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Newsletter Number 69 • November, 2010

Even though our physical bookstore is closed, we will continue to keep our website up and running. We will also continue our monthly newsletter.

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Len and Tony

If you have read either The Concise Yoga Vasistha or Vasistha’s Yoga and would like to read the entire scripture unedited (Both of the above mentioned titles are edited and not complete translations.) Then I would recommend....

The 4 volume text is unedited and includes original Sanskrit with English translation.

TITLE: Yoga-Vasistha of Valmiki (4 vols.)
AUTHOR: Ravi Prakash Arya 

You can order the above from these websites

http://www.alibris.com
http://www.vedicbooks.net

Many people ask me for a good translation of the Bhagavad Gita that contains all 18 chapters...

Bhagavad Gita translated by Juan Mascaro I feel is one of the best.. it is very poetic in its translation and contains no commentary. I must have read this edition at least 7-10 times

Ashtavakra Gita is the bible of Advaitic (non duality) philosophy an excellent translation is

The Heart of Awareness: A Translation of the Ashtavakra Gita [Paperback]
Thomas Byrom (Translator) Very poetic

If you enjoy novels, the following are in my opinion some of the finest ever written

Stoner
John Williams

A lovely, serene, deeply spiritual book that deserves to be a classic, Stoner by John Williams, written in 1965 tells the life story of a Professor of English. The novel takes place in the early part of the 20th Century.

The writing is such that one goes back and rereads passages. This is a tremendous achievement and should be read by any lover of great fiction. I seldom fall in love with a book, but I did with this one. The simplicity of the writing is deceiving for in the words lies much about the truth of human nature and circumstances of individual lives. A simple story of a man’s life from poor farmer to educated professor of literature, in the end is a story of all our lives; a story of you and me. How our daily efforts one day all end in silence, a silence not affected in the least by the activity and effort we put forth. What we perceive as our failures are but yarns that make up the beautiful patchwork of our lives.

Unless one is adept at words, one can take away from the experience of a work of art. So my descriptive attempts of this book do not do it justice. All I can add is that one must read this book and experience the beauty of this work or art. This is a Five-Star Book!
Stoner has been called the perfect novel

Please do not read the introduction until you have finished the book… it contains many spoilers.

Martin Eden by Jack London

It is one of the most romantic novels ever written

One of London’s least known novels, is, in my opinion, his best. Martin Eden is really a semi-autobiography of Jack London’s own life. His metamorphosis from an uneducated seaman to a world respected author is a fascinating read. The catalyst for Martin’s change is his deep love for a beautiful educated woman. However, the superficiality and hypocrisy he soon discovers in the upper class leads him to a deep spiritual crises that ultimately leads to tragedy.

This book is written with a passion that totally engulfs the reader. There are many scenes that stay in the readers mind...his deep uncompromising love for truth, his bicycling for hours daily to the Oakland library to educate himself, his first kiss with his loved one, Ruth; (there is more steam in this one kiss than many of the sexual passages in much of today’s current fiction), and his one pointed obsession with writing, so strong that even the thought of sleep depressed Martin as it would mean laying down the pen for a few hours. This is one of my favorite novels. If you are an aspiring writer or just a lover of good quality fiction you do not want to miss this one.

HERDING DONKEYS: The Fight to Rebuild the Democratic Party and Reshape American Politics by Ari Berman

Ari Berman grew up in Fairfield and is the son of Warren and Harriet Berman He is a graduate Of Maharishi School of the Age of Enlightenment. This is his first book.

Review by James Moore

HERDING DONKEYS is an engaging, insightful look at the Democratic Party’s improbable rise from the sidelines in 2004 to commanding majority in 2008. Culled from countless interviews, it reads like a travel diary and is filled with the kind of attention to detail that enriches as well as enlightens. Berman’s bird’s-eye view of the good, bad and ugly of America’s political system depicts the machinations, parochial variations and peculiar traditions of party machine politics related through the untold stories of the candidates, staffers, strategists, volunteers, and donors who make it happen.

The book underscores the battle between top down and bottom up approaches, exemplified by ruthless Rahm Emanuel, no-nonsense Party hatchet man, versus reckless visionary, ultimately vindicated, Howard “Power to the People” Dean, whose personal trajectory from 50-state strategist to left-field presidential flame-out to head of the Democratic National Committee to overlooked Obama administration appointee shows the ephemeral nature of political cycles.

Now that Democratic hope has given way to legislative stalemate and intraparty dissent, the 50-state strategy is being called into question. Talk about herding donkeys, what good is a filibuster-proof majority if Democrats from conservative areas refuse to vote Party line? (A sobering thought for Republicans should voter anger lead them back to a majority. Perhaps Berman’s sequel will be HERDING ELEPHANTS.)

HERDING DONKEYS takes you to unlikely places across America where the real politickin’ takes place, and the politickin’ before and after the politickin’. It is a primer for anyone interested in understanding how politics works at the state and national levels. Though a decidedly Democratic odyssey, what the author accomplishes with his first book transcends party politics and lays bare the central nervous system of American politics.

One of the greatest spiritual quest books ever written

A Search in Secret  India by Paul Brunton has recently been reissued in a new US publication. It had been out of print in the US for a number of years.

Here is the review by Len from our website

This book is included in our very select category Books You Can’t Live Without Not only is Brunton given credit for introducing Ramana Maharshi to the West, but this book stands out, at least in my opinion, as a great classic among all the books ever written by Western seekers who have gone to the East, seeking truth and/or a guru. This is a fantastic chronicle of a spiritual journey. It is also a real “period piece” describing both England and India in an earlier age of greater innocence. Brunton does a perfect job of describing his pursuit and his meetings with many miraculous saints and miracle men. I rank this book right up there with Autobiography of a Yogi, books that everyone, not just seekers, must read and will almost certainly enjoy. If you have not yet read this book, you have a real treat in store for yourself. 

--

One day sitting in a park, my Grandmother’s being came back to me.

The contours of her expression

The etched wrinkles

The aged face I loved.

also knowing She was young once.

Whose youthful face would be a stranger to me.

A face I would not know, yet familiar still

.

Over the years my thoughts of her have lessened.

At odd times my thoughts drift to other family members who are no longer here.

My father, mother and brother.

The memories of them are all dream like

If I tried to put my hand on them there would be just a silvery shadowy mist
slipping through my fingers.

Others I have known, Their faces are even lost to me. I can no longer recall their features.

Their so called reality fading slowly to a nothingness.

Someday I ( Tony) will be a dream like substance in someone’s memory...

and when the someone’s are no longer here or maybe even before., my memory will be gone as well.

And so it seemingly ends.

Then where will the I be found?

As part of the greater silence...

beneath the ripples.

Love
Tony

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