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Newsletter Number 70 • December 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

As we enter the holiday season I want to wish everyone Happy Holidays , Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous 2011.

This is the season to promote good cheer and good spirits. The one book I highly recommend, or even insist that everyone should own is Treasury Of Spiritual Wisdom: A Collection of 10,000 Inspirational Quotations, compiled by Andy Zubko. This is not a book one sits down and reads cover to cover. It is a compendium organized by topic. I love to just open it randomly and read about whatever topic I come to. Whether you are feeling down or up, it is almost a certain thing that if you open this book and read a few quotations you will feel uplifted and enjoy greater peace of mind. Who knows, you may even feel wiser!

If you have not read them yet, two other books which I consider “must reads” are Three Cups of Tea , and Stones Into Schools: Promoting Peace with Education in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Both are written by Greg Mortenson. Both are tremendously moving and uplifting and demonstrate how a single person with strong desire and motivation can literally change the world. Many have read the first book,Three Cups of Tea, but I think his second book is even better.

Finally I would like to present a brief essay sent to me by a wonderful friend. I think it catches the spirit of the holiday, of what is good and important in life, and leaves us with a positive orientation for the coming years.( The single paragraph introduction was written by the lady who sent this to me) I hope you will all enjoy it.

One of my favorite writers is a guy most of you have probably never heard of : David Bond, the silver guru and editor of The Wallace Street Journal ( as in Wallace, Idaho). While I would say that David’s forte is authoring what might be called “rants against the man” in the story that follows , which he kindly allowed me to share with you today, he tells a great tale, and tells it well.

The Dod-Biscuit Miracle
By David Bond, Editor
The Wallace Street Journal

Wallace, Idaho - To those in search of miracles, I give you this:

Without fail, every morning, give or take 5 minutes depending on the weather, at 0530 our newspaper appears on the front porch. Not in the weeds or the snow. On the front porch, right by the door, so a be-slippered old geezer can reach out for it without embarrassing his neighbours or getting frostbite on his toes, even in the dark.

The impeccable and predictable timing would be enough to remark upon. Except that, winter or summer, tucked into the newspaper is a dog biscuit. Whoever throws the paper on our porch has never met Chase, our dog, because he is inside the house at this dark hour. But Robert has heard a grump or a woof and figures somebody inside would like a treat.

Comes out of his own pocket, this newspaper-carrier’s milk bone. Now, milk bones are not the most expensive of things, unless you buy them 365 days a year for the hundreds of dogs who live along his route. And I know that our paper-guy does this, because at 3:30 a.m., throwing papers way up in Mullan, he is doing the same thing for the dog-people there. I have witnesses.

Now, come to find out, this individual lives in Smelterville. Smelterville is 30 miles west of Mullan. So in the damned cold and dark (winter or summer, take your pick) he departs the comfort of his feathers, picks up his newspapers in Kellogg, and by 0300 is in Mullan, throwing the day’s news and doggie goodies, and by 0530 or so is tossing the newspaper and the milk bone onto our front porch. This round-trip is about the distance between Seattle and Olympia.

And to top all of that, a couple of days ago, he dropped a Christmas card into the mix, strapped into the same rubber band as the newspaper and the milk bone. It was there on the front porch, at 0 Dark 30. The return address was, simply: The Newspaper Guy. Chase ate the milk bone and spared the card. Who says dogs are unsentimental?

I’ve caught the newspaper guy two or three times on the front porch, his beater breathing exhaust, thanked him for the good work he does every day. He respects my thanks, but he has a route to deliver, he is on his way. By looks he is an old hippie, like me, like most of my orbit. Just doing what he needs to do, except with a flair. I wonder, was he growing pot in California in 1965, or maybe just bugging out of the orange smoke at LZ Crystal on the last Huey before Charlie shot guys out from under him. Maybe, like me during those turbulent times, he was just passing through. I don’t know and I don’t care. Sacrifice is sacrifice and redemption is redemption. We all muddle through.

What I do know is that a guy gets up in the misery of the night, and goes beyond the minimum. He makes Chase, our dog, happy. And once a year thanks me for his business with a Christmas card.

If there is an America to be saved, it will not be trillions to U.S. and foreign banks. It will not be the Fed. It will not be a hideously powerful military steaming through the Straits of Formosa into the maw of an Exocet missile. Salvation will come from a guy waking up 20 miles to my West in the middle of the night, driving 30 miles to his east in a blizzard and, in addition to doing his job, caring about my dog. Without complaint, and with a great deal of grace.

David Bond
Editor : The Silver Valley Mining Journal

Happy Holidays to all
Len Oppenheim

Having just moved to Florida from Fairfield this last month.. I have had minimal time for reading

so I have included 2 guest reviews of books I believe our readers will find of much interest.

A guest review from a Purusha friend living in India

“A Thousand Names for Joy”
by Byron Katie

Since arriving here I have noticed that the few books that float around are often remarkably good. I think nobody would bother to carry a book up the mountain unless they felt it was worth the effort.

Describing Unity Consciousness and making it understandable even to those who have not had a glimpse of anything beyond waking state. Now that is an accomplishment for an author to aspire to. This author may even have succeeded.

For those who do understand how consciousness functions above the waking
state the book is pure bliss start to finish.

For me the best part is the author is not trying to prove anything, preach, teach or convince anyone about her experience or anything else.
Mostly she just narrates her experience both inner and outer.

There is a lovely feeling of innocence and sweetness throughout and she
is very aware that she doesn’t have the answers for everyone. In not trying to do anything in particular, she manages to share her deepest experiences to a remarkable extent.

Usually “enlightened” types of presentations make me cringe because they often lack any understanding of how, as Maharishi put it, “knowledge is
different in different states of consciousness”. Even great saints can lose and confuse their “followers” when they give complicated intellectual answers to try to bridge the gap between their level of realization and their questioner’s lack thereof.

Also, the book has the usual drawback I associate with any presentation
by someone who doesn’t have the benefit of being a part of an
established “tradition of teaching” consisting of many generations of
successful Master/disciple interactions. The physiological mechanics of
getting from the boundaries of the waking state ignorance to the freedom
of unbounded awareness are seemingly not understood by Ms Katie. In any
case they are certainly not presented.

Because of this there may be a tendency toward the mistake of thinking
of this as presenting an alternative way of getting to the goal rather
than simply a beautiful description of her experience of living the
goal. My personal bias is that anyone who is not already involved in
sadhana based on Maharishiji’s teaching is far better off spending their
time reading the Science of Being or his Gita Commentary than any of
this sort of thing, beautiful though it may be.

A small part of this book does present a sort of framework for
questioning your own thoughts which is meant to be helpful to people trying to work through some problem in their lives. However, the author doesn’t make any claims that it would be a way of getting beyond the waking state. It is more just a way of thinking outside the box of the problem. A bit like the “lateral thinking” that Edward DeBono wrote about.

Anyway the joy of the book for me is not in the advice section although
it may be very good.

What I enjoyed so profoundly was the author’s ability to make her own
experiences so vivid and simple and lively in my awareness and
that constitutes the vast majority of the book anyway.

I have been told she wrote an earlier book or two but my understanding is that this one is the best.

Jai Guru Dev

American Veda
by Philip Goldberg

This book has just been released... I have yet to read it but I have included it as the book seems fascinating and all the reviews I have read have been very positive

“In February, 1968, the Beatles went to India for an
extended stay with their new guru, Maharishi Mahesh
Yogi. It may have been the most momentous spiritual
retreat since Jesus spent those forty days in the wilderness.

With these words, Philip Goldberg begins his monumental
work, a fascinating look at India’s remarkable impact on
Western culture. This eye-opening popular history shows
how the ancient philosophy of Vedanta and the mind-body
methods of Yoga have profoundly affected the worldview
of millions and radically altered the religious landscape.

From the time of Emerson, Thoreau and Whitman, succeeding generations absorbed India’s “science of consciousness” and wove it into the fabric of our lives. Charismatic teachers like Swami Vivekananda and Paramahansa Yogananda came west in waves, prompting leading intellectuals, artists, and scientists—Aldous Huxley, Joseph Campbell, Allen Ginsberg, J. D. Salinger, John Coltrane, Dean Ornish, and Richard Alpert, aka Ram Dass—to adapt and disseminate what they learned from them. The impact is dramatically changing how we view ourselves and our place in the cosmos.
Goldberg paints a compelling picture of this remarkable East-to-West transmission, showing how it moved from the counterculture into laboratories, libraries, and living rooms. Now physicians and therapists routinely recommend meditation, words like karma and mantra are part of our everyday vocabulary, and Yoga studios are as ubiquitous as Starbucks. Rich in detail and expansive in its scope, American Veda shows how we have come to accept and live by the central teaching of Vedic wisdom: “Truth is One, the wise call it by many names.”

PHILIP GOLDBERG is the author or coauthor of 19 books,
including Roadsigns On the Spiritual Path and The Intuitive
Edge. Based in Los Angeles, he is an Interfaith Minister, a
public speaker and seminar leader. He blogs regularly on
Huffington Post. See www.philipgoldberg.com. Coming soon:

“American Veda is an illuminating, gracefully written and remarkably thorough account of India’s spectacular impact on Western religion and spirituality.”
– Deepak Chopra

“American Veda shows us how we got to where we are. It chronicles a revolution in consciousness and describes India’s lasting influence on our culture, from gurus, meditation, and yoga to sitar music and aromatic curries. Savor it.”
– Michael Bernard Beckwith, author of Spiritual Liberation: Fulfilling Your Soul’s Potential

“This book demonstrates the far reach of Indian thought into the American psyche and sense of spiritual self. A well written, superbly researched book, it should be read by all the 15 million Americans practicing meditation and yoga!”
– Christopher Chapple, Doshi Professor of Indic and Comparative Theology, Loyola Marymount University

“Wonderfully comprehensive, positive, tremendously insightful, and illuminating. For anyone interested in the deep influence of yoga philosophy in American culture, I highly recommended this masterful book.”
– John Friend, Founder of Anusara Yoga

“Immensely smart, wise and brilliantly written. This book should be required reading for everyone interested in ecumenical spirituality which is the one hope for the survival of the human race, and India’s great gift to us in our crisis.”
– Andrew Harvey, author of The Hope: The Guide to Social Activism and The Sun at Midnight

The days merge quicker and go toward their inevitable end.

I turn and look back and feel regret and guilt.

My love was withheld at times

times when it was needed

I left important things unsaid.

My thoughts turned against loved ones

I betrayed and hurt.

I cheated and lied.

How do I reconciles this?

Do I even need to do so?

The absolute calls me

It cares little for petty hurts and things left unsaid.

It cares only for spiritual completion

It’s total embracing purity extinguishes all perceived imagined blemishes.

I am forgiven and have always have been so.



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