Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Two great books I’m reading

Every once in a while a book really turns me on.
In the recent past, for me, the list has included

* Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight, Thom Hartmann
* Endgame, Derrick Jensen
* Guns, Germs, and Steel, by Jared Diamond
* Alphabet vs. Goddess, Leonard Shlain
* Turning Point/Tao of Physics, Fritjof Capra
* Manufacturing Consent/Necessary Illusions, Chomsky
* Rich Media Poor Democracy/Problem with Media, McChesney
* Toxic Sludge, Rampton/Stauber
* Third Wave, et. al, by Toffler
* Food of the Gods/McKenna
* Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenence, Pirsig
* Various works by and about R. Crumb
* popular books about quantum mechanics
* ACIM, Abraham/Hicks, Richard Bach, metaphysics/creation stuff
* Celestene Prophecy, by Redfield
* Rosenberg/NVC stuff
* Books by Allan Watts, Eckard Tolle, Wayne Dwyer, Louise Hay
* Godel, Escher, Bach/Metamagical Themas, Hofstadter
* Books about the corporation by Korten, Grossman, Bakan, Hartmann, Nace, etc.
* Books by Jerry Mander, Naomi Klein, Arundhati Roy, Howard Zinn,
* Books about Toltec by Don Miguel Ruiz
* Creature from Jeckyll Island, by G. Edward Griffen
* (not always books, but still important) Weird art: the Stang/Subgenius stuff, Monty Python, Frank Zappa, Laurie Anderson, Larry Carlson, etc.

...just to give you a feel about what I'm into...

I want to tell you about two books that are really turning me on right now:

* Mindful Yoga, Mindful Life, by Charlotte Bell

I have several books on yoga. This one is unique, as it has no pictures of asanas (postures)!!
It is only the Eight Limbs of (Raja) Yoga, told in an autobiographic style.

If you are new to yoga practice/study, all of the different
names, styles, and flavors of yoga can be daunting. There are dozens...

I've studied/practiced yoga for about a year now, and here's my advice to beginning yoga students:

If you study the Eight Limbs, the Four Yogas, and Patanjali's Sutras,
and if you find a teacher who can help you practice postures, breathing, and meditation,
you will understand 99% of what yoga has to offer.

You will at this point become an intermediate/advanced yoga student,
and will then likely discover many other interesting topics to research,
but this is all the basics you need to know.

This book is a great telling of the Eight Limbs.

* The Essence of Yoga, Reflections on the Yoga Sutras of Patañjali, By Bernard Bouanchaud

Speaking of the Yoga Sutras, this book is it for me.
But there are many many books of the sutras.
You may find a reason to have several.

How to choose a good one?
Here are the characteristics of a great yoga sutras book:

1. The original sutras in Sanskrit (or a transliteration)
2. Sanskrit alphabet, pronounciation guide, and transliteration table
3. Commentary

A problem in translation of Sanskrit --as with any language --
is that each word can have several different meanings.

A mastery of the Sutras will require studying different translations
which will ultimately give you deep knowledge of the subtles and ambiguities
of the underlying Sanskrit.

This book has it all for me, and a translation which (for me)
conveys great beauty and deep knowledge of the underlying
metaphysical principles of yoga.

I believe you will find a particular translation of the sutras will
speak to you uniquely.

This one is speaking to me, and is
blowing my mind in a complicated way.
e.g., If you were a fan of the Cognitive Liberty Radio show,
have a look at sutra IV.1 :)

That verse (and others) are connecting to my life and exeriences deeply.
I think you may find the same thing.

Are you NOT a student of yoga?
I believe that everyone will benefit from a yoga study/practice!
Yes, that's a strong statement.
But here's why:

* Yoga is much more than just excercise!!
* Yoga is a complete system of how to live your life.
* Yoga is an owner's manual for your body.
* Yoga teaches you how to treat your (emotional) self, your spirit, your soul
* Yoga teaches you an ethical system of how to treat others and live in the world
* Yoga is not a religion.
* You can be a Christian, Jew, Moslem, Buddhist, Pagan, Athiest, etc.
and still gain from a yoga practice.
* Yoga does not contradict any religious faith, and is
compatible with them all.
* I believe strongly that a yoga practice can cure disease.
* I believe strongly that when more people take on a yoga practice
this will bring about world peace and a sustainable earth.
* A yoga practice will benefit nearly every aspect of your life.

There is ancient wisdom and great power to be discovered in a study of yoga.

And if you live in the Greater Binghamton/Montrose area,
you'll find there are many great yoga teachers around,
teaching many different styles.

If you don't have a yoga teacher... FIND ONE!!!
Trust me on this one, people.


Bill Huston
Binghamton NY
607-321-7846 c

email: WilliamAHuston at gmail


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