Musings and Reviews of Metaphysical, New Age and Meaningful Writings

Posts tagged ‘Finding God in the Body’

Holiday Book Contest: Win a Year’s Worth of Inspirational Reads


Screen Shot 2017-11-25 at 11.13.21 AMThe holidays are upon us, and as always I am very grateful for YOU the readers, and all the authors who inspire us on our spiritual journeys.

I also appreciate all of your shares and likes of posts here on Facebook and Twitter. My intention with this blog is to break through the dark places on the internet with light- and love-filled connections.

Following are many of the favorite books I’ve reviewed this year. The authors have been kind enough to donate their paperbacks, so the winners of the HOLIDAY GIVEAWAY will have a bevy of books as New Year inspiration or to gift to just the right family member or friend.

To be entered to win, please comment with a wish for the world in 2018. Be sure to enter your email address so that I may contact you if you win. If you’d rather comment anonymously, send your comment to Becca@theChakras.org to enter.

On December 10, my son will draw the names of the two lucky winners who will each receive several books in time for Christmas.

Screen Shot 2017-11-17 at 10.32.21 AMHere are some of the books you can win:

Cristina Smith has donated her books in the Yoga for the Brain Series including The Word Search Sage, and The Word Search Oracle. These puzzle books offer a creative, fun, meditative respite from the busy chatter of the mind… while flexing your brain.

These books combine fun word games with profound insights, and are remarkable tools for spiritual development and self-realization.

 

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The subtitle of Joy! Joy! Joy! says it all: 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 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 skin brushing skin, meditating and doing good for others.

 

 

A Few Minor Adjustments front cover

A Few Minor Adjustments is the tongue-in-cheek title of Cherie Kephart’s memoir of surviving undiagnosed illness. It is an astonishing story of how many of our modern diseases (such as chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, Epstein-Barr virus and Lyme disease) can easily go undiagnosed or disregarded.

Kephart’s account of her own incredible journey to find life-saving answers should inspire anyone to continue to fight on all levels – physical, mental and spiritual – to heal.

 

 

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, 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.

 

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How can a book of poetry bring magic into your life? Louis Alan Swartz has done this, writing of life and death in a way that stirs your soul and makes your heart sing in Magic Realized and Other Poems on the Human SpiritReading this volume from beginning to end, you feel like you’ve had a glimpse of a blessed life, as the author touches on Love and Marriage; Children; Grandmothers, Grandfathers, Mothers and Fathers; Human Sanctity; Aesthetics; Ideas, Images, and Places; and Death, the Spirit and Immortality.

 

 

Screen Shot 2017-09-12 at 11.39.46 AMAre you living the life that you truly want? We ALL need to improve certain areas of our lives, but HOW? In Joyful Transformation, Debra Meehl, D.D., and Kristin Smith, L.C., help you figure out what you want to do differently and how to more easily make that happen.

The 22 Keys to Reclaiming Your Authenticity contains offer a holistic, positive approach, focusing on what you want, not on what you don’t want.

 

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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.

 

 

 

thaddeus_squirrel_frontHow does passion lead to purpose? In Thaddeus Squirrel: A Spiritual Fable, a YA novel, the main character realizes that working day and night foraging for acorns, more than he would ever need, is meaningless to him. He ends up running away from his tribe of squirrels as he’s not accepted for his difference of opinion. On his journey, he is gravely injured by a dog, then cared for by a group of chipmunks who have wisdom to share… offering Thaddeus new questions to peruse and new ideas to consider… ultimately, that his life has meaning, and it’s up to him to find that meaning within himself.

 

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One of the most useful guides I’ve ever read for self-healing and for energy healers is Be Yourself and Be Well: Connecting with your Soul’s Power to Heal. Dr. Steven Hiebert provides inspirational words and exercises to help the reader access the power of their own spirit… the power that makes healing possible.

Dr. Hiebert emphasizes the loving energy that is the basis of everything, the energy that provides all the answers to who you are and what you want.

 

 

PrincipleofOnenessMany have said “We are all one,” but what does that really mean? In The Principle of Oneness, Author Russell Anthony Gibbs explains the science behind the connections of everything — both physical matter and nonphysical energy. He supports his points with quotes from scientists, enlightened beings, spiritual leaders, philosophers and others. Great minds like Albert Einstein, Buddha, Aristotle, Rumi and Jesus all understood the profound Oneness of the Universe. Gibbs further clarifies some of the misconception about the Universe/God as well as explains how to live and experience the Principle of Oneness.

 

The Chakra Energy Diet coverIn The Chakra Energy Diet, now available in paperback, I share my passion to be mindful of how we choose to nourish ourselves. I have found that the best place for EVERYONE to start is by eating fresh, whole foods, focusing on the colorful array of vegetables and fruit that are available, and using my helpful tips to eliminate the stress that is affecting your health and your waistline.

No one diet is right for everyone – take the quiz and find out which of your chakras need more nurturing to balance your energies.

 

Remember, to be entered to win, please comment below with a wish for the world in 2018. Be sure to include your email address so that I may contact you, or send your comment to Becca@theChakras.org to enter.

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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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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