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holy rascals

Holy Rascals

Advice for Spiritual Revolutionaries
$19.50 CAD
Paperback Book
Publisher: Sounds True
Publication Date: December, 2017
ISBN: 9781622037469
In stock now: 4

God is real. Everything we say about God is made up. Holy Rascals is a rousing call to anyone ready to go beyond isms and ideologies, and live in the world as a liberating force of justice, compassion, and joy. It’s also a brilliant, blunt tuning of your funny bone for the greater good.

“Holy rascals are spiritual culture jammers who use humor, play, creativity, and critical thinking to reveal the human origins of religions and how religions mask their true origins behind the conceit of divine origins,” writes Rabbi Rami.

Humor is the one thing Gods and clergy cannot fight. It is the one thing they fear the most. The surest way to slay a God is to laugh at the madness the God promotes. This is what holy rascals are called to do, and this book is a manifesto and guide to doing it.

In part one, he describes the making of a holy rascal and the great task of “freeing religion from the parochial and for the perennial.” Part two explores the art of hacking the holy, or pulling back the curtain on religion’s fear-based mechanisms of control.

 Substitute “religion” for “language” and you have the basic holy rascal understanding of religion.

We turn sounds into letters, letters into words, words into sentences, sentences into paragraphs, paragraphs into books, books into excuses for bashing each other’s heads in. No wonder silence is golden.

Part three presents some of the provocative tools and one-of-a-kind practices of the holy rascal, with guidance for creating your very own “rascally” ways.

We are religious anarchists and spiritual subversives whose goal is to free religion from branding all together, and in this way set human meaning making free to imagine new ways of being holy that do not fall into the clutches of tribalism and its passion for demonizing the other.

Rabbi Rami’s wit and aphorisms offer astonishing, freeing perspective for today’s spiritual seeker. “What makes enlightened people seem special is that they are so very ordinary, while all the rest of us are desperately trying to be anything but…

“At once side-splittingly hilarious and heartbreakingly on target, this outrageous tour de force of a spiritual manifesto reminds us once again that great irony wielded with great compassion can be a powerful vehicle of truth.” —Cynthia Bourgeault, author of The Wisdom Way of Knowing

mindfulness on the go

Mindfulness on the Go

Simple Meditation Practices You Can Do Anywhere
$14.95 CAD
Paperback Book
Publisher: Shambhala
Publication Date: December, 2017
ISBN: 9781611804454
In stock now: 6

Here’s a beautifully useful collection of mindfulness practices anyone can do anytime—from the author of Mindful Eating.

Mindfulness can reduce stress, improve physical health and quality of life, and give you deep insight. Meditation practice is one way to do it, but not the only way. In fact, there are easy ways to fit it into your everyday life. Jan Chozen Bays provides here 25 practices that can be used on the go to cultivate mindfulness. The three-breath practice, the mindfulness of entering rooms, offering compliments, tasting your food one careful bite at a time—these deceptively simple practices can have a cumulative effect for the better. The book is an abridgment of Bays’s longer collection How to Train a Wild Elephant: And Other Adventures in Mindfulness.

This book offers a wide variety of ways to bring mindfulness into your daily life. We call them “mindfulness exercises.” You could also think of them as mindfulness “seeds,” seeds to plant and grow mindfulness in the many nooks and corners of your life, seeds you can watch as they grow and bear fruit each day.

 

Each exercise has several sections. First there is a description of the task and some ideas about how to remind yourself to do it throughout the day and week. Next is a section titled, “Discoveries,” which includes people’s observations, insights, or difficulties with the task, along with any relevant research findings. In the section called “Deeper Lessons” I explore the themes and larger life lessons connected with the exercise. Each exercise is like a window, giving us a glimpse of what an awakened life would be like.  Lastly there are a few “Final Worlds,” which sum up the exercise or inspire you to continue letting it unfold.

This book is part of the Shambhala Pocket Library series, which distill the wisdom and heart of the work Shambhala Publications has published over 50 years into a compact format that is collectible, reader-friendly, and applicable to everyday life.

collected letters of alan watts

Collected Letters of Alan Watts

$43.50 CAD
Hardcover Book
Publisher: New World Library
Publication Date: December, 2017
ISBN: 9781608684151
In stock now: 4

The New York Times has called Alan Watts, “the foremost Western interpreter of eastern thought for the modern world.” What an unexpected gift, after all this time to have the correspondence of a one-of-a-kind, free-thinking spiritual seeker and finder like Watts, who to this day (he lived 1915-1973), influences philosophers and deep thinkers of all stripes.

Alan Watts began life in a bucolic British setting, was sent off to schooling that might nurture his gifts, and wound up bumping into Zen Buddhism in a way that would influence several generations. This collection of letters, discovered and lovingly curated by two of his daughters (Joan Watts and Anne Watts), reveals a wonderfully well-rounded Alan Watts. It includes the charming missives he wrote to his parents through many decades, the back-and-forth with the editors of his many writings, and delightfully rich correspondence with diverse friends and thinkers. Throughout the book, there is fascinating commentary by his daughters that highlights and adds to the letters, including this piece by Joan Watts:

For Alan, the use of psychedelics was a religious experience. He felt that the abuse or constant use of such drugs was to nullify the spiritual effect one could garner from the experience. It was like finding a shortcut to satori or samadhi, but on an entirely different wavelength. To Alan, drug-induced altered states could be compared to certain states experienced in some Buddhist (and other religious) practices.

Throughout, readers gain an unprecedented and richly personal take on Watts as philosopher, interpreter of Eastern philosophy, and Christian thinker. His thoughts on the big questions—Why are we here? What is the meaning of existence?—will resonate with longtime Watts fans as well as seekers new to his work.

radical wholeness

Radical Wholeness

The Embodied Present and the Ordinary Grace of Being
$23.95 CAD
Paperback Book
Publisher: North Atlantic Books
Publication Date: November, 2017
ISBN: 9781623171773
In stock now: 5

This new book by the author of New Self, New World shows that the primary deficiency inflicted on us by our culture is the inability to feel wholeness—in the self, the body, and the world around us. Because we have been systematically trained to numb ourselves to wholeness and to confine our attention to the boundary of the self, we live in our heads, disconnected from the body and at odds with the world. We accept that it's normal to feel fragmented, reactionary, and stale.

This book is a call to action to recover wholeness and to experience a new way of being. Philip Shepherd draws from neuroscience, anthropology, physics, art, and myth—-as well as his extensive work as an international embodiment expert—to explain how our culture’s limitations live in the body, and to help readers transcend them.

Shepherd explains that the elusive qualities that we all yearn to experience—peace, simplicity, passion, grace, connection, and clarity—arise from an experience of wholeness. He highlights how, though everything is in relationship with everything else and wholeness surrounds us, blindness to it continues to manifest in our culture and our bodies. He suggests original exercises to help us reclaim the birthright of our wholeness and to experience a new way of being. He leaves readers with a fresh, renewed way of understanding their personal lives and the problems that we face as a culture, as well as a clear sense of the way forward.

altered traits

Altered Traits

Science Reveals How Meditation Changes Your Mind, Brain, and Body
$36.00 CAD
Hardcover Book
Publisher: Avery
Publication Date: September, 2017
ISBN: 9780399184383
In stock now: 4

 In the last twenty years, meditation and mindfulness have gone from being kind of cool to becoming an omnipresent Band-Aid for fixing everything from your weight to your relationship to your achievement level. Unveiling here the kind of cutting-edge research that has made them giants in their fields, Daniel Goleman and Richard Davidson show us the truth about what meditation can really do for us, as well as exactly how to get the most out of it.

An altered trait—a new characteristic that arises from a meditation practice—endures apart from meditation itself. Altered traits shape how we behave in our daily lives, not just during or immediately after we meditate.

Sweeping away common misconceptions and neuromythology to open readers eyes to the ways data has been distorted to sell mind-training methods, the authors demonstrate that beyond the pleasant states mental exercises can produce, the real payoffs are the lasting personality traits that can result. But short daily doses will not get us to the highest level of lasting positive change—even if we continue for years—without specific additions. More than sheer hours, we need smart practice, including crucial ingredients such as targeted feedback from a master teacher and a more spacious, less attached view of the self, all of which are missing in widespread versions of mind training. The authors also reveal the latest data from Davidson’s own lab that point to a new methodology for developing a broader array of mind-training methods with larger implications for how we can derive the greatest benefits from the practice.

We have set out to make clear what works and what does not.

Some of what you know about meditation may be wrong. But what is true about meditation you may not know…

 

We aim to shift the conversation with a radical reinterpretation of what the actual benefits of meditation are—and are not—and what the true aim of practice has always been.

Grounded in new research, this is one of those rare books that has the power to change us at the deepest level.

mind at home with itself

Mind at Home with Itself

How Asking Four Questions Can Free Your Mind, Open Your Heart, and Turn Your World Around
$34.99 CAD
Hardcover Book
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: September, 2017
ISBN: 9780062651600
In stock now: 8

In A Mind at Home with Itself, Byron Katie illuminates one of the most profound Buddhist texts, The Diamond Sutra (newly translated in these pages by Stephen Mitchell) to reveal the nature of the mind and to liberate us from painful thoughts, using her revolutionary system of self-inquiry called The Work.

Byron Katie doesn’t merely describe the awakened mind; she empowers us to see it and feel it, in action. At once startlingly fresh and powerfully enlightening, A Mind at Home with Itself offers us a transformative new perspective on life and death. As she says,

If you find internal work exciting, you’ll look forward to the worst that can happen, because you won’t find a problem that can’t be solved from the inside.

In the midst of a normal American life, Byron Katie became increasingly depressed and over a ten-year period sank further into despair and suicidal thoughts. Then one morning in 1986 she woke up in a state of absolute joy, filled with the realization of how her own suffering had ended. The freedom of that realization has never left her. Its direct result, The Work, has helped millions of people all over the world to question their stressful thoughts and set themselves free from suffering.

You can’t have anything. You can’t have any truth. Inquiry takes all that away…

 

The Work wakes us up to reality. When we take it on as a practice, it leaves us as flawless, innocent, a figment of pure imagination. Practicing inquiry takes us to the Buddha-mind, where everything, without exception, is realized as good. It leads to total freedom. Why would you want to experience a problem and pretend it isn’t there—to skip over it and find just some tiny place inside you that’s free? Don’t you want to find freedom with every breath? Nothing exists but the concept in the moment. Let’s meet that now with understanding.

“A truly illuminating and lively hookup of revered ancient Zen Diamond Sutra teachings and a wild and clear-eyed modern sage. It will help you to question deeply, inspire your spirit, and awaken your understanding.” Jack Kornfield

“I think Byron Katie is just a real thing. I love her to death. She’s pure and her intent is only to serve and she brings people back to reality so quickly.” Tony Robbins

Among Byron Katie’s other books are Loving What Is and I Need Your Love—Is That True?

beyond mindfulness

Beyond Mindfulness

The Direct Approach to Lasting Peace, Happiness, and Love
$23.95 CAD
Paperback Book
Publisher: New Harbinger
Publication Date: September, 2017
ISBN: 9781626259720
In stock now: 5

Written by meditation expert, psychotherapist, and spiritual teacher Stephan Bodian, this book takes you beyond familiar mindfulness practices by offering guided meditations and direct pointers that invite you to realize your natural state of inherent wakefulness and peace. No regular practice is required, just the willingness to open yourself to a transformative new way of experiencing life.

Mindfulness has permeated our modern lives, and with good reason—it's been proven to boost mood, reduce stress, improve health, and maximize performance. But in our achievement-oriented culture, the practice of mindfulness can feel laborious and mechanical, like one more task on your endless to-do list. What if you could let go of effort and struggle and relax back into the happiness and ease that is your birthright—and is always readily available to you?

Beyond Mindfulness offers teachings and practices based on the direct approach to spiritual awakening that take you beyond the mechanics of being mindful and open you to the non-dual dimension of being, where the separation between self and other reveals itself to be a painful but seductive illusion. You'll find that the love, compassion, wholeness, health, and happiness you've been seeking were there all along—no practice required.

Paradoxically, the only way to deepen awakened awareness is to let go of it completely. You can never deliberately elaborate or improve it because as soon as you try, it eludes your grasp. From an absolute perspective, of course, awakened awareness can’t deepen because it’s already boundless; what deepens is your ability to rest in it. As my teacher Jean Klein used to say, in your absence is your presence—the more you let go and let be, the deeper is the abiding as awareness without anyone abiding or trying to be aware…

 

Only awakened awareness remains—the nondual, indivisible continuum, the One without a second, expressing itself in a myriad of forms. Just This!

Also by Stephen Bodian is Mindfulness for Dummies.

mindfulness on the go cards

Mindfulness on the Go Cards

52 Simple Meditation Practices You Can Do Anywhere
$19.95 CAD
Tarot & Oracle Card Set
Publisher: Shambhala
Publication Date: August, 2017
ISBN: 9781611803709
In stock now: 7

The brilliant success of Jan Chozen Bays's little Mindfulness on the Go has led to the creation of this card set containing 52 different mindfulness exercises anyone can do without having to sit cross-legged with eyes closed--that's a whole year of simple, accessible mindfulness practice.

Once a day, think of someone close to you—a family member, a friend, or a coworker—and give them a genuine compliment. The closer the person is to you, the better. The more specific the compliment, the better. Become aware also of any compliments other people give you. Investigate the purpose of compliments and their effect on you

 

Some people realized as they did this task that they have a habitual stance that is critical, only noticing and remarking on problems. Undertaking this practice helped highlight and reverse this state of mind…

 

Kind words are a gift. They create wealth in the heart.

The exercises range from pausing a moment whenever the phone rings, to deciding to smile once a day and noticing the effect, to using your hands as an object of meditation. String enough of these mindfulness moments together and you'll begin to see changes in your outlook, in your awareness, and in how you relate to people. You may find yourself with a greater proclivity to calm, kindness, and focus. These simple exercises have been so effective for so manyand now you can reach into the deck and pull one out at random to add a moment of mindfulness to your day.

return to the mother

Return to the Mother

A Lover's Handbook: Poems of Self Remembering and Self Observation Inspired by Lao Tsu's Tao Te Ching
$23.95 CAD
Paperback Book
Publisher: Hohm Press
Publication Date: August, 2017
ISBN: 9781942493303
In stock now: 4

For centuries the Tao Te Ching, the book of ancient wisdom by Lao Tsu, has offered insight, inspiration and consolation to millions of readers. Although numberless translations and commentaries exist around the world, Return to the Mother, A Lover’s Handbook, is a groundbreaking effort and a unique contribution to the spirit of poetry. Red Hawk offers what no other poet has yet undertaken—that is, to write poetic reflections on these much-loved ancient sutras of the Tao. This collection of 94 contemporary poems (each 16-lines) adds the flavor and fragrance of Zen and Gurdjieff’s dharma teachings in a spare poetic marriage with Lao Tsu.

Further, each poem invites the reader into the application of this wisdom to his or her daily practice of self observation and self remembering. The poet begs for a return to the true self, which he symbolizes as the place of the Mother within. No lengthy discursive explanations are offered, however, only exquisite lines that pierce to the heart of human longing for truth.

Our Mother has no words,

She is Silence,

She is the present, here-now.

To be here-now, in this body,
is to return to Our Mother,
relaxed, soft, open, receptive:
     kind.

Kindness is the nature of Our Mother,

Non-Judgmental Love is Her Being, and

we are Her children, made in Her image.

This volume is a companion and completion to the author’s two previous volumes Self Observation: The Awakening of Conscience. An Owner’s Manual; and Self Remembering: The Path to Non-Judgmental Love. A Practitioner’s Manual. Taken together, these three volumes form a trilogy, which examines the spiritual practice of self remembering/self observation.

The author writes from long personal study and experience. His years of discipleship within religious schools of esoteric knowledge, allows him to share what has been gained and lost from following a Path. The inner struggles of this type of work on self are rendered with raw precision, while being beautifully delineated in these poems. Any reader will benefit from the fruits of understanding the poet has gained from these struggles.

happiness

Happiness

25 Ways to Live Joyfully through Art
$35.99 CAD
Paperback Book
Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: June, 2017
ISBN: 9781846045059
In stock now: 5

For over two thousand years, philosophers have searched for it, scientists have studied it—and great artists have captured it in paint. Drawing upon his ground-breaking work in the psychology of happiness and mindfulness, Christophe André shares 25 paintings by a wide range of masters, including Van Gogh, Vermeer and Chagall, and invites us to consider how they capture the many colours of happiness in their art, alongside its inseparable shadow, sadness.

This beautiful book explains how to look at a painting and let the picture speak and live within us. In this way, each painting in this book holds a life-changing lesson, helping us to feel, meditate and reflect—and discover the meaning of happiness for ourselves.

What’s happening? Are you being born, or dying? What will happen now?

None of this matters. In reality, all that matters is that this moment is a moment of happiness. Just a little happiness, in the great wind of the world.

What does happiness look like? How can we recognize joy in our lives? French psychiatrist and mindfulness teacher André, also author of Mindfulness: 25 Ways to Live in the Moment through Art, writes in his preface, “Happiness as a Work of Art:”

 “Painting is a ceremony in solitude,” wrote the philosopher Alain… I would like to help readers explore the benefits of looking at a painting, breathing gently, saying nothing and letting the picture speak and live within us—making space for it within us.


In this book the faces, forms and flow of happiness are embodied in 25 masterpieces. These paintings encourage us to feel, meditate and reflect. They also offer twenty-five ‘lessons’ to help us develop our capacity for happiness

For happiness is a living emotion, which is born, grows, blossoms, fades and vanishes. It goes in cycles, just as night follows day. This natural rhythm will be our guiding thread through the masterpieces in this book, which depict mornings, middays, dusks and nights of happiness—and also, of course, its endless rebirth.