(Whenever I send out a new letter I post an old one here to the blog. To get the gems and updates all hot & fresh, just sign up here to my mailing list) Hello wondrous creature,
I always get extra-reflective on snowy days like today in Pittsburgh. I've got a handful of discoveries for you to share that reflective vibe, and exciting news about my work.
In addition to being an amazing poet, Robert Bly is also the leader of the Mythopoeic Men's Movement, a movement dedicated to reclaiming conscious masculinity via ritual and myth. In Iron John, Bly offers an in-depth exploration of a fairy tale story that holds important wisdom about what it takes for a man to free his psychic energy from that of his parents and the culture at large, and to integrate as a fully life-giving individual. I found out about the book via the brilliant hip-hop artist Eric Venuto aka Bamboo, who recommended it to my partner, Dey. As soon as Dey mentioned that the book had a heavily Jungian point of view I couldn't resist digging in and reading it myself. I finished it in an afternoon because it's just that good. This audio version offers the distinct pleasure of Bly's soothingly gruff voice and the advantage that you can "read" it while washing the dishes and otherwise doing tasks around the house. (I would NEVER clean my apartment if not for audio books-- I'd be too busy reading!)
Until stumbling around wikipedia the other day I never realized that Tolstoy wrote nonfiction-- but he did -- and quite an important work of nonfiction, too. This is the book that spurred Gandhi to adopt his principles of nonviolence which led to the liberation of India from British rule. In it, Tolstoy explores the radical political dimensions of Christianity and makes the searing (and still extremely relevant) point that Jesus' teachings leave no room to justify violence of any kind, including the violence of war, which many ostensibly Christian leaders in the U.S. and around the world encourage everyday. But his critique doesn't just target those in positions of power-- it also beckons whoever digs Jesus to get way more serious about integrating that great man's disruptive and profound teaching into everyday life. Read it if you're looking for an inspiring jolt for your political and spiritual awareness.
Buddha in Suburbia follows exiled Tibetan lama Lelung Rinpoche as he strives to get along in the Western world and to reclaim the lost teachings of his previous incarnation, teachings which are key to the legacy of Tibetan Buddhism. It offers not only fascinating insight into the plight of the Tibetan people, but also the pleasure of watching a man pursue a genuine epic quest for spiritual knowledge. I don't want to trivialize the difficulty or sadness of Lelung Rinpoche's work in the wake of the Tibetan exodus-- but he's seeking the missing scrolls of his ancient people. How cool is that?!
I'm delighted to announce that I'm launching a low-cost coaching program for 2012. Each one hour session is just $25 (that's about $75 less than you'll find most coaches charge). Curious why the price is so low? You may want to read my post that details the spiritual and political motivations that inspire me. I only have 20 sessions available per week, and two of those have already been taken -- so if you're interested in grabbing a slot, I suggest you go ahead and purchase it.