Books, Music, & Movies

 

Books

The Little Book of Unknowing

— Jennifer Kavanagh

Little_Book_UnknowingWhat if the facts on which we base our lives are shown to be unreliable?  What if our expectations are confounded?  What if we let go of those assumptions and expectations?  What if we let go of our familiar, habitual ways of thinking?  What if we let go of the very need to know?  Unknowing is at the centre of spiritual life.  It is only by creating a space in which anything can happen that we allow God to speak; only by stepping back that we allow space for that unpredictable Spirit that brings us gifts beyond any of our imaginings... "God dwells only where man steps back to give him room."

 

 

Hotep: To Be at Peace and Contentment

— Barbara Tracy

Hotep_PbkHotep is a tool chest of spiritual psychology.  Barbara Tracy has given us an experiential explanation of the nature of duality and how we are affected by it, followed by practical tools for us to deal with its effects upon us.  Hotep incorporates a variety of spiritually-based concepts from old and new testaments to the channeled awareness of new age teachers, in a way that will be rich for all who will explore it.  A spiritually based tool for emotional release and peace.

 

 

 

Beyond Ego: A Framework for Mindful Leadership and Conscious Human Evolution

— Abigail Stason and Annelliese Smith

Beyond_Ego_pbkAmazon Best Seller and at the top of the Amazon Best New Releases List: In an information age where industries are being turned upside down, a new leader is emerging.  The Mindful and Conscious Leader has the agility and compassion to facilitate conditions for increased connection, vitality, creativity, productivity, and profitability.  Learn HOW to be a Mindful and Conscious Leader through a series of practices and actionable activities.  In business, and in your personal life, this is the handbook for how to welcome and navigate challenges that engage you creatively and intellectually in an age where compassion and connection are required to sustain us as a species.  Beyond Ego is the how-to book for the new business paradigm.

 

Three Poisons

— Kriben Pillay

Three_Poisons_PbkThree Poisons is a collection of three short stories "giving remarkably vivid and imaginative expression, in a contemporary setting" of the three hindrances to freedom: greed, Ill-will and delusion.  The setting is South Africa and, far from being bitter or nihilistic, the stories are shot through with an affection for humanity — its cultures and its frailties.  It "bears testament to the subtlety of Pillay's understanding of philosophy, the slippery cleft between normality/madness and the complexity of ordinary lives in an extraordinary society."  Nowhere does Kriben tell us what to think, but he sets us on a path to make our own inquiry — or just to enjoy three first-rate truly original short stories.

 

Words out of Silence: 60 Days in Solitude

— Bok

Bok_Pbk No TV, no cell phone, no social media, no family or friends.  Just alone in silence for sixty days.  Written from a small cabin in the mountains above Santa Cruz, California, Bok's diary recounts his retreat into solitude and his search for a return to the simplicity of pure being.  Without distraction, he has no choice but to face whatever comes — whether it's the incessant chatter of the mind, the arising of overwhelming emotions, or the simple observations of running water and birdsong.  We say it's Bok's diary, but he draws us in so intimately that these sixty days become our own.  Through this intense and immersive process, both for Bok and the reader, a deeper place is found within, a place of stillness and wellbeing.  You may be surprised what Bok finds, or more importantly, what he doesn't find.

Alexandra Burda’s illustrations are a perfect complement to the sparseness, sensitivity and beauty of the text.

 

The Truth of Who You Are

— Gregory Bondi

Truth_of_Who_You_Are_PbkSelf-knowledge is not about more, it is about much less.  There is nothing to gain with Self-realization.  From the perspective of ego, there is only everything to lose.  What can be said about a path that is really no-path.  The most a teacher can do is offer clear and helpful pointers to the Truth.  This is the first publication in the foundation series for Fire and Emptiness.  The Truth of Who You Are is designed as a practical self-guided introduction to the Direct Path and Self-Inquiry.  Inspired by a more traditional approach to Advaita Vedanta, through presenting essential teachings, foundation practices, and inquiry exercises, it offers readers a chance to discover what is true, what is real, and gain a clear and lasting understanding of the entirely illusory nature of a separate “I” dentity.

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Music

Unseen Grace

— Kirtana

Unseen_GraceOn CD after CD she sails a tender and steady course to the depths of the soul where human headshot1being and divine being find their consummation in the ONE.  Unseen Grace, like all of Kirtana's CDs, does nothing less than hit this most secret, precious mark. With skillful guitar playing and poetic lyrics grounded in authentic realization, Kirtana points us yet again to the infinite depths of our own eternal Being.

 

"Let this world be my mirror,
give me eyes to see
that what I judge, shun, or fear
may be met in me.
If I turn the outside in,
healing may begin.

From "Om Shanti" on Unseen Grace

 


The Heart of Being

— Miranda Macpherson with friends from Venwoude Institutemiranda_thumb

Heart_of_Being_MantraSometimes ordinary language cannot accurately express the deepest dimensions of our being – the love for the sacred mystery that is boundless love and bliss.  Yet we can contact our non-linear depths through sound, movement, silence, and prayer.  This is the way of devotion.  It opens up courage, compassion, joy and the capacity to truly surrender.

Sanskrit mantras are ancient syllables that exert precise positive effects on the body, heart and mind.  Listening and chanting to these mantras will support you in joining the continuing stream of the awakening heart with all who practice them around the world.  May they assist in drawing you back to your true source – the Heart of Being.

 


SongVersation

— India Arie

India_ArieNow on the other side of a self-imposed four-year hiatus, India.Arie returns with the most illuminating album of her Grammy award-winning career. “Putting spiritual and empowerment ideals into music concepts … that’s always been the core message of my music—and it seemed I was talking to others …” says India.Arie. “But the truth is tIndia_Arie_Photohat it was my message to myself because I was yearning to know the peace of a self-defined life. This is where I’ve been for the last four years,” reflects the singer. “I’ve struggled most of my career to feel comfortable with how things were, how I was treated, the politics of the music industry. I needed to pull back from the public eye to ground myself and rebuild my life and career. It’s a process many of us go through: spiritual maturation, spiritual awakening, clearing out the old and starting anew.”

 

 

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Movies

AWAKE: The Life of Yogananda

— full feature length documentary

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"Using a seamless mix of re-creations and fascinating true footage, this very even-tempered documentary takes its audience all the way through a saint's life, from his first sensations in the womb to that moment in 1952 when, having recited a poem to a large crowd at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles, he exited his body just like that....In between those events he changed the Western world." — On AWAKE / From the Maui Film Festival website

AWAKE: The Life of Yogananda is an unconventional biography about the Hindu Swami who brought yoga and meditation to the West in the 1920s. Paramahansa Yogananda authored the spiritual classic “Autobiography of a Yogi,” which has sold millions of copies worldwide and is a go-to book for seekers, philosophers and yoga enthusiasts today. (Apparently, it was the only book that Steve Jobs had on his iPad.) By personalizing his own quest for enlightenment and sharing his struggles along the path, Yogananda made ancient Vedic teachings accessible to a modern audience, attracting many followers and inspiring the millions who practice yoga today.

Filmed over three years with the participation of 30 countries around the world, the documentary examines the world of yoga, modern and ancient, east and west and explores why millions today have turned their attention inwards, bucking the limitations of the material world in pursuit of self-realization.

AWAKE Trailer

 

ADMISSIONS — a film for peace

— documentary  (21 mins)

Winner of 25 International Awards, ADMISSIONS tells a transformational tale about what it takes to find lasting peace,
even in the most conflict-ridden regions of our world.  A short film starring Academy Award nominee James Cromwell, ADMISSIONS features an Israeli couple and a Palestinian, this modern parable is set in the admissions room for the afterlife. Its purpose is to start a conversation that heals.

Screen Shot 2015-02-18 at 2.37.41 PMPeace Departments.  In order to view the film for free, you are asked to go to click below and go to www.peacenow.com and sign their petition.  Your signature will create the worldwide support needed for all governments to establish peace departments, peace education, and peace economies. The Global Resolution has been approved by Culture of Peace working groups at the United Nations.

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DIVE! — living off America's waste

— documentary (53 mins)

Format: Amazon Instant Video

Every year in America we throw away 96 billion pounds of food - 263 million pounds a day.  DIVE is a fun as well as sobering short form documentary that takes an intimate look at how much perfectly acceptable food gets discarded in America on a daily basis, a staggering amount considering how many people go hungry on a daily basis.  Even with supermarkets (the film is set in Los Angeles) donating to food banks and shelters, there is so much still ending up as mere trash.  Film maker Jeremy Seifert puts a charismatic face on the phenomenon of dumpster diving, and though this part of the film is pure entertainment, the core intent is to provide sobering statistics on food waste in America that boggle the mind and heart as to just how far down the wrong path we've gone as a nation of consumption.  Offering both personal advice on practical home solutions to reduce extra waste, the film also provides tips about how to become more involved within the community.

Trailer

Background image by Dan Dhruva Baumbach
www.danbaumbach.com