey into the Mystery Of Mysteries' as the book is subtitled, leads step by step, by cause and effect reasoning, on the search for and ultimate attainment of communion with God.

The book is divided into 6 chapters covering diverse examples of how we are expansive beyond borders of the physical world, such as having great talents and insights: 1. A Real and Useful God; 2. Mystery of Mysteries; 3. Seven Stages of God; 4. A Manual for Saints; 5. Strange Powers; 6. Contacting God.

Being a western, and also an Ayurvedic physician, plus a human whose words spark of personal joy gives Dr. Chopra an edge in putting together this 319 page guidebook on reaching and living in full potential. He convinces the reader he knows what he's talking about.

In essence, Dr. Chopra presents the journey to fulfillment and communion as going from a 'stage 1' fear-based separation of man and God, to a 'stage 7' feeling of no separation between man and God.

I'm inspired by Dr. Chopra's quote from Rumi in Chapter 3. Stage 6. God of Miracles:
"Oh God
I have discovered love!
How marvelous, how good, how beautiful it is! ...
I offer my salutation
To the spirit of passion that aroused and excited this whole universe
And all it contains."

I recommend How To Know God by Deepak Chopra as a further aid in understanding how humanity is an integral part of all that is, from the tiniest speck to infinite joy. Deepak Chopra is world renowned and an inspiration no matter what topic he writes on, and this book is no exception!

Details - 319 pages; Three Rivers Press, New York; ISBN: 0609805231

Here is a link to Amazon.com if you wish to order this book:
"How To Know God" by Deepak Chopra

12. Integral Yoga Hatha by Sri Swami Satchidananda


This is by far the most complete classic guide to yoga I have ever seen or read, and also includes 160 photographs. A description of the main branches of yoga is included, with meditation falling under the category of Raja Yoga.
Description: Description: Integral Yoga Hatha by Sri Swami Satchidananda
The large print text includes 80 postures, proper breathing practices, relaxation, cleansing and concentration techniques.

The postures are modeled by Sri Swami Satchidananda in very clear photographs and each has a complete description, but just looking at the pictures is enough to see how to do them.

Suggestions for sequences of postures are included for beginner, intermediate and advanced students.

Breathing techniques are described in great detail which I feel is really important if a person is using a text to learn the techniques. I recommend beginning with the easiest and progressing from there as it feels comfortable.

The cleansing techniques might seem foreign to the uninitiated into holistic cleansing practices, but nothing wrong with giving them a try - you might be surprised how well the natural way works.

The concentration techniques lead up to full meditation and are steps on the way to attaining bliss and joy.

I highly recommend this as the basic yoga reference text for teens and adults.

I would also like to share that the author also posed for all the photographs at age 55!

Here is a link to Amazon.com if your wish to order:
"Integral Yoga Hatha" by Sri Swami Satchidananda

 

Titles Beginning K to L

 

13. Karmapa - The Politics of Reincarnation by Lea Terhune

 

Karmapa - The Politics of Reincarnation by Lea Terhune. On one hand, an in-depth account of how successive lamas in Tibet are chosen, generation to generation, and on the other hand we are given an in-depth look into the lives of the 16th Karmapa, Rangjung Rigpe Dorje (1924-1981), and the current 17th Karmapa, Orgyen Trinley Dorje, born in 1985.
Karmapa of Tibet: The Politics of Reincarnation
Tibetan Buddhism is the religion the Karmapas live and preserve by rigorous and long years spent in its study and practice.

Myself, like other westerners, it seems, are curious and ripe for the philosophies and practices of Tibetan Buddhism - meditation and chanting included.

With world peace seeming to elude our planet at this time, the insight these holy men bring to the world table is just what we need to nurture our souls and spirits.

Throughout the book we get views now and then of how His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama has been instrumental in preserving the lineage of Karmapas. I enjoyed reading glimpses into this great spiritual leader told in a personable way.

The text is illustrated with many photos of the 16th and 17th Karmapas and their Heart Sons - other high lamas who reincarnate as Karmapas' closest disciples to extend the work of Tibetan Buddhism.

Even though I consider this basically a scholarly text, for all the detailed insight into the process of finding and maintaining the lineage of Karmapas, Lea Terhune has woven in the personal side of the process of choosing reincarnations so effectively, that the book reads as a good novel.

I spent several late nights with this fast-paced book keeping me company; it was hard to put down!

Details - 308 pages by Wisdom Publications; 8.9 by 6.1 inch paperback; ISBN: 0861711807

Here is a link to Amazon.com for online purchasing

Karmapa of Tibet: The Politics of Reincarnation by Lea Terhune

 

14. Kite Runner, The by Khaled Hosseini


This first novel and best seller, The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini may not be about meditation, but it is certainly a book to meditate upon for its plethora of examples of developing personal character.
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
The story takes place in Afghanistan and the United States, two very different cultures and climates in many ways. Without giving the plot away we get to feel like we are part of the family beginning in its earliest days in the homeland of Afghanistan when times were okay - before the arrival and devastation wrought by the Taliban.

The Kite Runner really takes us on a run, a fast track into the intimate family life of the main character, Amir, from his early privileged life, through struggles that one may confront coming face to face with self-preservation.

I feel Mr. Hosseini's novel is a study in human nature while portraying a break in character in-depth. The outer events are just what we need to see how the human ego interferes with the development of right and true virtues. This kind of tug of war is what we all face growing up to a greater or lesser degree.

But still, we all are faced with spending our time becoming greater souls internally, or staying on the surface of life concerning ourselves more with acquiring possessions to the detriment of those around us if necessary. It is the kind of book you don't want to lay aside; it kept me on the edge of my seat hoping at each turn in events that Amir would do the 'right' thing when faced with those choices.

Life is not so easy, it is not always clear-cut how to act for the best in all situations. In this novel we get to see the results of Amir's choices and how they impact his life at the moment and later on.

If we keep in mind, that as in real life we are all interconnected in many ways, we will not be too surprised to find the author using twists and turns of connection to tell his tale. It is certainly a worthwhile read for all truth seekers and those wanting a further understanding of human nature.

Highest recommendation!

Details - 400 pages paperback; Riverhead Trade (April 27, 2004) ; 7.8 by 5.1 by 1.1 inches; ISBN-10: 1594480001 ISBN-13: 978-1594480003

To order from Amazon.com go to
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

15. Left Behind Series, The by Jerry B. Jenkins and Tim LaHaye


Written by Jerry B. Jenkins, conceived by Tim LaHaye, the books called the "Left Behind" series are a monumental collection of Christian futuristic fiction, based mainly on the Biblical Book of Revelations.

The fictional characters and plot revolve around real quotes from the Old and New Testament of the Bible. Reading the 13 books, numbers 1 to 12 plus the sequel, can be confusing to the reader trying to separate fact from fiction. The facts being the Bible verses, the fiction being the characters that weave the author's tale of what might happen from the time of the Rapture and afterward on earth and in heaven.

The main characters are with us throughout the series in their life-changing roles and for some, their change of bodily composition after the Rapture. But I don't want to give away too much about that as I found this part of the fictional portrayal very creative. I've always been curious about how a natural earthly body could be different from a Glorified Body.

My own background is Catholic and in my middle years I stretched to embrace the interfaith movement in the Catholic Church. So, I think the series could hurt the feelings of those of other world faiths as it has no ecumenical spirit; no acceptance of other belief systems. Suffice to say again, that I feel only born-again Christians, or those curious about those beliefs, would be comfortable reading the books.

But, all the subjective points are my own, and you may really enjoy the plot and fast moving action. There is hardly a slow-down from beginning to end; the series might be just the titillation you're looking for. In my opinion the books are adult reading, because of the amount and methods of gore.
Book One : Left Behind
The book titles are -
One : Left Behind
Two : Tribulation Force
Three : Nicolae
Four : Soul Harvest
Five : Appollyon
Six : Assassins
Seven : The Indwelling
Eight : The Mark
Nine : Desecration
Ten : The Remnant
Eleven : Armageddon
Twelve : Glorious Appearing
The Sequel : Kingdom Come


The "Left Behind" books are from Tyndale House Publishers, Incorporated.

My books arrived in a big box from Amazon.com, so that is one place that has them all in stock.

16. Life After Death - The Burden of Proof by Deepak Chopra


From cover to cover I was engrossed in Deepak Chopra's Life After Death - The Burden of Proof. The title is intriguing and none of us can deny mortal death will come, but reading this book in its both logical and spiritual interpretations, including examples from science and many world religions, gives clues that we go on in consciousness without a mortal body.

I love that we are led on a story within the story about the wisdom humankind can learn in the physical and mental incarnation we are currently partaking in. I won't give details and ruin the story line but I think it is worth it to read the book for the various levels of insight presented.

The book is divided into Part One: Life After Death with chapters titled: 1. Death at the Door; 2. The Cure for Dying; 3. Death Grants Three Wishes; 4. Escaping the Noose; 5. The Path to Hell; 6. Ghosts; 7. The Invisible Thread; 8. Seeing the Soul; 9. Two Magical Words; 10. Surviving the Storm; 11. Guides and Messengers; 12. The Dream Continues. Followed by Part Two: The Burden of Proof: 13. Is Akasha Real?; 14. Thinking Outside the Brain; 15. The Mechanics of Creation; Epilogue: Maha Samadhi.

Here is what Dr. Chopra says about meditation in Chapter 7: "But the great spiritual guides of the past wanted to reassure their followers that space wasn't the same as a void. We know this because our own inner silence isn't a void. It doesn't take dying to go beyond thoughts and images. When someone meditates deeply enough, thoughts disappear and leave only the experience of silence."

To me, this is saying consciousness is a viable living condition whether residing in flesh or not and continues without the presence of a physical body. But everyone should come to their own conclusions on this score, and the path while living is accessible through deep meditation.

What Deepak Chopra gives us in this intensive book is many ways to look at life and consciousness, and the seen and unseen universe, and then decide for ourselves what feels right; what makes sense.

My highest recommendation for the serious truth seeker.

Details - 304 pages hardcover; Harmony (October 17, 2006); 9.4 by 6.6 inches; ISBN: 978-0307345785

To order from Amazon.com go to
Life After Death - The Burden of Proof by Deepak Chopra

 

17. Life of Pi by Yann Martel


Winner of THE Man BOOKER PRIZE 2002 does not begin to describe the rich style of images and events depicted in Mr. Martel's narration of "Life of Pi."
Life of Pi
The story opens in Pondicherry, India, told through the life of a 16 year-old boy, Pi Patel, whose father owns and runs a zoo, and who has aspirations for greater wealth and security for his family.

We learn how Pi adapts to his parents' differing attitudes on religion, and his own strong and ever-growing yearning, and ingenious methods, to more fully know and love God.

Without giving away the awesome adventure, be prepared to be carried on a sea voyage upon a tiny boat; you will experience right from where you are all his trials and tribulations; adventures and insights.

It is a moving experience, uncomfortable as it may be to read the graphic lines, because the reader feels right in the thick of the scene.

On the deeper level, Pi's experiences hit at the core of every thinking person's search for meaning in life. And, as he is on the boat a long time he does not have much else to do, spurring some interesting creativity to survive.

Pi's ingenuity was a lesson to me that when circumstances are dire, if I dive deeply into my mind and carefully refect on options, something entirely new may come to mind. His process of thinking and creating out of necessity is a model for all.

I loved the images through which the journey is revealed, because to me even though events seemed to be happening a certain way on the outer level there was an underlying storyline. Why not judge for yourself and give it a read!

Recommended!

Here is a link to Amazon.com if you wish to order this book:

"Life of Pi"

 

17a. Light Behind the Angels by Lauren D'Silva


Light Behind the Angels by Lauren D'Silva is more than a spiritual read, it details an in-depth process of coming into our full glory as human souls while still encased in bodies.

Lauren D'Silva shares her own mystical and practical journey on the path to enlightenment step-by-step in great detail, and in a manner that lets readers feel they are right there witnessing each transition and transformation.

Besides following the journey many key aspects of mystical practices are revealed that would take maybe 10 books to otherwise learn about.

Ms. D'Silva doesn't hold back on revealing all the beautiful insight she experiences, right along with stories of when events didn't go as hoped or expected. And that is real life, not a fairytale of events, but instead the highs and lows of forward and backward movement toward the ultimate goal.

You'll learn about the topography of this part of Great Britain and this really puts you in the place where the author lived. You can see the towns and landscapes, both. I find that is so important in understanding the characters in the book. The rich detail paid to describing places in time also carries readers right to those moments. Also of note is the writing style which flows smoothly and keeps the reader engaged.

As we are all connected in the human family you may feel very familiar with the turn of events as they occur, I know I did. Reading this book is more than one person's journey, it brings us to what we are all meant to find out about ourselves as human beings on planet earth, and as souls of the larger universal family.

This is a must-read for all New Age travelers!

Details: 236 pages; paperback; Local Legend Publishing (July 12, 2010); 8.9 by 6 inches; ISBN-10: 1907203168; ISBN-13: 978-1907203169

***

I bought my copy of this book from Amazon.com, and I am also an associate. Here is the link:
Light Behind the Angels by Lauren D'Silva

Also available at Amazon.co.uk:
Light Behind the Angels by Lauren D'Silva

Review by Susan Helene Kramer

18. Love, Medicine and Miracles by Bernie S. Siegel, M.D.


Love, Medicine and Miracles: Lessons Learned About Self-Healing From A Surgeon's Experience With Exceptional Patients by Bernie S. Siegel, M.D. is a positive approach to healing, and if I had one phrase to describe it's philosophy I would say the magic bullet presented is unconditional love.

I have always been a proponent of loving unconditionally; it has worked so well in my life in times of both sickness and health, bringing a state of meditative relaxation to me while loving unconditionally and a harmonious state of mind to the recipient.
Love, Medicine and Miracles by Bernie S. Siegel, M.D.
This is Dr. Siegel's first book in his series on techniques and ways we promote our healing and benefit others in their recovery process. It is also available in other formats listed at the foot of this review.

I was inspired when I first read through this volume - my usual practice with a new book is to open it to the center and scan to the front and to the back. But with this book after scanning to the front I had to immediately stay at the front and start reading because it is chock full of useful information; a wealth of insight from a well-respected man in his field.

Even his photo is inspiring, full of light and warmth. And if a picture is worth a thousand words, Dr. Siegel's is worth many times over that. As with his photo, his words of wisdom are inspiring and a great help to anyone coping with catastrophic illness. And as a caregiver at times in my life I find his advice on tender loving care is right on and contagious to the patient, lightening their attitude and relaxing their body.

The book is laid out in two main sections which in themselves speak for the intertwined nature of the mind and body and their influence on each other. Part I. MINDING THE BODY and Part II. EMBODYING THE MIND are appropriate plays on words that characterize their inseparable nature.

Even though I began reading in earnest at the front of the book the ending was most inspiring reminding us we all die but most of us can choose our moment if it is after a long period of illness. When we relax and let go with feelings of love all around us, knowing those we love will survive because of the love and nurturing we have shown, we can peacefully let go.

Highly recommended!

Details - 272 pages paperback; Harper Paperbacks (June 6, 1990) ; 8.1 by 5.3 by .7 inches; ISBN-10: 0060919833 ISBN-13: 978-0060919832

Four versions from Amazon.com

The book
Love, Medicine and Miracles by Bernie S. Siegel, M.D.
also -
CD-ROM
Audio Cassette
VHS Tape

 

Titles Beginning with M

 

19. Man's Eternal Quest by Paramahansa Yogananda

 

Paramahansa Yogananda was a spiritual giant living in the first half of the 20th century. He was one of the first spiritual masters to bring the teachings of India's spiritual heritage to America.
Man's Eternal Quest by Paramahansa Yogananda
Can you imagine leaving your home country of India, barely able to speak English and being able to deliver lectures in English on the boat on the cruise to America. That is so inspiring to me.

Now, about this collection - we are treated to 58 essays focussing on applying spiritual ideals to everyday living, rather than promoting particular practices from organized religion. These are not ordinary essays either, they are truly uplifting and inspiring because they are coming from a virtuous man; one who daily lived the greatest spiritual ideals.

I have to admit, this is my favorite collection of Paramahansa Yogananda's lectures; day by day they inspire me to live the best way I can, and when I need a spiritual question answered, it seems to be there, no matter what page I open.

This book opened my eyes to another dimension of life I thought was reserved for residence in heaven, only. And the best part was it inspires on how to reach that exulted state right now, living in the world.

I highly recommend this volume, an inspiring spiritual handbook, to all who wish to improve their understanding of how to live in line with the highest ideals!

Details - 484 pages; published by Self-Realization Fellowship; ISBN: 0876122322

Here is a link to Amazon.com if you wish to order this book:

Man's Eternal Quest by Paramahansa Yogananda

 

20. Meditation for Teens and Adults by Susan Kramer


More than 70 offerings, from guided meditation techniques to on-the-go stress relief and relationship meditations interspersed with verse, and a section of special occasion prayers. Perfect as a home study course to answer all your meditation needs.
Meditation Lessons for Teens and Adults by Susan Kramer
Part I Basic Meditations
1. Basic Sitting Meditation
2.
Unwind While Sitting at Your Desk
3. Guided Relaxation Meditation
4.
Relaxation Meditation Before Sleep
5. Walking Meditation for Problem Solving
6.
Walking Meditation to Unwind
7.
Instant Meditation
8.
Circle Dancing: Meditation and Prayer in Motion
9. More About Moving Meditation
10. Music Meditation
Part II Universal Meditations
11.
Yoga Meditation
12.
Mandala or Yantra Meditation
13.
Kirtan or Chanting
14.
Tratak or Meditation on Light
15.
Mantra or OM Meditation
16.
Kundalini Meditation
17.
Healing in Meditation
18.
Giving and Receiving Comfort through Meditation
19.
Forgiveness Meditation
20.
Meditation on the Source of Creation
Part III Peace Prayers and Meditations
21.
Ecumenical and Interfaith Meditation
22.
Interfaith Meditation and Prayer Celebration or Service
23.
Interfaith Peace Prayer
24.
Practicing Peace Meditation
25.
World Peace Prayers and Affirmations
Part IV Transitions and Occasions
26.
Guided Transition Meditation
27.
Remembering Prayer
28.
Comfort Prayer for Strength in Loss
29. Christening or Baptism Prayer and Blessing
30.
Communion Prayer and Meditation
31.
Two Interfaith Wedding and Marriage Blessings
Part V Contemplative Meditations
32. Benefits of Contemplation
33.
Meditation's Role in Experiencing our Soul
34.
Meditation to Harmonize the Process of Action Reaction
35.
Contemplation and Meditation
36.
Comparison of Contemplative Meditation and Prayer
37.
Benefits of Taking Time for Reflection during the Day
38.
Communion with All
39.
Everything Is Interconnected
40. Gaining Insight through Reflection
41.
Stress Relief and Meditation
Part VI Meditations on Relationship Issues
42. Meditation's Role in Keeping Commitments
43.
Tenderness Meditation
44.
Meditation for Determining Ways to Happiness
45.
Meditation for Rebuilding Lives
46.
Meditation to Find Clarity and Peace
47.
Courage in Relationships Meditation
48.
Attachment and Conflict Issues Meditation
49.
Meditation on Being Alone without Being Lonely
50.
Meditation on Making Choices for a Heavenly Life
51.
Meditation on our Soul
52.
Our Sacred Body Meditation
53.
Harmony of Natural Rhythms Meditation
54.
Timeline of Healing the Soul Meditation
55.
Universal Values Meditation
56.
Religion, Meditation, Spirituality in Family Life
Part VII - Holiday Prayers and Meditations
57.
New Year's Resolution Meditation
58.
Three Kings Meditation
59.
Valentine's Day Heart Meditation
60.
St. Patrick's Day Prayer
61.
Easter Meditation
62.
Easter Prayer
63.
Mother's Day Blessing and Prayer
64.
Memorial Day Prayer
65.
Father's Day Prayer
66.
Labor Day Walking Meditation
67.
All Saints Day Prayer
68.
Thanksgiving Prayer
69.
Christmas Eve Prayer
70.
Christmas Prayer
ISBN: 978-90-78099-05-5
114 pages

To Buy http://www.susankramer.com/meditationbook.html

21. Mudras - Yoga in your Hands by Gertrud Hirschi


Fully illustrated with clear line drawings the reader is immediately and profoundly drawn in by the enlightened insight of Mudras - Yoga in your Hands by Gertrud Hirschi.

Here is an opportunity for East to meet West - the long meditative insight of eastern thought and practice through mudras serves the westerner today in a way similar to reflexology in my opinion.

I was excited upon first opening this book to see so much information offered on using mudras for daily living. The topics covered are:
Mudras - Yoga in your Hands by Gertrud Hirschi
Part One - Exploring the Mudra Concept
What Are Mudras?
Origin of Mudras
Breathing, Visualization, and Affirmations to Enhance the Mudras
Mudras and Music
Mudras and Color
Using Mudras to Heal Physical Complaints
Mudras and Healing Emotional Problems
Mudras and Other Hand Therapies
(Author's) Personal Experiences
Mudras and Meditation
Meditations for Each Finger
Part Two - The Mudras
Mudras for the Body, Mind, and Soul
Spiritual Mudras
The Mudras of Hatha Yoga
Part Three - Practical Applications
Mudra Exercises
How to Create Your Own Mudra
What a Mudra Cannot Do

In the chapter - "Meditations for Each Finger" - the reader is given an explanation of the energy meaning of each finger, then led on a guided meditation for that finger.

With my own background in Bharatya Natyam dancing and practicing hatha yoga I still learned much from this "encyclopedia" of information on mudras.

I think there is something health-giving for everyone in Mudras … from meditation to healing issues.

Read, learn from, and enjoy this book!

Details - 223 page paperback by Weiser Books; 7.7 by 6.3 inches; ISBN: 1578631394

Available from Amazon.com
Mudras - Yoga in your Hands by Gertrud Hirschi

22. Mystics, Masters, Saints, and Sages by Robert Ullman and Judyth Reichenberg-Ulman


Do you love to read inspiring stories of people dedicated to the higher good who have followed their dream? Well, I do, and this book more than fits the bill!
Mystics, Masters, Saints, and Sages by Robert Ullman and Judyth Reichenberg-Ullman
33 Brief bio sketches of saintly people along with several pages excerpted from the work of each, provide the reader with just enough for upliftment. The chapters portraying each "mystic, master, saint and sage" are arranged chronologically, dating from more than 600B.C. to include some still living.

I feel like this book presents a real life glimpse into what spurs one on, in the quest for both personal fulfillment, and serving the good of all.

I salute the authors, Robert Ullman and Judyth Reichenberg-Ullman, for having the foresight and inspiration to bring these 33 holy people to our attention. Each life carries a unique message that deserves our time for reflection and meditation!

Those included: Gautama, the Buddha; Hui-Neng; Yeshe Tsogyal; Jalaluddin Rumi; A Disciple of the Kabbalistic School of Abraham Abulafia; St. Catherine of Siena; Kabir; Gendun Gyatso Palzangpo; St. John of the Cross; Hakuin; The Baal Shem Tov; Bahá'u'lláh; Ramakrishna Paramahamsa; Ramana Maharshi; Swami (Papa) Ramdas and Mother Krishnabai.

Also, Paramahansa Yogananda; Meher Baba; J. Krishnamurti; Franklin Merrell-Wolff; Peace Pilgrim; Gopi Krishna; Lester Levenson; Jean Klein; Ramesh Balsekar; Robert Adams; Bernadette Roberts; Deepa Kodikal; Gangaji; Eckhart Tolle; A. H. Almaas; Shantimayi; Mata Amritanandamayi; Suzanne Segal.

Details - 260 page paperback, published by Conari Press (October 10, 2001) - ISBN: 1573245070

To order from Amazon.com go to

"Mystics, Masters, Saints, and Sages - Stories of Enlightenment" by Robert Ullman and Judyth Reichenberg-Ullman

 

Titles Beginning O to R

22a. Our Lady of Fatima by William T. Walsh


The oldest of the three children of Fatima, Lucia de Jesus dos Santos, passed away on February 13, 2005 at age 97. Lucia was the longest living of the three cousins who witnessed the extraordinary apparitions of the Blessed Mother in a tiny village in central Portugal near Fatima in 1916 and 1917.
Our Lady of Fatima by William T. Walsh
Of modern day interest in particular is the secret third message that Sister Lucia carried with her nearly to the present day. It has been associated with the assassination attempt on the life Pope John Paul II on May 13, 1981 - the anniversary of the last of the childrens' apparitions in 1917.

I recommend this 240 page paperback, published by Image, for its historical accounting, but mostly because it is a reminder that the simple truths in life are still the most important.

What was important to meditate and pray for nearly 100 years ago is even more needed today, and that is sending loving thoughts to all creation for the transformation of coldness and separation into kindness and caring with all our world family. We can each make an important contribution to world peace by practicing being peaceful every day in our ordinary lives.

May the events in the lives of the children, Lucia, Jacinta and Francisco Marto inspire your spiritual life as they have mine - even to the extent that I took the name 'Jacinta' at my confirmation.

Recommended!

Details - 240 pages; Image Publisher; 8.6 by 5 inches; ISBN: 0385028695

To buy follow this link to Amazon.com

Our Lady of Fatima by William T. Walsh

22b. Power of Now, The by Eckhart Tolle


Do you want to delve into a deeper dimension of life and experience your whole Self? Then The Power of Now, A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment is for you. I think you'll find, as I did, that this book comes into our lives at exactly the time we need it and are ready.
The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
The information contained for experiencing the present moment of being is wide-ranging, so I thought for this review I'd tell you about my favorite and most moving chapter located about in the center of the book, which is Chapter 6, The Inner Body. In total there are 10 chapters.

I would not have suspected that delving into the feelings coursing through my physical body would get me to enlightenment, as I was taught to reign in the bodily feelings in my religious upbringing. But it is that very experience of feeling the life below the outer shell of skin of our body in the way its flow energizes us, that takes us away from preoccupation and attachment to negative thoughts running a race through our mind.

Eckhart Tolle explains how we can be centered in the "now" of each moment by keeping awareness of the splendid enlivening feelings of our body in existence. Yes, the body will one day die but while we are in it we have the opportunity to realize we are also in a vast energy body.

And while conscious of the energy and endless vastness we forget about the repetitive problems that take up our mind and time. Tuning in with this energy at each moment gives us the power to solve our problems in a new fast way, and in a positive light. In fact, it is this awareness of the Light that we are, felt as energy that is the experience of enlightenment.

For the spiritual seeker I can't recommend this book enough; I've only shared a small part with you, the book is the study of a lifetime.

Details: 224 pages; paperback; New World Library (September 29, 2004); 8.5 by 5.5 inches; ISBN-10: 1577314808; ISBN-13: 978-1577314806

***

For disclosure, my husband bought us this book, and I am an Amazon.com Associate.

Here is the link at Amazon.com:
The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

23. Quiet Mind - One-Minute Retreats from a Busy World by David Kundtz


Inspired is how I feel every time I pick up this book of very short stories with their own little guided meditations for reflection.

Quiet Mind - One-Minute Retreats from a Busy World by David Kundtz is divided into 14 chapters of 380 pages. Under each chapter heading are uplifting nuggets of wisdom for meditation - mostly 2 page topics - promoting peace and balance.
Quiet Mind - One-Minute Retreats from a Busy World by David Kundtz
Chapter titles
Still Moments in Busy Days
Making Room for Life
Remembering to Take the Time
Finding Your Balance
The Spaces in Between
Creating Opportunities for Serenity
Defining Your Values
Finding Peace at Work
Embracing Life
Paying Attention
Knowing Thyself
Awakening to Wonder
Connecting with Others
Giving Back to the World

One of my favorite meditations is "Guardian Angel" on pages 261-262. We are reminded and encouraged to be still, and look at how that unexpected rescue from an accident could have been an encounter with our guardian angel.

There is enough variety in Quiet Mind … to provide a short retreat anytime or anywhere during the day.

Recommended!

Details - 380 page paperback from publisher Red Wheel/Weiser (January 1, 2003) ISBN: 1573248622

To order from Amazon.com go to

Quiet Mind - One-Minute Retreats from a Busy World by David Kundtz


22b. Power of Now, The by Eckhart Tolle


Do you want to delve into a deeper dimension of life and experience your whole Self? Then The Power of Now, A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment is for you. I think you'll find, as I did, that this book comes into our lives at exactly the time we need it and are ready.

The information contained for experiencing the present moment of being is wide-ranging, so I thought for this review I'd tell you about my favorite and most moving chapter located about in the center of the book, which is Chapter 6, The Inner Body. In total there are 10 chapters.

I would not have suspected that delving into the feelings coursing through my physical body would get me to enlightenment, as I was taught to reign in the bodily feelings in my religious upbringing. But it is that very experience of feeling the life below the outer shell of skin of our body in the way its flow energizes us, that takes us away from preoccupation and attachment to negative thoughts running a race through our mind.

Eckhart Tolle explains how we can be centered in the "now" of each moment by keeping awareness of the splendid enlivening feelings of our body in existence. Yes, the body will one day die but while we are in it we have the opportunity to realize we are also in a vast energy body.

And while conscious of the energy and endless vastness we forget about the repetitive problems that take up our mind and time. Tuning in with this energy at each moment gives us the power to solve our problems in a new fast way, and in a positive light. In fact, it is this awareness of the Light that we are, felt as energy that is the experience of enlightenment.

For the spiritual seeker I can't recommend this book enough; I've only shared a small part with you, the book is the study of a lifetime.

Details: 224 pages; paperback; New World Library (September 29, 2004); 8.5 by 5.5 inches; ISBN-10: 1577314808; ISBN-13: 978-1577314806

***

For disclosure, my husband bought us this book, and I am an Amazon.com Associate.

Here is the link at Amazon.com:
The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

24. Red Tent, The by Anita Diamant


Reading Genesis 34 in the Old Testament we get a feeling for the setting of this fictional novel built around Dinah, daughter of Leah and Jacob; brother of Joseph.

Through the voice of Dinah, Anita Diamant carries us back to what the culture for women, in particular, might have been at that time.
 The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
It is a spell-binding account of life in the lands inland from the east coast of the Mediterranean Sea and south-west in Egypt. I certainly felt a kinship with the rites and rituals that kept women and their daughters to the tasks of homemaking for the boys and men in their tribes. Repetitive tasks of carding sheep's wool, coaxing it into fine even thread upon a spindle, weaving the cloth for the tribe, and for bartering by the men in the cities.

We are brought into the red tent of rituals that reveal more of the women than a resting place during their moon cycle. In the monthly rite lasting 3 days, beginning and ending for all women of the tribe at the same time, the darkest part of the moon cycle, women had a chance to exchange views and information they gathered while overhearing the men.

It was a time to plan for future holidays and seasonal events. And, we come to a greater understanding of the role of religion in the various lands, one of the cradles of civilization, at this time in early history

Without giving the plot away, we follow Dinah's life even before she is born, through her adventures, trials, fears and love in its many manifestations that compound through a life. At each stage we feel her feelings and champion her cause. It is a novel like that.

I highly recommend The Red Tent for all women, that we may empathize with the plight of women and culture at that time, but particularly for growing into a greater understanding of ourselves in the here and now.

Highly recommended!

Details - 336 pages published by Picador; 6.2 by 9.2 inches; ISBN: 0312195516

Here is a link to Amazon.com if you wish to order this book:

The Red Tent by Anita Diamant

25. Revelation of Saint John, The by Zachary F. Lansdowne


The full title of Zachary F. Lansdowne's book The Revelation of Saint John - The Path to Soul Initiation - Understanding the True Meaning of the Apocalypse gives us a clue that the author has dived into the mystery surrounding the last book of the Holy Bible, King James Version.

The author goes on the supposition that when viewed from a psychological point of view the book is really a practical set of instructions for the spiritual journey of awakening in consciousness.

And isn't this the highest path we tread as humans; opening ourselves to our full spiritual nature that we may come to know our eternal roots most clearly and joyously. That is what this exploration means to me and this book provides plenty of insight and backup material into that journey.

This list gives you an idea of the breadth of ideas presented by Mr. Lansdowne. The book is divided into 22 chapters which I will list separated by semi-colons: The Soul; Sacral, Solar Plexus, Heart, and Throat Chakras; Brow, Crown, and Basic Chakras; Meditation; Guidance; Self-Purification; Preparation for Kundalini; Awakening Kundalini; Guilt and Fear; The Plane of Divine Ideas; Judgment; Illusion; Glamour and Maya; The Spiritual Kingdom; The Seven Chohans; The Seven Trials; The Ego; Elimination of the Ego; Union with the Soul; Death and Resurrection; Spiritual Transformation; Power of Decision.

The book is laid out with a verse from the King James version of the Holy Bible to the left and Mr. Lansdowne's interpretation on the right hand side of the page. I think this arrangement is very convenient for reading and reflecting.

Let's look at the author's background for a moment - Zachary Lansdowne has a Ph.D. in Engineering, an M.A. in Psychology, an M.A. in Philosophy and Religion and an M.S. in Engineering. He is also past president of the Theosophical Society in Boston and has published in scholarly journals and four previous books on philosophy and religion.

He is well qualified for the comparisons and insights he brings to this work with the spiritual and psychological points of view. And I am very glad to be able to tell you about this book. Of course, you needn't read it in a particular order, because any page you open it to holds valuable nuggets of insight and wisdom.

Take the verses from any page, sit quietly, reflect and meditate on their meaning for you. Surely this book will be an aid to further expansion and understanding of this last book of the Holy Bible.

Rather than being a doomsday to most of humanity, as in killing people, consider the point of view that it is doomsday to attachments that keep us chained to the material world - that bar our souls from soaring in permanent joy. And from that outlook, the last book of the Holy Bible is applicable today, right now.

Highly recommended!

Details - 232 page paperback from Red Wheel/Weiser Publisher; 8.9 by 7.0 inches; ISBN: 1578633427

To order from Amazon.com go to
The Revelation of Saint John by Zachary F. Lansdowne

 

Titles Beginning with S

 

26. Second Coming of Christ, The by Paramahansa Yogananda


With the greatest joy I am honored to be able to share with you my experiences with this wonderful 2-volume set of holy books: The Second Coming of Christ - The Resurrection of the Christ Within You by Paramahansa Yogananda.
The Second Coming of Christ - The Resurrection of the Christ Within You by Paramahansa Yogananda
With over 1,600 pages of text and beautiful museum quality pages of illustrations I hardly know where to begin to tell you about the value and insight this work has been to me the past few months.

The scope is really beyond words because it is no ordinary spiritual instruction book. What is reinforced is that through studying scripture, through contemplation and deep meditation we can awaken experience of Christ within.

A brief quote from the introduction:
"Though I emphasize the message of Lord Jesus in the New Testament and the yoga science of God-union delineated by Bhagavan Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita as the summum bonum of the way to God-realization, I honor the diverse expressions of truth flowing from the One God through the scriptures of His various emissaries. All such scriptures have a threefold meaning - material, mental, and spiritual. They are divine wells of "living waters" that can quench humanity's thirsts of body, mind, and soul. The timeless revelations sent by God through illumined prophets serve human beings on each of the three levels of their nature."

Open the volumes to any page and the question of the moment is answered, and to me that is a sign of a truly valuable book on the path to experiencing Christ within.

The two volumes together are divided into 77 chapters. Let me share with you a few of the chapter titles: 1. Divine Incarnations: God's Emissaries; 4. The Infancy and Youth of Christ; 9. Jesus Meets His First Disciples; 13. The Second Birth of Man - In Spirit; 20. "Thy Son Liveth": The Healing Power; 26. The Beatitudes; 40. Jesus' Counsel to Ministers of God's Word, Part I.; 43. The True "Bread of Life"; 53. Fulfilling the Two Greatest Commandments; 54. An Esoteric Perspective on The Lord's Prayer; 56. God-realization: The Heavenly Treasure of Individuals and Nations; 61. "The Kingdom of God Is Within You"; 75. "Lo, I Am With You Always."

When words poured forth as fine wine from Sri Yogananda he was drawing from insight after years of deepest meditation. In these volumes we learn from the essence of many world scriptures that which we all seek - how to experience direct communion with God.

Highest recommendation!

Details - 1,696 pages; Self-Realization Fellowship Publishers - Slipcase edition (September 2004); 10 by 6.6 inches; ISBN: 0876125550

Just a little side note - at the time of this review this 2-book set had a 5 star rating with 22 reviews at Amazon.com. I think that fact alone speaks volumes on the value of holding this set of books in your library for a lifetime of reference.

This book can be ordered from Amazon.com at this link:

The Second Coming of Christ - The Resurrection of the Christ Within You by Paramahansa Yogananda

27. Singing Bowl Exercises for Personal Harmony by Anneke Huyser


During the Bronze Age of Ancient China (2500B.C. - 200 A.D.) the first bronze singing bowls were made in the Himalayan countries from a combination of metals, and may include in varying proportions gold, silver, mercury, copper, iron, tin and lead.

Anneke Huyser explains that and much more in her informative and useful book full of photos and illustrations: Singing Bowl Exercises for Personal Harmony.
Singing Bowl Exercises for Personal Harmony by Anneke Huyser
Chapters cover these topics:
1. Sound is Energy. Sound is Color. Sound is Form. Sound Transforms Form. Sound Can Heal. 2. Bronze Singing Bowls, Individual and Unique Instruments. 3. Metals and Planets. 4. The Symbolism of the Planets and Colors. 5. Healing and Transformation. 6. Practical Uses for Singing Bowls.

I've used singing bowls for many years as a calming and centering practice in the periods before I sit in meditation. For me, it seems a beautiful prelude going from the outer harmonious tones of singing bowls to the inner melodies of meditation.

Ms. Huyser reminds us that bronze singing bowls each have their own tone and pitch depending on their size and thickness, so it is not possible to arrange a set of smaller to larger bowls to form the western musical scale.

Rather, each bowl rubbed or banged produces its own unique tones; illustrations give examples of various implements that can be used to produce sound with a singing bowl.

I have found that when I rub very gently and evenly around the outside top edge on my favorite singing bowl, that it produces a most melodious and subtle sound.

One of my adult daughters made the same motions on the same bowl and the tone was different - still harmonious, but evidently reflecting the differences in the pressure we each applied in our movement.

Instructions are given in the book on ways to select and get the most from your singing bowls. I think you'll find that as helpful as I did.

Now, after reading this little review, perhaps you'll be inspired to place a singing bowl on or alongside your meditation table for those times you need a bit of musical centering sound before meditating.

Highest recommendation!

Details - 116 page paperback; 8.2 by 5.4 inches; published by Weiser Books (January 2000) ISBN: 9074597394

To order from Amazon.com go to

Singing Bowl Exercises for Personal Harmony by Anneke Huyser

28. Soul Aflame - A Modern Book of Hours by Phil Cousineau and Eric Lawton


Editor Phil Cousineau and photographer Eric Lawton have teamed up in a flaming duo that does justice to their book The Soul Aflame.
The Soul Aflame - A Modern Book of Hours
Inspired by the cover photograph of firelight reflected upon a meditative countenance, I was compelled to explore the book. There followed many uplifting minutes.

The body of the book is formulated in days of the week and further defined by eight moods in the natural daily cycle - matins; lauds; prime; terce; sext; none; vespers and compline.

The left-hand pages have a thought-provoking offering by creative individuals and opposite each is a gorgeous photograph of people or uplifting scenes in nature.

Opening the selections for Tuesday the quote from Boris Pasternak resonates true for me:

"It's not the earthquake
That controls the advent of a different life
But storms of generosity
And visions of incandescent souls."

And in Saturday Vespers by the American Benjamin Franklin:

"When I see nothing annihilated (in the works of God) and not a drop of water wasted, I cannot suspect the annihilation of souls, or believe that He will suffer the daily waster of millions of minds ready made that now exist, and put Himself to the continual trouble of making new ones. Thus, finding myself to exist in the world, I believe I shall, in some shape or other, always exist; and, with all the inconveniences human life is liable to, I shall not object to a new edition of mine, hoping, however, that the errata of the last may be corrected.

Now, are not those verses inspiring!

The Soul Aflame lays on my coffee table and does not fail to greet me with its warm invitation to open its covers and once again pull up my delightful energy in that quick moment - energizing me creatively.

Don't we all find that nuggets of creative splendor arise from our body, mind and soul aflame with inspired energy!

Highly recommended!

Details - 160 page paperback by Conari Press; 7 by 7.2 inches; ISBN: 1573241865

Available from Amazon.com
The Soul Aflame - A Modern Book of Hours

 

29. Soul Mate Dolls by Noreen Crone-Findlay


Keeping a small doll that was made with a spiritual thought in mind in a pocket is a reminder to take some minutes for a brief meditation during the day. The doll is then a little friend to be a comfort while prodding to check in with your higher Self of peace and harmony. I keep a small doll 2 inches tall in my pocket.

A journey to wholeness through "doll-work" is how I see the creative path of making dolls presented in 144 pages by the author, Noreen Crone-Findlay, in Soul Mate Dolls - Dollmaking as a Healing Art.
Soul Mate Dolls - Dollmaking as a Healing Art by Noreen Crone-Findlay
Illustrated with colorful photos and full size templates to copy onto thin cardboard (my recommendation), a useful practical book to make more than 35 dolls - each an aspect of soul mate.

Interspersed with construction techniques including knitting, embroidery and crocheting, the author freely shares her philosophy on handling many of the emotional issues we all face sometime in life - making this truly a combination of dollmaking, emotional healing, contemplation.

I particularly like that most of the dolls can be hand-held or carried along in a purse or pocket, and can be made in variously textured fabrics and fibers to give a nice comfy feel. Even taking the same pattern and using differenct colors of fabric makes a doll with a totally unique look and character.

And, because each doll maker is creating her own dolls, they are like an extension of feeling and thought - a creation from heart and soul.

Chapter Headings:
1. The Basic Flat Soul Mate Doll
2. The Power of Story
3.
Journal Work, Coloring Pages, Dreamwork, and Doodling
4.
Emotions and Feelings
5.
The Playful Heart
6.
The Grandmothers

I recommend this as a good read full of fun projects to sit upon your meditation altar or give as gifts; perhaps dressed for religious holidays.

Details: Krause Publications; 144 page paperback; ISBN: 0873418069.

To buy follow this link to Amazon.com

Soul Mate Dolls by Noreen Crone-Findlay


30. String and a Prayer - How to Make and Use Prayer Beads by E. Wiley and M. O. Shannon


Eleanor Wiley and Maggie Oman Shannon have really tuned in to a couple of perfect ways to get centered - making and using prayer beads!
A String and a Prayer - How to Make and Use Prayer Beads
Some topics covered in the book are the history and symbolism of prayer beads, and making individualistic creations for your own practice and others in different needs - such as healing and peace.

A String and a Prayer includes lots of details on amulets and materials to use, such as bone, clay, feathers, mirrors, nuts, seeds, glass, gold and silver, and semi-precious stones, amongst others. Also, the symbolism of particular numbers of beads is discussed.

I have found that the act of stringing beads and concentrating on a short mantra or prayer with each bead absorbs me in quiet reflection - meditation in action.

And the final chapter of prayers gathered from around the globe to use with your prayer beads is the perfect ending to the book.

Here is an uplifting prayer ascribed to Mohammed from the prayers included in the volume -

"O God, give me, I pray Thee,
light on my right hand
and light on my left hand
and light above me
and light beneath me.
Lord, increase light within me
and give me light
and illuminate me."

Do you like to keep your hands busy and productive? I do, and I found making strings of prayer bead to be a rewarding pastime.

Recommended!

Details - 160 page paperback; 7 by 6.3 inches; published by Red Wheel/Weiser (September 1, 2002) ISBN: 1590030109

To order from Amazon.com go to

A String and a Prayer - How to Make and Use Prayer Beads

 

Titles Beginning with Y and Magazines

 

31. Yoga of Jesus, The by Paramahansa Yogananda

 

Another wonderful book from the insight of Paramahansa Yogananda has fallen into our laps - literally our meditation lap. The Yoga of Jesus, subtitled Understanding the Hidden Teachings of the Gospels is a inspiring, uplifting guide for daily living. As all of Yogananda's books are, it is so clear, that what we think is esoteric is made to be practical; it makes sense.
The Yoga of Jesus by Paramahansa Yogananda
Just looking at the front cover art depicting Jesus in meditation, upper body immersed in white light lifts the reader into a receptive mood for the inspiring message within the covers. And the drawing by Heinrich Hofmann of The Sermon on the Mount is delicate and I think carries a spiritual vibration.

The content of the book is excerpted from the very large mother volume in a set of two books titled The Second Coming of Christ. I'm glad the publisher thought to create this volume that centers on these topics from the Table of Contents: Part I. Jesus the Christ - Avatar and Yogi; Part II. "One Way" or Universality?; Part III. Jesus' Yoga of Divine Love; plus a Glossary of spiritual terms.

I'd like to share a quote that particularly inspired me. "Remember, Christ seeks the temples of true souls. He loves the quiet shrine of devotion in your heart where your abide with him, there in the sanctuary aglow with the vigil light of your love. Those who meditate devoutly will receive Christ on the altar of calmness in their own consciousness." - from page 10.

The section I am happiest to see included is Chapter 3, Inner Teachings of Jesus the Yogi, How Every Soul Can Attain Christ Consciousness which explains about the importance of communing with the Holy Comforter, the Holy Ghost, the Word, Aum, Cosmic Vibration or other names for the same experience.

The chapter goes into great detail on how to capture this comforting spiritual experience for yourself, which by the way, I first experienced about half a year after beginning meditation from a touch on my forehead by Paramahansa Yogananda in a spiritual dream. Just 2 months before the dream I had first read his Autobiography of a Yogi, my all-time favorite book.

I cannot say enough about the Holy Cosmic Vibration as it truly has been my comfort in life's ups and downs for 30 years now.

Read and be inspired by this little volume, a clear and concise collection of nuggets of wisdom from a truly great spiritual master who clarifies some of the teachings of Jesus the Christ!

Details - 160 page paperback; Self Realization Fellowship Pub (August 24, 2007); 8.8 by 5.0 by 0.5 inches; ISBN-10: 0876125569 ISBN-13: 978-0876125564

To buy from Amazon.com -

The Yoga of Jesus by Paramahansa Yogananda

 

31a. Yoga of the Bhagavad Gita by Paramahansa Yogananda


The Yoga of the Bhagavad Gita by Paramahansa Yogananda joins his other fine books in inspiring the sincere devotee to spend the time necessary to attain self-realization in this very lifetime.
The Yoga of the Bhagavad Gita by Paramahansa Yogananda
The book is divided into 2 sections. The first part is commentary and explanations of the terms and setting in the Bhagavad Gita. The second section is the full ancient text told by Paramahansa Yogananda.

I feel it is very important to the novice reader, especially, to thoroughly read the first section so that the Bhagavad Gita, which is an allegory, can be most intuitively understood.

Quote from Part 1, page 18:
"The devotee is aware that the most important objective in life is to attain the goal of Self-realization: to know through meditation his true soul nature and its oneness with ever blissful Spirit."

This book is part of a larger 2-volume work called God Talks With Arjuna which is the recommended read for those who wish more in-depth study. If a new spiritual seeker picked up the story and read it through, the meaning might portray the good and bad points in the battle between Lord Krishna and Arjuna, only. But after time in deep meditation and analysis using the information that intuitively flows from your own eternal depths, more of the great meaning becomes clear.

Be it yesteryear or today that message is the same. Clinging to and attachment to the ego in the way of sense enjoyments doesn't leave space for enjoying the infinite freedom of self-realization moment to moment. And there is such a world of difference.

When attached to worldly battles, with all the conquests the ego looks for leaves nothing but sadness as each satisfaction disappears when new wants, new battles, present themselves.

Rather by keeping on an even keel, remaining in charge of the reigns of the chariot the path through life's ups and downs is stable, harmonious and secure in letting the driver of the chariot remain in control, above it all.

This is a best choice in classic spiritual literature and if you really want to explore the deeper side of life it is a book worth devoting time to by studying and reflecting on in your meditation.

Recommended for the sincere seeker. Paramahansa Yogananda's commentary throughout is insightful, uplifting.

Details: 192pp.; Published by Self-Realization Fellowship 2007; 9 by 6 inches paperback; ISBN-10: 0876120338 ISBN-13: 978-0876120330

Here is the link at Amazon.com:
The Yoga of the Bhagavad Gita by Paramahansa Yogananda

 

32. Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, The by Sri Swami Satchidananda


The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali - Translation and Commentary by Sri Swami Satchidananda is my all-time favorite book on explaining the relationship of body-mind-spirit.
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali by Sri Swami Satchidananda
Step by step the reader is led on a journey of insight for gaining mastery of the mind - rather than being led on a wild goose chase by the mind's ever new desires.

The original sutras are in Sanskrit and insightfully explained in English by Sri Swami Satchidananda - a world-renowned spiritual master of the 20th century.

Satchidananda's kind, caring heart shows as a teacher in his thorough explanations of the original sutras. The insights of bygone days are brought to the modern world in words we can understand today.

Swami Satchidananda was a leading world leader in the interfaith ecumenical movement, especially through spearheading the Light of Truth Universal Shrine, LOTUS, in Buckingham, Virginia, 50 miles south of Charlottesville.

I knew him personally for more than 25 years and was always amazed by his keen insight and wisdom, which he could apply to any question posed to him. This ability comes after developing clarity of mind, and he applied it in this interpretation of Patanjali's sutras for today's world.

Now, it is up to each of us to trace the route Patanjali laid out, and apply the insight learned by taking time to reflect and meditate upon each sutra.

Spiritual students can use the book as a self-paced course by taking time to write their developing understandings of the sutras in a journal for periodic review and reflection.

Highest recommendation!

Details - 236 pages from Integral Yoga Publications; ISBN: 0932040381.

Available at this link at Amazon.com

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali by Sri Swami Satchidananda

33. Integral Yoga Magazine - Quarterly Journal


Sharpen your practices by subscribing to Integral Yoga Magazine, an ecumenical quarterly journal on yoga and meditation applied to daily life, inspired by its founder, Swami Satchidananda.

Each issue contains at least one article from the archives of Swami Satchidananda (1914-2002), and his master, Swami Sivananda of Rishikesh, India, (1887-1963).
Integral Yoga Magazine; this cover art by Peter Max
The bulk of in-depth articles are by knowledgeable professionals in their field. Each issue is about 8.5 by 11 inches and has approximately 48 pages of text; the interior is black and white with clear photos of the article authors, with mini-bio and contact information.

The magazine covers are in color and mostly depict inspiring photos from Swami Satchidananda's life.

Here is a sampling of article titles from a recent issue:

- Sankirtan Yoga by H. H. Sri Swami Sivananda

- Listening to the Sound Within by H. H. Sri Swami Satchidananda

- The Perfect Panacea by Swami Karunananda

- Special Section: The Yoga of Sound - includes interview on Nada Yoga with Yogi Hari; Kirtan and the World's sacred Chant Traditions by Steven J. Rosen; The Vibrational Science of Mantra - an interview with Jonathan Goldman; The Gentle Art of Meditative Toning by David Gordon; Kirtan - Singing to the Inner Vastness of the Heart - an interview with Jai Uttal; Shabad Yoga - The Sounds of Wisdom - an interview with Snatam Kaur.

- Inside the Yoga Sutras - the Mystic OM by Reverend Jaganath Carrera

- Yoga for Your Personal Finances by Jacqueline Richards

Click on the photo above and check out the sample articles.

When my issue of Integral Yoga Magazine arrives each quarter - Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall, I drop what I'm doing and sit down for an hour to breeze through the offerings.

Then, later in the evening I'm sure to be spending time digesting the whole magazine, which to me is a banquet of nourishment and encouragement in my meditation and yoga practices.

Reading about others being successful on the spiritual path is such a positive incentive to me, a boost of energy. I think it will be for you also.

My highest recommendation!

To view sample articles and order go to this link:
Integral Yoga Magazine

 

 

Books for teaching toddlers to teens by Susan Kramer

 

All reviews, summaries and content on this site are copyright Susan Kramer
 and may not be used in any manner without express written permission.
Email: susan@susankramer.com


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