March 2017 Book of the Month
Words from a Wanderer, version two, is a timeless and beautiful collection of #anote2self affirmations. This book of gems was first published in 2013 as a collection of notes and love poems. For the three year anniversary, WFAW has been redesigned, re-edited and rereleased. It is now a book of 62 #anote2self daily affirmations that readers can carry with them easily. This edition can serve as a resource for daily meditation, mantra guidance, and encouragement to its reader. Author, Alexandra Elle, created this book to shed light on the fact that indeed not all who wander are lost; some are simply still finding their way.
January 2017 Book of the Month
New York Times bestselling author and medical intuitive Caroline Myss has found that when people don’t understand their purpose in life the result can be depression, anxiety, fatigue, and eventually physical illness—in short, a spiritual malaise of epidemic proportions. Myss’s experience of working with people led her to develop an insightful and ingenious process for deciphering your own Sacred Contract—or higher purpose—using a new theory of archetypes that builds on the works of Jung, Plato, and many other contemporary thinkers.
December 2016 Book of the Month
It’s winter break! Thought we’d pick an old favorite novel of ours to dive into…
“The Invention of Wings, a powerful and sweeping historical novel by Sue Monk Kidd, begins, fittingly, with an image of flight: Hetty “Handful”, who has grown up as a slave in early nineteenth century Charleston, recalls the night her mother told her that her ancestors in Africa could fly over trees and clouds. That day, Handful’s mother, Charlotte, gave her daughter the gift of hope— the possibility that someday she might regain her wings and fly to freedom. Throughout Kidd’s exquisitely written story, Handful struggles, sometimes with quiet dissidence, sometimes with open rebellion, to cultivate a belief in the invincibility of her spirit and in the sacred truth that one does not need actual wings in order to rise.”
November 2016 Book of the Month
First published in 1985, Habits of the Heart continues to be one of the most discussed interpretations of modern American society, a quest for a democratic community that draws on our diverse civic and religious traditions. In a new preface the authors relate the arguments of the book both to the current realities of American society and to the growing debate about the country’s future. With this new edition one of the most influential books of recent times takes on a new immediacy.
August 2016 Book of the Month
You know when someone gives you a book and insists on you reading it and then it sits on your book shelf for weeks, months or even years? Well… this is one of those books on my shelf.
I looked at it yesterday as I was weeding out the books I would take to my local used book store, and I did what I often like to do, which is to open to a random page and read the first sentence I find.
Here’s what it said:
“The moment you criticize, you are not in relationship, you already have a barrier between yourself and them; but if you merely observe, then you will have a direct relationship with people and with things. If you can observe alertly, keenly, but without judging, without concluding, you will find that your thinking becomes astonishingly acute. Then you are learning all the time.”
Think I’ll start from the beginning now.
August 2015 Book of the Month
It’s that time of year again, and you may not want to dip into a novel right now. This should be a time of reflection and getting ready for the semester ahead. So we thought you might enjoy a book of poems by Rumi.
Our favorite method of reading a book of poems is to just pick it up and open to any page. The poem below is what we opened up to today. Sure seems fitting!
A Cleared Site
The presence rolling through again
clears the shelves and shuts down shops.
Friend of the soul, enemy of the soul,
why do you want mine?
Bring tribute from the village.
But the village is gone in your flood.
That cleared site is what I want.
Live in the opening where there is no door
to hide behind. Be your absence.
In that state everything is essential.
The rest of this must be said in silence
because of the enormous difference
between light and the words
that try to say light.
November 2014 Book of the Month
“The most creative act you will ever undertake is the act of creating yourself.”
Every semester I read a list of “unexplained facts” to my students. The list is taken from my favorite of Deepak Chopra’s books, The Book of Secrets: Unlocking the Hidden Dimensions of Life. My favorite mystery: “Fireflies in Indonesia numbering in the millions are able to synchronize their flashes over an area of several square miles.” And, while there is no denying synchronized fireflies make for a pretty good visual, my students always love the idea of several million horseshow crabs meeting on the beach for one night under a full moon to mate. Chopra’s impetus for sharing these mysteries is to inspire the reader to consider the underlying intelligence of a universe capable of producing such wonders.
I believe that a spiritual journey involves both the transcendent and the immediate. In fact, the relationship between the two might be referred to as the bridge to heaven. It is for this very reason that I include meditation training in my class. Sitting in silence enlivens and expands consciousness. A true seeker, however, often needs more than just meditation. He/she needs guidance, validation and support on the path to enlightenment.
While I have read several of Chopra’s books, The Book of Secrets remains my favorite. It combines both practical knowledge and ancient wisdom. Reading spiritual literature serves as a practical step to support your awakening. This book offers the reader the evidence that there is more to life than the surface value of the everyday experience. Fortunately, it also inspires the passion required to go in search of unlocking these hidden dimensions.
September 2013 Book of the Month
I read The Celestine Prophecy during the first couple weeks of school in my first year at the College for Creative Studies. I had just moved to Detroit and I was enrolled in a Sociology class taught by Molly Beauregard. This is when Molly and I met for the first time (in this life).
I’ll never forget the way she smiled with her hand resting on my book saying, “This is a very good book, one of my favorites.”
This was actually the very first book I read on my not so declared at the time but ever present “spiritual quest”. And with that, I’ll leave you to the wild, wonderful and supremely suspenseful book that is, The Celestine Prophesy…might this be a coincidence?
Now, I know we haven’t posted a book of the month since April, and what excuse do we have?? So here are four books I read this summer that I think you’ll enjoy. I’m not going to spend much time on them as they were just real good summer reads. They’re not for everyone, but each of these held a very special place in my heart over the summer: The Red Tent, The Secret Life of Plants, Light on Pranayama, and Water for Elephants.