I haven’t written about the books I am reading lately because I was researching and entrenched in course development. Besides reading twelve books, listening to hours of mantras, chants and singing bells, bowls and gongs, and an indefinite number of internet information on Sound Healing and Music Therapy, I still made time to delve into some other literature.
Maya’s Notebook by Isabel Allende – This novel is set in Berkeley and Chile. It is contemporary which is different for Allende. Usually she researches an era for six months and then squirrels away in her home and writes from January to July. Her historical novels are mesmerizing. As per usual, she writes in the first person. We become Maya as she lives through grief, addiction, danger, mystery and basic mayhem. Her account is the novel, hence it is her journal. Although I personally prefer to waltz through pioneer or conquistador days with Allende, I found her book still intriguing, well written and still deeper than most current novels. I would recommend it and it is worth your time.
The Power of Kindness by Piero Ferrucci – The title further describes the book by adding, The Unexpected Benefits of Leading a Compassionate Life. As you may have hoped, the very short preface is written by none other than the embodiment of compassion, the Dalai Lama. This is not a book to read through and put away. This book should be savored, talked about, lived and eaten every day. According to Ferrucci, “scientific research confirms that kind people are healthier and live longer, are more popular and productive, have greater success in business and are happier than others.” That confirms what I know about the people I most like and admire. It also re-affirms my positive state of mind when I am benevolent towards others. Ferruci’s style is lyrical and translated from the Italian with ease and depth. There are eighteen chapters ranging from honesty to a sense of belonging to empathy to respect and mindfulness. Each topic is taken seriously as it relates to having a compassionate perspective of the world and is filled with anecdotes that illustrate the theme in a way we can all reflect on. I would make this book a requirement for everyone. As a parent, as a career person, as a leader, as a student, as a politician or businessperson, you name it, who doesn’t need a reminder or an eye opening about how we need to treat one another? As I passed by a church the other day I saw their marquee. It read, “How we treat each other is more important than what, how or where we worship.”
A Life Worth Breathing by Max Strom – In this tome, yoga master Strom tells us his story of conquering physical debilities, overcoming pain and frustration, and his ride on the spiritual path. There are great heart felt lines in this book, much wisdom and truth spread throughout, and even exercises and meditations. This handbook gives advice on how to be a warrior, how and why to be disciplined and delves into bringing healing, grace and strength to the individual level so as to share it with the world at large. He dedicates the book to light workers, healers and leaders. His explanation of how unresolved grief creates trauma as “trapped” inside our bodies and thoughts is particularly clear and stressed. With this premise, he opens the door for us to follow through on a wellness path in all areas of our life. I would recommend this book to everyone too although I believe, psychology majors, yoga teachers, open minded people. Environmentalists and energy healers might like it best as it speaks to the choir. Politicians, world leaders and negative or ailing persons would benefit by reading it – but I personally doubt most of them would have an interest to deviate from their current state of affairs, finding solution perhaps in a different way of doing things (because it’s working so well for them to not look outside the box or inside themselves). That might be a little snarky but most truths will sting before we realize it will also set us free.