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Reviews tagged spirituality

Holy Kitchens: True Business

Punjabi chef Vikas Khanna is known for bringing great Indian food to discerning New York City diners. Although he surely has his hands full with his new restaurant Junoon, Khanna is working on an arduous extra-curricular project—a series of short documentary films about the worldwide connection between spirituality and feeding the hungry.

Goddess Durga and Sacred Female Power

Author Laura Amazzone offers her own intimate experiences (including the most painful ones) and personal growth in a book that is richly dense with information and observation. Goddess Durga and Sacred Female Power encompasses spirituality, mythology, feminism, history, travel, and philosophy. Nearly every paragraph made me set the book down to consider or visualize ideas. In a very tight nutshell: Amazzone delves into the multicultural history and symbolism of this incarnation of the Goddess, offering a model of spirituality and feminism to a world that greatly needs it.

The Wisdom of Imperfection: The Challenge of Individuation in Buddhist Life

Rob Preece does a convincing job of bridging Jungian psychology to Buddhist practice in The Wisdom of Imperfection. Preece explains how Carl Gustav Jung’s notion of Individuation—the process of the personality’s growth and expansion into the wider psyche towards a potential state of wholeness, coincides with Buddhist ideas of bringing the ego into greater presence and awareness into one’s life.

Daring Steps: Traversing the Path of the Buddha

In his interview last summer with Jet Mort, Ringu Tulku—teacher, author, and Rinpoche—detailed the necessity of helping, healing, and harmony to grant meaning to otherwise meaningless lives. His book Daring Steps advances all three through its thorough and accessible description of the Buddhist path. The three vehicles—yanas—are described: Shravakayana (Theravada), Mahayana and Vajrayana, or tantra.

The Creative Life: True Tales of Inspiration

If you haven’t heard of Julia Cameron, you’re probably familiar with her best-selling book, The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Creativity. This seminal book has helped many recovering and blocked creatives find their way back to a place that is nourishing and healing while giving them the tools they need to unblock their creativity.

Wise Teacher, Wise Student: Tibetan Approaches to a Healthy Relationship

Wise Teacher, Wise Student by Alexander Berzin explores the intricate and complex relationship between Western students and Eastern teachers. This particular type of relationship has its own unique set of challenges due to language barriers, cultural divides, and occasionally conflicting expectations.

The Power and the Pain: Transforming Spiritual Hardship into Joy

In The Power and the Pain, Andrew Holecek divides chapters of his teachings by the Three Turnings, or teachings, of the dharma, and associates different cycles of suffering with each.

Meredith Monk: Inner Voice

Dutch Filmmaker Babeth VanLoo’s compelling tribute to sixty-seven-year-old choreographer-musician-teacher-composer-artist Meredith Monk does many things. In addition to introducing us to this enigmatic Jane of many trades, it showcases the artist’s creative processes and worldview. Along the way, it looks at the ways Buddhism has infused Monk’s work. “Silence is her source,” VanLoo explains. The engrossing eighty-two-minute film includes footage of Monk performing, writing, and living in both upstate New York and New Mexico.

Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion

At times, I could almost hear my heart breaking as I read Tattoos on the Heart by Father Gregory Boyle, a Jesuit priest who works with hardened gang members in Los Angeles and assists with reintegrating them back into society through his organization Homeboy Industries.

The Horse Boy

The Horse Boy is an emotionally stirring, thought-provoking examination of autism and its effects on familial life.

The Subtle Body: The Story of Yoga in America

If you assume, as I did, that yoga came to the United States via the Maharishi in the 1970s, you’ll be surprised again and again as you read Stefanie Syman’s The Subtle Body.

A Complete Guide to the Buddhist Path

I guess I was expecting more of a “Buddhism for idiots” type of book when I picked up A Complete Guide to the Buddhist Path by Khenchen Konchog Gyaltshen (a title which means, roughly, “great abbot”). For better or worse, that’s not what this book is. Before I read the book, I knew nothing of Buddhism except that some people call it a philosophy rather than a religion and Buddhist nuns have to shave their heads upon joining their order.


Captivity is a historical novel based on the true story of the Fox sisters, who claimed they could communicate with the dead. Able to convince a group of people of their abilities, they garnered a following that would grow to become a religious movement known as American Spiritualism, or simply Spiritualism.

Transcendent in America: Hindu-Inspired Meditation Movements as New Religion

Although I don’t do it every day, yoga and meditation help me manage physical and mental injuries that I received from previous trauma. It certainly calms my chaotic mind and keeps pain at bay. I have bonded with other practitioners, but I’ve never gone on a retreat or invested time in training beyond basic poses or ten minute meditations. My expectations of what Lola Williamson’s book about meditation movements in the U.S.

A Book of Silence

I'm not sure why I wanted to read A Book of Silence; I think I must have read a review somewhere because, as a memoir by a religious feminist, it seems an unlikely choice for me. But when I came upon it on Green Metropolis, I decided to buy it—a bargain since I got the hardback edition. Another weird thing about this book is the feeling I have that somewhere, sometime I've met the author...

Societies of Peace: Matriarchies Past, Present and Future

In a time when it seems we have lost our sense of humane, egalitarian living Societies Of Peace stands out as a guide to what we can learn from matriarchies in order to save ourselves from self-destruction. This book is a collection of the presentations from the two World Congresses on Matriarchial studies.

Tune Him In, Turn Him On: Using Intuition to Find and Keep the Man of Your Dreams

Relationship advice can be a tricky and sensitive topic at times. Over time you learn not to take it from anyone except a small number of entrusted friends. In Servet Hasan's Tune Him In, Turn Him On, the author takes a new approach to dating men: actively developing and applying your intuition.

The Courage to Feel: Buddhist Practices for Opening to Others

As someone who recently developed an interest in Buddhism, I feel like a walking cliché. It seems almost inevitable that one will explore an alternative religion at some point in their life. We have become a society of seekers.

Feminist Spirituality: The Next Generation

Feminist Spirituality: The Next Generation uses the publication of Manifesta: Young Women, Feminism, and the Future by Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards in 2000 as its point of departure.

Living Life as a Thank You: The Transformative Power of Daily Gratitude

The most wonderful part about the idea of practicing daily gratitude is that any person can do it. Unlike many concepts, like faith or prayer, which tend to be examined via certain religions or spiritualities, thankfulness is pretty universal.

Oh My God

Oh My God is the kind of documentary that holds you in wonder from start to finish. Once the credits begin to roll, you finally exhale and find yourself muttering “Wow.” Peter Rodger's trek across every inhabited continent in search of the answer to one of humankind's ultimate questions—“What is God?”—is both a revelation on the unifying conceptualization of something higher and a celebration of what elevates us.

Life Is a Verb: 37 Days to Wake Up, Be Mindful, and Live Intentionally

Thirty-seven days after being diagnosed with cancer, author Patti Digh’s stepfather died. It is this moment that inspired the book Life Is a Verb: 37 Days to Wake Up, Be Mindful, and Live Intentionally.

The Tara Mala

In my search for tranquility, I have studied many ideologies. Try as I might, the perfect fit continues to elude me. For a while, my journey became a process of acquisition, a gathering of the choice pieces from a plethora of spiritual options. My evolving cafeteria-style spirituality most closely came to reflect the tenets of Taoism, even though I just could not quite wrap my mind around the whole of formal Taoist practice.

The Passionate Torah: Sex and Judaism

This new collection of essays, solicited from among the world’s most brilliant scholars of rabbinic literature, interpreters of the Torah, and professors of gender studies, is the first book I would recommend for those preparing to teach advanced courses in Jewish Studies. The essays range in tone from playfulness to fairly turgid exegesis, but the pieces are—without exception—bold, honest, and unabashed.

The Little Book on Meaning: Why We Crave It, How We Create It

The Little Book on Meaning is truly a salve of a book; it is a positive and inspiring message for anyone with questions about life—and that’s pretty much everyone, right? Laura Berman Fortgang, “personal coach” and author of several motivational books, addresses the human need for meaning in our existence and the struggle to discern what that meaning might be.

Trivia: Voices of Feminism, Issue 9

What a journal! Trivia: Voices of Feminism, Issue 9 is a beautiful and inspiring electronic resource. Thinking about Goddesses is this edition’s theme. Editors Lise Weil and Hye Sook Hwang present fourteen articles made up of personal essays and poetry complete with moving artwork and pictures. What is Goddess worship?


One tell-tale sign of good music is that it has the ability to transport you somewhere physically, mentally or spiritually. Ascension by Phoenix Rising aims for and succeeds at the latter.

Cosmic Connection: Messages for a Better World

Cosmic Connection is a difficult book. Difficult because if you are not used to thinking about the world in multiple dimensions, the physical and spiritual, you will be taken aback by the author’s basic assumptions about life.

The Winter Sun: Notes on a Vocation

Fanny Howe’s ostensible concern in The Winter Sun: Notes on a Vocation is the origin and nature of her writing life.

Living in the Face of Death

This profound collection of Tibetan Buddhist writing on the subject of death and transcendence is a gorgeous initiation into the thoughts shared by those that follow this religion/set of beliefs. Mullin chose a variety of writings that approach the inevitable by former Dalai Lamas, yogis, mystics and spiritual teachers. As a whole the collected works are easily digestible and clear in their impact.