Book Musings: How to Meditate

January 13 2019:

How to Meditate – A Practical Guide to Making Friends with Your Mind

I’ve had a regular meditation practice since about 2011 and every once in a while I like to read something different about it to give my own practice a little jolt!

That happened back in 2014 when I read, “For the Love of It”; which created a huge positive shift. And, Pema Chodron did not disappoint. I enjoy and get something out of all of her books I’ve read to date.

This one teaches how to meditate with eyes open; rather than closed. I have always meditated with eyes closed and been on some fantastical journeys. I have spent about 8 years exploring, adventuring, and healing within.

Now, it’s time to explore and adventure without. Learning to be at peace and still no matter what’s happening without. That’s how I see this and I’ve been at it for 2 weeks now. It’s extremely uncomfortable. Yet, I’m ready to meet my edge with discomfort and know that there is wisdom and all kinds of good stuff when embracing the discomfort. I’ll stay with it for a full month and then perhaps alternate practice styles.

My favorite quote from the book … “The experience of a sad and tender heart is what gives birth to fearlessness. Conventionally, being fearless means that you are not afraid or that, if someone hits you, you will hit him back. But we aren’t talking about that street-fighter level of fearlessness. Real fearlessness is the product of tenderness. It comes from letting the world tickle your heart, your raw heart. You are willing to open up, without resistance or shyness, and face the world.” -Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche


Book Musings: Beyond Civilization – Humanity’s Next Great Adventure

December 29 2018:

Beyond Civilization – Humanity’s Next Great Adventure

The foundation of this book is that there is no one right way to live. The author discusses how the majority of us are convinced that there must be only one right way to live, and we are living it.

I was deeply moved reading about how he defines civilization and tribes and taking a look into history at past civilizations and tribes. I’m inspired to learn about and see ideas from a different perspective. Great book!

Book Musings: Rediscovering Life – Awaken to Reality

November 3 2018:

Rediscovering Life – Awaken to Reality by Anthony de Mello

Attachment, desire, happiness, and freedom …. It’s all revealed in this wonderful and powerful book! When I find a book that moves me, I read it about a half dozen times consecutively. On my second round with this one. xoxo

Book Musings: Writing as a Path to Awakening

September 8 2018:

Writing as a Path to Awakening

I deeply enjoyed this book. I’ll check it out again at some point to re-visit and inspire.

“To tap into your deepest talent, you need to seek out a calm, restful state of mind where your head isn’t defending your delicate ego and your heart can bloom open a little.” -Mary Karr

“Allow failure to be your handmaiden. Love is showing up fully with presence – open-hearted, raw, and vulnerable to the world; it’s the only thing that matters. All writing and creativity originate here and now.” – Albert Flynn DeSilver

Book Musings: Beyond Magenta

August 25 2018:

Beyond Magenta

About 3 months ago I discovered that I was deeply ignorant concerning a segment of the human population, the ones with whom I walk this Earth. This is but one of the many books I have been reading.

Somewhere along the way as a child I learned to fear and judge that which I did not understand or that which is different than I or those close to me.

As a middle aged adult I have finally unlearned that lesson and now seek to understand and learn about that which I do not understand. Understand and learn from the Heart and not the brain.

Not to say that knowledge of the brain is not useful. This knowledge has served me well so that I may serve others. Yet, there is also “knowledge” gained by way of lessons and observations in childhood that have served to my True Self’s detriment.

I am not always able to take the time to “educate” myself about people or situations that I do not understand or that I fear. Yet, there are times that the urge is so incredibly compelling that I must “educate” myself from the Heart. This was one of those times.

Book Musings: Peace to All Beings – Veggie Soup for the Chicken’s Soul

January 13 2018:

Peace to All Beings – Veggie Soup for the Chicken’s Soul

I initially put this book on hold thinking it was an easy and short children’s book that we could read before bed. When it came in, I saw that’s not what it was at all. I asked Thomas if he wanted to read it. After looking at it, he left it on the kitchen table.

One day last week, I sat at the table and was moved to pick up the book, turn to a random page and read. I did not put the book down until I had nearly read to the end of the book (from where I had randomly opened it). After that, I began at the beginning of the book.

I am a vegetarian so obviously this book speaks to me. It wasn’t only that, though. It seemed to be speaking directly to other areas of my life as well. I’m not even sure how to describe this one. So, I will pull a quote or two from it with a few more of my own words added.

“Every thought is a prayer,
Therefore, let us
Think compassion
Think love
Think peace
For all beings everywhere.
Every act is a prayer.
Therefore, let us
Be compassion
Be love
Be peace
For all beings everywhere.”

This is a powerful book about peace, compassion, and reverence for life; with references to St. Francis, Jesus, Albert Schweitzer, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr, and many others of similar persuasion. The overall theme of the book is Ahimsa.

“Each object in the world is not merely itself, but involves every other object and, in fact, is everything else.” -Avatamsaka Sutra

The words and concepts in this book spoke to my soul so deeply and powerfully. To say I loved and enjoyed it is an understatement!

Peace to All Beings Book 2018

Book Musings: Peace is the Way

Peace is the Way

“There is no way to peace. Peace is the way.” -Mahatma Gandhi

I am reading this book aloud with Thomas and Lillian. There’s so much it contains that I’d like to share, it would nearly be the entire book! It’s an incredibly powerful book. It may have been published in 2005; yet, it seems especially relevant in the present.

“Violence may be innate in human nature, but so is its opposite: love. The next stage of humanity, the leap which we are poised to take, will be guided by the force of that love.”

“You aren’t asked to be a saint, or to give up any belief. You are only asked to stop reacting out of fear, to change your allegiance from violence to peace.”

Peace Is the Way Book 10.2017

Book Musings: Polishing the Mirror

Polishing the MIrror Book 2017

Polishing the Mirror – How to Love from Your Spiritual Heart

“The minute I heard my first love story
I started looking for you, not knowing how blind that was.

Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere.
They are in each other all along.” – Rumi

Another great book by Ram Dass. I greatly enjoy his perspective. From being here now to aging and changing, from suffering to grace, to content to just be. This book is deeply meaningful for me.