BOOK REVIEWS
By Dr. Maryel McKinley

 

 

Earth, Water, Fire & Air
Essential Ways of Connecting to Spirit
By Cait Johnson
“Earth, Water, Fire & Air“ offers a way to bring together all people, from all religions worldwide. The premise of this unique book suggests to the reader that although there may be many different races and beliefs in this vast complex world in which we live, we do have one thing in common — Mother Earth and the four elements.

Once we explore the poignancy of interacting with all the elements, we reconnect with our roots in  a way that forges the human race into an opportunity to find new purpose. As we remember who we really are and journey back to basics by connecting our spirits with the elements that surround us every day of our lives, the author says we shall “come to a different appreciation and a greater respect for one another’s path, at the same time remembering the commonality of our human beginnings.”

Creative activity suggestions are incorporated into this book which will enrich all readers, as Johnson delves into ways of including the elements into practices of the major religions — Buddhism, Christianity, Earth-honoring paths, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism.

An excellent and refreshing approach for helping us to discover there really is no separation, only love.

Published by Skylight Paths, this book is available at your local bookstores.

 

The Soul Garden
Creating Green Spaces for Inner Growth & Spiritual Renewal
By Dr. Donald Norfolk
For over nine thousand years, one of the most awe-inspiring and treasured part of the human culture has been the garden. Dr. Norfolk, an osteopath and author of “The Soul Garden,” has developed a philosophy that the “Soul Garden” or “Therapeutic Garden” empowers people to transform into some of the fittest, healthiest and happiest people, imbuing them with a “higher level of mental, spiritual, and physical well- being”.

Dr. Norfolk has observed and worked with hundreds of patients in his private practice in London. His enchanting book is brimming with wisdom, seeing hundreds of patients blossom from the therapeutic value of creating their own garden space. Dr. Norfolk has creatively and generously suggested ways we can all discover how to create our own private garden; regardless of space, location, or time available.

Chapters include: The Pleasure Garden, The Holy Alliance, The Tree of Life, Pagan Paradise and Common Ground — teach us how to utilize the ancient remedy of gardening as a way to get in touch with the rhythm of our lives. Gardening offers a meditative peace of mind that will bring out the best in all who are willing to cultivate the soil, and in turn cultivate our souls.

Buy this book and you will have the opportunity to enjoy your very own enchanted garden, inside and out!

Published by The Overlook Press, this book is available at your local bookstores.

 

Awakening to Nature
Renewing Your Life by Connecting with the Natural World
By Charles Cook
Awakening to Nature is the best, most comprehensive book on the market today for those interested in reconnecting with their roots in the natural world. This book is recommend for the beginner or the advanced person at any stage of their existential path.

Author Charles Cook suggests that you may read it for enjoyment, as a step-by-step handbook, or to just skip through the pages and see what your intuitive side will open up to.

With chapters on how to enter the natural world, i.e. cross country skiing or snowshoeing — to taking a barefoot mudwalk, and everything in between — I guarantee you will find yourself in the pages of this book while trying out some of the numerous and ingenious ways the author has presented. The in-depth material is so very important today, as we have become over domesticated, and there is a serious need for the human race to get back to ourselves by getting back to nature.

Charles Cook, I applaud your excellent piece of work!

Published by Contemporary Books, this book is available at your local bookstores.

 

“The Tree”
Written By Dana Lyons
Illustrated By David Danioth
“The Tree” is a wonderful book for children and adults, filled with illuminating illustrations and cleverly written from a tree’s point of view. With a forward and endorsements by the inspirational Julia Butterfly Hill and Dr. Jane Goodall, this book brings an urgent call to preserve the environment, if we follow its message.

“The Tree” — an ancient Douglas Fir — talks to the reader at the beginning of this inspiring book stating, “For eight hundred years I have lived here, through the wind, the fire and the snow. But now I hear bulldozers coming, and I wonder, Am I soon to die? Who will house the owl? And who will hold that river’s shore? And who will take refuge in my shadow if my shadow is no more?”

At the end of the book “The Tree” brought tears to our eyes . . .  it is relieved when it hears the children and says, “Now I hear children running, circling my trunk; hands soft and strong — so the wind may always carry my song.”

As eleven-year-old girls, this book taught us that as the future caretakers of Mother Earth we must learn that to cut down a tree is to lose a home and a life — that home and life could be yours and that of your children’s children. Is it worth it to cut down a tree?  We don’t think so!

Book Reviewed by Jade Bird, age 11 and Rayvn Sims, age 11

Published by Ballantine Books, this book is available at your local bookstores.

 

Heart In the Wild
A Journey of Self-Discovery with Animals of the Wilderness
By Susan Chernak McElroy
Heart in the Wilderness is a sensational account of best-selling author Susan Chernak Mc Elroy’s life — a life that has been honed and purged into pure gold through the fires of life’s challenges. When I opened this book I became magnified and in awe by the power of her life’s journey and the role animals have played throughout her healing journey.

Fires in our lives can be literal but most are figurative. I related to Susan’s story because I too had my home burned down to the ground by a raging fire. In reading this book I came to a new peace regarding that past experience, and all the other  “fires” life has to offer us. Such as the cancer Susan overcame, and the loss of her beloved husband through divorce.

One does not need to have experienced any of these so-called tragedies to truly appreciate this fantastic book. It is a book for everyone, because we all go through different challenges in our lives, and when we stop fighting the life process and allow life to give to us, even through life’s traumas, we can truly become the alchemical diamonds. I was most impressed with the way the author utilizes the medicine of animals to overcome and rise above the tides like a phoenix rising from its ashes. These animals include elk, owls, hummingbirds, wolves, and animals from her dreams, speaking to her and supporting her in weaving sense into the mysterious tapestry we call life. Ten stars for this brilliant masterpiece.

Published by Ballantine Books, this book is available at your local bookstores.

 

Gardening With Soul
Healing the Earth and Ourselves with Feng Shui and Environmental Awareness
By Gaylah Balter
Have you ever wondered about the Divine Oneness we share as living beings in our connection to the Earth, our nurturing and sustaining Mother? Well, if you have, then you must read Gardening with Soul by Gaylah Balter. This exquisite, yet simple book, will re-ignite a belief that all living things have a spark of the Divine and we must therefore protect and value our inheritance as the caretakers of this planet.

When we partner with nature, we open the doors for enrichment of our souls and a continuing awareness of our oneness as we interact with nature. This book will show you how to create sacred space without the inherent need to dominate. Rather, you will learn to feel an interconnectedness with all things.

Taking responsibility for looking to Nature for wisdom and the lessons Nature can teach us, we enter joyously into a more humble and compassionate life view. “Gardening with Soul” teaches a Zen-like experience, delving into gardening with Feng Shui, experiencing the earth with fertile soul in your hands while we allow our subtle senses to become one with the earth mother. Through this experience, you will embrace and understand our environment, and how it reflects “who we are, where we are going and who we wish to become.”

Published by Learning Tree Books, this book is available at your local bookstores.  

 


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