The benefits of practicing true listening are very real. Through refining our listening skills, we not only understand just what to say; we also understand when not to say anything at all. We become more open, present, and responsive. In turn, we renew the sense of peace within ourselves. And the effects on our romantic, family, and professional relationships are undeniable. In The Wisdom of Listening, award-winning author, teacher, and trainer Dr. Mark Brady and contributors that include Ram Dass and A.H. Almaas, help us to develop the "listening warrior" inside us all. Inspiring and easy to follow, the lessons here can transform the ways that we interact with others, whether in a large meeting or in a face-to-face encounter. Listening is almost a lost art: some of us may have forgotten how to do it; some of us may have never quite learned. The Wisdom of Listening gives readers the skills to overcome our culture's tendency towards distraction and reaction, and to be more fully in the world.
What do desire and passion have to do with our spiritual journey? According to A. H. Almaas and Karen Johnson, they are an essential part of it. Conventional wisdom cautions that desire and passion are opposed to the spiritual path—that engaging in desire will take you more into the world, into egoic life. And for most people, that is exactly what happens. We naturally tend to experience wanting in a self-centered way. The Power of Divine Eros challenges the view that the divine and the erotic are separate. When we open to the energy, aliveness, spontaneity, and zest of erotic love, we will find it inseparable from the realm of the holy and sacred. When this is understood, desire and passion become a gateway to wholeness and to realizing our full potential. The authors reveal how our relationships become opportunities on the spiritual journey to express ourselves authentically, to relate with openness, and to discover dynamic inner realms with another person. Through embodying the energy of eros, each of us can learn to be fully real and alive in all of our interactions.
The American comedienne Lily Tomlin once observed with surprise that we call it 'praying' when we talk to God and 'schizophrenia' when God talks back to us. In this book people speak about inner experiences in which they perceived themselves and the world so differently that they thought they were going mad. Experiences of existential voids, heights and depths, freezing wastes and silences, of pure energy, love and fear, oneness and chaos. They found no explanation in science or religion; traditional standards of normality and morality brought them no further than 'madness' and 'heresy'. From sheer necessity they learned to steer by a sort of inner compass, and began to tap unconventional resources. This gave their experience on balance the depth and dynamism of a spiritual transformation which they would not have wanted to miss. Since 1994 such spiritual crises have acquired an official place in psychiatric diagnostics, namely as non-pathological episodes. Knowledge and insight fall substantially short, however, both in professional circles and among the public at large. In this book the author shows how transpersonal psychology interprets such crises as the growing pains of human consciousness. This wider perspective transcends the traditional, individual frameworks of the life sciences, parallel to the earlier shift of classical mechanics to quantum physics. At a time that resounds with demands for meaningfulness, and which seems engrossed in a holistic model of reality, this book sets about giving a place within this perspective to the phenomenon of the spiritual crisis.
Sufi poetry by Maḥmūd ibn ʻAbd al-Karīm Shabistarī
Anyone who reads a Tantric text or enters a Tantric temple immediately encounters a pantheon of female Buddhas and a host of female enlighteners known as "dakinis," who dance and leap in joyous poses that communicate a sense of mastery and spiritual power. This striking female imagery is fully compatible with Shaw's findings. Drawing on interviews and archival research conducted during two years of fieldwork in India and Nepal, including more than forty previously unnoticed works by women of the Pala period (eighth through twelfth centuries C.E.), she substantially reinterprets the history of Tantric Buddhism during its first four centuries. In her view, the Tantric theory of this period promotes an ideal of cooperative, mutually liberative relationships between women and men while encouraging a sense of reliance on women as a source of spiritual insight and power.