Saturday, March 16, 2019

Another Terrific Book from a Master

     We now call to order another meeting of the Deng Ming-Dao fan club (hear! hear!).  I picked up another one of his books, beautifully designed and thoughtfully presented, as all his books are.  It is The Wisdom of the Tao: Ancient Stories that Delight, Inform, and Inspire.  What a wonderful resource!

     If you aren't interested in investing in all sorts of esoteric and expensive Taoist tomes, this book might be for you.  It gleans pithy stories from various sources -- the writings of Liezi, Zhuangzi, the I Ching, historical records, folktales, and various other Taoist classics.  Each story is one or two pages long and is presented in easy, modern language.  My only regret is that Deng did not add any commentary to some of the more opaque stories.  Some of them required extra pondering, but they were worth the thought.

     If you are interested in exploring more of the Taoist tradition, this book is for you.  Highly recommended.


Saturday, March 9, 2019

A Pearl of a Book, Part 2

     Last week I was lauding a recent find, 1,001 Pearls of Life-Changing Wisdom: Insight on Identity, Truth, and Success by Elizabeth Venstra.  One of the great things about this book is the wide range of topics that are covered.  Another great thing is how within each topic, Venstra offers quotes that may seemingly contradict each other.

     Here's an example:
I'm finally ready to won my own power, to say "This is who I am."  If you like it, you like it.  And if you don't, you don't.  So watch out, I'm gonna fly.   (Oprah Winfrey)
We must learn the power of living with our helplessness.  (Sheldon B. Kopp)
     Live with these quotes for a bit, and you'll see that they are not 'either-or', but' both-and' in terms of addressing the truth of personal power.   Wonderful!
 

Saturday, March 2, 2019

A Pearl of a Book

     You know I'm a sucker for pithy, thought-provoking quotes.  I recently found a book that's full of them.  A quote-lovers heaven!  It's called 1,001 Pearls of Life-Changing Wisdom: Insight on Identity, Truth, and Success by Elizabeth Venstra.

     It ranges in topics from identify and the self, to character, to truth, to emotions, to dreams and desires, to success, to time, and relationships.  What I really like about how Venstra put the quotes together is that she was not afraid to place two (or more) contradicting quotes next to each other.  It's like a built-in debate on a topic, which broadens one's understanding and opens one's mind to other ways of looking at things.  Wonderful.  Highly recommended.


Saturday, February 23, 2019

A Couple of Thoughts for Today

Here are some pithy quotes to chew on for the week.  Enjoy.
The longest day must have its close -- the gloomiest night will wear on to a morning.  An eternal, inexorable lapse of moments is ever hurrying the day of the evil to an eternal night, and the night of the just to an eternal day.  (Harriet Beecher Stowe)
And:
The ultimate sense of security will be when we come to recognize that we are all part of one human race.  Our primary allegiance is to the human race and not to one particular color or border.  I think the sooner we renounce the sanctity of these many identities and try to identify ourselves with the human race the sooner we will get a better world and a safer world.  (Mohamed ElBaradei) 

(image courtesy of pixabay.com)

Thursday, February 14, 2019

A Poem for Lovers Across Time

     I recently read a lovely poem by Walt Whitman, which talks about how soul can recognize soul, across the limits of gender and the confines of time, even as Twin Souls do.  I hope you enjoy this on Valentine's Day.

To a Stranger

Passing stranger! you do not know how longingly I look upon you.
You must be he I was seeking, or she I was seeking, (it comes to me as of a dream.)
I have somewhere surely lived a life of joy with you,
All is recall'd as we flit by each other, fluid, affectionate, chaste, matured,
You grew up with me, were a boy with me or a girl with me,
I ate with you and slept with you, your body has become not yours only nor left my body mine only.
You give me the pleasure of your eyes, face, flesh, as we pass, you take of my beard, breast, hands, in return,
I am not to speak to you, I am to think of you when I sit alone or wake at night alone,
I am to wait, I do not doubt I am to meet you again,
I am to see to it that I do not lose you.

(image courtesy of pixabay.com)




Saturday, February 9, 2019

Another Wonderful Book

     I picked up a book last week which I think will prove very helpful.  Perhaps you would, too.

     Entitled Real World Mindfulness for Beginners: Navigate Daily Life One Practice at a Time and edited by Brenda Salgado, it features a chapter addressing a different life issue with some simple mindfulness practices to help face that issue.  Some of the topics include:  dealing with anxiety and stress, facing hurt or anger, enduring grief and loss, breaking bad habits or negative behaviors, promoting patience and compassion, and accepting aging and illness.  Each chapter, written by a different mindfulness teacher, is clear and concise and easily applicable in minutes.  A very useful book.

Saturday, February 2, 2019

A Gorgeous Book

     I was recently gifted with a book that has proved to be both inspiring and beautiful.  It is a small book, where I read a page or two before bed, but the stunning photos and the pithy sayings from the Tibetan Buddhist tradition stay with me into the next day.  Perhaps you would enjoy it as well.  It's entitled Offerings: Moments of Mindfulness from the Masters of Tibetan Buddhism (Mini) and features photos from Tibet, northern India, and Nepal.  It shows the grittiness and beauty of everyday life there.  And the quotes come from the Dalai Lama, Pema Chodron, Chogyam Trungpa, Jack Kornfield, Milarepa, and many others.  Gift yourself with this book.