Soulcraft

Bill Plotkin

Since 1980, Jungian psychologist Bill Plotkin has been guiding men and women into the wilderness — the redrock canyons and snow-crested mountains of the American Southwest — but also into the wilds of the soul. He calls this work soulcraft.

There’s a great longing in all people — a longing to uncover the secrets and mysteries of our individual lives, to find the unique gift we were born to bring to our communities, and to experience our full membership in the more-than-human world. This journey to soul is a descent into layers of the self much deeper than personality, a journey meant for each one of us, not just for the heroes and heroines of mythology. 

A modern handbook for the journey, Soulcraft is not an imitation of indigenous ways, but a contemporary nature-based approach born from the landscape of the Southwest, the traditions of Western culture, and the cross-cultural heritage of all humanity. Filled with stories, poems, and guidelines, Soulcraft introduces over 40 practices that facilitate the descent to soul, including dreamwork, wilderness vision fasts, talking across the species boundaries, council, self-designed ceremony, nature-based shadow work, and the arts of romance, storytelling, and soul-infused poetry.

Wild Mind

Bill Plotkin

Our human psyches possess astonishing resources that wait within us, but we might not even know they exist until we discover how to access them and cultivate their powers, their untapped potentials and depths. Wild Mind identifies these resources — which Bill Plotkin calls the four facets of the Self, or the four dimensions of our innate human wholeness — and also the four sets of fragmented or wounded subpersonalities that form during childhood. Rather than proposing ways to eliminate our subpersonalities (which is not possible) or to beat them into submission, Plotkin describes how to cultivate the four facets of the Self and discover the gifts of our subpersonalities. The key to reclaiming our original wholeness is not merely to suppress psychological symptoms, recover from addictions and trauma, or manage stress but rather to fully embody our multifaceted wild minds, commit ourselves to the largest, soul-infused story we’re capable of living, and serve the greater Earth community.

Life on Land

Emilie Conrad

Emilie Conrad’s approach to movement education, health, and healing is as varied and deeply textured as her life story. In Life on Land, she interweaves the story of her Brooklyn childhood and discovery of dance with the psychic and physical collapse that led to the development of Continuum, her groundbreaking movement and self-realization technique. Readable, poignant, and ultimately triumphant, the book melds Conrad’s unique theories of the body-mind frontier with fearless discussions of Jewish heritage, sexuality, female identity, and social pressures.

Last Child in the Woods

Richard Louv

"I like to play indoors better 'cause that's where all the electrical outlets are," reports a fourth-grader. Never before in history have children been so plugged in—and so out of touch with the natural world. In this groundbreaking new work, child advocacy expert Richard Louv directly links the lack of nature in the lives of today's wired generation—he calls it nature deficit—to some of the most disturbing childhood trends, such as rises in obesity, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), and depression.

Tantra Illuminated

Christopher "Hareesh" Wallis

Tantra Illuminated takes the reader on a fascinating journey to the very heart of Tantra: its key teachings, foundational lineages, and transformative practices. Since the West s discovery of Tantra 100 years ago, there has been considerable fascination, speculation, and more than a little misinformation about this spiritual movement. Now, for the first time in the English language, Tantra Illuminated presents an accessible introduction to this sacred tradition that began 1,500 years ago in the far north of India. Translated from primary Sanskrit sources and offering a profound look at spiritual practice, this book reveals Tantra s rich history and powerful teachings.

True Meditation

Adyashanti

What would happen if you were to allow everything to be exactly as it is? If you gave up the need for control, and instead embraced the whole of your experience in each moment that arose? In the fourteen years that he studied Zen, Adyashanti found that most seasoned meditators had used the practice as a means to a goal they never reached. What he ultimately realized: that only when you let go of all techniques?even the concept of yourself as a meditator?will you open to the art of true meditation: dwelling in the natural state. True Meditation invites you to join the growing number of seekers who have been touched by the wisdom of Adyashanti.

Evidence

Poems by Mary Oliver

In this modern spiritual classic, the Tibetan meditation master Chögyam Trungpa highlights a common pitfall to which every aspirant on the spiritual path falls prey: what he calls spiritual materialism. The universal human tendency, he shows, is to see spirituality as a process of self-improvement—the impulse to develop and refine the ego when the ego is, by nature, essentially empty. “The problem,” Trungpa says, “is that ego can convert anything to its own use, even spirituality.” His incisive, compassionate teachings serve to wake us up from this trick we all play on ourselves, and to offer us a far brighter reality: the true and joyous liberation that inevitably involves letting go of the self rather than working to improve it. It is a message that has resonated with students for over thirty years and remains fresh as ever today.

Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism

Chogyam Trungpa

In this modern spiritual classic, the Tibetan meditation master Chögyam Trungpa highlights a common pitfall to which every aspirant on the spiritual path falls prey: what he calls spiritual materialism. The universal human tendency, he shows, is to see spirituality as a process of self-improvement—the impulse to develop and refine the ego when the ego is, by nature, essentially empty. “The problem,” Trungpa says, “is that ego can convert anything to its own use, even spirituality.” His incisive, compassionate teachings serve to wake us up from this trick we all play on ourselves, and to offer us a far brighter reality: the true and joyous liberation that inevitably involves letting go of the self rather than working to improve it. It is a message that has resonated with students for over thirty years and remains fresh as ever today.

Mahabharata

Translated by William Buck

Few works in world literature have inspired so vast an audience, in nations with radically different languages and cultures, as the Ramayana and Mahabharata, two Sanskrit verse epics written some 2,000 years ago. In Ramayana (written by a poet known to us as Valmiki), William Buck has retold the story of Prince Rama--with all its nobility of spirit, courtly intrigue, heroic renunciation, fierce battles, and triumph of good over evil--in a length and manner that will make the great Indian epics accessible to the contemporary reader. 
The same is true for the Mahabharata--in its original Sanskrit, probably the longest Indian epic ever composed. It is the story of a dynastic struggle, between the Kurus and Pandavas, for land. In his introduction, Sanskritist B. A. van Nooten notes, "Apart from William Buck's rendition [no other English version has] been able to capture the blend of religion and martial spirit that pervades the original epic." 
Presented accessibly for the general reader without compromising the spirit and lyricism of the originals, William Buck's Ramayana and Mahabharata capture the essence of the Indian cultural heritage.

The Power of Myth

Joseph Campbell with Bill Moyers

Among his many gifts, Joseph Campbell's most impressive was the unique ability to take a contemporary situation, such as the murder and funeral of President John F. Kennedy, and help us understand its impact in the context of ancient mythology. Herein lies the power of The Power of Myth, showing how humans are apt to create and live out the themes of mythology. Based on a six-part PBS television series hosted by Bill Moyers, this classic is especially compelling because of its engaging question-and-answer format, creating an easy, conversational approach to complicated and esoteric topics. For example, when discussing the mythology of heroes, Campbell and Moyers smoothly segue from the Sumerian sky goddess Inanna to Star Wars' mercenary-turned-hero, Han Solo. Most impressive is Campbell's encyclopedic knowledge of myths, demonstrated in his ability to recall the details and archetypes of almost any story, from any point and history, and translate it into a lesson for spiritual living in the here and now. --Gail Hudson 

Tales From India

J. E. B. Gray

Beautifully told retellings of classic stories from India. Full of richness and warmth, these tales of tender love, great heroism, acts of sacrifice, foolishness and friendship come vividly to life. There is an epic battle in which monkeys and bears help rescue the beautiful princess Sita from evil demons and a simple fable about a jackal who tries to become king. This tapestry of stories is as colourful and diverse as India itself.Sources in selecting the stories have been Sanskrit and Pali, the classical languages of the Brahmans and the Buddhists. Many of these tales existed centuries before the Christian era and were given a sophisticated form by the storytellers of classical times.

Coming Back to Life.

Joanna Macy

Many of us feel called to respond to the ecological destruction of our planet, yet we feel overwhelmed, immobilized, and unable to deal realistically with the threats to life on Earth. Noted spiritual and environmental thinkers Joanna Macy and Molly Young Brown contend that this crippling response to world crisis is a psychological defense mechanism that has been endemic since the years of the Cold War arms race, when we had to adapt within a single generation to the horrific possibility of nuclear holocaust.

Since its publication in 1983, Joanna Macy's book, Despair and Personal Power in the Nuclear Age has sold nearly 30,000 copies and has been the primary resource for groups of men and women confronting the challenging realities of our time without succumbing to paralysis or panic. Coming Back to Life provides a much needed update and expansion of this pioneering work. At the interface between spiritual breakthrough and social action, Coming Back to Life is eloquent and compelling as well as being an inspiring and practical guide. The first third of the book discusses with extraordinary insight the angst of our era, and the pain, fear, guilt and inaction it has engendered; it then points forward to the way out of apathy, tio "the work that reconnects".

The Sacred Path of the Warrior

Chogyam Trungpa

In this practical guide to enlightened living, Chögyam Trungpa offers an inspiring vision for our time, based on the figure of the sacred warrior. In ancient times, the warrior learned to master the challenges of life, both on and off the battlefield. He acquired a sense of personal freedom and power—not through violence or aggression, but through gentleness, courage, and self-knowledge. The Japanese samurai, the warrior-kings of Tibet, the knights of medieval Europe, and the warriors of the Native American tribes are a few examples of this universal tradition of wisdom. 

With this book the warrior's path is opened to contemporary men and women in search of self-mastery and greater fulfillment. Interpreting the warrior's journey in modern terms, Trungpa discusses such skills as synchronizing mind and body, overcoming habitual behaviors, relaxing within discipline, facing the world with openness and fearlessness, and finding the sacred dimension of everyday life. Above all, Trungpa shows that in discovering the basic goodness or human life, the warrior learns to radiate that goodness out into the world for the peace and sanity of others. 

The Hoop and the Tree.

Chris Hoffman

The “tree” is the vertical dimension of aspiration,individual growth,and intellectual and spiritual development. The “hoop” is the circular representation of our relationship with humanity and the earth.

Using examples from Native American and other ancient traditions, Chris Hoffman shows readers how to develop both parts of the whole to help people lead a more contented, complete existence.

Everything is Waiting for You.

David Whyte

Poet David Whyte grew up with a strong, imaginative influence from his Irish mother among the hills and valleys of his father's Yorkshire. He now makes his home, with his family, in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. The author of six books of poetry and three books of prose, David Whyte holds a degree in Marine Zoology and has traveled extensively, including living and working as a naturalist guide in the Galapagos Islands and leading anthropological and natural history expeditions in the Andes, the Amazon and the Himalaya. He brings this wealth of experience to his poetry, lectures and workshops.

Anam Cara

John O'Donohue

Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom offers an exploration of the secret universe we all carry inside us, the connections we forge with the worlds of our friends and loved ones, and the products of our worlds reflected in the things we create outside of ourselves. Anam Cara, Gaelic for "soul friend," is an ancient journey down a nearly forgotten path of wisdom into what it means to be human. Drawing on this age-old perspective, John O'Donohue helps us to see ourselves as the Celts did: we're more than just flesh, blood, and bone; we comprise individual worlds. The comprehension of the sublime architecture of the worlds we are born with will engender a new appreciation for the outside world and the way we contribute to its evolution. 

Sacred Women. Sacred Dance.

Iris J. Stewart

Today we primarily think of dance as a form of entertainment or as a way to exercise or socialize. There was a time, however, when dance was considered the way to commune with the divine, a part of life's journey, celebrating the seasons and rhythms of the year and the rhythms of our lives. Dance is a language that reunites the body, mind, and soul. While the role of women's sacred dance was most valued in goddess-worshipping cultures where women served as priestesses and healers, dance was once an integral part of religious ritual and ceremonial expression in cultures all over the world, including Judaism and Christianity. In this book the author investigates how dance came to be excluded from worship and reveals how dance is once again being integrated into spiritual practices. 

Sacred Woman, Sacred Dance is the first book to explore women's spiritual expression--women's ways--through a study of dance. It describes sacred circles, birth rituals, ecstatic dances, and dances of loss and grief (in groups and individually) that allow women to integrate the movements of faith, healing, and power into their daily life.

The House of Belonging

David Whyte

"The House of Belonging" is David Whyte's fourth book of poetry, following "Songs for Coming Home", "Where Many Rivers Meet", and "Fire in the Earth". His fifth volume of poetry, "Everything is Waiting for You" was published in 2003. He is the author of two best-selling books of prose, "The Heart Aroused: Poetry and the Preservation of the Soul in Corporate America", and "Crossing the Unknown Sea: Work as a Pilgrimage of Identity". These books and a highly acclaimed audio lecture series are available from bookstores. "David Whyte makes the reading of poetry a matter of life and death. His writings have moved and changed me." - Pat Conroy, author of "The Prince of Tides"

Invoking Laksmi

Constantina Rhodes

Beautiful, beloved Lakshmi is the Hindu goddess of wealth, happiness, and abundant good fortune. This fascinating book is the first comprehensive guide to this celebrated goddess, her worship, and the deeper spiritual domain of prosperity she reveals. Constantina Rhodes presents over five hundred elegantly translated Sanskrit verses, including devotional songs, mantras, visualizations, and ceremonial instructions that devotees use to invoke Lakshmi.

Rhodes uses these texts to develop a richly detailed portrait of Lakshmi, revealing unexpected dimensions of this enigmatic deity. Even as Lakshmi is best known as a goddess of wealth and well-being, she also maintains a strong esoteric presence, expressing herself as Siddhi, the magnificent Tantric goddess of spiritual power, and as Kundalini Shakti, the transformative cosmic force that exists within each individual. These identities express the "prosperity consciousness" that is the essential nature of the goddess and the divine source of all wealth. Invoking Lakshmi is not only a matter of calling upon the external form of the goddess but also of aligning one's consciousness with the very essence of prosperity.