Those seeking spiritual wisdom can turn to sages, singers, stars and scholars around the world in the months ahead. The Dalai Lama continues his Be Inspired series for Hampton Roads (a Weiser brand) with be brave (September), edited by Renuka Singh. Kathryn Sky-Peck, Creative Director at Red Wheel/Weiser, explains that this book differs from previous series titles (Be kind, be happy, Be angryand Be here), who were aiming to break down the concept of enlightenment into “pieces that relate directly to our simple, everyday human emotions”. In be brave, the Dalai Lama is more proactive. He writes that people need to be “more aware of the oneness of humanity, recognize the rights and interests of others, and when we do this, meaningful dialogue – and change – can be achieved.”
Several publishers release authors imbued with Buddhist approaches. Valerie Brown, Mindfulness Coach, Black Buddhist Dharma Teacher and Quaker, includes meditations and personal life-affirming stories during times of pain and loss in Hope Leans Forward: Make Your Way to Simplicity, Enlightenment, and Peace (Broadleaf, November). In Luminous Darkness: A Bride Buddhist approach to embrace the unknown (Shambhala, Sept.), dharma teacher and ecologist Deborah Eden Tull suggests that we learn through mindfulness and meditation to befriend the night because “all insight, vision, creativity, and revelation come from the darkness”, according to Shambhala. Opening to Darkness: Eight Gateways to Being with the absence of light in troubling times (Sounds True, March 2023), by Zen Buddhist priest and female drumming doctor Zenju Earthlyn Manuel, “explores the darkness as a cosmic landscape to be transformed in troubling times,” according to the publisher.
Lotte Publishing offers Singing and dancing are the voice of the law: a commentary on Hakuin’s “Song of Zazen” by Bussho Lahn (Nov.). Lahn, the spiritual director and senior priest of the Minnesota Zen Meditation Center in Minneapolis, has a particular interest in marrying spirituality with Eastern and Western psychology. The book centers on a poem by 18th-century Zen master Hakuin, which begins with “All beings by nature are Buddha.” Lahn writes: “The search for truth, meaning, purpose, connection, love – all of this is universal and timeless. The way we search and the symbols we use change, but the momentum is eternal.
Crossing eras and cultures
Watkins Publishing Editor Fiona Robertson says the Toltecs – indigenous peoples who preceded the Aztecs – predicted our current struggle to move from a time of oppression and violence into “a new age of consciousness, ’empathy and harmony’. Actress Michelle Rodriguez, whose family heritage is Dominican and Puerto Rican, and Mesoamerican spiritual teacher Sergio Magaña are the co-authors of The Toltec heritage (April 2023), offering tools and techniques such as lucid dreaming and meditation to help readers find harmony in life. Rodriguez says she wants to share the skills she learned while studying with Magaña in 2018 as part of her spiritual journey. She writes: “In Mayan astrology, my astrological sign is the rainmaker, the person who gathers information and brings it back to the community.
HarperOne’s The Seven Circles: Indigenous Lessons for living well (October) features writing and photos from the married team of Native American activists Chelsey Luger and Thosh Collins. They draw inspiration from many tribal cultures to show how to build harmony by balancing seven areas of life: Food, Movement, Sleep, Ceremony, Sacred Space, Land, and Community.
Overview of multiple directions
Another HarperCollins imprint, Harper Wave, shines a light on Omarian, the former lead singer of B2K and his path to holistic wellness. spiritual memory, Carefree: the power to choose joy (September), delves into the life of Omarian, as well as his practices, including breathing exercises, yoga, ancient mantras, and more.
Catherine Shainberg, author of The Kabbalah of Light: Ancient Practices to Ignite the Imagination and Illuminate blade (Inner Traditions, available now), takes its own spin on the term cabaloriginally a Jewish mystical tradition, to offer 159 visualization exercises to help people find love and healing through their imaginations, according to the publisher.
In what TP Called a “lucid blend of memory and caring” in his star-studded review, social justice activist Simran Jeet Singh shares the Sikh principles of love and service that have shaped his life in The Light We Give: How Sikh Wisdom Can Transform Your Life (Riverhead, out now). The book “explains how we can learn to integrate ethical living to achieve personal happiness and a happier life,” says Riverhead.
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A version of this article originally appeared in the 08/01/2022 issue of Weekly editors under the title: Books of Timeless Wisdom