PRAYER AND THE FIVE STAGES OF HEALING
by RON ROTH with PETER OCCHIOGROSSO
reviewed by Nancy Allin
Ron Roths presence is one that is hard to miss. Hes a tall man with a powerful yet gentle and humble spirit; it radiates out around him and impacts all he touches. I was privileged to witness (and experience) Ron at work in a workshop here in Seattle, and was touched by his message of healing, hope, and the power of prayer. There is something that at first glance seems simple about Rons approach to prayer and healing. The simplicity is deceptive; the level at which he channels healing energy is deep and powerful. His workshops profoundly touch and heal peoples lives while bringing them to a greater connection to Spirit.
Through his latest book, Prayer and the Five Stages of Healing, Ron offers another avenue of assistance to those on a path of spiritual development. In this book, he discusses what he describes as the five stages of healing that make up conscious development. Ron highlights his personal development through the five stages of healing, through stories (often quite amusing) of his stumbles and lessons during the years he was a Catholic priest. He also brings to light the roots of Christianity as a mystical and spiritual path.
I found it fascinating to learn more about the connections between other religious paths and Christianity from the mystical viewpoint. Ron also gives a new perspective on passages in the Bible by going back to the original Aramaic translations, which reveal much more of the mysticism originally contained in the writings.
The end result is a book that offers a pathway, and tools, to healing and growing in spiritual consciousness, while explaining some of the challenges and joys of each stage along the way. The tools for navigating the pathway are ones of developing a spiritual practice through prayer, meditation, and learning from the teachings of a variety religious paths. At the same time, it offers encouragement and support for people through the tough times of transformation and change, while suggesting ways to personalize the pathway.
For those beginning, or wishing to deepen, their spiritual practice, this can be a very helpful book. Additionally, Ron will be presenting another powerful healing workshop on Sunday, June 6 in Bellevue. For more information or to register, call Hay House at (800) 654-5126.
THE WINGS OF JOY
Inspirational Meditations, Anecdotes, and Messages to Nourish Your Soul
by SRI CHINMOY
reviewed by Pipasa Glass, My Journeys Dawn Bookstore
The book The Wings of Joy is aptly titled. Sri Chinmoy's writing touches the heart and makes it soar. From the simple depth of his poetry to the charming stories of Indian life, the book contains universal wisdom that can be claimed by all.
Of course, youre hearing this from someone who has been "soaring" with Sri Chinmoy for over 18 years, so it is challenging to be objective. At the same time, I feel it only appropriate that the reviewer be one who knows the author's works well.
Sri Chinmoy's vision is that world peace begins with inner peace. He promotes inner peace through prayer and meditation. In the second chapter, "Meditation: The Key to the Inner Life," he describes meditation in a poem:
Sometimes I must be silent,
For that is the only way
To know a little better,
To think a little wiser,
To become a little more perfect,
To claim God a little sooner.
The aphorisms and poems included in The Wings of Joy are mantra-like in quality. They ring with the essence of divine experience; no unnecessary words are used. Here is poetry from the fifth chapter, '"The Jewel of Humility":
Beyond speech and mind,
Into the river of ever-effulgent Light
My heart dives.
Today thousands of doors, closed for millennia,
Are opened wide.
If you repeated this poem for a few minutes, or simply meditated on it, I am sure you would feel the uplifting and enlightening reality from which it comes.
The entire book carries practical, down-to-earth advice for the spiritual seeker, as well as this genre of poetry, not unlike that employed by the ancient seer-poets of India, the tradition into which Sri Chinmoy was born. Pick up this book and soar with him.
THE WAY OF QIGONG
The Art and Science of Chinese Energy Healing
by KENNETH S. COHEN
The Ballantine Publishing Group
You, too, can integrate qigong into your life and harness the healing power that will help your mind and body achieve the harmony of true health.
GIRLS LIKE US
40 Extraordinary Women Celebrate Girlhood in Story, Poetry, and Song
edited by GINA MISIROGLU
New World Library
When women describe growing up, their memories of childhood and adolescence are a rich blend of joy, pain, and discovery.
THE HEALING POWER OF FAITH
Science Explores Medicines Last Great Frontier
by HAROLD G. KOENIG, M.D
Simon & Schuster
" about real people, struggling against almost unbelievable odds, whose faith has enabled them to overcome state-of-the-art scientific research, ushering in a new age of medicine and spirit." Dr. Robert H. Schuller
DICTIONARY OF CLASSICAL MYTHOLOGY
by JENNY MARCH
Sterling Publishing Co.
Coverage of all the major myths, legends, and fables, from the creation of the cosmos to the Trojan War and the foundation of Rome. A-Z guide to Greek and Roman mythology.
ALTARS AND ICONS
Sacred Spaces in Everyday Life
by JEAN MCMANN
Brings together over forty eclectic personal shrines, offering a diverse and vibrant vision of sanctuary.
GIFT OF LIFE
A Spiritual Companion for the Mother-to-Be
by JOAN SWIRSKY
Guides the mother-to-be through the life-altering experience of having a child as a journey with insights, wisdom, reassurance, and advice that heightens spiritual awareness and joy.
BODY, MIND MASTERY
Creating Success in Sport and Life
by DAN MILLMAN
New World Library
$12.95 (softcover & audio)
For anyone seeking mental and physical harmony in sports or everyday life through transforming training into a path of personal growth and spiritual discovery.
The Hidden Fire
A Practical and Personal Approach to Awakening a Greater Intimacy with God
by TOM HARPUR
Wood Lake Books Inc.
Encourages the reader to go beyond childhood notions of prayer and to develop a personal style of praying and repertoire of prayers that work for today.
ON WOMEN TURNING 70
Honoring the Voices of Wisdom
interviews and photography by CATHLEEN ROUNTREE
Sixteen intimate portraits of women in their seventies (including Doris Lessing and Betty Friedan) who are a testament to women everywhere that life can and must be lived to its fullest.
THE BUSY SOUL
Ten-Minute Spiritual Workouts Drawn from Jewish Tradition
by RABBI TERRY BOOKMAN
The Berkeley Publishing Group
Prayers, blessings, and meditations for each day, including extended prayers for those with additional time. Designed to bring meaningful ritual into daily life.
FIRST YOU BUILD A CLOUD
And Other Reflections on Physics as a Way of Life
by K. C. COLE
Harcourt Brace & Company
Demystifies physics, creating an appreciation for its wonder. Includes conversations with Richard Feynman, Victor Weisskopf, the Oppenheimers, and Philip Morrison.
Finding Our Self in Relationship
by STEVEN HARRISON
Crossroad Publishing Company
Best-selling author of Doing Nothing offers a path that moves through the pain often suffered in relationships, to a place of remembering that love is already ours.
by MARK LERNER and LAURA PHILIPS
$20 (book and deck)
reviewed by Diana Rayment
It has been said that baseball is a metaphor for life. Nowhere is that more true than in Baseball Tarot.
Clearly, much thought and love of both the games of baseball and of life have gone into the making of this deck. Lerner and Philips have swept aside the ancient weight of the traditional tarot deck, while keeping the sacredness and original meanings intact. The lessons and challenges are well written and easy for the non-baseball fan and inexperienced tarot reader to interpret. This simple, easy-to-use deck will bring you deep yet playful insights that will stay with you long after the game (reading) is over.
Here "The Fool" becomes "The Rookie," "The Empress" becomes "The Natural," while the suits are Mitts (Cups), Balls (Swords), Bats (Wands), and Bases (Pentacles). Naturally, the reading is a "Request for Coaching."
Each card contains a baseball quote that is uncannily appropriate. The illustrations are simple yet expressive, and show all ages of males and females involved in the sport. Key words are written at the bottom of each card to help with interpretation. Suggested layouts include "The Changeup," "Whos on First," Bottom of the Inning," and the more complex "Diamond."
Choose this deck for the fun of it, but be prepared to learn about yourself in the process. Even if you are not inspired to grab your mitt and head for the nearest park, I guarantee that you will come away with a new appreciation for the game, be it baseball or life.
BLACK ANGEL CARDS
A Soul Revival Guide for Black Women
by EARTHLYN MARSELEAN MANUEL
$18 (book and card set)
Draws on the experience, beauty, and strength of African American women to create a spiritual healing tool for women everywhere. Vibrant cards and straightforward writing.
BUDDHA IN A BOX
by MANUELA DUNN MASCETTI
$22.95 (hardcover book, small Buddha, stand)
Inside a beautiful, sturdy box that converts to an altar stand sit a serene Buddha and a small hardcover book containing meditations, stories, and exquisite color paintings.
POWER OF FLOWERS
An Archetypal Journey Through Nature
by ISHA LERNER
U.S. Games Systems, Inc.
$12 (cards and small softcover book)
Colorful cards picturing flowers. Use the cards individually or in a layout to learn more about yourself through the plant signature, flower essence, archetypal figure, and healing.
reviewed by Elana Lindquist
Before I begin this months reviews, Id like to share my number one tip for success for those with Web sites: make sure your e-mail links work. It seems so obvious, but I cant believe how many times Ive been hot on the trail of something promising, only to be banished to the Cybermuda Triangle! Its hard to generate goodwill when youre frustrating your visitors, so keep those links functional. Now, on to this months top finds:
A warm soothing oasis of serenity and positivism from British Columbia. Articles galore! For daily wisdom, go to the Oracles area.
A nonprofit cooperative of over 200 positive, holistic alternative individuals, organizations and businesses in Oregon and southwest Washington. Be sure to check out their calendar area before vacationing there.
Natural Choice Internet Directory
The Greater Seattle/metro areas resource directory for the holistic community. Enjoy the quick alphabetical references to all linked Web sites in the directory.
Soul Love Transforms
Relationship satisfaction test and articles about making your relationships healthier. Insights from articles: "Every relationship teaches us either about our true self or our false self the illusion-based persona we develop to cope in the world." "Did you realize that your health depends on who you put first in your life?"
Point of Light
Wisdom and joy for the soul and body from the Greater Pittsburgh area. Each month provides enlightenment on one theme, such as money, love, time, etc.
Elana Lindquist publishes Fun with Success Online; sign up for her free newsletter at <http://www.seanet.com/~lindquist, e-mail <email@example.com>, or call (253) 858-7969.
reviewed by David A. Young
As if emerging from some musical mist, the first few notes of the incantation opening this album cast a spell that will engage you throughout its seamlessly coherent duration. Many know Ms. Brightman as a star of the musical stage (the former wife of Andrew Lloyd Webber, shes best known for her role as Christine in Phantom of the Opera), and she made an unforgettable impression with her last album, Time to Say Goodbye, which spent most of 1997 at number one on Billboards classical crossover chart. Eden neatly eclipses her body of work to date and ensures her lasting presence across a broader range of styles than ever.
Brightmans soprano is so clear and clean that, even in its seemingly effortless embodiment of fragility, it exudes a warm intensity and an unshakable, inspiring strength all along the continuum of breathy intonations to full-throttle operatic expression. The able straddling of the classical, adult contemporary, soft rock, New Age, and ambient genres results in a startlingly refreshing yet seemingly ageless end product. Although the voice is the star, the instrumental and choral accompaniments all "fit" as perfectly and as elegantly as a tailor-made suit. Theres no substitute for an honest-to-God orchestra, especially for a voice like this, and the judicious use of electronic support is just that: a complement, not a distraction.
Because The New Times policy is to publish favorable reviews of what we feel are the very best books and music (not unfavorable reviews of those we dont), and because space permits only one to three music reviews per issue, regular readers are used to gushing recommendations in these pages. For that reason, its understandably difficult to get a sense of relativity with regard to my praise, so let me go over the top to say that this album has enjoyed the most unanimously and enthusiastically positive response of any release in my two and a half years here. I dont think that theres been anyone here any of the many times Ive played it that hasnt commented how lovely it was, inquired whether they could have the disc when I was finished with it (no), or asked what they were listening to so they could buy it. (One already-fan just asked, "Is this the new Sarah Brightman album?")
Co-worker Jane (whos already purchased her own copy) said that this was the kind of music shed "like to die to. I can feel myself floating up as I listen to it." The sumptuous feel of the music, lush on the grandest scale, seems to accomplish the aural equivalent of shimmering, the qualities of the singers instrument adding an iridescent spark.
Proof of Ms. Brightmans mastery is found in my embrace of two included selections, neither of which appears anywhere near my list of favorite songs. In particular, I got a sinking feeling when I saw that shed included a song Ive always considered a titanic bore: "My Heart Will Go On." Her version, though, sung in Italian, allows one to develop a whole new set of associations and experience the song "again for the first time." Another surprise selection, Kansas 70s rock standard (but, again, nothing I ever cared for) "Dust in the Wind" emerges as nothing less than a revelation. Who knew?
In addition to her gorgeously sensitive readings of others songs, Brightman continues to come into her own as a composer; "In Paradisum," borrowing a page from the von Bingen songbook, marks the first composition for which shes written both words and music as she approaches her tenth album, and all her contributions to other songs are just as strong as her vocal talent.
Eden is so easily the album of the month that Im tempted to go ahead and dub it the album of the year even though the year is but half spent. How about if I just say, "Wow"? I have no reason to doubt that thats what youll say, too.
By the way, Sarah Brightman will be appearing in concert at Chateau Ste. Michelle, Woodinville, on June 12. I cant wait to see what new ways she has to enchant me in person; maybe Ill see you there!
New World Music
Ceremonial hand drums made in Ireland, Scotland, and Wales blend with other ethnic instrumentation and uplifting vocals for a transcendent journey into the soul of a people.
FESTIVALS OF NEPAL
Three outstanding artists join forces to intepret and present the myriad musical traditions of Nepal to the world.
FREE AS A BIRD
Larsons unusual and unique blend of genres, combined with her musical and technical wizardry, has begun a new generation for the flute as a leading voice in the music world.