Posts In: What I'm Reading

Back in February, I opened the latest issue of Lion’s Roar and read an article by John Tarrant that blew me away. Mostly, it blew me away because I had a hard time following it. It was really my first introduction into Zen koans and even his explanation was mind-opening and intangible to me. So, naturally, I had to buy his book.

Short review? LOVED IT.

Each chapter breaks down a traditional Zen koan and guides you with ways to work with it. I’ve been playing with one of these koan’s everyday since reading that initial article. It’s powerful stuff.  I’d love to know your thoughts and your favorite koan if you pick up

this book. Please share with me!

Description from Amazon:

Bring Me the Rhinoceros is an unusual guide to happiness and a can opener for your thinking. For fifteen hundred years, Zen koans have been passed down through generations of masters, usually in private encounters between teacher and student.

This book deftly retells more than a dozen traditional koans, which are partly paradoxical questions dangerous to your beliefs and partly treasure boxes of ancient wisdom. Koans show that you don’t have to impress people or change into an improved, more polished version of yourself. Instead you can find happiness by unbuilding, unmaking, throwing overboard, and generally subverting unhappiness. John Tarrant

brings the heart of the koan tradition out into the open, reminding us that the old wisdom remains as vital as ever, a deep resource available to anyone in any place or time.

Self-Care For Busy People

February 25, 2016

This isn’t actually “reading”, but I thought I’d share a quick review of Kris Carr’s new meditation album “Self Care For Busy People.” As you know, I am a HUGE fan of any and all tools that will help us to sit on our cushions everyday and take a few mindful breaths. I’m also a huge Kris Carr fan! 🙂

I’ve been using her new album for the last few weeks, and here is my take:

If you already have a mindfulness practice or your meditation goals are to develop a practice where you sit with your breath and your present experience (true mindfulness or Vipassana-style meditation) then this album probably isn’t for you. It is pretty much all guided imagery, lots of talking, cialis rembourse ou pas very little silence. I haven’t found a “deep” experience with it.

However, if you are looking for an easy, uplifting sit or something to boost your mood and perhaps help you let go of a little stress then this is a great choice. Kris’ voice is lovely and her positive energy clearly shines through each of her guided meditations.

I like to think of this as “meditation lite” – I love it when I’m feeling frazzled, overly upset by something or just irritated sitting in traffic. It is also a really nice way to start your meditation – listen to one of the guided tracks and then switch to

the beautiful “ocean dreams” ambient track for some additional time of silent sitting.

Happy Sitting
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The Power of Myth; Take Two

December 31, 2015

Yoga Book Club is revisiting The Power of Myth for a fresh take on this classic text. We first read this book about 2.5 years ago but with new members and new eyes, we take a second look for added insight or changes of perspective.

Last month, we finished reading The Middle Passage. I’m writing this far too long after our book club discussion so forgive the very vague recap, but the short story for me was powerful

insight. I loved author James Hollis’ perspective on healthy relationships (both with spouses as well as with parents/children). I definitely recommend picking up

a copy and diving in!

The Middle Passage

October 22, 2015

Author James Hollis’s eloquent reading provides the listener with an accessible and yet profound understanding of a universal condition—or what is commonly referred to as the Mid-life crisis. The book shows how we may travel this Middle Passage consciously, thereby rendering our lives more meaningful and the second half of life immeasurably richer.

 

Stay tuned; I’ll post thoughts as I get further into the book!

The Goddess Pose

August 25, 2015

The Audacious Life of Indra Devi, the Woman Who Helped Bring Yoga to the West

When the woman who would become Indra Devi was born in Russia in 1899, yoga was virtually unknown outside of India. By the time of her death, in 2002, it was being practiced everywhere, from Brooklyn to Berlin to Ulaanbaatar. In The Goddess Pose,New York Times best-selling author Michelle Goldberg traces the life of the incredible woman who brought yoga to the West—and in so doing paints a sweeping picture of the twentieth century.

Born into the minor aristocracy (as Eugenia Peterson), Devi grew up in the midst of one of the most turbulent times in human history. Forced to flee the Russian Revolution as a teenager, she joined a famous Berlin cabaret troupe, dove into the vibrant prewar spiritualist movement, and, at a time when it was nearly unthinkable for a young European woman to travel alone, followed the charismatic Theosophical leader Jiddu Krishnamurti to India.

Once on the subcontinent, she performed in Indian silent cinema and hobnobbed with the leaders of the independence movement. But her greatest coup was convincing a recalcitrant master yogi to train her in the secrets of his art.

Devi would go on to share what she learned with people around the world, teaching in Shanghai during World War II, then in Hollywood, where her students included Gloria Swanson and Greta Garbo. She ran a yoga school in Mexico during the height of the counterculture, served as spiritual adviser to the colonel who tried to overthrow Panamanian strongman Manuel Noriega, and, in her eighties, moved to Buenos Aires at the invitation of a besotted rock star.
Everywhere she went, Indra Devi evangelized for yoga, ushering in a global craze that continues unabated. Written with vivid clarity, The Goddess Pose brings her remarkable story—as an actress, yogi, and globetrotting adventuress—to life.

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