eckhart tolle

The title of The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle says it all, and the contents of the book is priceless. For starts, it can change one’s ideas about how things are, or ought to be, and take one on the ride of one’s life. It tends to turn one’s thoughts around and around, and get one to agree that, -okay, that’s true; that way is not working for me. I have to do what? All right, if that’s what it takes to stop the misery, I’m on board. And little by little, thoughts and opinions about the past, present, and future, about relationships, about the way the mind is used – the thinking and doing that doesn’t work, and yet has a stranglehold on one’s life, get chiseled away.

A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle has sold over 6 million copies. And what a book it is. The book grabs hold of one’s being – if one let’s it, and if one is not compelled to ask the why of everything when reading it. The meaning of the words will eventually find a place in one’s consciousness, and then a place in one’s outer life.

I’ve noticed that A New Earth is not a book one can give as a gift, I suppose that’s true for The Power of Now, too. That’s been my experience. Well, one can give it, but… A New Earth can’t be a blind date, a person has to chose it for themselves, or the giver will most likely see it untouched, or used as a coaster, or maybe taken out when “they” know you’re coming. The best time for someone to read The Power of Now, or A New Earth, or any book of a spiritual nature, is determined by the one who will be reading it. That makes perfect sense.


Zeitgeist – noun, German, the spirit of the times; general trend of thought or feeling characteristic of a particular period of time. Based on the Random House Dictionary

Books have been written about this material age. Now there’s a movie, Zeitgeist. A lot of people have watched it. There are parts of Zeitgeist that offend some, and there are parts that people agree with. Watching Zeitgeist helps us understand the world we live in.

The Energy that created the world – the sunsets, the mountains, the oceans, the rivers, the lakes, the ponds, the valleys, the hills, nature in all its stunning beauty which we’re a part of – didn’t create it for just a few to enjoy, and didn’t create it for just a few to control.

Somehow though we weren’t paying attention and got caught up in stuff – stuff for our amusement, stuff for our bodies, stuff for our homes, we wanted the latest this and the latest that, and as paying credit cards for all the stuff got more difficult, we failed to notice that a few were/are controlling the planet’s resources, that a few were/are making rules and regulations, that a few were/are destroying the earth’s natural resources that are not theirs to tamper with in such a way.

Perhaps now is the time to think about the world as we’ve never done before – to not give ourselves over to things that disempower us and make us fearful, to ignore the nonsense that’s placed before us in the form of “celebrity” worship, to think twice before using scary prescription drugs, to relinquish some of our adult toys, and hours and hours spent on tech stuff, and hours spent watching tv, and to quit wanting and buying a new this and a new that when the “old” is barely out of its box.

Is it time to begin the search for the real power that’s built into our beings? Is now the time to reach out in service to others and to the world? Is it time to figure out how to correct the gross imbalances on the planet which is being overrun with pollutants of many kinds – in our soil, food, water, fish, animals, air, homes, and in our bodies? The list is a long one. The good news is that there’s always a starting point for change and the time is always right.. and

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“The universe is transformation; our life is what our thoughts make it.” -Marcus Aurelius

“What is the meaning of life? To be happy and useful.” -His Holiness The Dalai Lama


It’s fascinating to observe the goings on in the world. And when you stop to take notice that what’s reported in the media is rather different from what’s happening it becomes almost amusing. It’s necessary and wise to look between the lines, whether they’e written or spoken. All the talk about lack, and yet open your eyes wide and you see that movie land has millions to spend on make-believe, developers keep developing their big buildings (some quite ugly) whether they are needed or not, many perfectly sturdy and stunning buildings are torn down to make way for bigger and supposedly better structures, high-priced designer stores have numerous regular customers, jewelry stores continue to flourish, the Aston Martin always has its buyers, inexpensive and expensive restaurants are filled daily with eager eaters. Life goes on. We live in a world where the very poor, the not so poor/not so rich, and the very rich exist together. It’s a nice feeling to stop once in awhile to look around and see the wonder of it all. The world’s offerings are endless. Take a look at all the people – every single person on this earth existing in a different way – no life is ever the same. People come and people go; the world changes, and yet it doesn’t. And the earth continues to accommodate it all. And to stay in the moment is to live in peace.

“Fortify yourself with contentment,
for this is an impregnable fortress.” – Epictetus

“Be content with what you have,
rejoice in the way things are.
When you realize there is nothing lacking,
the whole world belongs to you.” – Lao Tzu

“Who is rich? He who rejoices in his portion.” – The Talmud

writers, words, and beautiful sentences found in books

The English language is fraught with delightful words and ways of stringing a sentence together. It’s a great language – a full and fun language – and can be a neat hobby. In a thick Clairefontaine notebook I like writing words, and the way they were used in a particular sentence in a book.

The word miasma, e.g., has a completely different meaning than what I had thought. I’m glad I never had occasion to use it. It’s a pretty-sounding word, isn’t it? I’m also glad that I looked up its meaning on for it states: “mi as ma 1. Noxious exhalations from putrescent organic matter poisonous effluvia or germs polluting the atmosphere.” Somewhere along my life’s journey the word miasma became unclear in its meaning.

This past 4th July holiday Sumi and I got to talking about books. She asked what I thought of the one she gave me a month ago. And I had to say that I was confused after reading the first two pages, and returned it to the shelf. She said, keep reading it; it’s a really good story and it’s well-written, and yes, the first few pages are somewhat confusing. She said she really liked the way the author uses words. So when Sumi and I went to Barnes & Noble the following day, I recognized the depth of her enjoyment of “the post-birthday world” when she saw the book on one of the tables Barnes & Noble places around its store. She smiled and pointed to it, and what I saw on her face was a remembering of the pure enjoyment she had in reading it. And she said that one day she’d read it again, just not yet. It’s then that I realized that Sumi wasn’t ever going to get tired of asking whether I’ve read that book. With that in mind, when I finish reading Extra Virgin by Annie Hawes I’ll gladly give “the post birthday world” by Lionel Shriver a whirl.

Annie Hawes also has a way with words. I find Extra Virgin plodding, but in a way I don’t at all mind. The words, the flow of sentences, is delicious, as is the writer’s description of just about everything before her.

Now Sumi read Empire Falls by Richard Russo, but didn’t see the made for tv movie. I saw the movie, but didn’t read the book. One day she said, “This book is very good, mom, do you want to read it? You’ll like it.” I said, “No, I don’t like reading a book after I’ve watched a movie based on it.” She said, “Well, take the book.” I did. The next time, and a few other times, Sumi asked, “Did you read Empire Falls, mom?” I hesitatinghly replied, “No, not yet.” Soon after that conversation, I got the book off its shelf and began to read it. Lo and behold, it was so well-written and engrossing that, in no time at all, I’d read it. And so, I ask myself, where did, “I don’t like reading a book after I’ve watched a movie based on it” come from? Empire Falls – wonderful reading.

A writer who uses words not commonly used, or words that delight the senses and make a reader want to stop and write them in a notebook for future use, or uses words that open a new way of understanding and appreciating a language, who expresses thoughts that the reader feels on different levels, and, at the same time, creates a great story, is a writer whose book will be appreciated for a long time after the book is read.

is it time to detoxify?

It’s impossible to get through the day without hearing or reading something about detoxifying, at least in my world it’s that way. Today aol had a blurb on Oprah’s 21-day detox, and mention of her daily posts on her blog. It rang a bell because I’m preparing for another cleansing session – the benefits are so great – physical, mental, spiritual – providing one pays attention to what’s happening by clearing time for stillness. Rushing about and carrying the same ole stress load changes the meaning of detoxifying, and tends to curtail what could be a powerful time. I say this because Emi gave me a few pages of an article in Elle, more or less about fasting and the various methods. One person said when talking about The Master Cleanser: “It was surprisingly filling, but the experience was isolating. . .” and, he continued, “And inconvenient. After the salt-water, I couldn’t leave the house for at least two hours. If you know what I mean.” And I say, of course, that’s what happens when fasting. (I have only this one page and no author or date, but it must be current if it came from Emi.)

My ideal scenario when detoxifying would be to be near the sea; walking in the water, walking in the sand, time in the sun, staying happy, meditating, attention to what the within is saying, and being grateful for the experience. And yours?

Detoxing is agreeing there’s lots to be gained from the experience, and remembering what these things are. Focusing on a specific food, or drink (like coffee. Ha!), will create an internal tug of war. The thing is that doing something for a limited time should be a snap. Right?

A lot of people don’t believe detoxifying is important. They feel in their gut that it’s not for them, and that’s fine. Theirs is a different path. If something’s pulling you toward it, however, maybe that something is from within and is trying to get your attention. Perhaps then it’s important to go with that feeling.

Know what you’re doing and why, read and research. There’s a lot out there in the market place in recent years. And there’s the tried and true, also. It doesn’t have to be complicated.

the life you were born to live by dan millman

Have you read the book, The Life You Were Born To Live by Dan Millman?

When we bought it, it became an instant success in the family, and also with visitors who came to our apartment. I know they enjoyed the book because there would usually be a phone call a day or two later saying, “I was at the bookstore and picked up that book we were looking at a few days ago.”

What is the book’s appeal besides being entertaining? Because entertaining is not a good enough reason in this instance. So why do people go out and buy it soon after spending a few hours with it? Maybe because the book, the “Life Purpose System,” gently guides. It doesn’t dictate, or get you into a dark mood because it’s complicated and heavy. Rather it suggests and informs. The words, and what they’re expressing, grab the reader. You see a quizzical expression, a smile, a nod, an agreement from the one reading.

I’m not the best person to point to why a book is good reading, or why it isn’t. Every word that’s written about a book, person, movie, restaurant, or place is just someone else’s opinion. And because it’s an opinion, one opinion is as good as another. Perhaps this opinion will bring you to a bookstore. Perhaps it won’t.

And so it goes.

those grand old nyc department stores

Once upon a time in Manhattan there existed elegant, old-world charm department stores. Then investors came on the scene who saw only money in their pockets, and not the beauty, and not the importance of keeping these wonderful places intact for the people living in and visiting this city. They  didn’t care that these buildings had their own special energy.  They ruined their essence with renovations and ideas that didn’t work, and then sold them when the profit they wanted was not realized. In the process, what was once grand was gone with the greed. I’m thinking of B. Altman & Co., Gimbel’s, Bonwit Teller, Franklin Simon.

B. Altman & Co. was located on 34th Street between Fifth and Madison Avenues. It was elegant throughout. The old beautiful water fountain ( it was not any old water fountain) was on the main floor, and had an ever-ready supply of drinking cups.  And all the floors had their own wonderful feeling, along with friendly, knowledgeable sales people who had been employed there for years. They knew the merchandise, and were thoroughly professional. If you weren’t sure what exactly you were looking for, they managed to find out for you.

The very large restaurant on the top floor was airily decorated with huge white birdcages hanging from the inordinately high ceilings. It was all white and had a dreamy feeling. The waitresses were always cordial. What a pleasure it was to be in that atmosphere.

Indeed, I remember the times when these special stores existed. I remember because lately I’ve heard people commenting about the sterility of many Manhattan neighborhoods. And started thinking of the many delightful small bookshops, the “mom and pop” places, and the wonderful, well-loved department stores that were once an important part of life in New York. I know change happens, especially in big cities, but maybe not to the extent that New Yorkers experience it. Ethnic groups arriving have always been a part of NYC,  and we get used to and enjoy what they bring,  and the old stands side-by-side with the new. That’s good; we learn from each other. But those elegant, old-world charm department stores, well, that’s an altogether different matter.

ireland can sometimes be wet

Around the year 2002, I began traveling with lots of anxiety, lots of inexperience and a big suitcase. I took off into the friendly skies and headed for Ireland. I decided to go there for the simple reason that I had to make a decision, and, at that time in my traveling life, it seemed one place was as good as another. It’s a weak reason, but as it turned out, it was a good choice. I liked Ireland; the public transportation is efficient and convenient, English is spoken, Irish people are friendly and they are great storytellers, and there are stunning sites in Ireland. How can one go wrong? I’ll tell you how: not paying attention to the weather.

People would say, ‘Why didn’t you come last month? -That’s the best time.” Luckily, my hooded, long raincoat and a pair of shoes that could stand up to any downpour were perfect – most of the time. I will always remember Galway and Connemara for the times I was caught in heavy winds and buckets of rain. I was whipped into traveling shape with those experiences. And I remember exactly where I was when Venice popped into my mind. I was facing Galway Bay, walking from town to a B&B when the rains came. There was no place to go, and it felt like a beating. I was soaking wet, and when the worst was over I continued walking to the B&B. Along the way, I remembered reading about Venice in a thin book I’d bought at a shop in Galway, and I grabbed onto that thought. Venice? Why not?

I came through that traveling experience in Ireland intact, mostly due to the kindness of people I met along the way. Not that I made any effort to meet people. No. I was too busy keeping myself together dragging a big suitcase from one B&B place to another. The B&B package I’d bought Stateside made the trip a bit difficult because tourists from other countries had a similar package, and the owners of the B&Bs wanted money in hand, not a voucher. I don’t blame them. But because of this, I had to spent a lot of time on the phone inquiring about availability.

Maybe someday I’ll return to Ireland; it will be when the sun is shining, the days are warm, and people say, “You’re lucky. This is the best time to be here.”