Saturday, July 13, 2019

A Book to Treasure

     As you know, I'm quite the fan of Taoist expert, Deng Ming-Dao.  I've been slowly collecting and reading his books, and discovered one that I would consider his master-work.  It's called Scholar Warrior: An Introduction to the Tao in Everyday Life.  If you want to read about Taoism in its complexity and completeness, this book is one to treasure.  It is head and shoulders above any other book on Taoism that I've ever read.

     It starts with how Taoists view their religion as not something to be practiced once a week, but as a complete lifestyle.  It goes over dietary recommendations, stretching exercises, Qigong, and herbal formulas for health.  It then talks about Taoist philosophy, such as effortlessness or wu wei, and issues in the student/teacher relationship.  It ends with a large section in which he writes about Daoyin, which bridges exercise and meditation; meditation practices; the ultimate goal of a Taoist; and a clearly written chapter about emptiness and union with the Tao.  It is worth the price of the book for the last chapter alone.

     If you are even remotely interested in Taoism, this is the best and most complete book I've found.  Highly recommended.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Happy Independence Day

May you be free of sorrow and pain.
May you be free to discover your happiness.
May you be free of loneliness and unhealthiness.
May you be free to follow your heart's bliss.

Happy Independence Day.

(photo courtesy of pixabay.com)

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Some More Great Quotes

     Here are some more quotes to ponder:

How lovely to think that no one need wait a moment:  
we can start now, start slowly changing the world!  
How lovely that everyone, great and small, can make a contribution
 toward introducing justice straight away. 
 (Anne Frank)

Those who want to do good are not selfish.
They are not in a hurry.
They know that to impregnate people with good
requires a long time.
But evil has wings.
To build a house takes time.
Its destruction takes none. 
 (Mahatma Gandhi)

(image courtesy of pixabay.com)



Saturday, June 22, 2019

Some Great Quotes

     I came across these quotes and thought them worthy of sharing.
Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.  (Helen Keller)
It is better to be part of a great whole than to be the whole of a small part.  (Frederick Douglass) 

I have always held firmly to the thought that each one of us can do a little
 to bring some portion of misery to an end.  (Albert Schweitzer)

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent
 about things that matter.  (Martin Luther King, Jr.)

(image courtesy of pixabay.com)

Saturday, June 15, 2019

A Book Recommendation, Part 3

     In her fabulous and relevant book Fascism: A Warning, Madeleine Albright lists some important questions to ask when assessing a potential leader.  In these times of political change, they might be wise questions to ask.
  • Do they cater to our prejudices by suggesting that we treat people outside our ethnicity, race, or party as unworthy of dignity and respect?
  • Do they want us to nurture our anger toward those who we believe have done us wrong, encourage our grievances, and aim for revenge?
  • Do they encourage us to have contempt for governing institutions and the electoral process?
  • Do they seek to destroy our faith in essentials to democracy such as an independent press and a professional judiciary?
  • Do they exploit the symbols of patriotism -- the flag, the pledge -- in a conscious effort to turn us against one another?
  • If defeated at the polls, would they accept the verdict or insist without evidence that they have won?
  • Do they brag about their ability to solve all problems, put to rest all anxieties, and satisfy every desire?
  • Do they solicit our cheers by speaking casually and with machismo about using violence to do away their enemies?
  • Do they echo the attitude of Mussolini:  "The crowd doesn't have to know," all it has to do is believe and "submit to being shaped"?
  • Or do they invite us to join with them in building and maintaining a healthy center for our societies, a place where rights and duties are apportioned fairly, the social contact is honored, and all have room to dream and grow?
     Important questions from an important book.  

Saturday, June 8, 2019

A Book Recommendation, Part 2

     Last week I was encouraging you to read Madeleine Albright's Fascism: A Warning.  What a relevant, scary, hopeful book.  As Albright writes:
Some may view this book and its title as alarmist.  Good.  We should be awake to the assault on democratic values that has gathered strength in many countries abroad and that is dividing America at home.  The temptation is powerful to close our eyes and wait for the worst to pass, but history tells us that for freedom to survive, it must be defended, and that if lies are to stop, they must be exposed.
     Armed with the knowledge in this book, and by being aware of what is being done and said by our leaders and their followers, we can stand for the freedoms that we all cherish.  We must be willing to take a step back and realize when style is being hawked over substance, and when double-speak rules the message.  Albright continues:
Maybe we have grown so accustomed to receiving immediate satisfaction from our devices that we have lost patience with democracy's sluggish pace.  Possibly, we have allowed ourselves to be manipulated  by hucksters who pledge to deliver the world on a silver platter but have no clue how to make good on their promises.  Perhaps we have been letting appearances -- the illusion of decisiveness, the breathless reporting of trivia, the faux drama of reality TV -- deceive and confuse us to the point that we can't recognize what is true, and instead believe with certainty what is not.
     Amen to that.  Let's all stay awake and vigilant.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

A Book Recommendation

     Usually I recommend books of spiritual significance, or related to empath's issues, or dealing with the subject of this blog, Twin Souls.  But this book stands out in its importance to these times.

     I know of people, as you do, that believe in order to keep their spiritual focus, they refuse to read the news, listen to news-related audio or video, or even keep up with local happenings.  I understand the desire to keep a calm, unsullied mind, but these are unusual times.  We need to keep one foot on the spiritual path and one foot in the world, as it needs our positive and awakening energy.  I encourage you, spiritual warrior, to adopt that stance.

     That said, the book I recommend today is Fascism: A Warning by former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.  Co-written with pen-master Bill Woodward, it is both enlightening and informative while giving plenty of food for thought.  I did not find it an easy read, but I read one chapter at a time and then thought about the ideas presented.

     In the beginning chapters, Albright examines how fascism has come to being in different countries over the last century or so.  She examines how Mussolini and Hitler came to power, and how fascists are becoming more and more prevalent in our world today.  It is a warning, but it also holds hope.  For you see, fascists thrive in a climate of fear and ignorance.  By reading this book, you will be armed with knowledge and power.  Read this book.