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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: 0

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.

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: 10

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

when spirit leaps

When Spirit Leaps

Navigating the Process of Spiritual Awakening
$24.95 CAD
Paperback Book
Publisher: New Harbinger
Publication Date: May, 2018
ISBN: 9781684030767
In stock now: 3

Whether it happens all at once or gradually over time, spiritual awakening is an experience that may be accompanied by great insight, ecstatic bliss, or a mystical infusion of light, love, and vision. But it can be an overwhelming experience, too, leaving “the illumined” searching for answers and understanding. Written by a transpersonal psychologist and non-dual teacher (in the lineage of Adyashanti), this book will help you understand the phenomenon of spiritual awakening.

At the heart of most spiritual traditions is the understanding that we are one with all of existence. This realization, also known as spiritual awakening or spiritual emergence, can occur spontaneously, after years of spiritual practice, or through many other portals. Yet many people are not prepared for the ramifications of such a life-altering event. When your perception of yourself and reality has been altered, you may find yourself with more questions than answers. Where can you turn?

Based on over thirty years of case studies, as well as the author’s own experiences, When Spirit Leaps explores the why and what of spiritual awakening, revealing how this phenomenon occurs across all traditions, and exploring the various ways it can happen. Including discussions on kundalini energy, meditation, yoga and qigong, breathwork, near-death experiences, and much more, this inspirational book offers companionship and practical solutions to common challenges along the spiritual path of awakening.

With this book as your guide, you’ll gain a deep understanding of the process and different portals of awakening, and find comfort and support in the real-life stories of those who have experienced this shift in consciousness and faced its challenges. No matter where you are on your spiritual journey, this book will help you along the way.

Bonnie Greenwell is a wonderful guide for both the awakening of mind and of your body’s energies. Understanding energy work is an important bridge between the two worlds of infinite awareness and everyday reality, which has not been clearly described, and yet is so important for the unfolding awakening. You will find When Spirit Leaps a gift in navigating the awakening process of body, mind, and spirit.” Loch Kelly, author of Shift into Freedom

religion of tomorrow

Religion of Tomorrow

A Vision for the Future of the Great Traditions - More Inclusive, More Comprehensive, More Complete
$45.95 CAD
Paperback Book
Publisher: Shambhala
Publication Date: May, 2018
ISBN: 9781611805727
In stock now: 5

As the world's religions increasingly lose followers, Integral philosopher Ken Wilber asks how humanity can evolve future religions that have discarded their dying forms, while retaining the changeless truths upon which they were founded. Exoteric religions have lost influence primarily because their myths are simply untenable to many people today.

The only hope lies in the “inner teachings” of the great traditions, the goal of which is an Awakening to the Ultimate Reality that is every being's True Nature. But for these traditions to attract and inspire modern men and women, they must incorporate the extraordinary number of scientific truths learned about human nature in just the past 100 years—about the mind and brain, emotions, and the growth of consciousness—that the ancients were simply unaware of and thus unable to include in their meditative systems.

Using Buddhism as an example, Wilber demonstrates how his comprehensive Integral Approach—which is already being applied to several world religions—can avert a “cultural disaster of unparalleled proportions”—the utter neglect of the glorious upper reaches of human potential by the materialistic postmodern worldview.

This is humanity’s one and only discovery of something that, once experienced, individuals almost unanimously claim to be an ultimate Reality, an Absolute Truth, the most real and most certain experience that they have ever had. This is the precious jewel that we must not let perish… This is the Truth that we must not let die.

In his final “Conclusion: The Evolution of Nonduality,” he writes:

Take your seat as ever-present I AMness (opening onto Suchness), this present utterly obvious feeling of being you, and ride it into the future, bringing your own specific, unique, one-of-a-kind gifts and talents with you, therein to work on transmuting this earth into a radiant heaven of outrageous love and foolishly offered-everywhere kindness. Rest in both the timeless Being of your ever-present Self and the raging urgency of evolution’s unfolding Eros as it races through the world of Becoming, recognizing that your Being and Becoming, your Emptiness and Form, your Eternal Thusness and your temporal Eros, is Spirit’s own way of continuing to realize more and more of its own true Self and real Condition in and through the only vehicle it could ever use to do so: You.

Wilber’s most sweeping work since Sex, Ecology, Spirituality is an impassioned call for wholeness, inclusiveness, and unity in the religions of tomorrow.

stealing fire

Stealing Fire

How Silicon Valley, the Navy SEALs, and Maverick Scientists Are Revolutionizing the Way We Live and Work
$18.50 CAD
Paperback Book
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: May, 2018
ISBN: 9780062429667
In stock now: 3

 Its the biggest revolution you’ve never heard of, and its hiding in plain sight. Over the past decade, Silicon Valley executives like Eric Schmidt and Elon Musk, Special Operators like the Navy SEALs and the Green Berets, and maverick scientists like Sasha Shulgin and Amy Cuddy have turned everything we thought we knew about high performance upside down. Instead of grit, better habits, or 10,000 hours, these trailblazers have found a surprising short cut. They’re harnessing rare and controversial states of consciousness to solve critical challenges and outperform the competition.

Author Steven Kotler and high performance expert Jamie Wheal spent four years investigating the leading edges of this revolution—from the home of SEAL Team Six to the Googleplex, the Burning Man festival, Richard Branson’s Necker Island, Red Bull’s training center, Nike’s innovation team, and the United Nations Headquarters. And what they learned was stunning:

In their own ways, with differing languages, techniques, and applications, every one of these groups has been quietly seeking the same thing: the boost in information and inspiration that altered states provide.

Today, this revolution is spreading to the mainstream, fueling a trillion dollar underground economy and forcing us to rethink how we can all lead richer, more productive, more satisfying lives. Driven by four accelerating forces—psychology, neurobiology, technology and pharmacology—we are gaining access to and insights about some of the most contested and misunderstood terrain in history.

The ecstatics are coming out of the closet… Around the world, revelers, soldiers, scientists, artists, entrepreneurs, technologists, and business leaders are leveraging these insights for a common goal: a glimpse above the clouds. First in isolation, then in increasing numbers, and now, if you know where to look, virtually everywhere you look. We are witnessing a groundswell, a growing movement to storm heaven and steal fire. It’s a revolution in human possibility.

green burial guidebook

Green Burial Guidebook

Everything You Need to Plan an Affordable, Environmentally Friendly Burial
$20.99 CAD
Paperback Book
Publisher: New World Library
Publication Date: April, 2018
ISBN: 9781608685233
In stock now: 3

The North American way of death still includes average funeral expenses of between $8,000 and $12,000. What's more, every year conventional burials in the U.S. bury 800,000 gallons of embalming fluid, containing carcinogenic formaldehyde; hundreds of thousands of tons of wood, steel, copper, and bronze caskets; and millions of tons of concrete vaults.

There is a better way and Fournier, affectionately dubbed the "Green Reaper," walks readers through it, step-by-step. With green burial and home funeral basics to legal how and what's; choices in practices (at home, at sea, etc.); and even detours into examples of celebrity green burials; this is comprehensive and compassionate guidance. The idea of a "good death" has been much discussed. Fournier points the way to good post-deaths, ones that consider the environmental well-being of the planet and the economic well-being of loved ones.

This practical guide takes readers through the whole green burial process (including cremation), giving a full range of options to consider. In the past, it would have taken an extensive internet search to gather all the information one might need to plan a legal green burial. Not any more. The Green Burial Guidebook has all your searches covered and shares information you may not have even thought of, such as how to lay a loved one to rest in your own backyard.

Green burial may seem like an avant-garde choice, but in the not-too-distant past, we would keep our recently deceased loved one at home, buy a casket from the local general store, prepare a resting space in the backyard or churchyard, and then conduct the burial ourselves with some simple reflection and quiet dignity.

"Fournier also offers options, foremost among them an approach that recalls how we've mourned from time immemorial. She encourages clients to understand that they can wash and dress bodies for disposition (she will assist); bury bodies in wood boxes or other biodegradable containers (green burial); inter bodies or cremains on property they own; and act as their own funeral director." —Portland Monthly

integral buddhism

Integral Buddhism

And the Future of Spirituality
$19.95 CAD
Paperback Book
Publisher: Shambhala
Publication Date: March, 2018
ISBN: 9781611805604
In stock now: 6

 What might religion look like in the future? Our era of evolution in social consciousness and revolution in science, technology, and neuroscience has created difficulties for some practitioners of the world’s great spiritual traditions. How can one remain true to their central teachings while also integrating those teachings into a new framework that is inclusive of ongoing discoveries?

Taking the example of Buddhism to explore this key question, Ken Wilber offers insights that are relevant to all of the great traditions. He shows that traditional Buddhist teachings themselves suggest an ongoing evolution leading toward a more unified, holistic, and interconnected spirituality. Touching on all of the key turning points in the history of Buddhism, Wilber describes the ways in which the tradition has been open to the continuing unfolding and expansion of its own teachings, and he suggests possible paths toward an ever more Integral approach.

Now is absolutely the time that the world’s core religions should get serious about updating their fundamental dogmas and dharmas and gospels—that it has been over a thousand years, at least, since virtually all of them added significant ideas and practices to their main teachings…

 

The result is a spiritual framework that “transcends and includes” the central teachings of the Traditions, including the old but also adding a significant amount of new material that is fully compatible with the old, but that, in essence, brings it up to date in the modern and postmodern world.

This work is a precursor to and condensed version of Wilber’s The Religion of Tomorrow.

I offer the following suggestions for ways to return spirituality to the central and fundamental place it has had in human life for most of our existence on earth, although it has, for the last few hundred years, increasingly been losing respect. May this help you locate your own faith (atheistic or agnostic, and theistic or nontheistic) in this wondrous, amazing, mysterious, miraculous place we call the Kosmos.

nest in the stream

Nest in the Stream

Lessons from Nature on Being with Pain
$21.95 CAD
Paperback Book
Publisher: Parallax Press
Publication Date: February, 2018
ISBN: 9781946764003
In stock now: 4

This concise and inspirational book for anyone dealing with chronic or acute pain is by a long time palliative care doctor who is greatly inspired by Native American wisdom and the natural world. This heartfelt and moving book, with a touching foreword by Joanna Macy, is a celebration of impermanence and what it means to be awake, alive, and connected to the world.

We are not alone here. We are invited back into the pulsing give and take of life itself. If we dare to be real with what we feel, we rediscover the larger being we live within, and enter once more the Great Reciprocity at the heart of the universe. —Joanna Macy, from her foreword

The Nest in the Stream is an encouraging and inspiring book for the times we live in. Michael Kearney, a physician whose day job is alleviating the pain and suffering of others, shows that how we live with our pain matters hugely, as it affects our quality of living and our capacity to find healing for ourselves, for others, and for our world. Drawing on engaged Buddhism, the indigenous wisdom of Native American and Celtic spirituality, and the powerful teachings he gained by observing nature, Kearney presents a new model for resilience and self-care.

I end this book by describing my daily practices to share what helps me to come into deep connection and to a peaceful way of being with my pain… feel free to try them, and take what works and discard what doesn’t. What matters is that we each have our own ways of coming regularly and reliably into deep connection with other-than-human nature, with others, and with ourselves; it matters that we are willing to feel whatever pain we are feeling; and it matters that we know we can release our pain to the flowing through of the deeper stream for the sake of all beings.

The Nest in the Stream offers a way of being with pain that is infused with mindfulness, openness, compassion, and deep nature connection that encourages us to act for the freedom and welfare of all. It will appeal to those whose everyday occupation involves dealing with pain, such as healthcare workers, environmental activists, or those working on the front lines of trauma, but it will also be of interest to everyone who longs to live in our wounded world with an open heart.

What this looks like in practice is that I begin by paying attention to the breath, to the sensations of the breath stream, which allows me to experience the flow of inner nature connection. It means honoring whatever pain I am feeling just then, by letting it be as it is, not trying to change it in any way. It means opening to the pain with the inhale, and for just a few moments, lingering with the felt-sense of the pain in my body, however I am registering it. Then—and this is especially challenging for me—to means unconditionally releasing the pain, letting it go with the exhale, to the bigger, deeper flowing through.