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On the Bookshelf: Book, Media and Product Reviews

What Are You Doing for Lunch?  A Friendly Guide to Brown Bagging as a Better Way to Lunch
By Mona Meighan, ED.D. with Sara Dehart,MSN, PH.D.
Book Publisher’s Network

If you are ready to quit eating lunch at restaurants so you can enjoy healthier and less expensive meals, this is the book for you. It is very well organized and gives a great explanation of the various ways you can implement brown bagging. There’s help to figure out your brown bag style: if you are a grab-and-go, an almost-grab-and-go, a traditionalist, or even a gourmet luncher.

There are 70 recipes to prepare in 20 minutes or less, and none of them require experience in the kitchen. There are salads, sandwiches, wraps, soups, smoothies, and snacks. Some are vegetarian and all use regular ingredients that can be found in any grocery store. A nutrition analysis is given making it easy to monitor calories, fat, and sugar.

One of the reasons Meighan wrote this book was because she had a 26-year old son who died suddenly from undiagnosed diabetes. His eating habits had been unhealthy ones. She is now trying to help educate more people to eat a healthier diet while also enjoying interesting and less expensive meals.

This book certainly meets the author’s goals and then some. Many of her ideas can be used for dinners as well as lunches and I have already tried a few of them. This book would make a great gift for young people setting off to college. Many of these recipes could be made in a dorm room or kitchenette.

The Art of Pilgrimage - The Seeker’s Guide to Making Travel Sacred
By Phil Cousineau
Conari Press

Make your next trip a sacred journey. Read this book before you leave. Originally published in 1998, this is an updated edition with a new forward. With photos, stories, meditations, and thoughts of other travelers, it is impossible to read this book without getting itchy feet. I found myself wanting to go places I hadn’t even heard of before.

Arranged in a logical progression, the book takes the reader through hearing the call of the pilgrimage, leaving on the trip, winding one’s way, and the return home. Following these ideas makes the feeling of the trip feel meaningful, soul-directed, and almost other-worldly.

Phil Cousineau is a protégé of Joseph Campbell and is an award-winning writer and filmmaker as well as host of the Global Spirit series and a travel tour leader. This is a soulful book that, even if you are not planning an immediate journey, would support you in taking internal journeys of the heart.

The Transformational Truth of Tarot - The Fool Journey
By Tiffany Crosara

“The tarot has been mercilessly misunderstood and misused. My aim is to release it from that stifling grip, and, through doing so free a major aspect of our consciousness, too… Tarot is love from the universe in pictures.” So says Tiffany Crosara who has been a student and teacher of tarot for many years.

In this book, she offers a way for people to learn about the tarot in terms of its history but also by giving an overview of how to use the cards and how to interpret them for yourself. Her “Three Golden Rules” are: positivity not negativity; healing, not prediction; empowerment, not dependency.

Very user-friendly and filled with inspirational stories and ideas, this book will appeal to all tarot lovers. Whether you’ve studied and used tarot for years or you’re just beginning, there’s something here for you.

Flower Therapy - Welcome the Angels of Nature into Your Life
By Doreen Virtue and Robert Reeves
Hay House

A beautiful handbook that introduces the reader to the concept of using flowers for healing and manifestation, this book features about 75 species. We are given a lovely photo of each flower, energetic properties, the associated archangel and chakra, a healing description, and a message from the flower.

There’s a section that talks about how to approach the flowers, gather them, make and use essences, and how to use flowers not in the book. This is a practical book that is also fun to use!

Dreaming Heaven
75 Minute Movie, Book, Meditations and Music
Featuring Gini Gentry, Francis Hayhurst, and Lee McCormick

It’s difficult not to feel like a voyeur when you begin this movie. It features 18 people who meet up in Mexico at Teotihuacán, Teo for short. Teo is 30 miles Northeast of Mexico City and is said to have been built between 100 BCE and 250 CE and, at one time, to have been the home of 100,000 people.

The 18 people we meet are men and women, various ages with different career backgrounds. What they have in common is their desire for a transformative experience. Watching them, you find yourself drawn into their feelings, their lives, hopes and challenges.

Teo has many plazas, pyramids, and temples and each one offers its own energetic stamp that supports the process being experienced on each of the five days. We witness tears, introspection, silence, laughter, love, feminine birthing and clearing, masculine power, doubts, and fears.

The leaders of this experience are three Toltec masters or naguales: shamans who are wisdom-keepers of the Toltec traditions. We see Gini, Francis, and Lee expertly lead the 18 people through the ancient Toltec path of initiation meant to help them remember who they truly are. The name Teotihuacán means “City of the Gods” or, more accurately, “The Place Where Men Become Gods.” This is the purpose of the experience and it is touching to witness people step into it.

Although these trips to Teo are offered by the guides, they have also produced a book by the same name. This book expertly leads the seeker through the same process. One can do it alone or gather a group of friends who can experience the process together. The book covers a 12-week journey and offers weekly practices such as activations, journaling prompts, contemplations, and affirmations.

One of the women seen in the movie, Kelly Sullivan Walden, wrote the book with material from the three naguales. She shares some of what she was feeling during the five days as well as what she went through upon reentry when she returned home.

I strongly advise watching the movie before using the book because otherwise some of the material might not make sense. There is a community forming around this experience through the website www.dreamingheaven.net and there is a Facebook page.

Whether or not you decide to participate in the experience in any way, the movie stands alone as meaningful to witness. Some of the transformation might find its way into hearts simply by experiencing it through the 18 people met in the film.

Butterfly Song
CD Music Album
By Henta

This fifth release by Grammy-nominated artist Henta reflects a butterfly in motion. Some of the tracks flow evenly and you can almost see a butterfly floating on the breaths of air in the garden. Other tracks leave you feeling like you are in free-fall through the sky. Then there is one called “Shine” that features banjo music and has more of a country/Gospel feel. That track has you tapping your feet and swaying with joy.

Henta’s music is a blend of ambient and acoustic. She is able to use her voice so it becomes another instrument in the ensemble. Sometimes you can’t tell where her voice ends and the instruments begin. Her piano notes sparkle while the lower cello notes of some tracks add substance and form.

Originally from the UK, Henta now lives in Roslyn, Wash. This album, like the name, follows the metamorphosis of a butterfly from cocoon to free flying butterfly. This is another feel-good and thoughtful hit with meaningful lyrics that show Henta’s 20-year evolution into the artist she is today.

Listen to samples of this album, view her videos, and read her blog at www.hentamusic.com.