a few good books

Namaste.  Before I head off for travels in Asia I wanted to share what I’ve been reading over last month or so.

First off, our local teacher Jacqueline Ryan Brodnitzki has just published Awaken Your Inner Radiance.

Subtitled Four Steps to a Joy filled life, Jacqueline lays out a very-approachable map to happiness and vibrant health.  The book is a quick read, though you’ll find yourself marking pages to return to,  I did some of the written exercises and found them thought provoking.   there are insightful quotes, plenty of recommendations for good books to follow along with, and it’s apparent that she’s writing from her own experience, Jacqueline lives, and teaches this.  Thanks J.  I enjoyed reading your book.

Doorways To The Soul.

Our own Elisa Davy Pearmain gave me a copy of her book almost a year ago. Why has it taken this long to review?  Well, Elisa’s beautiful book has 52 chapters, and she encourages you to read it slowly, taking time to absorb the stories.  In our speeding culture, this is refreshing advice.  Elisa draws from a vast array of traditions to convey wisdom of the ages, peace, and connection with nature, divinity, and each other.  I took my time with this one, a story for each week.  you will want to as well.  Thanks E,  It’s been nice seeing you in class.

Yoga in America.

Edited by Deborah Bernstein and Bob Weisenberg.    Deb and Bob sent out the question “What is yoga?”  to a community of teachers, 300 responses were edited down to 46 that are published in this substantial volume.  the spectrum of yoga represented is wide, and I appreciate the different writing styles.  this is another book that can be read over time, taking time to soak up what’s been said.  Deborah lives in Boston, and does much work to comfort the families of fallen firefighters and disabled veterans.  Check out her Yoga blog, and beautiful retreat center, Florian Yoga – St. John, US Virgin Islands.

Thanking the Monkey

I’m still working on Karen Dawn’s fresh look at Animal Rights.  I met Karen back in 2000 at the national Animal Rights Conference, but had recognized her from conferences in the past.  She’s been actively publishing the E-newsletter ‘DawnWatch’ for many years, alerting us to how animals are represented or more often misrepresented in the media.  

This is a comprehensive, yet inviting book, intermixed with glossy photos, cartoons and a mix of philosophies.   Chosen by the Washington Post as one of the Best Books of the year, Thanking the Monkey is full of insight from the well known, and the rank and file.  Karen, thanks for all you do for the Voiceless animals.  I appreciate your efforts, and will revisit your book when I return from Asia.  Thanks for the tee shirt too !

Lastly, a film.   I just received the film Dalai Lama Renaissance, I was able to watch one volume chronicling the conference between His Holiness and 40 of the worlds current intellectuals.  Quantum physicists, talk show hosts, film makers and social scientists gather to discus the worlds problems and what can be done about them.   The scenery is amazing, but what struck me most about this documentary is the incredible patience the Dalai Lama has when dealing with this collection of mostly-Western minds.  

Renaissance has won 14 awards and is an official selection in at least 40 international film festivals.  I’ll let you know about the other volume when I return.  Khashyar, thanks so much for sending me a review copy, I’ll be showing it to my friend Ani-hla, a student of His Holiness this afternoon.

Be well.  Om Shanti.


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