Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

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Stress Relievers

November 24, 2008

I’ve been reading The Seeker’s Guide by Elizabeth Lesser and she has a list of 10 ways to deal with unavoidable stress.  As we move into the holiday season with its activities and unrelenting “to do” lists I decided to share her ideas.  Take what works for you and leave the rest!

1.  Meditate for twenty minutes.  (Don’t stop here.  This may be a difficult one to accomplish but some of the other suggestions don’t take nearly as much time.)

2.  When you feel stress creeping up on you, take short, meditative “time-out,” even ones that last for a few seconds.  Take a deep breath  in, and exhale slowly.  If there’s no one around, sigh.

3.  Keep mindfulness reminders around you: little quotes tacked on the wall; objects that  express spaciousness, or peace, or clarity; pictures of people who inspire you to open your heart and quiet your mind.

4.  Walk a little more slowly, a little more mindfully, as you move about during your day.

5. When you are driving, be aware of your breath and your thoughts.  Use your time in the car to concentrate fully on driving.  If you’re stuck in traffic or late for an appointment, use the time to let go of control and accept where you are.

6.  Don’t rush to answer the phone when it first rings.  Pretend it’s a church bell, ringing to remind you to relax.  Then answer the phone in a more mindful way.

7.  When you don’t know what to say or what to do, don’t panic.  Take a deep breath, and slow down.  You don’t have to know everything.  You don’t have to be perfect.

8.  When you feel a sense of dread, or panic, or anxiety, slow down, breathe quietly, and locate the tension in your body.  Where do you feel it?  Place your hand there and gently pat yourself, as if you were calming a child.

9.  Energize your body — move around, take a walk, exercise.

10. Check out if your unavoidable stress is really unavoidable.  Take a curious, fearless glance within.  Listen deeply, give your feelings room to express themselves, and wait patiently for the truth to be revealed.

I’d say these are great things to remember all year.  Seems like stress is the American health challenge.  Let me know if any of these ideas work for you.

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Artful Work by Dick Richards

November 16, 2008

Artful Work: Awakening Joy, Meaning, and Commitment in the Workplace by Dick Richards is one of those books you read when you’re feeling blah in your job.  Richards was a graphic artist and his fascination with the process of creating art led him “to a careful study of artistry and to the belief that all work can become artful – artfulness is the key to passion and commitment.”

Richards says,  “Joy arrives on the wings of discovery and surprise.  It inhabits us when we excel.  Joy is not a goal of artful work but the result of doing something challenging and doing it well — so well that the doing leads us into realms we did not expect.  We surprise ourselves.  Joy occurs when we transcend who we think we are and what we think we are capable of creating.

Richards explores the changing face of work and how artful work is turned into “job.”  He believes that since all work can be artful, four questions about artfulness and your particular work need to be addressed:  Do I care about the work itself?  Can I express myself through the work?  Am I committed to the meaning of the work?  And am I tenacious enough to do the work well?

Some interesting questions to ask ourselves about our work.

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Wake Up Now by Michale Bodian.

November 15, 2008

Wake Up Now by Michale Bodian. Bodian is a longtime meditator, former editor-in-chief of Yoga Journal, and has studied with many of the great spiritual masters of the time.  He says, “I’ve written this book for seekers…who are looking for guidance in plain language on the often prolonged and complex journey of spiritual awakening.”  Spiritual awakening means waking up to the experience, to the witness, to pure being itself, to the one who is eternally aware.

The point of spiritual awakening, says Bodian, is not to maximize your assets and minimize your losses, but to be free of attachment to gain or loss and to be peaceful and joyful in the midst of whatever life brings.

One of Bodian’s meditations instructs:

Close your eyes and imagine yourself living the awakened life.  How does it feel to go about your day seeing everyone and everything you meet as your very own Self?  How do you act when you’re merged with the flow of life instead of resisting it? Spend a few minutes allowing this visualization to unfold. How does it affect your experience of life when you open your eyes again?

What do you experience when you try this?

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More Notes From the Universe: Life, Dreams, and Happiness

November 10, 2008

I’ve just finished reading More Notes From the Universe: Life, Dreams, and Happiness by Mike Dooley.  Dooley, who appeared on the movie The Secret, writes one of those little books that should sit near a chair, that you pick up to read a few sentences or paragraphs, and then you contemplate the ideas and images it brings up.  Here are a few of the thought provoking comments he makes:

  • Believe it or not, if it weren’t for your so-called issues, problems, and challenges, there’d be no other way you could become even happier, cooler, and more enlightened than you have ever been before.
  • Go ahead, want it all.  Just learn to be happy before it arrives, or you may not notice when it does.
  • Thinking big but acting small, is the same as thinking small.  Shiver me timbers.  Reading this and nodding in wholehearted agreement, but not doing a little acting “as if your dreams have come true: in the days that follow, is the same as not reading this.
  • Actually, while it’s fun to think about how fantastically different life will be once your ship comes in, the truth is, the only thing that will really change, is you. Hey, why wait?
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Ernest Holmes’ Books

October 28, 2008

The other day as I was volunteering in the CSL bookstore, a woman asked me which of Ernest Holmes’ books I would recommend to a beginner.  I suggested Science of Mind (as the obvious choice) and when she said she had that one already, I suggested Living the Science of Mind as the other book used in the Foundations class, which she had said she was hoping to take soon.  However both of those are big, thick books with lots of good information but I cannot honestly say they would be a great introduction to a beginner just trying to understand SOM on their own – at least if someone had recommended either of them to me back when we first started attending CSL I believe I would have made it about 10 pages in and then given up.

As I drove home I contemplated the other books by Ernest Holmes that I own and I realized that I read them all during this or that class and didn’t really have an opinion of them on their own, separate from the class. And so considering all of this, I have decided that I will reread each of these books over the next year and comment on them here on the blog as I go along.

So I just went downstairs and piled up my Ernest Holmes books and here’s the list, to be reread in no particular order :

  1. Science of Mind – I plan on getting the Original 1926 Version, which has been on my wish list for some time now and read that one
  2. Living the Science of Mind – I have to admit I’m dreading this one a little, for right now I plan on reading this one last and doing some prayer and releasing in the meantime
  3. How to Use the Science of Mind – The title of this one implies it would be a good “starter” book, so I’ll perhaps I should “start” here
  4. Can We Talk to God? also contains within it the text of the book, Effective Prayer
  5. Creative Mind and Success – this one is only 84 pages! and I remember it fondly; I’m looking forward to rereading this book
  6. Seminar Lectures – this is a borrowed copy which I haven’t read yet

So here’s to you Ernest Holmes and a year of reading material …..

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Book Review: Radical Forgiveness by Colin C. Tipping

March 7, 2007

This book will lead you on a path of awesome freedom. Along the path you
will be shown how Radical Forgiveness can and will shift your perception of
the past, present and future. Colin C. Tipping provides charts, graphs and
illustrations to help you over the speed bumps that pop up on the path.
C.Tipping teaches the reader that true forgiveness comes from deep inside
ourself. You will meet yourself head-on and others who you have pointed
the finger of blame at, only to find the finger was pointed in the wrong
direction. RF, as this process is lovingly called, is a useful tool that
never wears out. These tools that C. Tipping provides show how RF is the
highest form of love, strength and power. No longer will the reader feel
victimized, but will feel vitalized and free. Take the path of RF, the
journey is incredible.

Special thanks to Lois Carlson for contributing this review.