BOOK REVIEWS

 

 


The Gift of Change Spiritual Guidance for
A Radically New Life
By Marianne Williamson
New York Times best-selling author Marianne Williamson’s most powerful book to date, “The Gift of Change,” offers the tools and reveals the steps each of us can take to feel more fully alive and be more effective in the world.

This generous, warm book has all the impact and momentum of “A Return to Love.” It highlights the ongoing effort we must all make to realize our highest and best self. There are so many turns we take in life that make us feel regret, guilt, sorrow, or pain, but this book has specific ways to learn how to push past it. I was especially reminded of what in me is ego-driven and how to convert that so I can live in my true self.

Marianne describes how our inherent resistance to change can keep us attached to behaviors based on fear rather than love. She relates example after example of challenges she has faced as a woman, mother, parent, daughter, author and teacher. And she shows the positive role that change and transition can play in our lives.

In this book, Marianne William-son reminds us of a new way to live: we are not separated from God; there is no honor in being “small”, and any great thing that will happen to us collectively will start with each of us individually.

It is not all feel-good psychology; some of it comes from lessons to be learned. The idea of “atonement” may not be popular with some. But this isn’t the atonement of your grandmother’s fundamentalist church. It’s a surrender that brings about empowerment in oneself. It helps you take a whole new direction in life on a better path. Like “A Return to Love,” I will probably re-read this a few times.

Published by Harper San Francisco, this book is available in most large bookstores.
Reviewed by Kathy DeSantis




AMONG WARRIORS
A Woman Martial Artist in Tibet
By Pamela Logan
I have always been drawn to read and curious to experience another’s unique pilgrimage towards self, or better understanding others in the world.

You will love Pamela Logan from the “get-go”. Your body starts  pumping with Chapter #1 when you are hooked to tandem with her as she guides you towards a most mystical recognition and contemplation of the Tibetan culture.

Your muscles ache as you pedal “ever upward”, feeling the icy chill of the mountain air as you “press onward” through your physical limitations. You may find yourself squinting your eyes against the sun without losing focus, towards spiritual freedom.

Pamela grabs your lust for hunger and knowledge to see farther with a “come-on” attitude, even when you are too tired to continue. I suspect that we, her readers, supported her with a “keep-going” desire long before her personal journals were transcribed into this extraordinary text.

She weaves a golden thread that beautifully connects Martial Arts, Tibetan Wisdom and Buddhism.

I read her work in one sitting — all the while my mouth was watering with anticipation at what may happen, or who we may meet, around the next curve.

Pamela was born to write as she does so humbly, nervously and eloquently.

Published by Overlook, this book is available from your local bookstore.
Reviewed by Joan McNeill, Ph.D., R.N.



THE INVISIBLE GARMENT
30 Spiritual Principles that Weave the Fabric of Human Life
By Connie Kaplan
After close to a decade of research that began at the dawn of her father’s transition from life to the next existence, Dr. Kaplan unveils her most profound work to date.

Most of us have asked, “Why am I here?” at one significant, or at many powerful points in our lives. Typically, the immediacy of needing an answer follows a life-altering event that occurs or “freeze-frames” an experience altering our expected life’s direction.

Dr. Kaplan has contributed a most extensive hands-on-friendly guide for the reader to roadmap his or her own personal soul contract. She comforts you in understanding that either your most horrific, or terrific life-experiences to date, are all a part of assisting you in “decoding” your own spiritual contract.

You will be empowered by this breakthrough work and what a wonderful time of year — to incorporate her work into your own new vision.

Published by Jodere, this book is available from your local book-store.
Reviewed by Joan McNeill, Ph.D., R.N.



AWAKENING THE SPIRIT, INSPIRING THE SOUL
30 Stories of Interspiritual Discovery in the Community of Faiths
Edited By Brother Wayne Teasdale and Martha Howard, M.D.
A wonderful book full of heartfelt stories that reveal new experiences and wisdom of the world’s great religions. A lay monk and teacher of interspirituality, Brother Wayne Teasdale, and Martha How-ard, MD, a pioneer in the field of integrative medicine and a practicing Buddhist, edited the book.

The foreword is provided by Joan Borysenko, Ph.D., an international speaker, mystic and scientist concerned with integrative medicine and the mind/body connection. Together they show through stories that there is openness to other spiritual traditions and a willingness to explore them in more than a scholarly sense.  They claim that interspirituality is fast becoming the norm for religious practice in the lives of millions of people today. The stories benefit us by showing that kindness and all the good qualities which we are capable of as humans, are worth cultivating.

Keeping in the spirit of the book, the editors and Borysenko invite the reader to discover, live, write and share their own spiritual transformations. The content of the book is loving, balanced and inspirational.

(Editor’s note: Brother Wayne Teasdale passed away in late October only a few months after this book was published)

Published by Skylight Paths Publishing, this book is available now at most bookstores or by calling (800) 962-4544.
Reviewed by Kathy DeSantis


Peace in our Lifetime
Insights from the World’s Peacemakers
By Susan Skog
“Peace in Our Lifetime” features practical step-by-step instructions for resolving conflicts and making peace in our own relationships. The book is already striking a note with the millions who yearn for a more peaceful world.

Skog explains that violence, hatred and despair are coming to us from within, as well as from the outside. Our real enemies are our own anger, our own violence and our own discrimination and fear. The book contains helpful suggestions and exercises on how we can control our anger and handle conflict, something I found extraordinarily helpful.  

The message throughout the book is that we can add more peace to the world if we simply take care of ourselves. Through the lives and lessons of 50 exceptional peacemakers working in war zones and high conflict organizations and neighborhoods, “Peace in Our Lifetime” shows how each of us can channel our anger for positive change and live more compassionately.

A prevalent theme in this book is the idea that even as people have drama and despair in their lives, the outpouring for peace around the world is even greater. Skog spent three years interviewing and gathering stories from peacemakers around the world.

Published by Cliffrose Communications, this book is avail-able in bookstores or on the website www.susanskog.com
Reviewed by Kathy DeSantis


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