Musings and Reviews of Metaphysical, New Age and Meaningful Writings

Archive for the ‘Reincarnation’ Category

A Novel Look at Love and Forgiveness – IMPLICIT: Soul Invictus #BookReview and #AuthorInterview


Implicit-10-16-17 CoverIMPLICIT: Soul Invictus contains both wildly imaginative stories of a woman’s many incarnations, worlds, and adventures, and a profound discussion on the meaning of life, love and forgiveness.

Maya Lee is a law professor holding a grudge, which we might all do if we were in the same situation – being unjustly fired. But as we follow her soul through many other incarnations in both ancient and modern times and places, a theme emerges – about forgiveness, about love, about what is real and what isn’t.

“It’s not what happens in life, but our opinions about what happens that trouble men… Or women,” she learns in one of her incarnations.

In another incarnation, as a lawyer in ancient Rome, the protagonist Marcus learns, “…try your best, right? But then just let it go. Stop thinking about it.”  

As the reader, we learn along with the characters – “Forgive, and only love remains.”

The life and death stories in this novel touch on everything that makes life profound, beautiful, absurd, and heartbreaking. We follow each incarnation of Maya into the afterlife and learn:

“Love is. Love doesn’t go anywhere or come from anywhere. No thought of love is ever lost. You take it with you. Love is all that there is. And love is everywhere.”

Thanks to author Mark Tiro for this inspirational novel, and for answering my questions here about IMPLICIT: Soul Invictus

AUTHOR INTERVIEW

Have you incorporated any of your own past into your writing?

A lot of people ask me after reading the book if the character of Maya Lee is real. Before I started to write, like Maya, I had worked as a public defender in Los Angeles. I’ve tried to incorporate snippets of a lot of things, personalities and places, that I’ve gotten to know – to see – close up… Once I was able to sit down and reflect on it all though, I realized just how deep and profound – how much of an impact – some of these things I’ve seen have had on me.

“Still waters run deep,” as Marianne Williamson used to say. And so, the closest thing I can say about Maya is that she’s arguably the best lawyer I’ve ever known… But of course, maybe that’s why I ended up a better writer than I ever had been a lawyer. Somewhere deep down, I’ve always known not to get in a fight with Maya because she’d probably win.

What inspired you to write IMPLICIT?

I used to work out at the gym, years ago, a lot more than I do now. One day, a friend of mine who lived within walking distance invited me over for lunch, after our workout. Well, on his bookshelf, he had all these books – some I’d heard of, some were new to me. Everything from Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance to Way of the Peaceful Warrior to Paolo Coehlo’s The Alchemist.

He also had a tattered, old paperback copy of Richard Bach’s Illusions. He lent it to me that day, and I took it home and read it. That book – the ideas in it, I think, was what really set me on my life path.

I then read The Celestine Prophecy, The Prophet, Man’s Search for Meaning… even Mitch Albom’s Tuesday’s with Morrie. Eventually these all led me at some point, to a trip to Temecula and a quiet afternoon where I was able to meet Ken Wapnick. I really did come to appreciate his non-judgmental/forgiving take on A Course in Miracles.

What would you like readers to take away from the book?

I wanted to, above all, let readers get to know characters they would actually care about. So many spiritual parables seem to be so wooden. And so much spiritual non-fiction is just not as easy – at least for me – to read today as it used to be, years ago, before the internet.

Most of us now, because of the internet, Twitter, Facebook – being so interconnected – our attention span’s basically shot. The cardinal sin or maybe ‘cardinal rule’ now of anything, whether it’s a book, TV, a movie or a Facebook post, is just this: ‘Don’t be boring.’

And after years of ‘searching,’ I’d finally hit on something that helped lift the heaviness, the depression… something that helped me to just relax and not feel self-conscious when I was with people. As far back as I could remember, I’d always been on my own elusive search for the meaning of life, always trying to find an answer that just ‘felt right.’

I tried to show how this stuff actually looks in life – in this world we all seem to live in here.

Also, a lot of people don’t catch it the first time they read IMPLICIT: Soul Invictus, but I was curious how it would look in the real world, as someone goes through the stages of the ‘development of trust’ that A Course in Miracles describes. Maya’s journey takes her through all of it, and I was as surprised as anybody by the time I got to the end. It turned out that Maya’s journey didn’t look anything like I’d expected it would when I first sat down to begin writing.

In your Author’s Note, you say some of Maya’s lifetimes involve real people in history, such as the Greek stoic philosopher Epictetus. Why did you want to include them?

One of the themes that runs through and permeates the book is that in reality, time is not linear. Epictetus taught what we call ‘stoic philosophy.’ But Epictetus’ stoicism was only about one step removed from the Freudian Vedanta of A Course in Miracles that we know today. It’s also quite in line with a lot of the Gnostic teachings, and had quite a lot more in common with the Gospel of Thomas and non-dualistic Buddhism, than with what we think of today as ‘stoic.’

Plus, here was this great teacher – he was a giant, even in his own time, who at the end of his life, settled down with a woman he didn’t marry, and whose name has been lost to history, in order to raise the child of a friend (one who’d presumably died or been sent off) so that the baby wouldn’t die or be sold off into slavery. It was such a human thing to do – it really embodied all his teachings. I was really excited when I discovered I’d have an opportunity to write about that.

And of course, it just so happens that I knew of someone [an incarnation of Maya], who by complete coincidence, happened to be on a ship sailing to just the right place, at just the right time…

How is IMPLICIT connected to the next book you’re publishing in December and what can you tell us about that book?

A lot of people don’t know this, but IMPLICIT: Soul Invictus is actually the second novel I’ve written about Maya Lee. The first one I wrote actually slots in perfectly right behind it. So while IMPLICIT: Soul Invictus really is the beginning of Maya’s story – of the entire Spirit Invictus Series for that matter – in December, Book Two, ALL THESE THINGS: Maya Invictus, comes out. That book will actually go even deeper into Maya’s younger (and slightly wilder) years.

That book will tell the story of Maya and David [a client and spiritual teacher], and how Maya’s toughest and most brilliant courtroom battle jettisoned her off on an unplanned detour into her own personal dark night of the soul. The favorite feedback I’ve heard from my early readers is this quote: “Inner peace with an attitude – could be called Way of the Peaceful Lawyer!”

I’m also giving away a free novella called ONE MORE THING: The Lost Interview. It’s a small little snippet of Maya’s life after the events of – and complimentary to – ALL THESE THINGS.

You can download the free novella and learn more about the Spirit Invictus Series at www.MarkTiro.com.

IMPLICIT: Soul Invictus is available on Amazon Kindle at the special price of just $.99 through November 4, so download it today.

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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Bringing Heaven to Earth with Dr. Christiane Northrup: Making Life Easy #BookReview


Screen Shot 2017-05-10 at 2.23.55 PMA book I have had for many years and still reference is Dr. Christiane Northrup’s groundbreaking Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom. Now, her latest book, Making Life Easy will join it on my “indispensable book” shelf.

In this book, Dr. Northrup shares all the insight she has gained in her 60-something years to help readers find peace and well-being not only in body, but also mind and Spirit. And also how they are inextricably connected in creating your own personal heaven in your life.

She writes how as an OB-GYN trying to make a difference in her practice, honoring the wisdom of women’s bodies, she faced roadblocks until she discovered that… “my strength and help lay in my connection with the Creator rather than simply myself.”

So how does one connect with Divine inspiration? First, she writes we need to understand that we are Souls rather than bodies, and accept the concept of reincarnation and clear karmic baggage from past lives.

“Understanding the true immortal nature of yourself – understanding that your Soul is on a journey through many lifetimes – is a powerful tool in your efforts to make life easy.”

Dr. Northrup describes how to get in touch with the Divine, establishing a relationship with the nonphysical aspect of yourself. One of the first things she explains is how to understand the obstacle of the ego and love it away. She shares healing processes such as Past-Life Regression, Divine Love Petitions, How to Work with and Interpret your Dreams, Simple Meditations, and Consciously Receiving From Nature.

So, what is the purpose of all these processes? To have more faith in God and the Divine than we do in our own ego, which uses fear to protect oneself from feeling pain, loss and sorrow.

How often do we try to make sense of things that go wrong in our lives? She writes:

“Faith that things happen for a reason is really the only way through…. When you practice true surrender and offer everything to the Divine – over and over and over – you will eventually discover true spaciousness and peace opening up before you and within you. You will have transformed your fear into faith.”

Once Dr. Northrup shares her insight into your Soul, she provides advice on how to best take care of your body, from stretching and releasing your fascia, regular exercise, practicing balance, eating well, and enhancing food with love.

One of the most interesting sections of the book, for me, was the chapter on Tending Your Vital Life Force… that Sacral Chakra creative surge that comes through our bodies, minds and Spirits as physical pleasure, desire, excitement, sexuality, curiosity, art, music, and reproduction of the species. Dr. Northrup explains the deep connection between sexuality and spirituality and shares how to Turn Yourself On to Life, Pursue Pleasure Deliberately, Engage in Mindful Sexual Expression, and Owning and Operating Your Erotic Anatomy.

Making Life Easy ends with a chapter on the Power of Community, and how to find your “tribe,” the people with whom you can have a real connection, acceptance and intimacy.

To become part of Dr. Northrup’s tribe, connect through her Internet radio show Flourish!, on social media, and her website, www.drnothrup.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

 

 

 

 

 

Why is the Dalai Lama Always Smiling? #BookReview


screen-shot-2016-12-22-at-3-36-03-pmHow can the Dalai Lama always be smiling and full of love and forgiveness given what has happened during his lifetime to the Tibetan people? In Lama Tsomo’s encyclopedic introduction to Tibetan Buddhism, Why Is the Dalai Lama Always Smiling?: A Westerner’s Introduction and Guide to Tibetan Buddhist Practice, she answers this question in depth, having followed the same ancient traditions to find a new way of living for herself.

I now understand why and how the Dalai Lama, and the monks and people who were lucky enough to flee Tibet when the Chinese took over, did not suffer PTSD despite the horrors experienced, and were able to feel compassion for their persecutors.

Lama Tsomo offers a guide to Tibetan Buddhism with steps to build a meditation practice that will lead you to the same inner peace as the Dalai Lama. She starts with an interesting account of her own spiritual exploration, while going through two failed marriages and having three children. After a 25-year spiritual quest, she found the teacher who would offer a course of study for her spiritual enlightenment whom she trusted when she met Tulku Sangak Rinpoche.

Despite the fact that she feels any serious student of Tibetan Buddhism needs to study with qualified masters (retreats or total immersion worked best for her), she does provide sufficient background in the Buddha’s teachings along with techniques which can be tried on one’s own. These techniques are designed to help remove ego identification to allow our true nature of compassionate awareness to shine forth. It will take a lot of time and effort, but as the author asks, “Do I have something better to do?”

Lama Tsomo recounts scientific evidence that the meditation practices of Tibetan Buddhism can help one replace knee-jerk reactions to people and situations with more balance, constructive responses, and improve one’s focus, memory and mood. Instead of clinging to one’s small, separate self, even in times of misery, the seeker of enlightenment learns to see themselves as one with the vast ocean, the one great mind, and be motivated to help others with love and compassion.

The book includes an envelope of practice cards that you can use to build a daily practice and see if you are called to immerse yourself further in Tibetan Buddhism. If so, she offers numerous resources, including books, other media and websites.

This book is not one I could read straight through, but rather dip into and contemplate what I was learning a little at a time. While a glossy paperback with beautiful color photographs, at its heart, it is a serious textbook for those who want a guide to practicing Tibetan Buddhism.

It can be a bit overwhelming as a first introduction to Buddhism (even with the glossary), but for the serious student, this could be an invaluable guide on their path. If you think you’d like to start 2017 with a serious spiritual effort to achieve your own Buddha nature, reading this book could be a wonderful start.

Why is the Dalai Lama Always Smiling? is available in Kindle, paperback, Audible and in MP3 CD versions.

Namaste!
Becca Chopra, author of The Chakra Diaries, Chakra Secrets (FREE through Dec. 23), Balance Your Chakras-Balance Your Life, and The Chakra Energy Diet

www.theChakras.org

Chakra Blog

 

Chakra Secrets #FreeKindle about the Rugged Road to Health and Happiness


Chakra SecretsThere’s no better way to share the holiday spirit than to share a tale encompassing all my actions and emotions – good and bad – with a happy ending and an instant healing technique everyone can use. So, I invite you to download a FREE copy of CHAKRA SECRETS through Friday, December 23.

Here’s a review of the book by a reader on Amazon.com:

 Chakra Balancing, Past Lives, Yoga and More!

“Began this book at Midnight, read straight through until 4 a.m. and waited until the light of day to review.

All of the cliches fit: cliff hanger, couldn’t put it down, fast-paced, brilliant writing…yes, all that with an important message: life is the same for everyone, we hurt, we grieve, we suffer, we have moments of joy and passion, and we are all subject to the same feelings.

We are born and re-born both physically, as in reincarnation, and spiritually, as in evolution of the soul…and there are very real modalities that we can employ to overcome our private agonies and move along our spiritual path to fuse with the light. That’s the simplistic version.

Author Becca Chopra put herself out on a limb with this autobiographical novel in which she introduces powerful, spiritual healing modalities in a very earthy way. She covers yogis gone wild, drugs, passion, longing, as she takes you on a breathless journey from actress to respected yoga teacher, an amazing roller coaster ride that introduces yoga, rainbow tantra, tantric gurus, macrobiotic diet, past life regression, acro-yoga, Ho’opono’pono and a very effective Huna Dynamind technique which can be practiced at home.

The storyline is complex yet unfolds simply and easily, propelling the reader right to the happy ending. And after all the twists and turns, one is certainly ready for that relaxing out breath and release.”

I look forward to sharing my story with YOU also – I invite you to download CHAKRA SECRETS – the Kindle version can be read on virtually ANY smart device.

PLEASE SHARE THIS WITH YOUR FRIENDS AND MAY YOU ALL ENJOY THIS HEALING JOURNEY.

Namaste!
Becca Chopra, author of The Chakra Diaries, Chakra Secrets, Balance Your Chakras-Balance Your Life, and The Chakra Energy Diet

www.theChakras.org

Chakra Blog

 

Walking in Grace with Grief – Review and Author Interview


WalkGrace text_Layout 1One of my best friends lost her son in an accident and I felt the terrible anguish she and her family faced. I couldn’t imagine how one could go on to grow stronger and more centered in the midst of such tremendous grief. The answers came to me in Walking in Grace with Grief: Meditations for Healing After Loss by Della Temple. She beautifully offers her personal story of the loss of her son and the path she took to release her pain and find comfort in a continuing connection to him. She also describes how others can be of help to those suffering a loss, something we all need to know.

Part memoir and part meditation guide, Temple offers powerful guided visualizations to ground yourself, release the pain, grow stronger by filling yourself with universal energy and connecting to your higher self.

Using her meditations, you too can choose a path of growth and strength and release pain and grief, whatever your own personal struggles. Temple explains how to “let go of the story, the story of what would or could have been.”

Della Temple is an author whose writings meld the worlds of the physical and the metaphysical, a teacher and an energy healer. Here, she answers my questions:

INTERVIEW WITH DELLA TEMPLE


Becca: How would you describe the term “Walking in Grace?”

Della: A few days after the unexpected death of my son, I found myself in what I refer to as a state of Grace. I don’t know how else to explain it. I didn’t feel anger or rage against God. I experienced sorrow, a deep, fathomless sadness, grief, love, acceptance, compassion, and happiness – yes happiness – all at once. I felt the Divine surrounding me, in what I call the energy of Grace, offering me comfort and support.

I lived in this protective coating of Grace for most of the first year. It went wherever I went – and it literally felt like I was walking in a bubble of Grace. I wanted to include that in the title of my book, but there was also another part of my experience that was equally important. I don’t believe we walk through grief because grief isn’t something we get over. We walk with grief for the rest of our lives. We will always feel the hole in the heart left by the death of our loved one. The pain lessens, but grief is with us always. Walking in grace with grief is a very literal description of how I felt that first year of loss.

Becca: What message would you most like readers to get from your book?

Della: Often, we are so caught up in the emotions of sorrow, sadness, grief, anger, rebellion, and outright rage that we fail to hear our loved ones’ voices. But they are here. They constantly surround us with their love and support. We just have to open ourselves up to be able to receive their messages.

I often felt my son surrounding me in love and comfort—especially during the first year after his passing. I accepted this as a natural occurrence, and our Spirit-to-Spirit talks became an integral part of my healing journey. When we talked, he exhibited some of the same personality traits as in the body, and his sense of humor and playfulness helped ease my sorrow. I treasured these conversations because, believe it or not, they kept me rooted to the earth. They confirmed my deep faith that my son Rick had just changed form – the body had died, but his soul, the being-ness of my son was very much still “alive.”

What I’ve heard from readers is that some of them don’t believe they have the ability to talk Spirit-to-Spirit with their loved ones. Some even believe that they are not worthy or intuitive enough to communicate in this way.

What I tell them is to try.

One of the easiest ways to do this is to step into meditation. Daily meditation offers us the opportunity to quiet the outside voices and tune into our inner knowingness. Often our loved ones can reach into this space of soft awareness and let us know they are watching over us.

Rick’s presence in my life – his Spirit’s presence – confirmed my deep faith in life after life. My mountain of sorrow was lessened because I knew he existed as Spirit, and that was very healing.

Becca: We all hear about immersing ourselves in the present moment. What are your tips for doing so, to not focus on what could have been?

Della: I’ve come to think that grief is two-fold. It’s the painful longing for the physical presence of our loved one, and it’s the emotional heartache we feel as we disengage from these unfulfilled dreams, the sorrows of what could have been. The stories of a life unlived.

Every time my thoughts wandered to the what-if-he-had-lived stories, I pulled myself back. I literally would not allow myself to experience those thoughts. I chose another thought. I would force myself to think of something else – to remember a time from the past when he made me laugh, or to remember his voice or his smell. Anything but a what-if-he’d-lived story. This took energy and effort, but I think it made the difference in how I healed.

I shifted the thought and experienced my sorrow in a different vibration if that makes any sense. It was a higher, cleaner vibration – a healing vibration full of love and mercy. This vibration felt full of acceptance, kindness, and gentleness. I knew that if I could stay in this vibration – if I could surround myself with thoughts and feelings that resonated there – I could heal this deep wound. I had energy tools to help me stay in this vibration, and I share those tools with the reader throughout the book, so they too can stay out of the mire of what-could-have-been.

Defusing the power of the story allows you to return to the present, the now, the current situation without the baggage of what could have been, should have been, or wasn’t meant to be. Releasing my old stories allowed me to look at Rick’s death from a new perspective. It wasn’t about what could have been. It’s about what is – right here, right now. I still felt the pain, but it was a pain of missing my loved one right here, right now. It was not about all the future things that would not be.

Becca: What helped you most during your time of grieving?

Della: What helped me most during this time of sorrow was to embrace fully the concept of life after death. I have always believed in reincarnation – that we exist as eternal Spirits and come to earth to experience certain challenges and emotions. As we make ready for our trip to earth, we call together the Spirit forms of our soon-to-be-parents, siblings, friends, and colleagues. God is there too. We gather around a big “conference table in the sky,” and we design our soon-to-be life. We think about what our main purpose will be in this lifetime, and we design a life that presents many challenges and learning opportunities. Some of us choose to deal with only one issue; others choose many. Everyone at the table agrees to be a participant in this Contract of Life. Some will choose to be our mentors and trusted friends. Others will choose the harder role of being the “mirrors,” the ones who push our buttons and cause strife and disharmony. Each will take on a role that enhances the learning opportunity of both parties.

This Contract of Life includes many variables, or different paths that a person may take once they come to earth. Some paths are straight and narrow, leading right to the person’s overarching purpose while other paths are full of curves and unexpected dips and bumps. Some life paths are long, and others are short. Every day that a person is alive, she or he chooses which path to travel. This is free will in action.

Becca: What advice do you have for first-time authors who feel they have inspiration to share?

Della: Write! Journal, doodle, scribble – it doesn’t make any difference. Just move your story out into the world. Some people I know are more comfortable doing short videos, others write poetry. Don’t worry about whether it’s “good enough” – just share. You will get feedback along the way about your writing style, and that will help you craft your message so that it resonates with your audience. Most of us (especially me!) worry about what others think of our writing. Some of the energy tools I teach in this book helped to tame my inner critic, giving me the confidence and willingness to share.

Walking in Grace with Grief is available at Amazon.com. To contact the author, go to www.DellaTemple.com.

Namaste!

Becca Chopra, author of The Chakra Diaries, Chakra Secrets, Balance Your Chakras-Balance Your Life, and The Chakra Energy Diet

www.theChakras.org

www.ChakraDiaries.wordpress.com

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