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An important and empowering book

5

Having listened to Bruce Lipton speak at the annual IONS (Institute of Noetic Sciences) conference I was excited to read this book. Bruce has a knack for taking the information obtained from his scientific background in Biology and making it understandable to someone who has no education in the field of Biology.

The format Bruce uses, as well as his style, is very user friendly and this made for an enjoyable read. As for the material itself, I found that I learned a great deal about the field of Epigenetics and it is refreshing to hear another voice disagreeing with, in my biased opinion, the deterministic views coming from the choir of the majority.  I am no expert in the field of genetics; however, anytime I hear that scientists have found "the answer" I shudder. The fact that DNA sequencing was supposed to be the holy grail of all things living is no different than when the world was flat and at the center of the universe. I do not dispute the fact that DNA research and the field of genetics is important, but when part of that conclusion says that Mother Nature decided to make 96% of that DNA useless (junk DNA) I tend to believe that there is more to the situation than what we are perceiving or what we have the ability to measure. Perhaps the beleifs of genetic determinism are incomplete, perhaps we need better tools, and perhaps the final word on DNA has yet to be written; however, one thing is certain, the fact is that we don't know everything there is to know and we will only expand our awareness by being open to new ideas.

Science is about discovery and a desire to get to truth, yet it seems that many "so-called" scientists are no different than the religious zealots that burned people at the stake 500 years ago. Anyone remember Giordano Bruno?  So, what does this have to do with the Biology of Belief? Well, in this book Bruce goes against the deterministic view and says that it is not only genetics that shape our inner world, it is the environment as well. This book is one of self-empowerment because it says that you arent just a machine following orders that came from pond scum 700 million years ago.  You have the ability to transform your outer world and INNER world. 

Certainly empowered people are healthier and harder to control then their unaware counterparts and they use less pharmaceutical interventions. Hmmm, so by being aware of our power we take money out of the pharmas pockets, who are the ones providing so much of the funding to the scientific quacks. No wonder the mainstream scientists resist work such as this, its their pocket book stupid (you need to read the book to get the gist of that last statement). In the end, ironically perhaps, the quasi-scientists of today will go the way of their ancestors and go extinct because they refuse to look at the facts, to adapt to the environment and view new ideas with curiosity rather than dogma. Perhaps the title of Bruces next book could be something like, Did Dinosaurs wear lab Coats?

Supernormal is Super-fantastic

5

Having attended an annual conference of IONS (Institute of Noetic Science), I had the pleasure of meeting Dean Radin. I mention this because Dean’s speaking style and demeanor are also reflected in Supernormal, his most recent book, and these qualities are what make his work interesting and informative. Contrary to what seems to be the standard stereo type of scientists, Dean, Bruce, and the other scientists at IONS have an uncanny ability to make scientific research and technical information more palatable to those who do not have a scientific background.

As for the book itself, Supernormal is a wonderful blend of scientific research and all things yoga. Dean uses his skills and scientific background to investigate the claims appearing in the ancient Yoga Sutras. Originating around 2000 years ago and compiled and recorded by Patanjali, the Yoga Sutras discuss more than just the standard, physical aspects of yoga, they also discuss mental/meditation practices that enable the practitioner to activate extraordinary powers. Of course many believe that such feats of super human abilities are simply the stuff of exaggerated legends and delusional observations. With standard, repeatable, scientifically based experiments Dean demonstrates that many of the superhuman feats found in the ancient text are indeed possible. Certainly no claim is made that all of the feats can be substantiated; however, there does appear to be a growing body of evidence that supernormal abilities do exist and they are not exclusive to a select few. It has been demonstrated over and over again that pre-cognitive abilities, psychokinesis, telepathy and various other abilities are inherent in everyone, it’s just that these abilities are not as developed as they are in those people who practice certain mental and physical techniques.

With modern research in hand Dean shows the reader that it is often the illogical and biased views of a small group of skeptics, who have not kept up with modern research, that use their own personal limitations/biases/agendas to deliberately cast doubt on the research being done at the frontiers of human development. Rather than view the new research with an open mind and stretch the boundaries of their knowledge, they seem to prefer the comfort and certainty that living on a flat earth provides. In my biased opinion, a true scientist is fascinated by the unknown and he/she is motivated to explore new frontiers. I believe that Dean shares these views and he is indeed living the wise words shared by Rumi so long ago, “Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment.

Magnificent photos and quotes for every day of the year

5

Daily Gratitude: 365 days of Reflection - Photos and Wisdom to Enrich Your Spirit is the third installment in a series created by National Geographic and, like the two previous books, Daily Calm and Daily Joy it showcases 365 fantastic photographs with an inspiring daily quote.

The pages in these books are not labeled with page numbers, rather the books are arranged in a daily calendar format, labeled with the month and day--commencing with January 1 and ending with December 31'and there is no year given; therefore, the book can be used indefinitely (for the sticklers, February 28 and 29th are included as one entry).

The photographs are the quality you would expect from National Geographic, with some taking up a full two pages and others taking up merely a portion of the page.

Just as with the photographs, the words shared on these pages will touch you at a very deep level and inspire you to see the world with new eyes. The quotes come from many notable people throughout history, such as: Henry Ford, Oprah Winfrey, Khalil Gibran, Robert Louis Stevenson, Desmond Tutu, Virginia Woolf, Oscar Wilde, Sigmund Freud, Michael J. Fox, C.S. Lewis, Friedrich Nietzsche, Thomas Moore, Winston Churchill, Aristotle and so many more.

Randomly opening the book to seven different pages I came up with:

We can choose to hate the rain or dance in it.’ -Joan Marques

may my heart always be open to little birds who are the secrets of living’ -E.E. Cummings

If light is in your heart you will find your way home.' -Rumi

The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.’ -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Nobody has ever measured, not even poets, how much the heart can hold.’ -Zelda Fitzgerald

I am not afraid of storms for I am learning how to sail my ship.’ -Louisa May Alcott

Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom’. -Marcel Proust

In addition to the stellar quality of the content in this book, the physical production is also second to none. The pages are made from glossy, high-quality paper; the spine is very solid and well bound and there is even a bookmark ribbon to help you keep your place.

If you are looking for the daily dose of inspiration, the combination magnificent photos and insightful/inspiring quotes that you will discover in Daily Gratitude: 365 days of Reflection would be perfect for you. Furthermore, this book, and the others in this series, also make for a wonderful gift that can be enjoyed by friends and loved ones all year long (actually for many years because there is no specified year).

Packed full of wisdom, with a dash of wit

5

With a wonderful, light-hearted attitude, Peter McWilliams shares his thoughts, and quotes from many of the greats in history, as he discusses how our thoughts form our reality. Indeed, from the very first sentences in the book we get the essence of everything that the author is trying to say,

A simple thought. A few micromilliwatts of energy flowing through our brain. A seemingly innocuous, almost ephemeral event. And yet, a thought—or, more accurately, a carefully orchestrated series of thoughts—has a significant impact on our mind, our body, and our emotions.

On this journey to help us purge our mind of negative thinking, all aspects of life are discussed and no excuse is left undisturbed. Life-threatening illness, the death of a loved one, failed relationships, addictions and many other “reasons” for negative thinking are all addressed, as are the negative emotions that are often associated with some of life’s most trying circumstances.

Simply bringing our negative thoughts into the light of awareness is not enough, so Peter emphasizes the steps we can take to focus on the positive aspects in our lives. Pro-active steps to better thinking include: meditation, visualization, using affirmations, having an attitude of gratitude and learning forgiveness.

This is quite a lengthy book, and the information is quite extensive, so if you’re expecting a quick read this might not be what you are looking for. On the other hand, if you truly want to make your life better, and if you are truly interested in reading a book that will help eliminate stinkin’ thinkin’, then this could be precisely what you need to read.

Quotes and reminders to help you find your quiet voice within.

5

Sonia Choquette’s book, The Time Has Come…To Accept Your Intuitive Gifts is an uplifting, little treasury of her personal quotes, with a smattering of related quotes from various other prominent people throughout history, all pertaining to intuition.

Some of her profound thoughts include:
- “An intuitive insight is almost always better than any answer your ego could come up with on its own.”
- “If you accept that you are Divine, your sixth sense makes sense. If you reject your Divinity, then nothing makes sense.”
- “Intuition doesn’t compete with reason—it compliments it. They’re natural partners and designed to work together. The key to their compatibility, however, is to not confuse the faculty of reason—also a gift from Spirit—with the blathering of the ego, which bears no gift at all.”

Some of the supplementary quotes are:
- “Talk sense to a fool and he calls you foolish.” - Euripides
- “Intuition becomes increasingly valuable in the information society precisely because there is so much data.” – John Naisbitt
- “The power of intuition will protect you from harm until the end of your days.” – Lao Tzu

with numerous other quotes from the likes of Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Albert Einstein, Robin Williams, Mahatma Gandhi etc.

In addition to the profound words, the book is made even more useful because its small physical size makes it very convenient to take it along in a purse or perhaps an inside coat pocket. Then, when you need that quick quote of inspiration, or when you need to remind yourself that your intuition needs to be heard, this book will be close at hand - or close at heart.

Love this book

5

Really well written! Have noticed huge changes within our family! What a blessing!!!

67 quick tips for the road to success

4

In general, I am a big fan of Bob Proctor’s books and audio programs and, while I did like The ABC’S of Success, I would say that I prefer another book that he wrote, You Were Born Rich.

Regardless of my personal preference though, The ABC’s of Success provides readers with 67 success principles that are conveniently organized in an alphabetical fashion (A-Z with only a few of the more uncommon letters, such as X, Y, Z, being omitted). This astute reader is, of course, aware that there are far fewer than 67 letters in the alphabet and they will discover that numerous letters, such as ‘A’ and ‘C’, receive preferential treatment and these letters are used in more than one topic.

A small sampling of the topics included:
Achievement
Action
Ambition
Attitude
Change
Choice
Courage
Effectiveness
Fear
Goals
Gratitude
Money
Obstacles
Opportunity…
Worry

Each of the topics is covered in as few as two pages and the content is comprised of Bob Proctor’s personal insights, some anecdotes or some introspective questions, and then each topic ends with a few relevant quotes.

One minor shortcoming for me, that may or may not be relevant for other readers, is that many of the quotes are unaccredited and I’m not sure if these are from Bob Proctor himself, or if the source is unknown.

A few the quotes/insights that I found poignant were:
Your results are a physical or outward expression of the inner conditioning in your subconscious mind.” - Bob Proctor
Correction does much, but encouragement does more.”- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
The secret of happiness is freedom… And the secret of freedom is courage.” No source provided
Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.” No source provided
Our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt.” - William Shakespeare
The highway to success is a toll road.”- Bob Proctor

In general, I like the fact that a person can open up to any of the topics and read that section without having read previous sections and I appreciate the fact that many of the sections can be read in a matter of minutes; however, as with so many things in life, the positives can also be a negative and the fact that some of the sections are so brief means that there is the potential for some readers to be left wanting.

Readers looking for a book on success that is easy to read and covers a broad spectrum of information will very likely find their needs met with The ABC’S of Success. On the other hand, readers who are looking for in-depth discussions on a particular aspect of success might not be satiated with this book.

No delusions, just an open mind

5

The main reason I like Deepak Chopra’s latest book, The Future of God is that it stands as a viable alternative to the “militant atheist’s” bible, the God delusion. Indeed, even though Deepak does not make the statement himself (at least I have not read specific words to that effect), it seems to me that The Future of God was written as a direct response to the “avowed enemies of faith.” As such, many references are made to the militant atheist tribe and their self-proclaimed conquistadors.

Deepak does clearly state in this book that he has no issue with those who have no faith in a higher power, he simply takes exception to the fact that, ‘This disturbing movement centered around Professor Richard Dawkins cloaks its vehement, often personal attacks in terms of science and rea-son… I have no harsh things to say about atheism without the militancy.’

Building from there, Deepak incorporates three stages of personal development that one progresses through on the path to God: unbelief, faith and finally knowledge. In other words, “They are stepping-stones from ‘No God’ to ‘Perhaps God’ to ‘God in me.’” The first stage of ‘Unbelief’ is characterized by reason and doubt and individuals, atheists, take the position that the physical is all that there is. The second stage, ‘Faith’, is when individuals hope that God is real and while this can be a positive influence, there is also the negative side of faith which is fanaticism. The third and final stage, ‘Knowledge’, is the stage where we are able to assert unquestioningly to ourselves that God does exist. The transition from stage to stage is not a clear cut, well-defined process, rather it is a gradual progression and it is bi-directional, in that while progress can be made, there will also be times when we can also digress.

Woven into the three stages are: numerous references and discussions that have taken place with said militant atheists, statistics about the state of religion and faith, anecdotal stories about the power of faith and various scientific discoveries pertaining to the nature of reality.

If one truly looks at the “facts”, the “hard questions” have not been solved by science and to discount a potential cause, simply because it does not fit into one’s belief system, is certainly not science, it is dogma. For those who do not wish to open their eyes, the world will always be dark.

So, in the final analysis, an ardent militant atheist would likely not enjoy this book, nor would any religious fundamentalists because, The Future of God is written to encourage a deeper exploration of the mystery of existence. As evidenced by the prolific endorsements from some of the world’ s leading professors, in many diverse fields, it is apparent that this latest book from Deepak not only provides readers with a philosophical view of faith, but also one founded on leading edge science - rather than the pseudoscience advocated by the naysayers. If you already know all the answer to the mysteries of life, then you won’t enjoy, or benefit from, this book. If, on the other hand, you feel that God doesn’t have to be an old man with a beard sitting on a cloud, if you feel that there is ‘something more’, if you are curious about the nature of reality and you are open to possibilities, than this could be the book you are looking for.

On people’s book shelves for 115 years, that speaks volumes

5

Ok, to put this in perspective, this book has been on the market for about 115 years!!, and it is still widely published to this day. Ralph was/is regarded as one of the original founding voices of the New Thought movement, and with books like, In Tune with the Infinite, it is easy to see why.

Unlike some of the other books from this era & in this genre, such as Prentice Mulford’s book, Thoughts are Things, this book is linguistically easy to read.

That being said, the main premise of this book is very similar to others in the genre with the belief that our internal dialogue and beliefs are manifest in the external: essentially our thoughts create our reality, “…so far as the physical life is concerned, all life is from within outwards.” Thoughts are forces and when we realize the power within us and truly believe in that ability, then we can create a reality that we want rather than live in the reality that appears beyond our control, “Thoughts are forces, subtle, vital, creative, continually building and shaping our lives according to their nature. It is in this way that the life always and inevitably follows the thought.” This of course means that we need to take responsibility for our thoughts and for the outcomes that come as a result of them, an idea that many people do not wish to entertain because it is far easier to place blame on external forces.

Compounding the problem is that fear thoughts will bring with them consequences that are in opposition to what we desire. We manifest what we think about not what we want.

The mind is everything, what you think you become.” Buddha

For those reading my other reviews this may be redundant; however, I add it here for those that have not read my reviews from similar authors: if you are deathly allergic to some of the labels/terms associated with religion, terms such as God, Jesus or spirit, then you might not enjoy this book, nor the other New Thought Books with similar messages. In order to have a conversation about the unseen world, the world of cause, we need to get over the dogma associated with the formal religions and see these labels simply as terms of reference for meaningful discussion. We can substitute any label we like, the essence remains the same.

Personally, I did not find this book to be ‘preachy’ or in any way advocating organized religion. The concepts on these pages, as with the other books in this area, if applied, have the power to transform our lives by allowing us to reclaim our power from the external. Of course this requires that we are honest with ourselves and that we take responsibility for both the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ alike.

An informative read for any Wayne Dyer Fan

5

I want to state right at the outset, and although this is obvious to many, it seems that some people know that this is an autobiography, yet do not UNDERSTAND that this is an autobiography. What I am saying is that previous books written by Wayne Dyer focus on an idea, issue, etc. in which some personal experiences are shared. This book is about Wayne’s journey through life and that necessitates a frequent use of "I." Personally, I did not find this book self-aggrandizing, and people who read biographies can likely relate to the style in which, I can See Clearly Now, is written; however, people that expect this book to be written in Wayne’s traditional style need to be conscientious of this "different" perspective.

Now that the caveat is out of the way, for those familiar with Wayne’s work, you will find numerous stories and anecdotes that he has shared during his 40+ years or writing and sharing...it’s hard to believe that Your Erroneous Zones came out in the mid-70’s!!! Many of the stories and personal experiences that have been shared during Wayne’s journey are finally compiled in one place, in a chronological order, that is easy to follow.

Wayne starts out with the early days in Detroit where he lived in an orphanage, his days in school and then he progresses through his post-secondary years, his time in the navy, and then through the creation of his 41 books. Along the way Wayne shares the encounters he has had with some of the significant “change agents” in his life, people like: Mother Teresa, Ken Keys Jr., Viktor Frankl, Guruji, Edwarda, Abraham Maslow and so many others. The names however, are not as important as the messages that came with them. It seems that every time a new person intersected Wayne’s path there was a new unfoldment, a new way of seeing the world. Some of the encounters were pleasant, some not so much, yet all the encounters contained new seeds of experience that helped Wayne expand his consciousness.

As his consciousness grew so too did his writing evolve from the physical/cerebral world into the world of the subconscious/spiritual . Going from Your Erroneous Zones to his later books, such as The Power of Intention or Wishes Fulfilled, there is a definite shift. I would concur with Wayne’s own conclusion that there is a Divine hand in this process and that all of the events in his journey have “conspired” to carry him along the path that he needed to travel to fulfill his dharma. Although hindsight is the rest stop we don’t get to enjoy until after the bumpy roads are behind us, the fact that we can “see clearly”, even after-the-fact, is a blessing that we can share with others as they travel on their own bumpy roads. The fact that Wayne is sharing his road map is the most significant aspect of I can See Clearly Now: the reader gets to share in experiences that can connect us on a universal/soul level. In other words, Wayne candidly shares his experiences AND these then form the foundation of an idea/concept/lesson that others can benefit from.

I am grateful that Wayne wrote and shared I Can See Clearly Now. From the perspective of a curious onlooker - I enjoyed reading about Wayne’s personal journey thus far - and I also enjoyed this book from the perspective of a student of life – learning as I go.

To emphasize some of my previous ramblings, I Can See Clearly Now is definitely written from different perspective than Dr. Wayne Dyer’s other books: this is an autobiography. If you have read and enjoyed Wayne Dyer’s other books AND you are curious to learn more about his personal experiences then you will likely enjoy I Can See Clearly Now. On the other hand, if you are looking for a book that is exclusively a “how-to” book, or simply another book from Wayne Dyer that is written in the same style as his earlier books, then I Can See Clearly Now might not be the book you are looking for.

As a side note, ironically and synchronistically perhaps, before the release of “I Can See Clearly Now” was announced, I was reading another book by Dr. Dyer and thought that it would be wonderful to have more insight, in a chronological order, into Wayne’s life. Well, it is said “Ask and ye shall receive” and perhaps one could even take that a step further and say “Think and ye shall receive” because in this case my thoughts were answered and I now have the book I had hoped for.

Not a standard/traditional book on fear

5

While I enjoyed, and learned a great deal from, Living without Fear, I think the title might be a little misleading because this book only discusses the topic of 'fear' indirectly ' as a byproduct of not understanding our connection to the Universal/Source/Divine/God (insert whatever word you prefer, they are used interchangeably within this book). By giving our power away to another person/entity we can become fearful in our powerlessness; therefore, Ernest focuses his writing on re-affirming our own inherent power: power derived from being a part of the Universal source rather than merely a servant of it.

In other words, when we are in a state of fear the way to overcome that situation is not to beseech, beg or bribe an external power for help, but rather, as Ernest Holmes suggests, we should accept that we are one with the higher power and work with that power through a 'spiritual mind treatment' to resolve the challenges we face. A 'spiritual mind treatment' is, ''...based on the theory that we are surrounded by a universal Law'a creative medium which is receptive to our thought and acts upon it automatically in an intelligent manner.' Furthermore, 'We do not change the nature of Reality through prayer, and it would be superstitious to suppose that we do or can. But, through prayer and meditation we enter into the nature of Reality and partake of this nature.'

If you are someone who believes that we are separate from the Universal Source or that the Universal Source is a distinct entity that needs appeasement, then it is likely that this book will not be to your liking (nor would anything else written by Ernest Holmes); however, if you can relate to statements such as:

'...the Law of Cause and Effect governs everything. There is nothing which can hinder Law from working. It is never a question of how much the Law will work, but always how well we can use It. We can constructively use It to the degree our thought and belief will let us, no farther, but always as far.'

'Thoughts are things.'

'We must learn that we can transcend our previous experiences; that we are bigger than we know; that beyond the finite is the Infinite.'
'It is impossible to separate the mental from the spiritual.'

'Just as there are laws of matter, so there are laws of mind, for what is true on one plane is true on all' If certain factors in physics produce certain results, then certain mental factors will produce certain results.'

then you will resonate with the rest of the ideas discussed in 'Living without Fear.'

If you are looking to learn more about the specific topic of 'fear' in its many forms and manifestations, there are some other wonderful books that you might consider, including: Thich Nhat Hanh's book, Fear; Susan Jeffers books, Feel the Fear and do it Anyway and Feel the Fear and Beyond.

Uplifting words and images for any day

5

Created by National Geographic, 'Daily Joy: 365 days of Inspiration - Photos and Wisdom to Lift Your Spirit' is a treasure trove of colorful and superb photographs, accompanied by 365 equally wonderful and inspiring daily quotes.

The pages in this book are not labeled with page numbers, rather the book is arranged in a daily calendar format, labeled with the month and day--commencing with January 1 and ending with December 31'and there is no year given; therefore, the book can be used indefinitely (for the sticklers, February 28 and 29th are included as one entry).

While it would be impossible to describe the actual photographs included in this book, suffice it to say that they are breathtaking: with some taking up a full two pages and others taking up merely a portion of the page.

Just as with the photographs, the words shared on these pages will touch you at a very deep level and inspire you to see the world with new eyes. The quotes come from many notable people throughout history, such as: Sir Winston Churchill, John Keats, Steve Jobs, Maya Angelou, Mark Twain, Rumi, Pema Chodron, William Arthur Ward, Henry David Thoreau, Robert Browning, Erich Fromm, Helen Keller, Mother Teresa, and the list goes on and on.

While be impossible to do justice to the vast number of superb words of wisdom in this book, randomly opening to seven different pages I came up with:

'To be able to look back upon one's life in satisfaction is to live twice.'-Khalil Gibran

'You are built not to shrink down to less, but to blossom into more. To be more splendid. To be more extraordinary. To use every moment to fill yourself up.'-Oprah Winfrey

'Your time is limited so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.'-Steve Jobs

'Talk not of wasted affection; affection never was wasted.'-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

'Put your ear down close to your soul and listen hard.'-Anne Sexton

'Pleasure is very seldom found where it is sought. Our brightest blazes are commonly kindled by unexpected sparks.'-Samuel Johnson

''Stuff your eyes with wonder, he said, live as if you'd drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It's more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.' -Ray Bradbury

In addition to the stellar quality of the content in this book, the physical production is also second to none. The pages are made from glossy, high-quality paper; the spine is very solid and well bound and there is even a bookmark ribbon to help you keep your place.

If you enjoy reading inspirational quotes and if stunning nature photography kindles a flame in your heart and soul, then you will likely never find a more suitable book than 'Daily Joy: 365 days of Inspiration - Photos and Wisdom to Lift Your Spirit' (other than perhaps the newer titles in this series). After having acquired a copy for myself, I also purchased a copy for a loved one and I know that I will be gifting many more copies of this book, and the others in the series, in the future: it truly is one of those 'perfect presents.'

Inspiring photos and quotes for every day of the year

5

Just like the other two books in this series, “Daily Joy” and “Daily Courage”, this book, “Daily Calm” was created by National Geographic, and it combines awe-inspiring, colorful photographs with uplifting quotes for each day of the year.

The pages in this book are not labeled with page numbers, rather the book is arranged in a daily calendar format, labeled with the month and day--commencing with January 1 and ending with December 31–and there is no year given; therefore, the book can be used indefinitely (for the sticklers, February 28 and 29th are included as one entry). That being said, there are ‘themes’ for each month, starting with January being ‘Transition,’ followed by: ‘Joy’, ‘Experience’, ‘Simplicity’, ‘Mindfulness’, ‘Compassion’, ‘Perspective’, ‘Patience’, ‘Contentment’, ‘Wisdom’, ‘Gratitude’, and ending with ‘Serenity’.

The quotes themselves come from many notable people throughout history, such as: Oliver Wendell Holmes, Mark Twain, Buddha, Albert Einstein, Rumi, Leonardo da Vinci, Voltaire, William Shakespeare, T.S Elliot, Marcel Proust, Frank Capra, Jane Goodall, Pema Chodron, William Arthur Ward, Cicero, Henry David Thoreau, Mother Teresa, and so many more (the entire list appears at the end of the book in a “Contributor” section).

Some examples of the quotes are as follows:

Only that day dawns to which we are awake.” Henry David Thoreau

Happiness, not in another place but this place…not for another hour, but this hour.” Walt Whitman

We can only learn to love by loving.” Iris Murdoch

Have a heart that never hardens,
and a temper that never tires,
and a touch that never hurts
.’ Charles Dickens

“The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning to work on becoming yourself.” Anna Quindlen

What wound did ever heal but by degrees.” William Shakespeare

And each one of these quotes is accompanied by an amazing photo - some taking up the entire two page spread, others just covering part of one page; however, they are all superb in their own right.

If you enjoy reading inspirational quotes accompanied with stunning nature photography then ‘Daily Calm: 365 days of Serenity’ could be just what you are looking for and, if you’re on my Christmas list, it is likely that you will find a copy of this book under your tree.

An insightful look into the process of prayer

5

** I would like to preface this review by saying that I have no affinity for any particular religion and I found ‘Secrets of the Lost Mode of Prayer’ to be very neutral and unbiased in its presentation. If you have a very strong belief system in one particular religion, or if you have a strong inclination to a specific mode of prayer, then this book might be incongruent with your beliefs. **

Although the essence of what is being said in ‘Secrets of the Lost Mode of Prayer’ could likely be summed up in a few sentences, doing that here would be a disservice to the potential reader because, as is often the case in life, it is the journey that is of value – not simply arriving at a destination. In other words, just like Gregg Braden shares in this book, unless we understand the essence of a process, in this case prayer, we are merely parrots repeating hollow words that someone has given us and these will likely have little benefit in our lives.

The good news is that the essence of effective prayer is not confined to one specific religion, or religion in general, because even science has shown us that “Through the blanket of energy that bathes our world, were all linked in ways that we’re only beginning to understand.” By being connected to ‘The Field’, ‘God’, ‘The Divine’- or whatever label you choose to use to describe the underlying creative force of the universe - you have access to a powerful, transformative energy. So, the reason that prayer transcends the physical limitations of our current reality is due to the fact that our true nature is one that isn’t bound to a world of the physical senses: we are connected to the very power of creation itself.

By using this idea of connectivity to all things as the central premise, and then incorporating years of research, Gregg Braden was able to come up with five components, five “secrets”, that are part of the “lost mode of prayer” and these correspond to the five chapters of the book:

1) “Our Lost mode of Prayer” – discussing how consciousness creates and the outer world is a reflection of our inner world.
2) “Hurt is the teacher, Wisdom Is the Lesson” – Discussing how many of the trials and tragedies of life can be transformed to teach us crucial lessons.
3) “Blessing Is the Release” – discussing how the power of blessing, as difficult as it may be, is required to help us let go of past hurt/wrongdoings, thereby freeing us from the mental prison of toxic resentment.
4) “Beauty is the Transformer” – discussing that idea that even though the definition of beauty is different for everyone, the simple act of choosing to see beauty in even the most unlikely places can uplift us.
5) “Creating Your Own Prayers” – discussing the mystical language of prayer transcends language and the final, crucial key for successful prayers is… (sorry, I don’t want to spoil the surprise here. I will leave this for you to discover in the event that this book interests you).

When all is said and done, I found ‘Secrets of the Lost Mode of Prayer’ to be a wonderfully informative, non-dogmatic exploration of the practice of prayer and I can see how we can potentially benefit from it. Additionally, in some way I could sense, or ‘feel’ the underlying exuberance with which Gregg Braden wrote this book. It seems to me that Mr. Braden truly is trying to improve the lives for those reading this book and, by extension (based on the scientific studies that have been, and continue to be, conducted) thereby potentially benefiting all life on this planet. And, based on the current state of the world, perhaps this ‘secret’ is the answer to our collective prayers.

19 books--some fantastic, some not--in one massive volume

4

To review each of the 19 individual books found in 'The Prosperity Bible' would make this review as unwieldy as the book itself; therefore, I will just share some general thoughts about the content as a whole.

First off, I think it is important to state that the word 'Prosperity' is used in a broad sense by the authors. As it is used, it does not only mean physical wealth, but it also incorporates abundance in other areas of one's life as well. This is not a compilation of books on ways to get rich quick, rather it is a compilation of books that explore how we can enrich our lives through personal development.

I originally purchased 'The Prosperity Bible' because it was precisely the book I had been wishing for: a compendium of material written by some of the early, Personal Transformation/New-age/Self-help authors in one book; however, as the adage warns, 'Be careful what you wish for, you might just get it' and that is exactly how I feel about this book now.

Having a book comprised of so many individual works is convenient, and it takes up less room on the bookshelf than 19 individual books, yet it also makes for an unwieldy, 1272 page, three pound (1.5kg) behemoth. Carrying the book in your backpack, or trying to hold the book aloft while reading it might save a few reps at the gym, it just didn't make for an enjoyable read. In addition, in order to save more weight and to reduce the actual thickness of the book, the pages are very thin and can be easily torn. If you like highlighting, be prepared for it to bleed through to the other side of the page.

As far as content goes, with so many books included in one volume it is reasonable to assume that the group will include exceptional books and some lack-luster titles as well and, indeed, that is what I found here. Of the 19 books there were several that I did not enjoy at all, but I felt the majority were well worth the time it took to read them. Even with the occasional book that I didn't like, at this price the collection is an exceptional bargain (considering how much the individual books would cost if purchased separately).

For those wanting a complete list of these individual books:
1) Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill (original 1937 edition)
2) Acres of Diamonds by Russell H. Conwell
3) A Message to Garcia by Elbert Hubbard
4) As a Man Thinketh by James Allen
5) The Game of Life and How to Play It by Florence Scovel Shinn
6) The Science of Getting Rich by Wallace D. Wattles
7) Creative Mind and Success by Ernest Holmes
8) Prosperity by Charles Fillmore
9) In Tune With the Infinite by Ralph Waldo Trine
10) The Master Key System by Charles F. Haanel
11) The Secret of Success by William Walker Atkinson
12) The Act of Money Getting by P.T. Barnum
13) The Way to Wealth by Benjamin Franklin
14) The Secret of The Ages by Robert Collier (original 1926 edition)
15) The Conquest of Poverty by Helen Wilmans
16) How to Attract Success by F.W. Sears
17) The Power of Concentration by Theron Q. Dumont
18) How to Grow Success by Elizabeth Towne
19) The Mental Equivalent by Emmet Fox

When it's all said and done, I am grateful that this book exists because it gave me exposure to many great books that I might not have purchased separately. Anyone unfamiliar with the authors who contributed to 'The Prosperity Bible', or for those who want to read the books in an inexpensive format, getting the 'The Prosperity Bible' will meet your needs. Personally, once I realized how transformative some of these books were, and how much I disliked reading them in this hulking book, I went out and bought the individual titles that I wanted to re-read.

The rating for this book is 3.5 stars (of course I can't give half stars with these ratings so I will bump it up to a 4-star rating overall) and it would be derived as follows:
Physical Quality = 2-stars (thin paper and the massive size weren't to my liking)
Quality of Content = 4-stars (most of the individual books would merit 4 or 5 stars, with a few warranting 2 or 3 stars)
Overall Value/Price = 5-stars (buying all of the individual books would likely cost 10x as much)