Healing Recipes & Timeless Wisdom from Our Hearts to Yours
By Mark Reinfeld, Bo Rinaldi and the Chefs of the Blossoming Lotus Restaurant

This is a simply beautiful, classic “coffee table” book that includes a wondrous assortment of healthy and natural recipes, as well as colorful and appetizing pictures and photographs. With fun names like “Carpe Diem Carrot Almond Pate Nori Rolls” and “Gia Bombia’s Momma Mia Minestrone,” the recipes that accompany their titles are remarkably uncomplicated, wholesome, fresh and healthful.

General principles in vegan natural food preparation are discussed, as well as the authors’ peaceful and loving approach to food preparation. With an eye towards reality, the authors acknowledge while your diet and/or lifestyle may not change overnight, you can incorporate long lasting dietary changes gradually.

They call it “transition dieting” and simply suggest that we start by gradually incorporating more healthful selections into our diets. By making wise food choices, we can heal our bodies, restoring balance to our planet. Adding more plant-based foods into your diet will provide you with increased stamina and greater attunement. You will feel lighter and more alive.

There are recipes for appetizers, snacks, wraps, sandwiches, spreads, sides, salads and dressings to soups, breads, casseroles, breakfasts and desserts. There is a separate chapter on tempeh, tofu and seitan as well as a detailed instructional on vegan natural food preparation, including marinades, condiments and cooking details. Finally, there is a delightful section which includes sample meal ideas and menus, as well as random musings.

Whether you are an experienced preparer of vegan food or a vegan virgin, this book will provide you with a wealth of happy and healthy, tasteful recipes you and your entire family can enjoy.

Published by Thousand Petals Publishing, this book is available at or by calling (888) 44-LOTUS.
Reviewed by Sonia von Matt Stoddard

The First Therapy of the Divine Source  — Dissolving Ego, Illness, Suffering, and Death through Forgiveness with the Three Therapies of the Source to the Creation of A New Health System
and A New Humanity
By John and Mary Shepard
The authors are proponents of a new and “divine medicine” that will not only heal our body but also our spirit and soul, giving us permanent health. They define the true meaning of “holistic” as our experience of complete health combined with the feeling of being connected in unconditional love and compassion with our fellow humans, nature and our creator: the Source.

According to the Shepards, all physical and psychological illnesses can be healed forever. This can be accomplished by using the Three Therapies of the Source which include Source Holistic Work, Holistic Healing and Holistic Therapy. The result of these therapies is permanent healing for everyone in the world.  

The healing can be accomplished in four steps, which include the Three Therapies as the first step. The second step is the creation of a new and holistic concept of medicine which includes an internet-based communication platform and worldwide circulation of knowledge, training and education. A new holistic health system, which would cost two-thirds less than our current system and would provide permanent healing, would be next. Finally, the fourth step creates a new Holistic Humanity with healed people, creating a better world with unconditional love and a new holistic shared consciousness.

The body of the book is comprised of definition, detail and explanation on the “three therapies” and the “four steps” of the concept, as well as examples of how they work. There is a lot of careful attention given to detail. The book is extensively supported by personal stories and reports which serve to illuminate the process and allow the reader to experience every concept directly.

Published by Holistic World, this book is now available at
Reviewed by Sonia von Matt Stoddard

The Mystic Hours
A Daybook of Interspiritual Wisdom & Devotion
By Wayne Teasdale
An inspirational quote a day is as good for the soul as an apple a day is good for the body! If you want ongoing inspiration in an instant, this collection is for you.

The Mystic Hours contains a raft of divine reading with wise themes that help keep us on a spiritual path, with philosophical quotations from spiritual leaders like the Dalai Lama. They are not categorized into any specific order, just numbered from one to three hundred sixty-five as if to emphasize the timeless quality of these aphorisms, sayings, proverbs or statements.

The quotations are applicable to every age and every human situation and cover a vast amount of human wisdom learned through countless millennia. They are followed by a paragraph of commentary by the author to provide the maximum benefit from each quotation. I find this clarification provides the underlying mystical wisdom that made me feel more connected to other religions and gave me more insight into the meaning of  “interspirituality.”

Wayne Teasdale was a lay monk who combined the traditions of Christianity and Hinduism. An activist and teacher, he was dedicated to building common ground between religions and served on the board of trustees of the Parliament of the World’s Religions.

(Editor’s note: Brother Wayne Teasdale passed away in late October, 2004 only a few months before this book was published)

Published by New World Library, this book is available at most bookstores.
Reviewed by Kathy DeSantis

The Little Book of Bleeps
Quotations from the Movie
What the Bleep Do We Know?
It may be time to change your thinking! The Little Book of Bleeps contains excerpts from “What the Bleep Do We Know?” This award- winning independent film goes deep in tackling the question of what we know and how we know it, bravely jumping into the deep end at the confluence of science and spirituality.

The book contains a collection of inspiring, reality-expanding quotations, illustrated with colorful scenes from the movie. More specifically, scientists discuss how thoughts are manifested — this is a concrete example anyone can grasp. Photos of cell animation used in the movie and other scenes are prevalent throughout this book, helping to illustrate points as well as connect the reader with the movie.

What the Bleep does an excellent job of tying together physics and neurochemistry and explaining how we actually create reality through our thought patterns. ‘You create your own reality’ is a familiar bromide that often feels fizzless when mentioned by mystics. However, What the Bleep seems to delve into what science has to offer,  showing us ‘objective reality’ does not exist outside and independent of us, but depends on and requires our participation. We are encouraged to dream and examine our intention in order to bring about change.

This book reflects the film’s dollops of New Thought sensibility and includes Ramtha (supposedly a 35,000 year-old man channeled by JZ Knight) who teaches us how to keep our own power, and how we give it away through our own thoughts. Like the film, the book’s basic message is to question your notion of reality — there’s more going on here than you’ve allowed yourself to think. It’s best to see the film to fully appreciate the book, though it is full of mind-bending quotes to ponder.

Published by Captured Light Distribution, this book is available at most bookstores, or see
Reviewed by Kathy DeSantis

Sharing the Approach
and the Experience
(New Expanded Edition)
By Wangari Maathai 
Written by the recipient of the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize, this book offers us the vision, insight and history of the Green Belt Movement, a grassroots organization based on the use of tree planting as a solution for community development and growth in Kenya. The name “green belt” comes from a local strategy that involves the planting of tree seedlings in rows of at least one thousand, so as to form green belts of trees. The focus of the program is forestation and reforestation to prevent desertification and soil erosion and to protect biodiversity and self-sustenance at a household level.

Dr. Maathai explains the ideas, concepts, challenges and beginnings of the movement, its predecessors in ideals, as well as its failures and successes as a final, ongoing process. She shares the philosophy of appreciating planet earth as our only “ship” in need of ethical steering and a need to control development sans the creation of “concrete jungles” without attention to the environment.

Since inception the programs have expanded to include projects in civic education, advocacy, food security, greenbelt eco-safaris, and “women and change.” Environmental consciousness, volunteerism, conservation of local biodiversity, self-empowerment, community development and accountability have all been promoted.

A phenomenal and hugely successful undertaking that was officially founded in 1977, this book explains how it all came about, then takes the concept to the next level by outlining steps for action on how to run and establish a tree-planting campaign for the future.

Published by Lantern Books, this book is now available at and at local bookstores.
Reviewed by Sonia von Matt Stoddard

When Scientists Manipulate Genes, Better is Not Always Best
By Dr. Michael W. Fox 
If you are concerned about your health, animal suffering, environmental protection and wildlife conservation, then you should be concerned about the genetic engineering biotechnology industry. Virtually any gene from a totally unrelated species, like a human, jellyfish or a spider, can be incorporated into the genetic makeup of another animal or plant, like pigs, mice and corn.

“Gene splicing” is being put to market with an absence of clear scientific evidence this procedure is safe. For example, the U.S. government shares a patent that will make seeds sterile. This would stop farmers from saving good seeds for the next season and force them to go the “company store” to buy new seed every year. Pollen from such crops could sterilize conventional crops and wild related species.

There is no evidence of an animal benefiting in any way from being genetically engineered. In animals, experiments often cause much suffering and have more to do with profiting from, rather than preventing, disease. This industry has gone to great lengths to conceal identification of genetically-modified foods and insists the public does not need, or even want, a label to identify such foods.

With a calm and factual tone, author, Dr. Michael Fox, clearly shows us examples and provides facts of how genetic-engineering biotechnology is affecting our ecology and evolutionary processes. He sets forth the potential ramifications of these practices, and points out that the process of this science is virtually unregulated by government, and rarely subject to ethical debate or public scrutiny.

After reading this book, you will come away with an accurate understanding of the enormous possibilities, limitations and dangers of genetic engineering. The public has a right to be informed.

Published by The Lyons Press, this book is available at your local bookstore or on the website at
Reviewed by Sonia von Matt Stoddard

Return to the March/April Index page