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“Breakfast with Buddha” – A Book Review

January 10, 2014 Leave a comment

I mentioned this book in my post yesterday as a sign of alignment of my path with the Plan of the Universe. It was a delightful Christmas gift and I raced through the book anticipating each new scene and experience: a good laugh, a shed tear, an unfolding story well told. Here is my short review:

I had not read anything by Roland Murello before I received this book. And I haven’t read a good “road-trip” story in a long time. Both encounters have been very rewarding. And perhaps the rewards have been deeper because I could so easily identify with all of the characters!

You don’t have to identify with any of the characters, however, to enjoy the book. If you are interested in a story of the movement of a fairly typical upper middleclass, middle aged American guy moving through early spiritual awakenings, then I highly recommend this well written book.

Otto Ringling is the main character. He grew up as a Lutheran in the Midwest (North Dakota) on a wheat farm. (I grew up as a Lutheran on a dairy farm in Wisconsin.) He is comfortable in his life: loving wife, two teenage kids whom he adores, great job publishing food books (he loves to eat fine food accompanied by great wine); all is going really well for him. But he has these nagging little discomforts with all of this; small inner tremors that begin to shake things up a bit.

Otto has a sister, Cecelia (mine is a sister-in-law). He calls her Seese (I call mine Cees). He claims his Seese is “as flaky as a good spanakopita crust.” (I won’t say anything here about my Cees, except that I love her!). Otto’s journey truly begins with the sudden death of their parents, the bigger tremor that really begins to shake his foundation.

Otto’s gradual awakening is guided by a Rinpoche, a “friend” of Cecelia. The story unfolds as a road-trip (just Otto and the Rinpoche) from Cecelia’s home in New Jersey to their parents’ farm in North Dakota. There are hilarious scenes through the whole trip, well described, often involving the search for the perfect meal along the meandering journey, as Otto serves Rinpoche a dose of true Americana and Rinpoche serves Otto a dose of the true way to awakening.

The book is light, fun, poignant, silly, profound and just plain enjoyable as a spiritual awakening travelogue. Perhaps I enjoyed it so much because it rang so true for me. But I think anyone who is beginning to get in touch with the truth and their own spiritual awakening will also enjoy the book.

And the best news for me is there is now a sequel: Lunch with Buddha. I can hardly wait to get my copy; and I’ve got a B&N gift card to spend!

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“Conversations with the Goddess” – a Review

November 8, 2013 Leave a comment

I just finished reading this book, Conversations with the Goddess: Encounter at Petra, Place of Power by Dorothy Atalla, a few days ago and am anxious to share it with you. I “encountered” this book when I was unpacking boxes of our books and putting them on shelves in their new home. It is a book Rosemary came across and was even asked by the author’s assistant for a review and comment some time ago. I put it aside in my “read pile” and something drew it to the top of that pile; I’m so glad it became a priority.

Atalla’s journey actually began in Petra, Jordan a number of decades ago. Several years after her trip the Goddess began coming to her in meditation and these “conversations” were recorded. It took Atalla even more years to put the conversations into book form.

You may gather from the title of this blog that I am interested in the Goddess. Well, maybe “interest” is a mild word for my passion. This passion was refueled by Atalla’s book.

It is not at all what I expected. I have read lots of “channeled” material. I often publish much of what Rosemary channels from The Divine Feminine and in many forms. Atalla’s conversations come through with a clarity and reasoned approach that is fresh and scholarly.

This book is much more than the Conversations with the Goddess Atalla recorded and reports. She adds layers of research to go beyond the conversations and into deep understanding of the Goddess. She references significant works from anthropology and archeology, from psycho-historical research and the philosophy of the development of human consciousness. She makes extensive use of resources such as The Great Mother: An Analysis of the Archetype by Erich Neumann, Up from Eden: A Transpersonal View of Human Evolution by Ken Wilber and the works of Joseph Campbell.

While the Goddess has plenty to say about herself through her conversations, Atalla adds her own research and the research of these great minds to offer a compelling and comprehensive vision of the Goddess, in action through the history of human development and even now as we move through a new phase of evolution.

The book concluded too quickly for me; I want more. I want to hear more about this evolutionary step we are about to take. The Goddess even concluded her conversations with a “teaser” – to quote the Goddess through Atalla:

The seed has been planted in many hearts. There is already a yearning for “something else.” Though many are not sure what this yearning is all about they feel its ache within their hearts, and that is because of the strong spiritual impulses toward transformation that are sweeping across the planet.

You can imagine why this book gripped me. How often have you heard Rosemary and me talk about transformation in the past months, even years? Yes, I feel this yearning; yes, it feels like an ache, like an emptiness that is drawing me forward. It is always good to hear we are not alone. And it is wonderful to hear the Goddess acknowledge this yearning!

I highly recommend this book to anyone who senses this yearning for the coming transformation. Through it you will gain a beautiful, and awesome, vision of the Goddess!