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Does the world of spirituality need to lose the jargon?

When an accountant goes spiritual, he learns a whole new code: “Presence? But it’s not my birthday”

GUEST COLUMN: TIM TAYLOR —  Spirituality is pretty cool, isn’t it? It’s something that we each really want to share with our friends and family.  We want them to enjoy many of the benefits that make us high.

I grew up in Indiana and went to Wharton Business School because I wanted to be a Chief Financial Officer. After 15 years of working as a consultant and controller I knew there had to be more to life.

My therapist recommended The Wisdom of No Escape . . .and everything started to change. Not overnight, but inexorably, kind of like St. Francis when he turned back from his first night’s ride as a would-be knight to join the Fourth Crusade.

I stepped into the world of spirituality, and what I remember most was learning a whole new way of speaking that was confusing. I heard a language that was English but nothing short of Sanskrit to me.

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A first-person prescription for job-loss

As a producer in the revolving-door of media, Heli knows job loss. Here’s how she accepts the day she gets the news

GUEST COLUMN: HELI TUOMI CARLILE— I have a positive approach to job losses. I always try to welcome them as signs from the universe, signs that it’s time to move on to a new adventure, painful as it may be at the time.

Clichéd as it may sound, in these moments I visualize “one door closing, but others opening,” even though I can’t quite see what lies behind those new doors.

This technique hasn’t failed me yet, and I have come through some tough emotional times with that reassurance, finding fabulous new adventures and opportunities that have gotten better and better.

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Gross! The great unifier of the human collective

We may be one consciousness but Mary Roach’s Bonk details in naturalistic glory how we are also 6 billion runny noses and rumbling stomachs

GUEST COLUMN: AMY LEASK — I’m on my third book by Mary Roach and I’m riveted. It’s called Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex, and it’s a very graphic account of the anatomy of sex.

Having taught gender studies, I’m not easily rattled, but I have to admit this makes me slightly queasy.

I keep looking over at my dearest love, imagining his reaction to such medical monstrosities (in one section, Roach apologizes to her male readers for the shock and revulsion they’ll likely feel).

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Palin, Obama, and Eckhart Tolle

Palin, Obama, and Eckhart Tolle

Did Tolle’s concept of the collective Pain Body drive the election?

BY DAVID RICKEY — September marked the 7th anniversary of what has become known simply as 9/11.

That horrific day flicked a psychic switch for Americans. For most of us, we suddenly had a sense of being a victim, and that completely wiped out any awareness of cause and effect. George Bush’s popularity jumped to over 90%, and the country pulled together under this unified field of “victim” identity.

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28 stories of aids

A book that changed my life: 28 Stories of Aids in Africa

Western apathy about Aids in Africa can be changed into action via personal stories

BY CASSANDRA MINO — Thanks to high profile celebrities such as Bono, and Bill and Melinda Gates, most North Americans are aware that there is an AIDS crisis in Africa. However, I am certain that most people living outside of the continent feel removed from the tragedy and thus can easily overlook the immense devastation that is occurring every day.

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the translator

A book that changed my life: The Translator

Optimism blossoms amid the horror that is Darfur, even without Angelina Jolie

BY AMY LEASK — Crises in other countries often come to my attention by way of biased media accounts, or through celebrity crusades like Angelina Jolie’s whatever, in wherever, spot news. The Translator, however, is different. This book is written from the inside — that is, an insider’s experience of a region fraught with political and pain-body upheaval.

True to its title, I experienced the book as a bridge between my Western schooling and the very real people struggling in Darfur.

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A book that changed my life: Eckhart Tolle’s latest

How I rediscovered myself through Tolle’s A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose

BY RAQUEL TAVARES — I recently told my mother that I was tired of all those “self-help” books. Then, shortly after, I bought one again — this time, Eckhart Tolle‘s A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose.

All this is to say that Tolle’s book transcends the ‘self-help’ pigeon-hole, and reaches way beyond ‘the Oprah book club’ labeling. I’m happy that both the genre and seal-of-approval draw the attention of a mass audience, but let’s just say that this book deserves its very own shelf. It should be tagged: the ‘growing up human’ section.

It’s rare that I’ve been so taken by a book that I recommend it to others. With this one, I usually lay this line on top of my recommendations — “This book has changed my life.” And it has.

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book cover

A book that changed my life: An Imperfect Offering

Introducing a new Soul’s Code feature, A Book That Changed My Life. Name a book that changed Your life, and tell us how it did that for you in mind, body or spirit

BY KATY LEASK — Everyone should read this book. I’ll come out and say that loud and clear from the start. An Imperfect Offering is not a light read. Nor is it a pleasurable one, though there are moments of triumph and nobility against all odds that serve to both inspire and humble those who seek to better the world around them.

For those of us who thought ourselves well-informed about the world, we stand well-corrected as James Orbinski, past president of the humanitarian aid group Médicins Sans Frontières, leads us through a gripping memoir about the horror of war, the shocking indifference of many to the suffering of others, and a handful of people and organizations trying to do something about it.

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David Richo does Spirit Rock

David Richo does Spirit Rock

We’re big fans of David Richo, a former Roman Catholic priest who integrated his Christian training into a Buddhist conversion — and found international acclaim as a spiritual teacher and author.

Most of all we’re impressed by the power of David’s personal presence, which is why it’s such a privilege to experience it in a face-to-face setting.

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A Book that Changed Me: How to be an Adult in Relationships

A Book that Changed Me: How to be an Adult in Relationships

David Richo has a simple test for the question, ‘Should you stay or should you go?’ What you should ask, ‘Am I codependent’?

BY ALEX HAISLIP — There’s nothing more debilitating than staying stuck in an unfulfilling relationship. The need to have somebody, anybody — even an other who is just plain wrong for you — is essentially an addiction. David Richo has a prescription for curing that addiction.

His framework:

Here are the words of a codependent: “Because you please me sexually, because we have been together so long, because I don’t know whether I will ever find someone else, I CAN’T LET YOU GO — even though you do not meet me at my soul/adult level.”

Here are the words of an adult: “Even though you please me sexually, even though we have been together so long, even though I don’t know whether I will ever find someone else, I HAVE TO LET YOU GO because you do not meet me at my soul/adult level.”

Call it Richo’s brand of tough-love, or spiritual medicine. His penetrating — indeed, devastating — insights make this book both hard to get through, and hard to put down.

Richo’s work isn’t just for emotional adolescents. The book is a great guide for those who want to deepen and improve even the most enduring and loving relationship.

His five operative words have a distinctly Buddhist ring: attention, acceptance, appreciation, affection and allowing. It’s a recipe is guaranteed to tune-up any relationship, at any stage.

More than anything, the book is a call to conscious action. It implores us to take full responsibility for our own thoughts and emotional states, and rise to the challenge of unconditional love. Rather than just falling in love and losing control, embrace a clarity of will and sense of Self — or as Jung might say, allow God or the Force to love an other through you.

Check it out for yourself: How to be an Adult in Relationships

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