EAST AND WEST /BOOK
BY VISHNU DASS
In Ayurvedic Herbology, Ayurvedic practitioner Vishnu Dass does a remarkable service to the tradition of Ayurveda and the
study and practice of herbal medicine.
Without straying from its traditional roots,
he elucidates the principles and practices of
Ayurveda which both honor the power of
its Sanskritic terms without making them
too daunting for the average Westerner
who wants to imbibe the wisdom that
Ayurveda provides. His presentation of the
principles and practices of Ayurveda, from
lifestyle changes through to the deeper levels of Ayurvedic healing wisdom, shows a
sensitivity to the daily and spiritual dimensions of Ayurveda.
Within his discussion on herbs from both
East and West, he does one thing that few
herbology books do: he explains each
herb, its components, properties, uses, and
actions. So often, listings of herbs are presented without clear methods to combine
them and prepare them for administration.
Rather than hoarding this wisdom in his
own hand, he extends it openly and freely
in keeping with the vision and grace of the
Ayurvedic Lord of healing Dhanvantari.
This is especially evident in the practical
and easy to create formulas he offers for
the most common complaints.
The result is a rich and generous book; a
treasure for Ayurvedic students and practitioners as well as an invaluable source for
classifying the herbs of Western herbology
for their most efficacious use.
Reviewed by Robert Sachs, co-author with Melanie Sachs
of Ayurvedic Spa and author of Tibetan Ayurveda: Health
Secrets from The Roof of The World.
FROM THE GITA TO
THE GRAIL /BOOK
BY BERNIE CLARK
CARDINAL PUBLISHERS GROUP
Featuring Buddha, Zeus, Shiva, Aphrodite,
Krishna, King Arthur and many others,
how could From the Gita to the Grail be
anything but fascinating? Author Bernie
Clark’s tome-like work is an excellent introduction to mythology, religion, and
teachings. As he states in the preface, “This
is a book about stories and myths for
people who love stories and love to understand what the stories mean deep inside.”
By collating stories from East to West—
from the epic Indian poem, Mahabharata,
to Dante’s Divine Comedy—Clark explains the nature and history of myths.
He retells the stories in a “modern, folksy
vernacular,” describes how myths shape
culture and society (impacting the internal
“maps” that guide people through life),
and calls for a new wave of myths. The
reader is indirectly asked: Do the stories
you tell yourself serve you? Could others
be more useful? In turn, the myths presented here provide different perspectives
and provoke thought.
Clark draws upon the teachings of psychotherapist Carl Jung and the 20th century mythologist Joseph Campbell, whose
assertion of the four functions of myths
influences the book’s sections: Cosmological, Social, Psychological, and Mystical. Of the twenty-plus chapters, I most
enjoyed “The Creation of All Things” and
“Myths of Love.”
This book will appeal to yoga practitioners, budding anthropologists, travelers,
history buffs, and storytellers. For me, it’s
become a bookshelf staple.
Reviewed by Marina Chetner, a freelance writer and Managing Editor of Find Bliss Los Angeles. Findbliss.com
THE BOOK OF FORGIVING:
THE FOURFOLD PATH FOR
HEALING OURSELVES AND
OUR WORLD /BOOK
BY DESMOND TUTU AND
Forgiveness. It’s easy to talk about; not so
easy to accomplish. Desmond Tutu knows
something about the subject.
In The Book of Forgiving, Desmond Tutu,
Nobel Peace Prize winner and human
rights activist, together with his daughter,
Mpho A. Tutu, an Episcopal priest, outline
a powerful fourfold path to forgiveness.
The four steps in this process are: Telling the Story, Naming the Hurt, Granting
Forgiveness, and Renewing or Releasing
the Relationship. Each chapter concludes
with a summary, meditation, visualization,
stone ritual, and journal exercise. “Each of
us stands at one moment as the one who
has been hurt and at the next moment as
the one who is inflicting the hurt…. We all
cross these lines often.” In this truth, we
are invited on a healing journey to forgive
others and to forgive ourselves.
In my favorite part of the book, Growing
Through Forgiveness, Desmond states,
“Growth happens through obstacles and
only with resistance. A tree must push up
against the dirt, the solid resistance of the
ground, in order to grow.” He asks us to
push through our own dirt and resistance;
if we try to circumvent the process, a part
of us does not grow as it should. We are
assured that each act of forgiveness builds
upon the next. We move toward wholeness and we bring peace to the world and
to ourselves in the process.
Reviewed by Claudia Micco, a Maui-based Yoga teacher
who is the wellness coordinator at the Ritz Carlton Kapalua
Spa and Fitness Center.
MEDIA [ reviews ]