Pinna, who's been at Changing Hands since the Mill Avenue days, selects the chanting, world music and Native American CDs that have been keeping our customers relaxed and feeling worldly for years. As Community Events Manager, she works with local and not-so-local folks to create events from writing workshops to health discussions to book presentations. Talk with Pinna about spiritual books, including the Buddhist selection, and about poetry including haiku, her fave, or find her at chanting workshops where she teaches vocal meditation and chants from around the world..
A poet friend asked me to let her know my favorite poem from this Mary Oliver collection. As I read on, I settled on The Old Poets of China"(p 178). Yes, it is my fav.
"Wherever I am, the world comes after me.
It offers me its busyness. It does not believe
that I do not want it. Now I understand
why the old poets of China went so far and high
into the mountains, then crept into the pale mist."
At times in the reading, Mary Oliver's style reminded me of the work of James Wright and how I love his poems.
And then I came upon Mary Oliver's poems from Three Rivers Poetry Journal 1980 and "Three Poems for James Wright" 1982 (p 391). They were indeed friends from Ohio.
Devotions is a fine collection!
Aging well, according to Thomas Moore, becoming more of yourself - to be profoundly old and profoundly young.
Referring to Igor Stravinsky, Thomas Moore says "Be true to your soul's age, not the numbers or the sight of weakness or ill health. To the soul, these are meaningless." Aging well - a process of humanization, of becoming more spiritually and culturally complex - Jung's individuation, Keats' soul-making.
I would like to share with you the words Thomas Moore wrote in my copy of Ageless Soul: "Always go deeper than seems possible." I refer back to this lesson while living my daily life, being my age, actualizing more of my "seed material" (TM) as I continue the aging process.
When you are finished with Marie Kondo's Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, next is Essential Essays by The Minimalists. Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus are The Minimalists. It interests them to live focused, intentional lives - not busy ones. They respect what C. S. Lewis eloquently said about happiness: "Don't let your happiness depend on something you may lose." Suggestions abound - dumping everything in the closet that you don't love; letting go of your DVD collection "to live your life instead;" "keeping real friends, not fake friends from the past." What is Essential in your life?
As the subtitle tells us, Pema Chodron's newest book is "wise advice for leaning into the unknown." For example, being aware of what you are saying to yourself, being aware of the breath going in and out, and staying with the feeling - in this case, when you feel that you have failed or made a mistake. Then rephrasing self critical talk so it is more gentle and positive. Pema Chodron is an American-born Buddhist nun whose life experiences have led her to the place of being able to share "wise advice" in a simple and straightforward manner. Tami Simon from Sounds True interviewed Ani Pema for this book and the accompanying CD, which includes a second interview. There is inspiration in these words.
Tosha Silver has taught many ways to align with the inner Divine for the past 30 years. Whether you call it trusting your intuition, invoking Divine order, calling in a miracle, becoming dependent on the help of the cosmos or learning to move with the divine flow, it is about awakening to one's true nature and expressing, "the music of our soul." Story after story in Outrageous Openness will lead you to a deeper understanding of trusting your own process and allowing your connection to Divine order to move you forward and help you to breathe easy.
Red Pine (Bill Porter) is a master of the backstory. Copper Canyon's edition of The Mountain Poems of Stonehouse proves this. The poem has a certain simplicity in Red Pine's translation from the Chinese original. See poem #128 (page 135) which brings forth the clarity and humor of Stonehouse and Red Pine. And the commentary reveals precise details taking the reader to a greater depth of understanding. See Commentary #84 (page 90). Imagine the poems being sung as was Chinese tradition.
Judith Orloff has given us an oracle to help us let go and come into our own power. Open the book and it will communicate with you. With a question, a thought or a calm mind, let it speak. Dr. Orloff instructs to honor your gut feelings, pay attention to your insights, surrender to the beauty of the natural world and listen to your body. And as a medical doctor, Judith Orloff's tenth surrender focuses on how to deal with illness and pain--being protective and loving to the injury. She teaches us to care for ourselves.
Austin Kleon has designed a system of 10 transformative ways to share your creativity and become known. In Show Your Work!, he is teaching about being open, generous, brave and productive. Austin Kleon writes of the etiquette of sharing and the dangers of oversharing. And he has also chosen inspiring quotes from others, some known and some less known, to illustrate his points. For example, "Whatever excites you, go do it. Whatever drains you, stop doing it." - from Derek Sivers. Treat yourself to some stimulation to spur on your creative process. Read Show Your Work!
I love New York—the museums, the shows, old friends, people on the streets. I have wondered so many times what is going on in the lives of the faces I see. Brandon Stanton has captured, in a moment and a sentence or two, thought-provoking and deeply insightful views into the lives of the people he has photographed. The book is brilliant and beautiful in my eyes.
It's about focus, clarity, creativity, and connection, and how mindfulness can help us live healthier, more productive and peaceful lives with less stress and more calm awareness. It's about living in the present moment by doing short meditations leading to emotional balance. It's about taking ten mindful breaths or going outside in the sun during the work day to come back to present awareness. It's about the path to real happiness in the workplace. Sharon Salzberg teaches how one deep meditative breath can settle the mind and shares many other practices to overcome workplace suffering. Sound good? Give it a try!
An oneironaut is someone who has learned to travel consciously in the dream world. A Field Guide to Lucid Dreaming teaches the reader to reconnect with dreams–to have lucid dreams (to know you are dreaming while you are dreaming!), and what to do once you are awake in the dream world. It is filled with tips and stories of experiences in this realm, and scientific proof that lucid dreaming can really occur–it is not fantasy. Clever illustrations by Mahendra Singh fill out this creative guide.
Stephen Dunn's language is exquisitely revealing of the mind and its workings. In Here and Now, he speaks with an honest tongue of a life of observation, contemplation and relationship--and of the life well-lived. It provoked me to read his words aloud--to experience their beauty and to more fully partake of his view of the world. Dunn has written and published 16 collections of poetry. Different Hours received the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. In Here and Now, try Little Good Song (p. 71) or Bad (p. 87) for a taste of his imaginative fascination with life.
Sit ... Walk ... Write ... with mindful awareness ... learning how to be silent, how to pay attention to your surroundings and record your observations, and how to come back to talking (and pausing from talking) with consciousness so as not to overwhelm self or others. Natalie Goldberg has taught seminars and conducted retreats for 35 years, and The True Secret of Writing takes the reader into the mind of this writer, this teacher, this compassionate and understanding human being. And into his/her own mind! Natalie Goldberg has incorporated writing practice into silent meditation retreats. She helps students transform obsessions, which diminish life, into passions, which enlarge life. So much to practice! So much to learn! So much to experience! Sit. Walk. Write.
In Fear: Essential Wisdom For Getting Through the Storm, Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Buddhist Zen Master, poet, scholar and Nobel Peace Prize nominee, teaches how living in the present with mindfulness can help us to be aware of and overcome our fears. "If we're afraid all the time, we miss out on the wonderful fact that we're alive and can be happy right now." Thich Nhat Hanh speaks of the importance of listening deeply, breathing consciously, speaking lovingly, cultivating insight and relaxing deeply to transform fear and stress. He describes how fear carries us away from our inner peace and from our own bodies into imaginary worlds. With great clarity, he shares practices, exercises and mantras to approach awareness in the present moment. Enjoy the teachings!
Silvia Nakkach offers us Yoga of the Voice, a path of personal devotion that brings us therapeutic and spiritual experiences involving the voice. She has studied classical Indian singing for over 30 years and incorporates it skillfully into her teaching of chanting from a variety of indigenous cultures. It is done in a call-and-response manner so memorization is not an issue and repetition is the method of learning to use our own voices as instruments of healing. Free Your Voice gives readers an opportunity to practice the exercises Silvia has gathered. It is accompanied by a free audio download from SoundsTrue.com which adds to a full experience of learning from this dynamic teacher, scholar, music therapist and Yoga of the Voice founder Silvia Nakkach.
Varied examples of exquisite life-changing stories comprise the entirety of The Moment, edited by Larry Smith. The conversation with dad after finding out she was pregnant (Ashley Allen); Oprah listening to his reasons why she should take a stand on the presidential election (Ray Richmond); a young child realizing she wasn't the center of the world (Elizabeth Gilbert), and a high school junior being told he had the ability/talent to become a writer (Dave Eggers) - many of life's wonders expressed in short and ever-so-meaningful stories.
The words come forth
and then they don't.And this repeats again and again.--PJ
The Mindful Writer is a look at means to explore and be open to creativity. Dinty Moore leads us from writer to writer, exploring their philosophies and examining their minds' journeys. Take a full breath between quotes and reflections to take full advantage of these well chosen treasures of wisdom.
For starters, I love the way the pages of The Conference of the Birds feel. And I love the page following the beginning of "Part III - In which the birds fill all the corners of the world." And the birds fill all the corners of the blue page - they are searching for the true king, Simorgh. I love the Tibetan symbols blended into Peter Sís's drawings - they speak of his father's journeys. I love the Hoopoe Bird's comments - "Everyone has ups and downs, little bird. Fly ... clean your heart." This book is an artistic masterpiece. Peter Sis loves to draw pictures of flying - freedom and birds. He took a story by Farid Ud-Din Attar and adapted and illustrated it. Thank you for your most beautiful creation, Mr. Sís.
When Geneen Roth and her husband, Matt, lost their life savings in Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi schemes, she started to realize that her relationship with money unconsciously resembled, in many ways, her relationship with food. She concluded that how we form our beliefs about what we need or desire are very similar whether those beliefs are about food or money. Feelings of deficiency prompt the desire for more food or money, but this trance of deficiency doesn’t disappear with when more is obtained. She found that sufficiency is knowing that there is enough and that we ourselves are enough. Enjoying what we already have without feeling shame or guilt guides us to sufficiency. Lost and Found takes us on a journey to understand that investing in our inner lives can change how we live on this earth. —Pinna
It's about how the mind works. And sometimes it's so funny that I find myself laughing out loud while reading this book on meditation! It's so humorous to recognize the reality of how we judge ourselves and how critical we can be of something as simple as how we breathe while meditating. Meditation, as taught in Real Happiness, can help us to cultivate positive emotions, retain emotional stability, reduce stress, improve attention and focus, and improve our capacity to process rapidly arriving incoming information. Take one step at a time and give it a try. —Pinna
It’s not easy to come from China to the United States and integrate into the culture comfortably. In A Good Fall, Ha Jin, a National Book Award winner, gives us a fresh view of the lives and minds of his characters, many new to the US. Personalities interact. Whether they are grandparents and their children’s offspring, couples learning about each others’ pasts or a student helping his most respected professor, Ha Jin reveals their minds most astutely. He is a fine storyteller. It’s not all pleasant or predictable, but certainly very enlightening and beautifully written.
Clinical neuroscientist, psychiatrist and brain imaging expert Daniel G. Amen, who is featured on PBS Channel 8, has recently written Change Your Brain, Change Your Body. His rational program considers the emotional nature of weight-loss, with treatment that leads to emotional balance and increased focus, and points to physical exercise as "a natural wonder drug for the brain." Amen offers ways to improve our own brain activity and suggestions for working with our health-givers. He combines brain-scan research with down-to-earth suggestions for dietary regimens and simple hints to gaining self control. He offers a well-rounded approach—one step at a time! —Pinna
Twyla Tharp was born a Quaker, living in a community of Friends where families help each other. In her life as a dance choreographer, she continued to work closely with individuals and groups to create dances, working together professionally with dancers, assistants, audiences, and other choreographers. The story of her collaboration with Jerome Robbins stands out as particularly inspiring as their friendship survived the collaboration! In her book, she also tells stories of her work with Mikhail Baryshnikov, Elvis Costello, Billy Joel and Bob Dylan. Her main motivator has always remained her sense of quality. Twyla Tharp is truly an original thinker who believes that "In any collaboration, there is not one way. Go with whatever works." —Pinna
Emily Dickinson once said "Forever is composed of nows." Barbara Ann Kipfer has put together a sourcebook of simple instructives, 1,001 Ways to Live in the Moment, to teach us to practice mindfulness. Observing small details, practicing complete focus and living the being (rather than constant doing) are all ways to cultivate awareness. This handbook is perfect as a gift for a friend or yourself, a gift that will help make discovery and rediscovery everyday events—moment-to-moment meditative practices. —Pinna
Dennis Lewis’ work with breath, as described in Breathe Into Being: Awakening to Who You Really Are, is a process of returning to the breath of life itself—the “hereness” and the “nowness” of being. It is the process of relaxing the constrictions of your breath and your life by paying attention to and changing your breathing with simple exercises that focus the mind and the body. Exhaling fully and effortlessly is as important as the process of inhaling. It is an “awakening to who you really are!” More info: dennislewis.org. —Pinna
Dr. Judith Orloff is an energy psychiatrist who asks you to see yourself clearly and move on to experience positive emotions: to move through fear and suffering to courage; to connection, compassion, and to love. She sets you up for a healthy sleep and dream life, and helps you understand your emotional type and how to discern fear from intuition. Dr. Orloff combines medicine, intuition, and spirituality to encourage health for the mind, body, and spirit. It’s a journey worth making a priority. —Pinna