March/April 2008 Conscious Media
by Vicky Thompson
The Untethered Soul, Michael A. Singer, New Harbinger Publications, 2007, $16.95
The Untethered Soul seeks to help people go beyond themselves - by delving into the mind. It all starts with the voice inside our head - our inner roommate. Learning how to turn that off and ignore it is a key to inner freedom. Most people go about their daily lives without paying too much attention to what's going on inside. They'd rather either ignore or cover up whatever pain they might feel. But to attain true inner emancipation and unconditional happiness, one must be able to watch problems objectively instead of being lost in them. Singer includes chapters on energy and openness, with the goal of being able to transcend physical reality as the yogis can, but without preaching adherence to any particular religious dogma. Indeed, we are in control of our own happiness.
- Alice R. Berntson
Unlocking the Secrets of 2012, John Major Jenkins, Sounds True, 2007, $24.95
In this three-CD set, Jenkins discusses the possibility that the Mayan calendar does not represent the end of time as some people believe, but it actually represents the center of time. The early Mayans formulated a profound galactic cosmology over 2,000 years ago. They saw that the sun, on the winter solstice was slowly moving toward the heart of the galaxy, and that when the solar and galactic planes aligned they suspected that the world would go through a transformation. The date of 2012 was determined to be the target date according to their Long Count calendar. After visiting the city of Izapa where the original calendar was found, Jenkins discusses how Mayan shamans recorded essential spiritual wisdom. It is his belief that as 2012 draws closer it becomes more important that we understand these early astrological recordings. Jenkins relates creation stories and explains the symbols associated with the calendar. He has a deep understanding of this ancient culture and his descriptive narrative allows your imagination to travel back through time to participate in these detailed teachings.
- Jelina Vance
Ascending Spiral, Randy Mead, Corbet Music, 2006, $15
Flute virtuoso Randy Mead has channeled heart and soul into this transformative CD, bringing music and healing together in 12 gorgeous flute meditations. Randy's flute is accented tenderly by Tibetan singing bowls and tingshaws (small cymbals) played by his partner, Hope. Perfect for relaxing into sleep, yoga, massage or meditation - or to unwind from the stress of a busy day - this recording was silently seeded with quantum scalar waves designed to align the chakras, balance the aura and tune the subtle energy bodies. A carefully crafted palette of 144 harmonic tones, Ascending Spiral will simultaneously transport and center you, offering gentle refuge and a peaceful path to the quiet beauty that lies within.
- Barbara Dills
To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings, John O'Donohue, Random House, 2008, $22.95
"When we stand before crucial thresholds in our lives," observes the late Irish poet and philosopher John O'Donohue, "we have no rituals to protect, encourage and guide us as we cross over into the unknown." Following seven rhythms of the human journey - beginnings, desires, thresholds, homecoming, states of the heart, callings, and beyond endings - O'Donohue blesses us with words of profound grace and wisdom that keep company with all of our passages and transitions, from the known and familiar to the new, unmapped unknown, from joyous to difficult and even dark. He explains "blessing" as a way of life, as a lens through which the whole world is transformed, and he invites us to awaken our own power to bless. He leaves us this last lyrical gift of his words and blessing now that he has passed on.
- Helene H. Emerson
The Mystery of the Crystal Skulls, Chris Morton and Ceri Louise Thomas, Bear & Company, 2008, $20
According to legend, one day at a time of great crisis, 13 crystal skulls will be rediscovered and brought together to reveal information vital to the survival of humanity. To date, five of the skulls are thought to have been found. Join investigative journalists and independent filmmakers Chris Morton and Ceri Louise Thomas as their journey into the mystery of the crystal skulls takes them from Mayan temples of Central America to the British Museum and Smithsonian, to sacred Navajo sites and the Hewlett-Packard Laboratories where the famous Mitchell-Hedges crystal skull was examined. It was found to be made of the same quartz crystal used in all computers and electronic devices that store information. The May release of the new movie Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull merges fiction with the true story of the legendary crystal skulls. The Sci Fi Channel also airs a documentary on the crystal skulls in May.
- Vicky Thompson
Books Essential to the Journey
Reader's Choice reviewer Michael Moylan shares his all-time favorite spiritual books.
Think on These Things , J. Krishnamurti, Harper and Row, 1964
Coming from a dogma driven upbringing, this book was a personal groundbreaker. Having formed questions of my own, Krishnamurti provided support in the rethinking of how life and its many issues could be approached. While seeming austere now, the book helped to broaden my initial questioning and investigations, leading me to a life of self governance. His emphasis on the role of the schools and education was influential in my career as a teacher.
Nothing Special: Living Zen, Charlotte Joko Beck, Harper Collins, 1993
Beck's book came to me at a time of transition and became a steadying companion through multiple readings. She encourages one to open up to a shift in our preferences and perspectives. A shift in perception, away from the trance of habit, she suggests, allows one to see life through the lens of gamesmanship. How am I playing? Am I noticing the opportunities for wonder, for joy? Her guidance is for us to do our best, to be constant though not necessarily perfect, to be impeccable warriors. It allows me to be less hard on myself when I wander, and to just get back to my intent.
From Science to God: A Physicist's Journey into the Mystery of Consciousness, Peter Russell, New World Library, 2002
"How can something as immaterial as consciousness ever arise from something as unconscious as matter?" Is there a significance between the immaterial similarities of consciousness and light? Russell's journey from his world of physics is full of such delicious questions. He sees the answers as needing to come not from the world of matter but from a new picture of reality. Gleaning insights from sages, scientists, mystics and his own personal exploration into meditation, evolution's future is seen as "not headed farther out into space but inward into the hidden depths of consciousness - and ultimately to the divine." Paradigm shifts are humankind's way of coming to understanding.
The Water Will Hold You, Lindsey Crittenden, Harmony Books, 2007, $22
This beautiful account of Crittenden's journal from despair to hope and joy will likely make you cry, laugh and gasp - sometimes simultaneously. She writes of the black pit she found herself in after the violent death of her only sibling, the struggle to find any meaning in the world and her slow path toward a new wholeness. Even those who do not find much meaning in traditional religions will find echoes of their path in Crittenden's brutally honest descriptions: of conflict, of hope and betrayal, and of the spiral path that life takes us on as we come to understand ourselves, others and the world. It reads like a novel, but it's all true. It's a book for spiritual practitioners, for those who don't believe in spirit and especially for those who are on the edge of despair, wondering if spirit has anything to offer. Highly recommended.
- Cathy McGuire
Jun Q'anil: One Who Walks the Way, Jesica Nagler, Cypress House, 2005, $16.95
Jessica Nagler walked away from a successful career and life in Los Angeles, traveling to Guatemala, having been guided there, in an attempt to find a solution to her medical problems. Over a period of a couple of years, she did find a solution, not only for her life-threatening medical problems, but also a whole new identity of who she was. High in the mountains of Guatemala, she found her guide - a Mayan shaman who helped her find a new identity and a new soul purpose for being here. Jessica nearly didn't return from her trip,but she did come back fundamentally changed, then spent the next three years integrating the journey, redefining her journey and writing the story of her passage - a remarkable adventure you won't want to miss.
- David Moyle
The Secret Vaults of Time, Stephan A. Schwartz, Hampton Roads, 2005, $17.95
This is a non-fiction book about extrasensory perception used in various settings, including archaeology. Each chapter reads like a novel yet they contain educational information about research into the paranormal. One chapter focuses on Glastonbury Abby, which is one of the most famous Christian shrines in Great Britain. In 1908, psychic Fredrick Bond used automatic writing to learn its fascinating past and the steps in its construction. Schwartz gives a lucid and interesting account of the process of automatic writing and the amazing information that was gleaned in respect to the abby. Another chapter presents a suspenseful story about two Polish gentlemen who frequently conducted psychic experiments in secret when Poland was occupied during World War II. The experiments would have been of no concern to the Germans, but they would have looked with suspicion upon these meetings.
- Barbara Bowers