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Dog Lessons

Share This winsome book tells stories of dogs the author has known, mostly those with whom he has spent his long and eventful life. “We grew old together,” he writes about his dog Nellie. “We wore down the same path, constant companions.” Nellie suffered cancer (it took her left eye), and she limped after three surgeries on her back legs. But in the end, she teaches Hersch Wilson something about life and death. After Nellie, who was a big dog, comes stories of smaller dogs, including a Chihuahua. Sometimes there are what Wilson calls “dog lesso...

Hedge Lion

Share When an imaginative, vivacious girl named Ida notices that a hedge near her home is actually a lion disguising himself, how can she help him and his roar emerge? This challenge and Ida's persistent enthusiasm make Hedge Lion a special tale of burgeoning friendship. It's the quirky little things that make a storybook friendship memorable (think, for instance, of Rosie and Rasmus or Daisy). In Hedge Lion, which Robyn Wilson-Owen both wrote and illustrated, the "little things" include Ida's yellow overalls which match the lion's fur, her con...

What We Know (Or Think We Know) About Happiness

Happiness is a slippery little devil. For some, happiness could be as uncomplicated as earning enough to feed your family, or as basic as clean drinking water or safe streets to walk down. However, if you find yourself fortunate enough to have a stable home and hearth, you might be surprised when happiness feels elusive. When we are no longer fighting to survive, our notions of happiness can become an endless search for the perfect dream vacation, or some gooey, delicious food. Or depending upon your appetites, happiness might be linked to high...

Past Lives

Greta Lee as Nora, John Magaro as her husband Arthur, and Teo Yoo as Hae Sung

Share Celine Song directed and wrote the broadly autobiographical Past Lives, a gorgeously filmed meditation on love, friendship, memory, and who we are to the people we meet in our past, present, and future lives. Na Young (Greta Lee) and Hae Sung (Teo Yoo) were childhood friends in Korea before her family immigrated to Canada. This separation sets their lives on different trajectories: Na Young becomes Nora, a playwright in New York City; she eventually marries Arthur (John Magaro), also a writer, and they live a somewhat Bohemian life in the...

Utmost Charity: A Call to Deeper Love

Share “As we confront the crisis of civilization culminating in the specter of humanicide, is there an alternative to the present plunge of humanity toward the abyss of utmost violence? “There is an alternative. It is the commitment to the practice of charity. . . . Charity, as a way of life, has never been tried on a national, let alone worldwide scale. . . . The only fully adequate alternative to utmost violence is utmost charity. This is the practice of mutual love in personal relationships and among nations, even to the point of dying for t...

We Survived the End of the World

Share “To talk about the way fear operates within cultures is uncomfortable, painful, and even dangerous. Yet if we want to avoid repeating history, it is a challenge we must accept. To reconcile the emotional apartheid of colonialism, we must find a sliver of common ground on which both the abused and abuser may stand together in the full light of truth and justice. Other prophetic voices than Native American — voices like Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela — have called us to this apocalyptic process before. They have demonstrated that reconci...

We Survived the End of the World

Share Charleston, who serves as serves as the theologian in residence at Berkeley Divinity School at Yale University, is one of the most prolific Native American authors of spirituality and spiritual practice. This book has grown out of “the idea that people can survive an apocalypse” — a topic that a Native elder knows very well indeed. In this regard, Charleston’s book reminded us of one published in 1995: The Jew in the Lotus, by Rodger Kamenetz. It revealed conversations between H.H. the Dalai Lama and Jewish leaders, when the Dalai Lama as...

The Voices of Nature

Share “When two humans enter into a conversation, they follow the unwritten rules of practicing alternation (each one speaks in turn) and observing avoidance (one does not speak when the other speaks). These rules of alternation and avoidance are respected, more or less, as you can see in many examples if you watch televised debates. But when they are broken too often, the conversation stops (except on TV!). “During our sound journey, we met animals that vocalized almost alone (the deer that bellows occasionally in solitude) or, on the contrary...

The Voices of Nature

Share I love this book for how grounded it is in real science and yet how earnestly the scientist who wrote it wants to communicate with non-scientists. He uses exclamation points, for instance, to demonstrate enthusiasm. Here’s one example, where we see his delight in the evidence he’s sharing: “If 2000 years ago Pliny the Elder had already noted in his Natural History that the parrot was a good imitator, it is to the Austrian Ferdinand Pernau that we owe the first documented observations on the learning of song by birds. That was in 1720!” He...

Remember

Share Joy Harjo is an internationally renowned performer and writer of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. She served three terms as the 23rd Poet Laureate of the United States from 2019-2022 and won Yale's 2023 Bollingen Prize for American Poetry. She is a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, Board of Directors Chair of the Native Arts & Cultures Foundation, and is the first Artist-in-Residence for the Bob Dylan Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where she lives. The depths of all this experience and more come through in her poetry. Her poem at t...

Barbie

Share Gloria (America Ferrera – pictured above with Margot Robbie as Barbie and Ariana Greenblatt as her daughter Sasha) lives in the Real World. Surprised to discover that even Stereotypical Barbie), a gorgeous blonde, can feel insecure, she explains why contemporary society is so difficult for women. Have you found this portrait to be true? “It is literally impossible to be a woman. You are so beautiful and so smart, and it kills me that you don't think you're good enough. Like, we have to always be extraordinary, but somehow we're always doi...

Barbie

Barbie (Margot Robbie) and Ken (Ryan Gosling) explore the Real World.

Share “Journey is an ideal metaphor for the spiritual life. It encourages us to see our experiences as a movement toward wholeness, meaning, and purpose. Every step counts because it gets us further along the path. “All of the larger-than-life questions about our presence here on earth and what gifts we have to offer are spiritual questions. To seek answers to these questions is to seek a sacred path.”— Lauren Artress in The Vein of Gold by Julia Cameron Barbie is a playful, sassy, funny, and robust comedy filled with complicated characters, ro...

Oak and Lotus

Share “What things have you unwittingly invested with power to make you happy or sad by their presence or absence? Remember, you can (and should) love people and enjoy things — and that will be even more rewarding on a nonattachment basis. Spend time considering that your happiness comes from within. Say to each attachment, 'I have cheated myself by believing that without you I cannot be happy.' “

Oak and Lotus

Share This little book offers an encounter between Celtic Christian spirituality and three religions born in the East: Hinduism (chapter 2), Buddhism (chapter 3), and Taoism (chapter 4). The author is a U.S.-based Protestant pastor by profession, but an interspiritual scholar and seeker by vocation. His book opens with a beautiful quotation from the English writer, Eden Phillpotts: “The universe is full of magical things, patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.” This spirit informs all that follows. This is a book for wandering, for awe...

The Mindful Art of Foraging

The idea of foraging—whether for flowers, dye plants, or just decorative ones—has had a resurgence in recent years. But what is it? Isn’t it just a funny excuse for stealing your neighbor’s flowers? Foraging is, at its essence, about searching. Searching for herbs, berries, blossoms, and fruit for decorating or eating. Perhaps it is the search that makes this practice so intriguing in our modern world, forcing us to slow down and notice every nook and cranny as we scour the landscape for ingredients. Searching was exactly what I was doing when ...

And All Will Be Better, with Time

Artwork by: Emilia Melville, age 13Written by: Kavya Shah Time is the answer to most questions. Just broke up with your boyfriend? Time will heal you. Feeling anxious? The passing of time will help you focus. Unable to make people hear you? Time and growing up will add merit to your personality, hence giving you a platform for your voice. Most cultures, including mine, accentuate the power of time and give it a godly placement in society. It becomes the center of existence, facilitates the self-worth of individuals, emphasizes the need for the ...

Back-to-School Kit


Share Back-to-school might as well be a holiday. Like Christmas, it invites families to consume heavily. Like Rosh Hashanah, it is a season of anticipation. And like Valentine’s day, it can evoke strong and opposite emotions. There are as many ways to feel about the first day of school as there are students, teachers, and parents preparing for it. I admit to being a total nerd in my student days. I loved everything about the first day of school: the opportunity to organize and personalize subject binders, the thrill of meeting new teachers, and...

Flipflopi

Share Many people, coming upon a beach covered in plastic trash, either shake their heads sadly and walk away or pick up a few pieces and feel they have done their part for now to stem the tide of pollution. In this book, young Juma and his elder friend Babu Ali, see what looks like "a million different colored fish have washed up on the beach." Realizing that they're seeing flip-flops, they take a novel approach. Juma notices that one of the floating flip-flops looks like a boat, and Babu Ali is a master boat builder. Together, they hatch a pl...

The Wisdom of Morrie

Share “Our culture provides us with lenses that we see the world through. These lenses can be wide-angle or narrow, sharply focused or hazy, microscopic or telescopic, thus reducing, enlarging, obscuring, or clarifying our perceptions. Although we cannot function without these lenses, they are unavoidably clouded by preconceptions and prejudices, inhibitions, and the many limitations imposed on us by our cultural conditioning. If we are to develop our awareness more clearly, accurately, and fully, we must try to recognize and transcend these sc...

The Wisdom of Morrie

Share After a multimillion copy bestseller and a blockbuster movie starring Jack Lemmon, is there anyone who doesn’t know the name of Morrie Schwartz? Mitch Albom’s beautiful book, Tuesdays with Morrie, made the retired professor of sociology at Brandeis University famous. In this thick, engaging collection of Morrie’s own writings, compiled by his son, Rob Schwartz, Morrie’s wisdom comes alive once again. Rob explains in the opening paragraph of his foreword: “I rediscovered this manuscript … well after my dad has passed away. It was tucked in...

About TAO of Light

Yoga is a practice for everyone because it meets you exactly where you are in the present moment. From beginner students to advanced yogis and everything in between, Tao of Light Yoga welcomes everybody at all levels of their journey. There is a place for everyone inside our studio and it is our goal to make each and every student feel at home. It is your time on your mat that is important to us. We, at Tao of Light, will create a space that provides modern comfort for an ancient practice. As both a yoga studio and a sangha, we honor the tradition of the practice while respecting the diversity and individual beliefs of our students.

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