Musings and Reviews of Metaphysical, New Age and Meaningful Writings

Posts tagged ‘love’

Forgiveness is the Way Out of Pain: ALL THESE THINGS: Maya Invictus #Book Review and #AuthorNote


All these Things coverALL THESE THINGS: Maya Invictus is both an engrossing and inspirational novel of the life of public defender Maya Lee and the enlightened master who changes her life… who also just so happens to be charged with murder. 

This is the second in the Soul Invictus series from Mark Tiro. His first book, IMPLICIT: Soul Invictus, which I reviewed here, is the epic sweep of Maya’s journey through time and lifetimes, from beginning to end, until she decides that forgiving is less painful than continuing to carry around all her soul’s unconscious guilt.

In ALL THESE THINGS, we meet Maya as a young trial attorney who cannot escape her feelings of “a drifting emptiness,” and the pain her own thinking and anger are causing. She meets an enigmatic client, David, who is charged with the murder of his young daughter in a car crash. Why the District Attorney claims it is murder is just as much of a puzzle to Maya as why David is so stoic and calm, saying, “Don’t worry, she’s not gone. No thought of love is ever lost.”

David teaches Maya how he learned to watch his thoughts without judging them, and as each one would come up, he’d practice letting them go. He realized his problems didn’t come from the outside world, but his inner thoughts and reactions.

“…when he would recognize that he had gotten angry, when he would find that he had become anxious—he would consciously look at those thoughts, and then choose to overlook them. To forgive them. The result of this practice had been that he rarely found himself with anything but a quiet, peaceful mind…”

In another scene in his jail cell, David explains:

“Maybe we can’t change the world. But I can tell you, even in here, we are always free to change our minds about the world.”

Maya may not be ready to hear David’s philosophy that “The entire world is a projection,” but her interaction with him leads to radical changes in her life as she practices the willingness to forgive.

AUTHOR’S NOTE ON ALL THESE THINGS: Maya Invictus

Mark Tiro: After reading the book, many people have asked if Maya or David were real people. Sadly, the answer is no to both, although I’ve wondered more than once how I might react if an enlightened master showed up in my life at 2:00 pm on a random Tuesday.

The name of the book—All These Things—started with Augustine of Hippo. Before he was known as the great thinker he would later become, he may have been more famous—or as we might say today, infamous—for an impassioned prayer of his youth.

“Lord, make me chaste—but please not today!”

At some point after that promising start, he settled down, eventually coming full circle to this:

“If I ever know and see God in the way in which God can be seen, then all these things will disappear from my thoughts; even now, because of my love for God, they hardly enter my mind.”

The bookend to that comes from a Course in Miracles.

“I will forgive, and this will disappear.”

From these two book-ended ideas, the name and a fair amount of the concept behind All These Things as well, flowed relatively unimpeded onto the cover and into the pages within.

‘Relatively’—because it is always dangerous to underestimate my uncanny ability to complicate even the most straightforward of ideas.

A name, of course, does not make a novel.

And so I hope I’ve given Maya the room to breathe and stretch her wings, and above all—to be herself and fly free.

For now, Maya and David don’t come by anymore.

Late at night though, every so often, others stop by where they once did, to share their thoughts and their stories. I stay awake, here, listening, waiting, thinking…

Still… I would be lying if I didn’t say that some small part of me holds just the smallest hope that one quiet night, Maya or David might just decide to drop by unannounced.

To spend some time catching up over a late night cup of coffee, or a glass of wine…

Occasionally the sound of a far-away cricket will drift in to interrupt my reverie.

This is when the words come.

This is when, if I stop talking and listen just so, the faintest of melodies is carried in on the gentle breeze.

This is the time I sit with my wine, quietly off to the side. Just listening. Quietly listening as the winds carry their stories in from times and places far away.

I have the easy job. It’s one simple thing.

It’s just to get out of the way.

To listen.

Listen, and then—to write, as faithfully and thoughtfully as I am capable.

WHAT’S NEXT IN THE SPIRIT INVICTUS SERIES?

Mark Tiro: Book 3 of the Spirit Invictus series should be finished by the beginning of next year. It might be the last one in the series (after all, Maya’s already died however many life-times over in Implicit… so she needs a chance to finally relax). Although, as they say… you never know. Maya can be quite strong-minded—and persuasive—like that sometimes.

ALL THESE THINGS: Maya Invictus is available at the launch price of $.99 on Amazon through December 10, when the Kindle goes to the regular price of $4.99.

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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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

 

 

 

 

 

Love, Matchmaking and Inspiration


Hearts On The Line is both a hysterical and inspiring memoir from a truly talented writer. Marla Martenson opens her heart to share her dreams, aspirations and affirmations about getting out of the zany world of matchmaking old rich guys with young gold diggers in Beverly Hills. While she’s driven away by a sadistic boss and crazy clients, she seems forced to stay in by hopes of making enough money to buy a house with her loving Latin stud of a husband (who pushes her to hold on to the job even while it pushes her over the edge).

She finds herself in a dilemma that’s all too familiar – how do we get to that promised land of “Do what you love and the money will follow?”

Luckily, Marla knows how to ground herself, not only with Happy Hour drinks, but with meditations from Gurudev Amrit Desai, and she shares these with her readers, along with positive thoughts and actions that balance out her frustrations. Just when she (and we, the readers) have just about lost hope, we thankfully see her reach for that golden ring that has so eluded her.

Racy and ribald, this memoir is every bit as entertaining as the best chick lit out there. But it also carries an important life message that “…dreams are for real.” Hearts On The Line is available at Amazon.com in both paperback and Kindle versions.

As a professional matchmaker working in Los Angeles since 2001, Marla Martenson has helped countless couples connect with their soul mates and go on to marriage. She is also a certified life/dating coach, author and motivational speaker. I asked her a few questions about her new memoir:

BECCA: Is there an underlying message in your book?

Yes, the underlying message of my book is that when we stay true to ourselves, and listen to our still small voice, it will lead us in the right direction in our life’s purpose.

BECCA: What would you like readers to take away from your writings?

It makes me happy when someone writes to me and tells me that they couldn’t put my book down, or that it made them laugh. I love to entertain and inspire at the same time.

BECCA: What is the best thing anyone has said about your book?

Actually Becca, your review made me smile! This line in particular, “Racy and ribald, this memoir is every bit as entertaining as the best chick lit out there. But it also carries an important life message that “…dreams are for real.” I love Chick Lit, and tried to give it the chick lit feel with a deeper message.

BECCA: Any advice for others who feel they want to write and share their own story?

It seems that almost everyone that I meet is either writing a book or wants to write one. Each of us have a story to tell and it is a wonderful feeling to actually accomplish writing a book. I say, go for it. Since the publishing industry has changed and authors can self publish so easily and share their story, there is no reason why everyone can’t go for their dream of writing and publishing a book.

For more info on her work and blog, see:  www.marlamartenson.com

Namaste!
Becca Chopra

P.S. Download my memoir Chakra Secrets, FREE ON KINDLE TODAY at http://amzn.to/RgxgS3.

Avoid the #1 Relationship Killer


Relationship experts and Huna philosophers all think blame and criticism is the #1 reason why relationships fail. Most couples split up, family members stop talking or business partnerships fail because one or both of the parties gets tired of being blamed or criticized.

What is the best and quickest way to stop it?

When you’re blaming someone, what you’re really doing is pointing the finger at them and saying “Hah! It’s your fault. You’re wrong.” Then, that person typically comes back and says, “No, it’s your fault…” and this can go on in an endless loop.

When you catch yourself starting to blame or you’re having critical thoughts about your partner or colleague, make a pleasant “Hmmm….” sound. And what this does is it shifts you out of your “critical” brain into your “wonder” brain.

So, you can say to yourself, “Hmmm… I wonder what I could learn from this.” Or “Hmmm… I wonder how I’m contributing to this situation.”

When you do this, an immediate change takes place in your connection with the person you were previously blaming or criticizing.

Try this the next time you have a critical thought, and watch real miracles open up in your relationships! And of course, work on keeping your heart chakra open to love and compassion – listen to my free Chakra Meditation at http://www.thechakras.org.
Namaste! Becca Chopra, author of The Chakra Diaries

HOW TO KEEP PASSION ALIVE


Dear Becca,
Like Deborah in your book, The Chakra Diaries, I feel dried up, my partner looks at every woman but me, what can I do?
In a Funk

Dear Friend,
You can go from funky to femme fatale with just a little balancing of your chakras. The second or sacral chakra governs our sexuality and passion. Let’s start with your passion for life in general – everyone is attracted to someone who flirts with life and glows with love for themselves as well as others. Do you judge the way you look unkindly? Look in the mirror and tell yourself how beautiful you are, just the way you are. And move through life letting that beauty emanate from you. The second chakra is about movement and flow. Go for a swim or dance around the house. Stand with your feet planted firmly on the ground as you listen to music you love and let Mother Earth’s energy fill you. Breathe it up from the center of the Earth. Embrace the feminine, celebrate it.

When your second chakra is balanced, breathe in the energy of the bright yellow sun to fill your personal power center, the third or solar plexus chakra. Radiate self-confidence out into the world. Don’t be jealous of others’ charms, compliment them. Once you feel filled with love and joy, believe me, your partner will want to tap into that. The more love you give out, the more you will receive.

For a more in-depth chakra balancing, listen to this free Chakra Meditation from The Chakra Diaries.
Namaste!
Becca Chopra

Your Partner – Macho Mike or Weak Willie?


Dear Becca,

My new boyfriend Karl was very sweet and attentive on our first few dates, making me think that FINALLY I had met the one. But soon his high voice and tentative manner began to bug me. He could get his feelings hurt so easily – like when I told him to get over it when he complained that his rent controlled apartment was going coop. Other times he would practically beg me to come to bed, knowing that I had some important briefs I had to finish (not his) before the morning.

My last boyfriend was so macho and strong-willed, Karl just pales in comparison.

Becca, I don’t have to have a Val Kilmer, take-charge alpha male with a Barry White voice, of course, that would be nice, but….now I am the unsure one. Please help.
Signed, Julie in Joliet

Dear Julie,
Thanks for writing. My take on your situation is that Karl is just too feminine to fit your “macho man” needs. Maybe he wants you to wear the spurs rather than the other way around. My guess is that the men in your life, including your father, have had a preponderance of male energy and your man-puzzle is missing a few pieces with Karl. However, Karl’s foibles aside, you may need to balance your male and female energies to attract a man who will rock your world. Here are a few ways to do it:

Chant “OM” for several minutes to stimulate more male energy.

Focus on the color Blue which symbolizes the cool, logical male- visualize it, breathe it in, surround yourself with it, bathe in it, wear it out.

Sweep your hands outward from your sides toward the sky. Look up and invite the energy from above to flow into you.

Practice these energy balancing methods every day for a month and please let me know how you are doing. As always, I invite reader comment.

Namaste! Becca

Finding Mr. Right


Becca, now that Valentine’s Day has come and gone and the aroma of the roses is a little tired and stale, how do I know that my current man is Mr. Right? He is such a mixed bag of my Wants in a man. He has a good job, not a great one, but says he wants to retire early and see the world. Brought up in foster homes, he is uncertain about wanting to have children although he loves to play with my sister’s baby. Although he exercises a lot, he eats for an army and his hair is still mostly thick, but thinning on his crown.

Should I commit to him heart and soul and hope that he won’t change, or date the handsome, tall, volleyball-playing guy in the office who makes my heart go pitter-patter when he throws me air kisses, comments on how sexy I look and invites me to a rooftop party? My office girlfriends say this luscious Lothario is more my type than Mr. Nice Guy but I wonder if they aren’t just taken in by his wry smile and broad chest that begs to be covered in hot kisses. I see him as a charming flirt who may have a hard time settling on where to eat for dinner, much less who will be dessert. Is a good man hard to find, like a parking place?

Dear Decision Time,

I have heard the saying, men are like parking places, they are either already taken or too far away. But, I believe the right one is out there for you. Real life is not like Sex in the City, the pieces of our lives falling into place and fitting together wonderfully despite our busload of blunders. As we all know, looks fade, yet attitudes, behaviors and beliefs don’t, so that our pick of a mate should be someone who we can grow old with and genuinely enjoy spending time together with.

So, when the final blush has faded and the rose petals dropped away, your mate-to-be may not be either Lothario or Mr. Nice Guy, they may only be love in training. Ask yourself whether you can accept the proverbial “good” with the “bad,” whether you feel deep down that you and your pick of the litter will treat each other with respect and honesty, allowing each other the room to grow. However DT, perhaps the greatest lesson to remember is that a loving relationship is NOT about what our partner is giving. We cannot receive what we have not already given, so be grateful, appreciative and loving about what your partner, or potential partner, brings to the table. Criticism, argument, blame, nagging and fault have no business being in the same county as a loving relationship as they will soon infect it and crush it to the ground. Bathe yourself in happiness and positive thoughts and happy people will flock to you, even Mr. Right.

Namaste! Becca

My Book is available on Amazon.com

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