Meditating with Mandalas, 52 New Mandalas to Help You Grow in Peace and Awareness by David Fontana
This book offers an amazingly simple explanation of mandalas and gives helpful suggestions on how to meditate using a mandala. From the book, "Mandalas are symbolic pictures used in meditations. Important in most eastern traditions, they take the meditator on a wordless journey into the mind's deepest mysteries. The most basic of all mandalas is the circle, an intriguing symbol that has no beginning and no end… It is the still centre of the turning world, the magic circle that defines and protects a sacred space within which one finds tranquility and peace. It is the wheel of life, the symbol of ultimate perfection, the tunnel between this world and the world to come, the symbol of eternity." I found the general information about the mandala traditions quite interesting and very helpful.
The book is divided into numerous categories including Sacred Patterns, Nature, Kindness and Love, and Inner Strength. You can, of course, use one mandala for each of the 52 weeks of the year or choose one that simply feels right for you. You can even create your own mandala (in fact, you may want to try that). Meditating with a mandala is a powerful, yet simple, way to find quiet time for yourself. You can begin with only five minutes and increase your time when it feels appropriate. I'm certain you will enjoy the beautiful artwork whether or not you choose to use these mandalas for meditation.
Spirit available through Sacred Source
If you feel the need to read this month (many people won't), read or reread my favorite little book, Illusions, by Richard Bach. What I'd like to suggest this month is a first for us, a CD. The CD entitled, Spirit, includes songs inspired by sacred images from around the world. In this collection, you will find songs with great diversity - new age, world beat, contemporary. Sacred Source says this CD, "puts the 'music' back in new age music," and I agree. Several titles on this 46-minute CD are, Celestial Sea, Brighid's Lament at the Well, and my favorite, Nosso Dia.
If you're interested in ordering this CD, it's available exclusively through Sacred Source. You can visit their website at www.sacredsource.com, call their toll free number (800) 290-6203, or mail your check or money order for $19.00 ($16.00 + $3.00 s/h) to Sacred Source, P. O. Box 163-CD, Crozet, VA 22932. Make sure to indicate the item number (#ST-SASO) in your order.
The Long Road Turns to Joy: A Guide to Walking Meditation by Thich Nhat Hanh
Whether or not you deeply enjoy taking a walk or think about actually creating a walking meditation for yourself, this little pocket-sized book will guide you into a healthy habit. The Long Road Turns To Joy, A Guide To Walking Meditation by Thich Nhat Hanh is a true guide to walking with mindfulness. He offers suggestions about how to be grounded in the here and now as well as breathing instructions and visualizations. Hanh reveals how following his breath as he walks has helped him remain peaceful and serene in some very stressful times. Thich Nhat Hanh is the author of many books including one I often recommend, The Blooming of a Lotus. You would be wise to research Hanh’s books and choose one that feels right to you. And, I highly recommend that you walk with mindfulness at every opportunity.
The Blooming of a Lotus, Guided Meditation Exercises for Healing and Transformation by Thich Nhat Hanh
Thirty-four guided exercises for meditation are offered in The Blooming of a Lotus, Guided Meditation Exercises for Healing and Transformation.* Written by a renowned Zen master, Thich Nhat Hanh, this little book is filled with exercises that give you access to your inner self. Being aware in the present moment does much to stimulate your personal growth. Hanh was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Martin Luther King, Jr., in 1967, and is the author of many books. Use his healing words to conquer your frustrations and your angers. By following his simple mindfulness meditations, you will quickly regain a sense of empowerment. Meditation can heal and transform as you look deeply into yourself. I highly recommend that you buy the book and find the time to put it to work for you.
*This title may be no longer be available new. For a new edition, please consider The Blooming of a Lotus, Guided Meditation for Achieving the Miracle of Mindfulness.
Exploring the Labyrinth, A Guide for Healing and Spiritual Growth by Melissa Gayle West
Melissa Gayle West, a psychotherapist and leader in the flourishing labyrinth movement, has written a fascinating introduction to labyrinths in her book entitled Exploring the Labyrinth, A Guide for Healing and Spiritual Growth. She offers detailed instructions on building a permanent or a temporary labyrinth and includes a complete guide to working with the ancient, transformative tool. Today labyrinths are being built on school playgrounds, university campuses, hospital courtyards, religious centers, and virtual ones are appearing on numerous websites. Labyrinths are not only walked, but can be traced with your fingers as well. Creating your own "path" can help you relax and center your mind. Problems that face you each day can be more easily solved when you take a few moments for contemplation, and your own personal labyrinth can assist you in that endeavor.
Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life by Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D.
Dr. Kabat-Zinn, founder of the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, maps out a simple path for cultivating mindfulness in one's own life. Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally. When we commit ourselves to paying attention, new possibilities open up, and we have a chance to free ourselves. The book speaks both to those coming to meditation for the first time and to longtime practitioners - anyone who cares deeply about reclaiming the richness of his or her moments.
The Miracle of Mindfulness: A Manual on Meditation by Thich Nhat Hanh
Modern medical developments have shown the positive effects of meditation for psychological and physical health, and this book offers invaluable guidance. It is written with compassion and filled with wisdom and practicality. Reading it will give you the opportunity to understand what it feels like to be fully aware of the moment and to be filled with peace and contentment.
Creative Visualization by Shakti Gawain
This book is written as an introduction to the use of creative visualization in everyday life. The author gives you practical, useful ideas you can expand to your own limits. In her comments about Creative Consciousness, Ms. Gawain reminds us that we must take full responsibility for every moment of our lives. She states, "Manifestation through creative visualization is the process of realizing and making visible on the physical level our divine potential."
Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind by Shunryu Suzuki
Informal talks on Zen meditation and practice by Shunryu Suzuki. This book encourages you to go behind the words and wonder about your own mind. The book originated from a series of talks given by Zen Master Suzuki. Every page of this book breaths with joyous reflection.