Recommended Books March 2016

Spirit Vine March 2016, Recommended Books

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Son Rise: The Miracle Continues

by Barry Neil Kaufman

In 1979, the classic best-seller Son-Rise was made into an award-winning NBC television special, which has been viewed by 300 million people worldwide. Now, Son-Rise: The Miracle Continues presents an expanded and updated journal of Barry and Samahria Kaufman’s successful effort to reach their once “unreachable” autistic child. Part one documents Raun Kaufman’s astonishing development from a lifeless, autistic, retarded child into a highly verbal, lovable youngster with no traces of his former condition. Part two details Raun’s extraordinary progress from the age of four into young adulthood. Part three shares moving accounts of five families that successfully used the Son-Rise Program to reach their own special children. An awe-inspiring reminder that love moves mountains. A must for any parent, teacher or student of personal growth. Do you ever wonder why things turn out the way they do? I do. Every so often, I ask myself why an event in my life occurred, if maybe it had some sort of purpose or reason. I realize that, in the larger scheme of things, I can never really know why events happen or if there is some sort of grand plan for us all. I do believe, though, that each event offers us a brand new chance to change ourselves and our lives, whether the change is slight or sweeping. Even if we can’t know whether there is some great cosmic reason for the workings of the world, we can still give events meaning with what we do with them. When I was diagnosed as autistic (and also severely mentally retarded, with a below-thirty IQ), my parents were given ample opportunity to treat the event as a tragedy. The whole world saw autism as hopeless and encouraged my parents to see it that way too. Sometimes it dawns on me how close I came to spending my life encapsulated inside my own head, lacking the tools to interact with the rest of the world. My autism could have been just another event without meaning or explanation. What turned it around was not a string of events, but rather a wildly different and unheard of perspective: Refusing to accept the age-old view of autism as a terrible catastrophe, my parents came up with the radical idea that my autism was a chance – a great opportunity, in fact – to try to reach a child lost behind a thick, hazy cloud. It was a chance to make greatness out of something commonly viewed as unquestionably sad and tragic.

 

61hUcy04MwL._SX373_BO1,204,203,200_Zig Zag Zen: Buddhism and Psychedelics

by Allan Badiner

Buddhism and psychedelic exploration share a common concern: the liberation of the mind. This new edition of Zig Zag Zen: Buddhism and Psychedelics has evolved from the landmark anthology that launched the first inquiry into the ethical, doctrinal, and transcendental considerations at the intersection of Buddhism and psychedelics. A provocative and thoughtful exploration of inner states and personal transformation, Zig Zag Zen now contains an expanded display of stunning artwork including pieces from Android Jones, Sukhi Barber, Ang Tsherin Sherpa, and Amanda Sage, as well as the original brilliant work of Robert Venosa, Mark Rothko, Robert Beer, Francesco Clemente, and many others, including more work by the pioneering visionary artist Alex Grey. Complementing these new images are original essays by such luminaries as Ralph Metzner and Brad Warner; exciting interviews with James Fadiman, Kokyo Henkel, and Rick Doblin; and a discussion of ayahuasca’s unique influence on Zen Buddhism by David Coyote; all of which have been carefully curated to extend the original inquiry of authors Joan Halifax Roshi, Peter Matthiessen, Jack Kornfield, Ram Dass, Terence McKenna, Rick Fields and many others. Buddhism and psychedelics are inevitable subjects encountered on the journey to wisdom. Examined together, the reader may understand more deeply the essence of each.

 

41aciRQ6zzL._SX368_BO1,204,203,200_Finding God in a Tangled World: Thoughts & Parables

by Juris Rubenis

This unusual little book is a translated masterpiece of wisdom – the result of a unique conversation about faith between a Protestant pastor and a Roman Catholic artist in the heart of post-communist Europe. With a depth of awareness for the meaning of each of life’s moments, these deceptively simple reflections speak directly to our anxieties, evoking, at times, the Desert Fathers, and at others, Blaise Pascal or Simone Weil. Subacs’ drawings convey a people who stand at all times before a gracious presence, empowered to find their bearings in the cosmos, to love their neighbors, to build decent  communities, and to face death with hope.