Musings and Reviews of Metaphysical, New Age and Meaningful Writings

Archive for the ‘meditation’ Category

Become Who You Truly Are: YOU CAN TRANSFORM YOUR LIFE #BookReview and #AuthorInterview


You Can Transform Full Cover FINALrevWhat is your plan for transforming 2018 into your best year ever? Have you thought about it? Do you have a plan?

Imagine if you could have a year of inspiration mapped out for you. Well, Darity Wesley, a Modern Day Oracle™, has done just that for you. You Can Transform Your Life was written as a guide to support your personal and spiritual growth over the course of 52 weeks… so it’s a perfect time to start using it at the beginning of a new year. Of course, you can start at any time, go at your own pace, or even open the book at random for an Oracle message to answer a question on your mind in the moment.

The first Oracle message relates to Creating a New Way of Life, with the affirmation mantra: “I AM releasing the old so I can build the new…And so it is!!!” There’s also a circle for you to draw your goal or intention as a simple symbol.

Each Oracle message is followed by space for you to answer four questions of self-inquiry – to explore what the message means to you, to create your own personal mantra, to plan how to integrate the message into your life, and to direct your attention to any messages from your own inner voice.

The book’s design is so well thought out – I found that answering the questions and using this space to journal my emotions and thoughts on the Oracle message made it so much more powerful for me than just reading the message. This personal writing is therapeutic, helping you let go of the things that are holding you down, inviting you to freely express how you feel – which will make you feel better.

Spinx Darity with copyright

Love and Trust, my dear ones … Love and Trust! ~ Darity Wesley, Modern Day Oracle™

At the end of the 52 Oracle messages, there is a guided Personal Transformation Journal template that takes you even further, offering inspirational prompts for your writing. I think you will be amazed at how far you’ve come on your personal journey by the time you reach the last journal page, which prompts, “Free yourself from what is holding you back! Be who you truly are!”

For those seeking to go even further on their journey of transformation, Darity Wesley has designed a Companion Workbook for You Can Transform Your Life, that provides more in-depth questions for each of the 52 Oracle messages, bonus exercises to help increase intuition, spiritual strength and inner balance by exploring such topics as Tuning In, Gratitude, and Forgiveness, as well as practical advice on how to apply these tools of transformation to all areas of your life. It will be available on December 26.

What a great way to start 2018 with one or both of these books in hand or gifted to others!

Many thanks to author Darity Wesley for answering my many questions about her work here…

Can you explain what Oracle messages are?

I feel that the Oracle messages are communications written to stimulate and encourage thoughts and feelings that will support and assist us in our personal and spiritual development. I think of the Oracle messages as signposts. They point the way for our own consciousness, our own Soul self to discover, guide and change our behavior, our way of thinking, our way of feeling. Everything is possible and Oracle messages support whatever resonates with the heart of its reader.

What inspired you to become an “Oracle?”

In the late 1980s early 1990s I enjoyed a book by Shakti Gawain entitled Reflections in the Light. This book contained inspirational messages for every day of the calendar year. It felt good to think about or contemplate whatever she had written for that day. I liked it very much and thought it may be of value to others.

In 2006, I heard of the social media site called MySpace which was gaining in popularity in the tech industry I was working in. I put up a profile on MySpace and began posting what I called ~The Daily Oracle~: Inspirational messages by Shakti Gawain, Louise Hay, Eckhart Tolle, Ram Dass and many others. I allowed my spirit to be my guide in picking what to post for each day. At some point in the postings, someone asked if they could receive the messages by email and I said “Sure” and began the email subscription service. I stopped posting on MySpace somewhere along the way but continued with the email subscription service sending the messages of others.

In August of 2012, my treasured friend of many years, Cristina Smith, suggested I might like to write the Oracle messages from my own spirit as opposed to using the work of others. I was flabbergasted and immediately rejected the idea that I do that on my own. “Who, me?”

That “suggestion” was a seed that grew and blossomed, so I faced my fears and decided to do exactly that. Well, to at least give it a try! So, on September 5, 2012, I launched Oracles from the Spirit of Darity. While that space was always there, within me, it was my friend Cristina who inspired me to become a Modern Day Oracle™.

How do you access these messages or divinations?

Having been on the path of self-discovery and inquiry for over 50 years, I have experienced much support from my angels, guides and Spirit. Because I have “tuned in” for so long and “turned up the volume,” I feel I recognize and, therefore, trust, the voice within me. So what I do is just tap into that place where I hear Spirit and say “What?” “What are the energies and directions for …?” I then write or type the words or directions that come through.

How can the reader best use your Oracle messages?

Each Oracle message focuses on some area of self and/or spiritual discovery. Since inner work is very personal, the Oracle message will simply help the reader’s own intuition look at what they need to look at in that area or what they can focus on as a tool, a process, a step to work on, integrate or a practice to include in their life to support them along the way. As I said earlier, Oracle messages stimulate thoughts and feelings for us to investigate or assimilate or even relegate to another time if it causes us any resistance when we are reading it.

That is what the companion workbook: You Can Transform Your Life – Go Deeper (available on Amazon on December 26) will add to the process. It is intended to help us navigate these changing times and facilitate our journey to becoming our True Authentic Selves.

What are the benefits of using the affirmation mantras?

Affirmation mantras are the seeds of our intentions. We use them to support us. The main benefit of an affirmation mantra is its ability to bypass the “monkey mind,” the “ego,” the “personality” … that part of ourselves that is “rational” and “controlling” and caught up in the illusion of the way it really is. That part of us which will surely tell us why it won’t work or why it is something other than “love and trust,” for instance, or “I firmly stand in my determination to …” or “I am kind to others and myself.”

Another benefit of affirmation mantras is their support of the transformational energies of self and spiritual discoveries. They help us access higher levels of awareness. No matter how you use them, affirmation mantras have the ability to bring the seed of your intention into full bloom to support what it is you are wanting to do, be or have.

What are the different ways readers can use your book?

A reader can use the Oracle messages in the book however they feel drawn to use them. The book, and its companion workbook, is structured as a 52-week program beginning any time you want, however, they can be used and applied randomly, you can skip around, and let your very own spirit be the guide. Mix and match or go in order. It is all up to the reader.

You write of the New Reality – can you explain that and offer an example of that in action?

The New Reality is a term that comes up a lot in the Oracle messages. Quite simply, it is a shift in focus. This shift is from an external focus, which has been the way of life on this Planet for a very long time, to an internal focus that is a new way of life. The New Reality is a focus on an internal, higher level of consciousness. That “higher level of consciousness” may be your own creative sovereignty or that of a higher power or energy or just All That Is, the Universe, God, depending on your particular belief structure. When we step into consciously allowing that creative power to move through us, rather than resist it or not acknowledge it, we find such things as fulfillment, balance, happiness. What you need, what you want, comes from within, not “out there.”

As more and more of us step into the New Reality, as often as we can, we will feel there is more to be discovered about ourselves and our world. That can bring a calm joyousness and excitement to our lives.

An example of that would be my personal experience when I came to the realization that nothing “out there” was really responsible for my happiness. Not money, not things, not relationships. No. Nothing outside of me. I realized I was responsible for making me happy. I am the creator of my own reality and I choose, from inside, my happiness. That is stepping, a wee step for sure, into the New Reality.

What brought you to the decision you say you made, “to wear my heart on my sleeve and the world can just get over it?”

I will never forget the experience so many, many years ago. I was 33 years old. At that time I was a person who wanted everyone to love her. Mostly because I felt so unlovable. I had no real sense of myself. My need for love and approval was so great that I was like a chameleon. I had no opinions of my own. I would assume the likes and dislikes of whomever I was with. I was a Republican with Republicans and a Democrat with Democrats. I went along with whatever was happening. God forbid I would say what I thought or felt in a social setting.

Having been exploring myself and growing spiritually for many years prior to this, I was not totally devoid of self-inquiry, self-discovery and spiritual growth and so this was, evidentially, my next step.

At that time in my Buddha year, 33, I had a life changing experience at the foot of Mt. Shasta in California. Part of that life changing experience was “I am going to wear my heart on my sleeve, allow myself to be vulnerable, people will like me or not like me but they will like me or not like me as I am.” No more pretending, no more affectation, no more not saying what I think or feel. Nope! I began to step more and more into my True Authentic Self.

What would you most like readers to take away from this book?

Whether someone desires a complete life makeover or just wants to learn new ways to feel more in harmony with themselves and their world, this book and the companion Workbook, provide processes, tools and practices to take your life to a new level. Self-discovery and self-awareness are critical tools for these changing times and absolutely support our evolution as conscious beings.

As we evolve as conscious beings, we not only change ourselves, we change the lives of those around us and as that change energy moves out to world, it changes the world. That is my desire for my readers. To grow and change. To feel better, to feel more alive, to feel more at peace with themselves and all that is going on in the world. To become more self aware and to grow spiritually. To become more and more who you really are.

How can one subscribe to your Modern Day Oracle™ messages?

If someone would like to subscribe to ~The Weekly Oracle~™ they can email me at Darity@DarityWesley.com. Simply put “Subscribe” in the Subject Line or go to our website www.DarityWesley.com and subscribe there.

You Can Transform Your Life is available now on Amazon, and the You Can Transform Your Life – Go Deeper Workbook will be available on December 26.

Namaste!

Becca Chopra, author of The Chakra DiariesChakra SecretsBalance Your Chakras-Balance Your Lifeand The Chakra Energy Diet
www.theChakras.org

The Chakra Blog

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Mind and Soul Satisfying Puzzles: The Word Search Sage, Yoga for the Brain #BookReview and #AuthorInterview


Screen Shot 2017-11-17 at 10.32.21 AMThe Word Search Sage is the second book in the series of word puzzles, known as Yoga for the Brain, that offer a creative, fun, meditative respite from the busy chatter of the mind… while flexing your brain.

You can read my review of The Word Search Oracle, which won the 2017 Pinnacle Book Achievement Award, and download a sample puzzle here.

The Word Search Sage takes you a little deeper into your thoughts and spirit, as the solutions to these word puzzles are called Meta-Thoughts, providing insights and deep wisdom.

I like to open the pages at random, and undoubtedly, Cristina Smith’s introductory comments on the topic of the puzzle and mystic Ingrid Coffin’s Meta-Thoughts are always relevant to my life at that moment in time. In fact, each word in each of the clever puzzles put together by Rick Smith relate to the Meta-Thought and help you discover your own truth, your own purpose in life.

For example, the puzzle on Love is introduced with a note that includes:

“Affirm your love for yourself. Shed all of the self-negatives that life has draped over you. When we fear criticism, we are not free to be ourselves. If we feel less than, our lives reflect that.”

The Love puzzle on page 30 is a little harder than those in the beginning of the book. You’ll see that after you’ve found all the applicable words in the puzzle, the letters remaining make up this Meta-Thought:

“Be thankful for being yourself.”

These puzzles sound magical and mystical and they are. I’m amazed at how they are both relaxing and good exercise for the mind, while providing inspiration and profound introspection for the soul.

MT Puzzle
Strewn throughout the book are also beautiful photos with words of wisdom from Ingrid Coffin, like the one above, “You are the finest puzzle in your life…. Enjoy putting yourself together.”

Enjoy this book whenever you need a little time to yourself, a break from work, to keep entertained while waiting for someone or something, or as a daily ritual to give you food for thought and inspiration.

INTERVIEW with Ingrid Coffin, author of the inspirational Meta-Thoughts you reach at the end of each puzzle in The Word Search Sage

The solutions to the word searches in these puzzles are called Meta-Thoughts. Can you explain that term?

Meta-Thoughts are broader, more abstract thoughts that address life from a higher level than the thoughts we might have about what to have for lunch.  They are intended to be a bit cheeky.  Kind of like a sassy Jiminy Cricket reminding us that we create our own world and that much of what we create begins with our thoughts.

Where do you get the inspiration for the Meta-Thoughts?

I communicate a lot and hear myself saying Meta-Thoughts almost every day while working with other people. The trick is to catch them before they float away. I’m finally getting pretty good at that after more than 15 years of practice.

How can the reader best use these Meta-Thoughts?

I use Meta-Thoughts in a variety of ways.  Often I write them in my journal. Sometimes I just print them from my computer and post them in strategic places in my home and office. Of course, they are also there every Monday waiting for me on my phone.  The secret is to place them as a constant reminder of what I am working on.

For instance, if I am starting a new venture, I might post “First Feet. Then Wings” to encourage myself to start at the beginning and carefully navigate my way to successful completion.  Or I might choose “Have I left myself out of my schedule?” to remind me of my priorities.

The way you can use them is limited only by your imagination.

What do you think is the most important benefit of the Yoga for the Brain puzzle books?

Keeping your brain sharp and active is crucial to enjoying a long life.

Exercising the mind is the way to do that, and Yoga for the Brain provides the exercise it needs.

Personally, I use the word puzzles to help me relax at night and get to sleep, to keep me occupied in waiting rooms and on airplanes and just generally to enjoy a pause that refreshes.

Cristina Smith, author of The Word Search Sage, describes you as a “mystic.” What does the description mean to you?

Everyone is part mystical and part magical. The right-brained people are more mystical. The left-brained more magical. I am a right-brained, mystical person, which means I create the image of the result I desire in my own imagination, using my intuition as a drawing board.

Fortunately, I have been trained to work magically as well as mystically. I am able to take the vision from within my imagination and craft it in the physical world. In my opinion, a cooperative relationship between mystical and magical is what works best for everyone in all aspects of life. This is what I teach to those who work with me.

How can readers learn more about Meta-Thoughts?

It’s easy to subscribe to my weekly Meta-Thoughts.  Just go to http://www.Meta-Thoughts.com and provide your name and email address.

What other ways can readers connect with you and learn about your work?

In addition to my love of Meta-Thoughts and The Word Search Sage, I am an evolutionary astrologer, a teacher in the western esoteric tradition and the founding director of Blue Sky Ranch in Lakeside, California.  More information is available at http://www.ingridcoffin.com.

The Word Search Sage and The Word Search Oracle are both available on Amazon.

Namaste!

Becca Chopra, author of The Chakra DiariesChakra SecretsBalance Your Chakras-Balance Your Lifeand The Chakra Energy Diet
www.theChakras.org

The Chakra Blog

 

Replacing Stress and Depression with Joy! Joy! Joy!: #BookReview and #AuthorInterview


Screen Shot 2017-11-13 at 7.34.25 AMThe subtitle of Joy! Joy! Joy! says it all. Read this book and you’ll discover 7 Mind Body Spirit Self-Help Practices to Relieve Stress, Reverse Memory Loss and Live Happy – I Did It! You Too Can Bust the Blues.

Ellen Wood, author of the award-winning Think and Grow Young, now shares how she transformed her many physical and emotional problems to remain peaceful and joyous by making these practices into daily habits: observing your thoughts, releasing toxic emotions, using affirmations, power posing, dry brushing your skin, meditating and doing something good for someone.

Her gripping memoir of depression, Alzheimer symptoms, cancer and other distressing situations are interwoven with how she coped, and then miraculously freed herself of chronic stress and the blues.

Ellen cites many experts and clinical studies that show how these quick and simple Mind-Body-Spirit practices help people remain calm, productive and joyful no matter what is happening in the world around them.

She also sprinkles words of wisdom throughout her story:

“When something bad happens, say ‘Something good will come of this,’ then expect something good and watch for it.”

You can take charge of your thoughts and emotions, says the author, for example…

“Stress doesn’t come from what’s happening to us, but from our response to what’s happening.”

The book is entitled Joy! Joy! Joy! because if you put these techniques into practice, you’ll find yourself, like Ellen Wood, filled with joy for no reason, with a closer connection to your inner knowing and to spirit.

“Love is often an action first, then a feeling. You love yourself by taking actions in the direction of your wellbeing.”

Ellen Wood, at 80, is an inspirational speaker and writer, and I encourage readers of Joy! Joy! Joy! to follow her blueprint, using the bonus Daily Practice Checklists in the back of the book to help you anchor new habits that will transform your life too.

AUTHOR INTERVIEW with Ellen Wood, author of Joy! Joy! Joy!:

What would you like readers to take away from your new book?

 In just minutes a day, by making these 7 mind/body/spirit practices into habits, you can change your life forever. If you’re stressed out and have the blues, and it seems like the whole world is going crazy, these habits can calm your mind and help you access inner peace and joy. If you are experiencing mild memory loss (and perhaps worrying about Alzheimer’s because a parent died of it), take heart: through these practices I was able to reverse early Alzheimer’s – even though I have the Alzheimer’s gene, APO-e4. Meditation alone has been proven in scientific studies to reverse memory loss, in addition to reducing stress, anxiety and depression, among other benefits. Some of these studies are cited in my book.

You write of reconnecting to your true nature. How does one do that?

By practicing Meditation (Daily Practice #6) and by experiencing “life” in the present moment through our senses (as explained in Daily Practice #7) – inviting our divine nature to see through our eyes, hear through our ears, taste with our mouth, smell with our nose and feel through our skin or fingertips – we can reconnect to our true nature. Observing our thoughts (Daily Practice #1), Releasing Toxic Emotions (Daily Practice #2) and Affirmations (Daily Practice #3), especially surrendering control and allowing our Inner Self to lead, are also techniques for reconnecting.

How can a person have joy – no matter what?

Our essential nature is JOY and we have access to that joy when we stay rooted in the present moment. Joy and love are innate. (On the other hand, HAPPINESS is dependent upon a situation or circumstance – often fleeting – that delights our human nature.) We suffer when we dwell on something terrible or regretful that happened in the past or we fear something that might happen in the future. Viktor Frankl, an Austrian psychologist and author of the book, Man’s Search for Meaning, survived and even experienced BLISS in the concentration camps of the Holocaust.

 Why is it so important to be in the present moment?

There is POWER in the present moment. And we can access that power when we still our mind and experience the NOW moment.

Can you summarize how we can love ourselves just as we are, when we want to be better people?

Loving yourself just as you are is part of the PROCESS of creating a more magnificent you. I’ll give an example of why I say we can love ourselves just as we are AND want to do practices to CHANGE the way we are: Suppose you buy an old house – one that had been neglected and has a garden that is nothing but weeds. Shortly after fixing up the house and moving in, you go to the nursery and bring home flower seedlings. As you stand there for a moment and look at that garden full of weeds, if you’re like most people, you won’t think: Oh, I hate this garden. It’s so ugly.

No. You feel a thrill of creation as you decide which patch of earth to start on. Then you kneel down and pull out the weeds, turn over the soil, dig some holes, put the seedlings in, cover the roots with earth and pat around each one with both hands. And you love the feeling of creating your beautiful garden. In fact, you love your beautiful garden already even though most of it is still full of weeds.

Think of yourself as a garden you’re creating. Love yourself just as you are as you weed and till and plant the seeds of a more magnificent expression of you. Celebrate every sprout and the eventual flowers. Loving yourself just as you are is essential for creating happiness.

How would you recommend this book be best used?

Read it all the way through once or twice, then commit to making those 7 practices into habits. In the back of the book is a section that contains 12 weeks of daily checklists to prompt you as you go about each day. (Or request a Word doc of the checklists by writing to ellen@bookofjoyjoyjoy.com.) Start with just two practices. Choose the two you feel will be the easiest for you to do for 21 consecutive days. Then after three weeks with the first two practices, add two more for another 21 days and three weeks later add two more and when you start your tenth week, you’ll integrate all 7 practices into your daily routine. If it works better for you, aim for 5 days a week for three weeks instead of 21 consecutive days. Check the box to the left of each practice to indicate which practices you’re working on that week. This is the process I used for myself beginning 13 years ago. It totally changed my life. I no longer need the checklists or sticky notes or other reminders. Well, actually I still have sticky notes in my life, like the ones on my desk that say, “Something good will come of this” and “What marvelous things do you have for me today?” Here’s one I recently put by my TV, “Where my attention goes, energy flows. (Do I really want to be stuck in politics?)”

To sample Ellen’s inspiration, sign up for her free gifts, including Affirmations to Grow Younger, plus sample Chapters from Think and Grow Young and Joy! Joy! Joy! at http://bookofjoyjoyjoy.com/. Both her books are available at Amazon.com.

Namaste!

Becca Chopra, author of The Chakra DiariesChakra SecretsBalance Your Chakras-Balance Your Lifeand The Chakra Energy Diet
www.theChakras.org

The Chakra Blog

 

Yoga for the Brain? #BookReview and #AuthorInterview on THE WORD SEARCH ORACLE


CoverCombine a fun word game with profound insights, and you’re given a remarkable tool for spiritual development and self-realization.  The Word Search Oracle: Yoga for the Brain offers a creative, fun, meditative respite from the busy chatter of the mind… while flexing your brain.

What’s really unique is that each of the 60 word puzzles in the book is introduced by a philosophical Oracle on topics ranging from Fearlessness to Forgiveness.

And once you’ve worked out the puzzle, the words remaining in the grid make up a corresponding Mantra (yoga asana for the mind). These Mantras serve as positive affirmations to reprogram your mind for greater mindfulness, joy, health and love.

The Word Search puzzles provide cognitive training, cleverly disguised as fun. And the inspirational Oracles and Mantras help reprogram our thinking, replacing negative old thought patterns:

“…solving puzzles engages our ability to compare new information hidden in a puzzle with what is already dowloaded in our memory. As a result of our amazing neuroplasticity, neurons make new connections inside our brains, blending imaginative association and memory. We alchemize that data to pioneer new perspectives, conclusions and ideas… It is a kind of puzzle vision super power.”

TRY OUT PUZZLE VISION SUPER POWER, TODAY, FOR FREE.

Download and play with a sample puzzle from the book, titled Blessings, read the Oracle, find the hidden Mantra, and see how it can change your day:

Word Search Oracle Sample

The object of the game is to find and cross out all the words from the list below the puzzle. The words in this easy example can be found horizontally or vertically. Hidden within the puzzle is a secret message created by the letters not used. Place these letters in the blank lines to discover your Mantra… repeating this Mantra throughout the day will reinforce the Oracle Message about Blessing, and increase your awareness and appreciation of the good all around you.

INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR, CRISTINA SMITH:

What inspired you to create the “Yoga for the Brain” books?

Travel, Sudoku and my brother were the inspiration for the series. A frequent flyer, I was bored with all of my reading material so, in true desperation, I turned to the puzzle pages of the inflight magazine. I saw the Sudoku and had an almost visceral reaction to them. My inner voice said something like, “Number puzzles- yargh! I don’t do those.”

Then I noticed how strong my opinion was of that innocent little puzzle and decided to try one. I was terrible at it. When my math genius brother Rick picked me up at the airport, I asked him if he was good at and liked Sudoku. The answer was yes. By the end of the visit, I decided to do an experiment. I wanted to see if I could train my mind to shift to a logic mode and learn to do Sudoku with a book of 300 easy puzzles.

It’s fascinating how sometimes the most unexpected things can trigger the deepest insights.

The most amazing thing happened. I delved into the puzzles and unexpectedly, deeply spiritual intuitive information came into my consciousness. Doing puzzles. I began to approach Sudoku as a path to spiritual awakening. It became a form of yoga. Yoga for the brain. I finished the puzzle book and suddenly, it became clear. I was writing a Sudoku book. I have been a freelance writer my whole career and have started numerous books. It was a totally crazy, surprising idea.

The Tao of Sudoku: Yoga for the Brain and our series was born. I asked my game creator brother Rick, to be the Puzzle Master and away we went! Since its publication, we have earned several literary awards. The book was so well received and we had so much fun creating the book, we decided to keep going. I invited my friends to play with me. Darity Wesley agreed so here we are now.

How did you work with the other contributors to the book?

The group synergy is an essential element of this book. Oracle Darity Wesley is my longtime colleague; Puzzle Master Rick Smith is my brother, and our Editor Extraordinaire is my lifelong friend Melissa Morgan. We collaborate, communicate and cooperate. We are highly supportive of each other’s expertise and perspective and enjoy highlighting our unique gifts. There’s a lot of love flowing in the veins of the entire process. Creating this book was an alchemical process. We all poured our best selves in to offer you our gold.

How would you recommend this book be best used?

The best way to use this book is one that feels right to you. It may vary depending on where your life is at in the moment. It could be used as a divination. Open the closed book and see what message comes to you. It could be used as a mindfulness practice. Notice perceptions and actions while doing a few puzzles and see what you can learn about yourself. It can be used as a personal mastery tool. You can pick a topic, work with the mantra for a period of time and see what happens. It is a wonderful way to entertain, maintain and train your mind. It’s great fun to do while traveling or waiting. Or you can just zip right through and enjoy the pure pleasure of puzzling.

What are the benefits of using Mantras?

Mantras are the yoga postures of the mind. They can quiet the mind so we can go beyond our brains to hear wisdom’s whispers. Like forms of hatha yoga, there are a variety of types and practices that can produce different results. They can help us shift our core beliefs by intentionally reprogramming our thought patterns.

Why did you use the Eye of Horus on your cover?

The cover of each book in our series, created by Rick, features a sacred symbol. The Yin/Yang is on The Tao of Sudoku: Yoga for the Brain. Our third book, The Word Search Sage: Yoga for the Brain, publishing in September 2017, will feature the ankh. The ancient Egyptian Eye of Horus on this book cover is particularly meaningful to Darity. It was part of the logo for her privacy and information security technology firm, Privacy Solutions, Inc., and now her A Modern Day Oracle™ logo. The Eye has a variety of meanings including protection, wisdom and health.

Please share your advice to readers.

Here are 10 tips to increasing your happiness quotient:

10. Nourish your curiosity.

9.  Offer your gifts.

8.  Give yourself credit for your successes.

7.  Fuel your love of learning.

6.  Think about what brings you joy.

5.  Be kind to yourself and others.

4.  Connect with your spiritual world daily.

3.  Remember you have a body.

2.  Have fun! It will sustain you as much as work.

1.  Know yourself better every day.

The Word Search Oracle: Yoga for the Brain and The Tao of Sudoku: Yoga for the Brain are both available on Amazon.com. To learn more or connect with Cristina Smith, see

https://www.facebook.com/CristinaEnergy/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9831520.Cristina_Smith

Namaste!

Becca Chopra, author of The Chakra DiariesChakra SecretsBalance Your Chakras-Balance Your Lifeand The Chakra Energy Diet
www.theChakras.org

The Chakra Blog

 

 

 

 

 

How Meditation and Contemplative Prayer Can Deepen your Spiritual Life- FINDING GOD IN THE BODY #BookReview and #Author Interview


book-cover-fullMany of my friends and I consider ourselves “spiritual, not religious,” having been turned off by the organized religions we grew up with. But how does one follow a spiritual path with no guidance? Yes, we meditate and do yoga and try to be good people, but what else?

Finding God in the Body by Benjamin Riggs offers “A Spiritual Path for the Modern West.” For those of us with Western sensibilities but an affinity toward the practices of Buddhism or other Eastern religions, Riggs offers a path that looks with fresh eyes at the Judeo-Christian texts and combines their spiritual teachings with practices, such as meditation, of the East.

“The spiritual path is the mind’s return to the naked awareness of the body…. It is about dropping the narrative, relaxing the tension, and taking refuge in our True Life.”

Author Benjamin Riggs spent years studying the contemplative core of Christianity where he found a mythos of God within, more concerned with daily life than the hereafter. He explains the Bible and Judeo-Christian writings in a very enlightening way, following the Jewish tradition of storytelling to understand the Bible’s message in today’s world.

The author references the most important teachings of Jewish, Christian and Buddhist teachers such as Dr. Reginald Ray, Thomas Merton, Joseph Campbell, Fr. Thomas Keating, Thomas Aquinas, Rabbi David Cooper and M. Scott Peck, who wrote:

“If you desire wisdom greater than your own, you can find it inside of you…. To put it plainly, our unconscious is God. God within us…”

Finding God in the Body offers instruction in a spiritual practice that helps embody the mystery of God that lives within our body… both through contemplative prayer to bring us into the body, the God of the body, and through meditation to discover the underlying emptiness of the mind.

In the end, Riggs offers a way to develop a personal relationship with God, living in the Will of God:

“Undoubtedly this will have a great effect on our quality of life, how we treat others, and the world in which we live. It will transform the world.”

What more could the spiritual seeker ask?

Here is my interview with Benjamin Riggs, author, columnist and the founder and director of the Refuge Meditation Group in Shreveport, Louisiana…

Can you give us a synopsis of your own spiritual studies/journey?

There is an awful lot of overlap between Buddhism and Christianity in my personal spirituality. Buddhism brought me onto the spiritual path. When I first became interested in spirituality at the age of 17, I was too resentful toward Christianity to even consider a Christian approach. Years later I happened across a Thomas Merton book that changed all of that. Most of my training has been within the Buddhist tradition, but about 5 years ago, I quit thinking of myself as a Buddhist. Most all of the practices I regularly do are from the Buddhist tradition, but the symbolism and language of contemplative Judaism and Christianity resonates more with me than the Buddhist language does now. I can see myself as a Christian atheist and a Buddhist theist. So conceptually I have a hard time labeling this Buddhist-Christian hybrid spirituality, but it is all very seamless for me in practice.

How would you explain the title of the book?

God is not an old, white man in the sky that created the universe and is now charged with the task of overseeing its day to day functions. A growing number of Westerners are disillusioned with this conception of God and are looking for something that does not offend their modern, scientific sensibilities. That is the “modern spiritual” part of the title. As for “god and the body,” God is the Ground of Being. It is in the body that we connect with the experience of Being. Finally, “path.” Resurrecting the God of the body requires a path of practice.

What was your purpose in writing this book?

I initially planned to compile a catalog of my past articles on Elephant Journal and publish them as a book. But once I sat down and started writing, the project evolved. As I said before, there is a lot of overlap in my personal spirituality with Buddhism and Christianity. So I started to outline a spiritual path that had proven effective for me and figured it would resonate with a lot of other people. A lot of Westerners are looking for a more practical spirituality. They want something that works in this life, something that helps them work with stress, fear, anger, and meaninglessness. Buddhism offers practices that meet this need, so a lot of people are drifting toward the Eastern philosophy section at their local bookstores. But then they bump into another problem: The practices are great, but the language, symbolism, and the mythos of Eastern religion are foreign and far removed from the Western psyche. It just doesn’t resonate. So I wanted to write a book that wedded the two. I wanted to outline a spiritual path that included a system of practice and a mythos that resonated with the Western mind without offending our modern, scientific sensibilities. That is what Finding God in the Body does.

What is your definition of spirituality or the spiritual path?

Spirituality is a view (often expressed in mythological terms) that transcends the superficial levels of self-centered consciousness wedded to a system of practice that enables us to embody those deeper levels of selfless awareness.

What message would you like readers to take away from this book?

I would like readers to take away two things: Spirituality is and has to be immediately concerned with the reality of day-to-day life. And it is has to be supported by practice, lest it become just another system of wishful thinking.

How would you define God?

God is the Ground of Being, the Isness of all that is. God is NOT the prime mover or the reason for existence, but existence itself, which through our life we participate in.

I found your explanations of texts in the Bible very elucidating. For example, can you share how you interpret Jesus as the Christ?

Most people see the name Jesus Christ as if Christ was Jesus’ last name. Christ is a symbol synonymous with the firstborn of all creation, the image of God (imago dei) which lives within man as our True Nature. In the Gospels, Christ is made manifest through the life and actions of Jesus. But we are all called to be a light unto the world – to allow the light of True Self to shine so bright that it blots out the characteristics of the false-self. That light is the indwelling image of God, the experience of Being, I Am-ness, or Christ. Jesus was a Jewish man that consented to the experience of being and enabled God to be born into the world through his life.

How would you describe the “false self” vs. the “true self?”

The True Self is the unmediated, ever-unfolding experience of life, which for the sake of conversation, has to be localized and called me or this life. This localization is the ego, which is perfectly natural and necessary. The ego is a conceptual overlay generated by the thinking mind and projected out into the world that enables us to communicate, navigate through the world, etc. It is a projection, a proxy self, so to speak. When we confuse that projected self for the real thing, it becomes a false self.

Can you sum up the path/practices you recommend for those seeking to “live fully?”

Living fully means living in wholeness. The view aspect of spirituality must transcend our sense of brokenness or incompleteness. It must move beyond those superficial, codependent levels of conceptual identification and down into the selflessness of undifferentiated awareness where we find fullness.

How can one best tap into the unconscious wisdom of the body?

The unconscious wisdom of the body flows forth from silence. But you cannot make silence happen, because any attempt to do so is noise. You can only make yourself prone to moments of silence. This is the practice of contemplative prayer and meditation. But any practice can be meditative: taking a walk or run, washing the dishes. Silence is the natural state of affairs. We are just doing what we are doing there is silence.

What would you say is the meaning of life?

The meaning of life is to live, which is why you are alive. Any attempt to add meaning beyond that is in my opinion just noise. But that is not to say that life is meaningless. The experience of life is in itself meaningful. When you are present, awake, engaged, you are not looking for meaning. You are content. The search for meaning comes from a place of brokenness or incompleteness.

Finding God in the Body is available on Amazon.com. For more information, see FindingGodInTheBody.com or connect with the author at Facebook.com/FindingGodInTheBody and Twitter.com/Benjamin_Riggs

Namaste!
Becca Chopra, author of The Chakra DiariesChakra SecretsBalance the Chakras, Balance Your Lifeand The Chakra Energy Diet

www.theChakras.org

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