Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category

A beginner’s guide to Eastern Spirituality. 5 DVD set.

Going Nowhere

Going Nowhere

by Dr. Lorenzo da Costa

This is a series of 5 DVDs, four lectures in the old fashioned sense of the word – as they are non interactive, you are a passive listener/viewer; and one account of Dr da Costa’s experiences and personal journey.

The first lecture (45 minutes) is on meditation and the various slides give visual backing to the background soundtrack which discusses consciousness, awareness and meditation with comparison and contrast between East and West. Being ‘Here and Now’ is seen as a central theme and the explanation for practising meditation is that it keeps us in the Here and Now and lessens chronic anxiety in this way. Dr. da Costa does not explain how to meditate, he suggests Internet links for this, but he does discuss in brief the various ways to practice meditation. He also cautions that it really takes about 10 years to get anywhere in the practice of meditation.

The second lecture (55 minutes) is a comparison and contrast between mysticism in the East and West and he particularly contrasts theology and mysticism, through the traditions of the Judeo/Christian versus the Vedic traditions. He details the Path of Yoga and defines Karma and Reincarnation.

The third lecture (40 minutes) looks at orthodox and complementary medicine. He considers transpersonal approaches to therapy in some detail, describing the theories from Freud, Jung and Rogers to Assaglioli, Weiss and Seigman.

The fourth lecture (30 minutes) introduces a selection of books/authors that Dr. da Costa believes are important for those who are interested in these issues to read.

In his journey DVD, Dr. da Costa describes who he is and where he comes from. He was a doctor in London, but he now works alongside general medicinal practice. He has turned to being a scholar of epistemology and it is this viewpoint that guides the lectures.

This set of DVD’s is designed for beginners to the field of Eastern Spirituality as compared to Western Spirituality. It gives definitions of a range of topics covered in this field and ideas of where to look further for information – it is more of a map through the field than an exploration of the field itself. It would appeal to someone who needs pointers as to the best sources of knowledge of meditation techniques, mysticism and transpersonal approaches to therapy. It is an overview of the best places to look for further knowledge of these topics.

Review by Ros Ogden

Published by Watkins Books




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by J A Non

A symbolic code within a number of fifteenth century paintings sent the author on a painful, emotional, spiritual journey to unlock their secrets.  “Labouring through the secrets of the RES RICHES HEURES and the Hellenic heresy has sent me through a form of spiritual initiation.”

A great wisdom belonging to the oldest religion on the earth, an international religion, with England its sacred heart. “Was it on the ground of Somerset that Jesus first saw the cosmic nature of his path?”

In reading this book I found that some of my established belief patterns were virtually turned upside down and, like the Author, needed to spend time re-examining many concepts that have been passed to us down the Ages by recorded history and the Church. This is certainly a very challenging and thought-provoking volume.  It needs to be read with an open mind, as she explores and explains the mystical thread that moves through the Megalithic Age, Ancient Egypt, Troy, King Arthur, St George, the Holy Grail, medieval monastic Orders, the Knights Templar, and so much more.

Be prepared to perhaps experience your own challenges in reading this extremely and extensively researched and well-presented work.

Review by Joan Osborne

Published by Vanguard Press


ISBN: 9781843865315

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The Journey to Authentic PowerGary Zukav

by Gary Zukav

Gary Zukav is a graduate from Harvard, the most prestigious university in the US, and he served as a soldier in the Vietnam War. He has described how addictions affected his early life and this created a subsequent search for personal development that has taken him on a journey that especially examines power issues within relationships.

His first book, The Dancing Wu Li Masters, won the American Book Award to Science, and its follow up, The Seat of the Soul, became the leading New York Times best-selling book 31 times and was listed for 3 years. His later books, The Heart of the Soul and The Mind of the Soul were also New York Times best-sellers. Gary made regular appearances on the Oprah Winfrey Show during his writing career and went on to co-found two organisations, The Seat of the Soul Institute and The Genesis Foundation, both with his spiritual partner, Linda Francis, who has also co-written books with him.

In this book, Spiritual Partnership, published in 2010, the author describes how a great transformation in the use of power dynamics is taking place. The information within the book compares two types of individuals; he present kind, described as ‘five-sensory’; and a new kind, described as ‘multi-sensory. The ‘five-sensory’ have limited understanding of others and perceive the world through self-defining goals; and the ‘multi-sensory’ have an ability to truly love and care for others, both on an individual and organisational level. He uses religious, philosophical and psychological dynamics to underpin his premise and he provides examples from his personal life and that of others to explain his principles.

The overall message is one of how humankind can change its priorities to ‘heal parts that do not love and cultivate the parts that do’.

Review by Wendy Stokes

Published by the Random House Group   www.rbooks.co.uk


ISBN-13: 978-0061458507

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Our Greatest Spiritual Challenge

By Neale Donald Walsch

The ‘Conversations with God’ series have achieved best selling Tomorrow's Godstatus on the New York Times book list and have been translated into as many as 34 languages. A success phenomenon, the author, Neale Donald Walsch, has created a not for profit organisation to disseminate the teachings status described in these books. Outreach projects, including audio and video programmes are available from ‘ReCreation’, the foundation which provides personal growth and spiritual development materials, including lectures and workshops.

When Walsch was at a low ebb in his life, he asked God a question and received a reply. The conversational style allows in depth explanations by both parties. In ‘Tomorrow’s God’ many sociological and political questions are asked and their replies are documented in almost 400 pages. We are challenged to accept a new spiritual life path that is ecological, generous, aware, just and kind and to develop a deeper understanding of the complexity of our present world. Questions and answers about economics, social and environmental changes are covered as are metaphysical subjects, such as reincarnation and life on other planets. As the dialogue reaches its conclusion, the author makes a plea that the reader changes perspectives and priorities and adopts a spiritual way of life that creates a better world for everyone.

The book has a large index to help readers understand the spiritual concepts and also find their way around many of life’s most pressing problems.

Review by Wendy Stokes


Published by Hodder & Stoughton  www.hoddermobius.com

ISBN 0 340 83023 9

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 By:  Betsy Otter Thompson

Walking Through IllusionWalking Through Illusion

features a series of short stories about biblical people who either knew Jesus or knew of him, and were influenced by him in one way or another. It is about people who lived long before Christianity began. The author believes that we don’t take our beliefs with us when we leave here; we take the love we found from having them.

Each chapter focuses on the growth of the particular person and each chapter is complete within itself with a specific theme. At the end of each chapter, there is a worksheet with questions designed to bring the ideas from the book into the reader’s everyday life in a meaningful way.

The author presents a behavioural aspect in each chapter and not only describes how that behaviour influenced the events in that particular person’s life, but also holds up a mirror for the reader to look into if they will. The questions are designed to bring in a new awareness of how we so often sabotage ourselves and set up those sequences of events that present us with the most frustration, despair and challenge. Some of the ideas are somewhat hard to grasp, but the whole basis is that we can be our own best friends and our own worst enemies – a well known concept to many, but this book helps to throw light on some of the patterns we develop and how we attract others with those same behaviour patterns into our lives! But the overall message is that love can bring a new dimension and each of us is free to love in the face of reasons not to. “If we love, the heart goes deeper to reveal our true identity. If we don’t love, more opportunities arrive through which to do so.” Read this book again and again and see how many mirrors you can walk through – I certainly had moments of revelation reading this book, and I know you will too.

Publisher: O Books


ISBN: 978-1-84694-292-1


Reviewed by: Joan Osborne

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By Howard Jonesthe tao of holism

This book is a source of factual and statistical data on many topics of widespread concern to us today: health, nutrition, education, economics, religion, society, resources and exploitation. It attempts to outline the steps we must take as individuals and societies to live holistically and safeguard the planet to ensure economic stability and environmental preservation.

The no nonsense style of writing provides a commentary based on the views of experts in various fields whose opinions resonate with a holistic world view. The book is based on the idea that society as a whole will not change until we as individuals can persuade others to do so by argument and by example and this is exactly what the author sets out to do. The Tao means acting holistically to benefit ourselves, other people and the environment of which we are a part.

This is a book of warnings and a chronicle of impending disasters, but has a message of hope overall. It will inspire and inform anyone seeking a holistic lifestyle and has enormous relevance to our current world situation.

Review by Ros Ogden

Published by O Books http://www.o-books.com  ISBN-10: 184694080X


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by Patty HarpenauThe Life Codes

The first thing that struck me about this book, before I even read it, is how beautiful it is. Stunningly presented in hardback, it is filled with amazing photography, artwork and thoughtfully laid out text. Drawing on wisdom from three major belief systems – Islam, Judaism and Christianity – the author describes a young woman’s experiences in Jerusalem following the death of her father where she learns fundamental truths about the nature of love, healing and abundance. The book is designed to be read in seven stages, whether over the course of a week or in longer stages.

Definitely a book to be savoured – it takes time and attention to take in the depth of the teaching, but it is well worth it. This is a wonderful book to work with, highly recommended.

Review by Willow Thomas

Published by Bantam Press  www.thelifecodes.co.uk

ISBN 978-0-59306-467-2


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