Buddhism, meditation, spirituality

A Lamp in the Darkness

Author: Jack Kornfield
Publisher: Sounds True
Genre: Meditation / Spirituality / Buddhism
ISBN: 978-1-60407-642-4
Pages: 103
Price: $19.95

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Trouble is an inevitable part of being human. Although it’s tempting to simply bemoan our fate when something bad happens, it’s far more effective to accept these upsetting issues and integrate them into our whole life experience. In A Lamp in the Darkness, Jack Kornfield shares his thoughts on dealing with difficult times, in an effort to help us get through them.

Suffering can be caused by many things, and Kornfield reminds us that we already have an inner light – “The One Who Knows” – who will guide us. We may be in so much pain that we don’t feel we’re capable of compassion, forgiveness, healing, and wisdom, but these are some of the topics discussed, followed by meditations to explore these characteristics more deeply. An accompanying CD provides audio recordings of these meditations.

Difficulty doesn’t need to destroy us. We can rise above what happens, with our sense of self and peace of mind intact. A Lamp in the Darkness shows us how.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

Buddhism, spirituality

Tibetan Sound Healing

Author: Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche
Publisher: Sounds True
Genre: Spirituality / Buddhism
ISBN: 978-1-60407-095-8
Pages: 120
Price: $14.95

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The Bön Buddhist tradition of Tibet has been practiced for a very long time, through the efforts of a few dedicated lamas. In Tibetan Sound Healing, Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche teaches us the Five Warrior Syllables from the Bön practice, and shows us how to use them in our own lives.

First Rinpoche introduces us to the syllables. These are A, OM, HUNG, RAM, and DZA, each of which has its own energy as we sing these sounds. Then we’re instructed to read the chapter about each syllable, turning to the CD to listen to it being sung by Rinpoche. A final track on the CD is three chanted prayers.

This book and CD set complement each other nicely. Rinpoche explains the syllables with clear images, describing our feelings as if we were in the desert, and adding more elements as we move to the next syllable. As the sounds reverberate, we can easily place ourselves in the images he’s created, and work with these Five Warrior Syllables to activate our own healing potential.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

health, spirituality

The Undying Soul

Author: Stephen J. Iacoboni, MD
Publisher: SJI Publishing
Genre: Health / Spirituality
ISBN: 978-0-983-05380-4
Pages: 166
Price: $24.95

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Treating those who are diagnosed with cancer is a difficult path. An oncologist knows there is a strong possibility his treatment won’t work, or that the cancer will show up again at some point in the future. Facing death is a regular occurrence and a feeling of helplessness can easily become overwhelming. But when Dr. Iacoboni discovers the undying soul in his patients, his whole outlook changes.

After struggling with treatment protocols that felt more like guesswork than a real cure, Iacoboni needed to find a purpose. Meaningful soul connections began to occur, and he noticed that some people could find peace in their passing, while others struggled to the bitter end. With this new revelation, he could now help them in ways he hadn’t been able to in his early days. No longer just cancer patients, they were now undying souls.

The Undying Soul is Iacoboni’s story of how he reconciled his beliefs in modern medical science with his almost-forgotten faith. Sharing the experiences he had with the angel-saints he believes were sent to help him, he reassures us that cancer doesn’t need to scare us. We too can have the peace of knowing we have an undying soul, and there is a better place awaiting us.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

children, spirituality

God & You

Author: Raymond Wolf
Illustrator: Briana Weekes
Publisher: GoldRay Publishing
Genre: Children / Spirituality
ISBN: 978-0-9832195-3-8
Pages: 40
Price: $14.00

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When God created the heavens and the earth, and all the trees, flowers, birds and animals, He was building the place he would put His most beloved creation. Then he made man in His image and placed him in the garden. In God & You, Raymond Wolf tells the story of this creation from the perspective of the loving God who created us.

Although God was surrounded by the angels and other heavenly beings, He wanted to feel the joy of sharing love with His creation. Man was given free will, and can choose to love God. And God experiences great joy in man loving Him as much as He loves us.

This poetic work demonstrates the love God has for us, and how much He wishes it will be returned. Briana Weekes, now eleven years old, created the illustrations over a period of seven years. Through the eyes of a child, God’s tender care is expressed. Jesus once said that the greatest commandment was to love the Lord your God with all your being. God & You is a gentle reminder that doing this will make God so very happy.

Reviewer: Alice Berger


Awakening to the Spirit World

Author: Sandra Ingerman & Hank Wesselman
Publisher: Sounds True
Genre: Spirituality
ISBN: 978-1-59179-750-0
Pages: 360
Price: $19.95

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Shamanic journeys have been taken for thousands of years, but many people are still relatively unaware of their power. In Awakening to the Spirit World, Sandra Ingerman and Hank Wesselman explore what shamanic journeys are, and how we can incorporate them into our lives.

Shamans have the ability to see and hear things on their journeys that can help themselves and their community. By visiting the Lower, Middle, and Upper Worlds through meditation, men and women can share in this enlightening experience. Several different types of journeys are discussed in this book, including the use of dream work, art, sound and light, and facing the ultimate death of the body.

There is no religious belief necessary, and members of all faiths are able to participate. If you have an interest in shamanic journeying, you’ll find Awakening to the Spirit World a useful resource for your own practice. Musical sounds of drumming and other rhythmic melodies are provided on the accompanying CDs.

Reviewer: Alice Berger


Shamanic Meditations

Author: Sandra Ingerman
Publisher: Sounds True
Genre: Spirituality
Format: 2-CD set
Price: $19.95

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In certain cultures, shamanic journeying is a normal part of ritual life. While certain people seem to have more of a knack for receiving messages and interpreting them, all can experience meaningful journeys. In Shamanic Meditations Sandra Ingerman explains the shamanic process and guides the listener on his own journeys.

There are three main worlds that can be journeyed into – the Lower World, the Middle World, and the Upper World. Depending on the type of journey you are looking for, you can choose where you want to go. These CDs will guide you to each of the three worlds. Ingerman helps the listener to relax and put himself into the mindset of a successful journey, and then guides him to the world he’s chosen. Rhythmic music accompanies her voice, lulling the listener into a more relaxed and open state. At the end of the journey, the rhythm speeds up and becomes louder, “waking” the listener so he can return to this world.

Allowing yourself to journey in this way will bring you to meet your helping spirits – power animals and spirit teachers who can lead and guide you in your life. You may receive clear messages about a decision you need to make or an insight about an action you need to take. Or you may simply return more centered and grounded than when you began your journey. Whatever happens, it’s always for your highest good.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

health, nature, spirituality

How to Thrive in Changing Times

Author: Sandra Ingerman
Publisher: Weiser Books
Genre: Spirituality / Nature / Health
ISBN: 978-1-57863-466-8
Pages: 176
Price: $12.95

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As our world changes at an ever more rapid pace, thriving sometimes feels like an insurmountable challenge. Sandra Ingerman believes it’s a lot easier than we think, but first we need to know what to do, both as individuals and as a community.

Spiritual masters over the years have taught that our thoughts determine our lives. Now we also know that these thoughts can even affect the environment around us. And if we can get together as a group, these healing thoughts are even more powerful.

How do we do this? Ingerman provides rituals and exercises designed to bring about positive changes in our lives and in the world. These can be done alone or in a group setting.

How to Thrive in Changing Times reminds us that we have the ability to do so much more than we believe. We may be the limiting force in our lives, but we can change our thoughts and the outcomes of those thoughts. And in changing ourselves, we can help to change the world.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

Catholic, Christian, inspiration, Saints, spirituality

A Saint For All Reasons

Author: Tim Muldoon
Publisher: Ivy Press
Genre: Spiritual / Inspiration
ISBN: 978-0843-713817
Pages: 128
Price: $13.99

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Sometimes we reach the end of our rope and we need special assistance to keep on going. When that happens, it’s easier if we can rely on someone who’s been there before us as a guide. For centuries, Christians have turned to the saints for help in times of crisis.

A Saint For All Reasons is a handy guidebook of 100 saints we can call on when we’re in need. Organized by category, this book provides a summary of who the saint was, and why he or she is associated with our particular situation. A ritual and prayer help us connect more fully with the saint and grow closer to God. The images of these saints can also be downloaded from the website, and a calendar of feast days and an alphabetical index of the saints is included for easy reference.

It’s easy to lose our focus when things aren’t going well for us, and we forget that others have also faced dire situations and calamities. Remembering the saints and the trials and tribulations they faced can help put our problems in their true perspective. And in asking for their assistance, we can invoke Divine intervention.

If you’ve wanted to know more about the saints, or wanted to begin to connect with them on a deeper level, A Saint For All Reasons is a great place to begin. You’re sure to find someone who’s been through something similar to you who can help. This handy little book, along with your Bible and your own relationship with God, will provide comfort and guidance.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

self improvement, spirituality

Dare to Wear Your Soul on the Outside

Author: Gloria Burgess
Publisher: Jossey-Bass
Genre: Personal Growth / Spirituality
ISBN: 978-0470241837
Pages: 256
Price: $16.95

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Have you ever thought about the life you’re living, and what kind of impact you’re having on the people around you? You may know you want to leave a positive legacy, but don’t know exactly how to make the changes you need. Dare to Wear Your Soul on the Outside can offer some suggestions to guide you.

Dr. Gloria J. Burgess has determined that there are Seven Sacred Promises of legacy living. These are: gratitude, faith, love, vision, integrity, creative action, and legacy.

Through the examples of others who have followed her guidance, Burgess shows the reader how these women aligned their lives with their soul purpose. As they learned to wear their souls on the outside, they connected with their living legacy and are now contributing to the greater good in society.

Exercises are provided in this helpful book, and the reader is encouraged to keep a notebook to explore feelings and record the answers that are uncovered. Although it’s tempting to expect easy solutions, the process of creating your living legacy isn’t always a straightforward process, and it may take years. But the journey will be well worth the rewards.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

Christian, spirituality

Hearing Jesus Speak Into Your Sorrow

hearing Jesus
Author: Nancy Guthrie
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
Genre: Christian Living / Spiritual Life / Personal Growth
ISBN: 978-1-4143-2548-4
Pages: 192
Price: $14.99

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Being a Christian doesn’t mean life will be without its share of heartache and loss. But when the pain cuts us to the core, questions naturally arise about God’s involvement. How could He allow this to happen? Does He even care?

Jesus healed lepers, caused the blind to see, and even raised the dead. Why wouldn’t He want to help us in our time of need? But a closer look at Biblical passages reveals exactly why Jesus healed, and what He would say if we asked Him why He hasn’t stepped in to fix things for us.

Nancy Guthrie knows the depths of pain, having lost two babies to the same incurable disease. She knows what it’s like to wrestle with her spiritual beliefs, wondering if maybe she’s missing something. But she also knows God’s infinite love, and trusts in His knowing a higher purpose for her life.

Hearing Jesus Speak Into Your Sorrow shares Guthrie’s insights about what Jesus would say if we turn to Him and share our pain with Him. And she reassures us that His answer will comfort us, despite our circumstances.

Reviewer: Alice Berger