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five invitations

Five Invitations

Discovering What Death Can Teach Us About Living Fully
$23.50 CAD
Paperback Book
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Publication Date: November, 2018
ISBN: 9781250076748
In stock now: 0

Zen Hospice pioneer Frank Ostaseski's stirring book, The Five Invitations, is an exhilarating meditation on the meaning of life and how maintaining an ever-present awareness of death can bring us closer to our truest selves. He dedicates the book to his mentor, Stephen Levine, and begins the book with this:

Death is not waiting for us at the end of a long road. Death is always with us, in the marrow of every passing moment. She is the secret teacher hiding in plain sight, helping us to discover what matters most. 

In his thirty-plus years as a companion to the dying, Frank Ostaseski has sat on the precipice of death with more than a thousand people. He has distilled the lessons gleaned into The Five Invitations.

The Five Invitations

  • Don't wait
  • Welcome everything, push away nothing
  • Bring your whole self to the experience
  • Find a place of rest in the middle of things
  • Cultivate a don’t know mind

will, if lived, show us how death can be the guide we need to wake up fully to our lives.

I think of these as five bottomless practices that can be continually explored and deepened. They have little value as theories. To be understood, they have to be lived into and realized through action.

They can be understood as best practices for anyone coping with loss or navigating any sort of transition or crisis.

Rachel Naomi Remen writes in her foreword:

The great depth of experience he brings to this book can only be accumulated by those who are fearless, who have found their way to stillness and presence, who possess an ability to connect to the heart and soul of others, and who are blessed with the gift of story for sharing the road traveled. The Five Invitations is filled with stories so profound that they function as a compass, a way to travel an unknown road to a desired destination. Many of the true stories in this book can be read as parables, wisdom stories that enable us all to live more purposefully and wisely in many diverse circumstances…


This book is not someone’s ideas or beliefs about what the experience of dying is and means. It is a sharing of deep experience by a superbly aware observer. It invites you to grow your eyes

 

I am reminded that death, like love, is intimate, and that intimacy is the condition of the deepest learning.

notes for the everlost

Notes for the Everlost

A Field Guide to Grief
$22.95 CAD
Paperback Book
Publisher: Shambhala
Publication Date: September, 2018
ISBN: 9781611805505
In stock now: 0

Part memoir, part handbook for the heartbroken, this powerful, unsparing account of losing a premature baby will speak to all who have been bereaved and are grieving, and offers inspiration on moving forward, gently integrating the loss into life.

When Kate Inglis's twin boys were born prematurely, one survived and the other did not. This is the powerful, unsparing account of her experience, her bereavement, and ultimately how she was able to move forward and help other parents who had experienced such profound loss.

Inglis’s story is a springboard that can help other bereaved parents—and anyone who has experienced wrenching loss—reflect on emotional survival in the first year; dealing with family, friends, and bystanders post-loss; the unique survivors’ guilt, feelings of failure, and isolation of bereavement; and the fortitude of like-minded community and small kindnesses. Inglis’s unique voice—at once brash, irreverent, and achingly beautiful—creates a nuanced picture of the landscape of grief, encompassing the trauma, the waves of disbelief and emptiness, the moments of unexpected affinity and lightness, and the compassion that grows from our most intense chapters of the human experience.

come of age

Come of Age

The Case for Elderhood in a Time of Trouble
$25.95 CAD
Paperback Book
Publisher: North Atlantic Books
Publication Date: June, 2018
ISBN: 9781623172091
In stock now: 22

In his landmark provocative style, Stephen Jenkinson, author of Die Wise, makes the case that we must birth a new generation of elders, one poised and willing to be true stewards of the planet and its species.

Come of Age does not offer tips on how to be a better senior citizen or how to be kinder to our elders. Rather, with lyrical prose and incisive insight, Stephen Jenkinson explores the great paradox of elderhood in North America: how we are awash in the aged and yet somehow lacking in wisdom; how we relegate senior citizens to the corner of the house while simultaneously heralding them as sage elders simply by virtue of their age.

Our own unreconciled relationship with what it means to be an elder has yielded a culture nearly bereft of them. Meanwhile, the planet boils, and the younger generation boils with anger over being left an environment and sociopolitical landscape deeply scarred and broken.

Taking on the sacred cow of the family, Jenkinson argues that elderhood is a function rather than an identity—it is not a position earned simply by the number of years on the planet or the title “parent” or “grandparent.” As with his seminal book Die Wise, Jenkinson interweaves rich personal stories with iconoclastic observations that will leave readers radically rethinking their concept of what it takes to be an elder and the risks of doing otherwise. Part critique, part call to action, Come of Age is a love song inviting all of us to grow up, before it's too late.

Getting older is inevitable, becoming an elder is a skill

 

The sages seem to be departing. Elections enthrone Change, that’s all. The tribal lines deepen.  And there’s the weather, and the waters…

 

In a time like this, contemplation tethered to the troubled world is courageous. Contemplative sorrow: that’s the kind that is willing to learn the trouble of its time in a way that principled anxiety is not. Contemplation worthy of the troubled time: that is something to bequeath to the young among us. Unvanquished give-a-shit: that is something the old among us might be nourished to see.

 

Trade faith and hope for a stranger love of life, one that befriends the darkening sky by learning it. We might yet craft an eloquence that serves the terrible beauty we are about to bequeath to the young. Consequence, after all, is the true companion of grown ups.

let the whole thundering world come home

Let the Whole Thundering World Come Home

A Memoir
$22.95 CAD
Paperback Book
Publisher: Shambhala
Publication Date: June, 2018
ISBN: 9781611805673
In stock now: 8

 Here’s a moving and clear-looking memoir on being in love with your life even when life brings illness, from longtime Zen practitioner and renowned writing teacher Natalie Goldberg, author of Writing Down the Bones.

When Natalie learns that she has CLL, a potentially fatal form of blood cancer, she is plunged into the world of hospitals, doctors, and medication. While trying to find a footing in this new and strange world, her partner, Yu-kwan, is also diagnosed with cancer. The cancer twins, as Natalie calls herself and Yu-kwan, must each now navigate their own illness while somehow trying to stay in love and heal.

When you go through extreme sickness, when everything you know and lived is tossed out the window and glass shatters… this too is part of life. Don’t give up. Pay attention. We have to make ourselves larger to include the inconceivable.

As the title expresses, Let the Whole Thundering World Come Home is so much more than a cancer memoir. Through a direct and grounded narrative, Natalie illuminates a path through illness: that we need to be in love with the life we have, to embrace the dark and the light in our life. For Natalie, writing and painting represent the light, and her cancer takes her deeper into her art practices. Balanced with a Zen practice that helps her to face death, this book is a moving meditation on living life in full bloom.

“With alert stillness infused with intention, Natalie Goldberg meets mortality head-on. Beautifully written, this is a book about love, loss, and down-to-the-marrow courage.” —Wendy Johnson, author of Gardening at the Dragon’s Gate

“This riveting and deeply honest book is for all of us. It opens up the road of diagnosis, dying, and life in a way no other book I have read does. It is a powerful narrative of truth and rawness that will touch and teach us.”—Joan Halifax, author of Being with Dying

letter to a young farmer

Letter to a Young Farmer

How to Live Richly without Wealth on the New Garden Farm
$24.95 CAD
Paperback Book
Publisher: Chelsea Green
Publication Date: June, 2018
ISBN: 9781603588065
In stock now: 3

For  decades, the self-described contrary farmer Gene Logsdon has commented on the state of North American agriculture. In Letter to a Young Farmer, his final book of essays, Logsdon addresses the next generation—young people moving back to the land to enjoy a better way of life as small-scale garden farmers. It’s a lifestyle that recognizes the beauty of nature, cherishes the land, respects our fellow creatures, and values rural traditions. It’s one that also looks forward and embraces right technologies, including new and innovative ways of working smarter and avoiding premature burnout.

Completed only a few weeks before the author's death, Letter to a Young Farmer is a remarkable testament to the life and wisdom of one of the greatest rural philosophers and writers of our time. Gene's earthy wit and sometimes irreverent humor combines with his valuable perspectives on many wide-ranging subjects—everything from how to show a ram who's boss to enjoying the almost churchlike calmness of a well-built livestock barn.

Can you imagine what a sea of change would take place in the mad world of money if so many people produced their food in the same spirit with which they now play golf, producing maybe a little more to keep the philosophers well fed?

Reading this book is like sitting down on the porch with a neighbor who has learned the ways of farming through years of long observation and practice. And Gene Logsdon was the best kind of teacher: equal parts storyteller, idealist, and rabble-rouser. His vision of a nation filled with garden farmers, based in cities, towns, and countrysides, will resonate with many people, both young and old, who long to create a more sustainable, meaningful life for themselves and a better world for all of us.

Our ways of degrading the climate are in no way distinguishable from our ways of abusing the land. Because he knows this, he speaks exactly at the intersection of economy and ecology, where the world will or will not be made better. —Wendell Berry, fro m the foreword

no time like the present

No Time Like the Present

Finding Freedom, Love, and Joy Right Where You Are
$22.00 CAD
Paperback Book
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: June, 2018
ISBN: 9781451693706
In stock now: 3

In his first big book in several years, mindfulness meditation teacher Jack Kornfield (author of A Path with Heart, Bringing Home the Dharma, etc.) invites us into a new awareness. Through his wise, warmhearted, poignant, often funny stories, with their Aha moments and O. Henry-like outcomes, Jack shows how we get stuck and how we can free ourselves, wherever we are and whatever our circumstances. Renowned for his mindfulness practices and meditations (he is a teacher of teachers), Jack provides these keys for opening gateways to immediate shifts in perspective and clarity of vision, allowing us to see how to change course, take action, or—when we shouldn’t act—just relax and trust.

Each chapter presents a path to a different kind of freedom—freedom from fear, freedom to start over, to love, to be yourself, and to be happy—and guides you into an active process that engages your mind, heart, and spirit, awakens your spirit, and brings real joy, over and over again.

Drawing from his own life as a son, brother, father, and partner, and on his forty years of face-to-face teaching of thousands of people, Jack presents a stirring call to be here, in the power of the now, the present, as we work through life’s passages. His keys to life will help us find hope, clarity, relief from past disappointments and guilt, and the courage to go forward.

If not now, when?

“With its incomparable blend of deep wisdom, evocative stories, and powerful meditations, No Time Like the Present is the fruit of a lifetime of spiritual teaching. Jack Kornfield’s message is, we don’t have to wait. Love, peace, freedom… it’s all available right here, in this very heart.”

Tara Brach, author of True Refuge

“A consommé of goodness, heart, laughter, tears, and breath, nourishing and delicious. Rich in hope and deep wisdom for these revved up, rattling times." — Anne Lamott author of Grace (Eventually)

real love

Real Love

The Art of Mindful Connection
$22.50 CAD
Paperback Book
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Publication Date: June, 2018
ISBN: 9781250076519
In stock now: 5

Real Love will help you to truly engage with your present experience and create deeper love relationships with yourself, your partner, friends and family, and with life itself. Senior meditation teacher Sharon Salzberg encourages us to strip away layers of negative habits and obstacles, helping us to experience authentic love based on direct experience, rather than preconceptions.

The how of this book is based on a tool kit of mindfulness techniques and other practices cultivating lovingkindness and compassion that I have been teaching for over forty years. Mindfulness practice helps create space between our actual experiences and the reflexive stories we tend to tell about them (e.g., “This is all I deserve”). Lovingkindness practice helps us move out of the terrain of our default narratives if they tend to be based on fear or disconnection. We become authors of brand-new stories about love.

 

There are meditations, reflections, and interactive exercises designed to be suitable for anybody. They outline a path of exploration that is exciting, creative, and even playful… The meditations in particular area meant to be done more than just once—over time, practicing them will create a steady foundation in mindfulness and lovingkindness in our lives.

With positive reflections and practices, Sharon teaches us how to shift the responsibilities of the love that we give and receive to rekindle the powerful healing force of true connection. By challenging myths perpetuated by popular culture, we can undo the limited definitions that reduce love to simply romance or passion, and give the heart a much needed tune-up to connect ourselves to the truest experience of love in our daily lives.

The book is divided into four sections, each addressing a distinct experience of “real love”: love for the self, love for another individual, love for all beings, and love for life itself.

Working from the inside out, the first step on the journey is to learn to love yourself And it is only when we are truly engaged with present experience that we not only are able to feel more connected to our own core selves, but also to those around us.

Among Sharon Salzberg’s other books are Lovingkindness and Real Happiness.

essential natural plasters

Essential Natural Plasters

A Guide to Materials, Recipes, and Use
$39.95 CAD
Paperback Book
Publisher: New Society Publishers
Publication Date: June, 2018
ISBN: 9780865718708
In stock now: 2

Natural plasters made of clay, lime, and other materials mixed with sand are beautiful building finishes. Fun to work with, low-impact, and allowing infinite creativity, they are high performance and provide proven, centuries-long durability.

Yet until now there's been no resource that has pulled together the best North American plaster recipes and how-to into one place. Essential Natural Plasters covers it all:

  • Sourcing and selecting materials, including site-soils
  • Clay, lime, and gypsum plasters as well as fibers and amendments
  • Interior and exterior use and specialty plasters such as tadelakt for bathrooms
  • Preparing substrates, from straw bales and cob to lath and sheetrock
  • How to set-up a safe, efficient worksite
  • Mixing, testing, tinting, and applying plasters and plaster repair
  • Coveted recipes from leading plasterers in Ontario, Vermont, New Mexico, France, and New Zealand.

Richly illustrated and deeply researched, Essential Natural Plasters is the must-have resource for owner-builders and professionals alike.

mudgirls manifesto

Mudgirls Manifesto

Handbuilt Homes, Handcrafted Lives
$29.95 CAD
Paperback Book
Publisher: New Society
Publication Date: June, 2018
ISBN: 9780865718777
In stock now: 1

In the face of widespread burnout and a world gone crazy, how do we find things to say "yes" to, rather than a resounding "no"?

On North America's West Coast, there's a group of rebel women who ten years ago chose to break free from a rigged economic and social system. They didn't take to the streets to lobby banks and governments to change their ways—they didn't have time for that. They had babies to feed and house. They reckoned that if nobody else was going to change the rules to support basic human needs and respect the biosphere, then we are all free to make our own rules.

They chose action. They decided to teach themselves how to build houses using the most abundant material on earth—mud. They'd learn by building, gathering skills and allies. They'd have fun, sharing whatever they learned with whoever wanted to come along for the ride. The Mudgirls revolution was born.

Part story of rebel women, grassroots self-governance, and community-building, part incendiary political and economic tract, and part practical guide to building natural homes for real people. Mudgirls Manifesto is about respecting the earth, each other, and crafting meaningful lives.

A powerful, positive antidote to troubled times.

The Mudgirls is an all-women's natural building collective that formed in 2007 in coastal British Columbia. Founded on the principle of self-empowerment, they champion the use of natural, local, and salvaged materials, human-scaled DIY solutions, inclusiveness, support for mothers, care for children, and fun. They build things and offer workshops that empower people to take back the right to provide themselves with shelter. The Mudgirls have collaborated with over 50 clients and more than 600 workshop participants from all over the world, forging alliances and honing the skills to build homes. Find out more at mudgirls.ca.

how to change your mind

How to Change Your Mind

What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence
$37.00 CAD
Hardcover Book
Publisher: Penguin Press
Publication Date: May, 2018
ISBN: 9781594204227
In stock now: 7

A brilliant and brave investigation by Michael Pollan, author of five New York Times best sellers, into the medical and scientific revolution taking place around psychedelic drugs—and the story of his own life-changing psychedelic experiences, too.

When Michael Pollan set out to research how LSD and psilocybin (the active ingredient in magic mushrooms) are being used to provide relief to people suffering from difficult-to-treat conditions such as depression, addiction and anxiety, he did not intend to write what is undoubtedly his most personal book. But upon discovering how these remarkable substances are improving the lives not only of the mentally ill but also of healthy people coming to grips with the challenges of everyday life, he decided to explore the landscape of the mind in the first person as well as the third. Thus began his adventure into the experience of various altered states of consciousness, along with a dive deep into both the latest brain science and the thriving underground community of psychedelic therapists.

Pollan sifts the historical record to separate the truth about these mysterious drugs from the myths that have surrounded them since the 1960s, when a handful of psychedelic evangelists catalyzed a powerful backlash against what was then a promising field of research.

A unique and elegant blend of science, memoir, travel writing, history, and medicine, How to Change Your Mind is a triumph of participatory journalism. By turns dazzling and edifying, it is the gripping account of a journey to an exciting and unexpected new frontier in our understanding of the mind, the self, and our place in the world. The true subject of Pollan's “mental travelogue” is not just psychedelic drugs but also the eternal puzzle of human consciousness and how, in a world that offers us both struggle and beauty, we can do our best to be fully present and find meaning in our lives.

“After 50 years underground, psychedelics are back. We are incredibly fortunate to have Michael Pollan be our travel guide for their renaissance. With humility, humor, and deep humanity, he takes us through the history, the characters, and the science of these “mind manifesting” compounds. Along the way, he navigates the mysteries of consciousness, spirituality, and the mind. What he has done previously for gardeners and omnivores, Pollan does brilliantly here for all of us who wonder what it means to be fully human, or even what it means to be.
—Thomas Insel, MD, former director of National Institute of Mental Health

“At the center of Pollan’s story is the greatest conundrum of all–– why should substances that have been so beneficial to so many people, be the focus of crazy criminal penalties? Why, indeed.”
—Errol Morris

“Michael Pollan assembles a great deal of information here on the history, science, and effects of psychedelics. I found his frank recounting of his recent experiences with LSD, psilocybin, and toad venom most revealing. They appear to have softened his materialistic views and opened him to the possibilities of higher consciousness. He did, indeed, change his mind.”
—Andrew Weil, author of The Natural Mind