A tale of recovery: my path from traumatized to healer

I had lunch a few weeks ago with John, someone I’ve known for about 12 years but haven’t seen much in recent years. He commented that I am a very different person now from when he met me, and that would not be apparent to people who hadn’t known me that long.

When we met in 2004 (I think), I seemed troubled to him, and I was. John said that now, I appear to be happy and “like a fountain” (which I love), and he was curious about that.

Other people have said I’ve changed more than anyone they know. Well, that’s probably because I was starting from a more troubled place than most.

So I’m reviewing my path in search of insights to share. This is for you, John, and I know that some of you are interested in recovery from trauma, and some of you are interested in personal growth, so this is for you too. Continue reading

What I’m reading, April 2013

Taking stock of books I’m currently reading, just read, or soon to start:

The Reality of Being: The Fourth Way of Gurdjieff by Jeanne de Salzmann. My Fourth Way  group undertook reading this book aloud together. De Salzmann was one of Gurdjieff’s long-time students. She wrote about his teachings in a straightforward way, making them understandable and accessible. Her heirs found her undated notes after she died at 101 and published them a couple of years ago.

The book is about waking up the Essential Self. There are many, many passages I could share, but this one is from early in the book:

Gurdjieff taught the necessity of self-observation, but this practice has been mostly misunderstood. Usually when I try to observe, there is a point from which the observation is made, and my mind projects the idea of observing, of an observer separate from the object being observed. But the idea of observing is not the observing. Seeing is not an idea. It is an act, the act of seeing…it is an experience that can take place only if there is no separation between what sees and what is seen….

Next up for my book group is Practical Work on Self, by E.J. Gold. After that, we’ll be reading Beelzebub’s Tales to his Grandson: All and Everything, by Gurdjieff , which will probably take us two years, accompanied by a commentary.

On my own, I’m currently reading Gurdjieff: Making a New World by J.G. Bennett, about Gurdjieff’s searches for ancient wisdom (which has me using Google Maps to get familiar with the geography mentioned — Gurdjieff traveled from the Caucasus region to Egypt, Ethiopia, Tibet, Siberia, Italy, and points between in his searches, done on foot, horseback, and by rail before 1915).

Before starting Beelzebub’s Tales, I plan to  read In Search of the Miraculous: Fragments of an Unknown Teaching by P.D. Ouspensky, an account of his teachings by an early student.

I’m also interested in reading J.G. Bennett’s book Enneagram Studies to learn more about Gurdjieff’s understanding of the enneagram. He used the enneagram symbol extensively, but I’m not sure how it relates to the system of understanding the fixations that keep us asleep.

It’s not hard to understand the attraction of someone who believes wellness must include body, mind, heart, and spirit to the Fourth Way of Gurdjieff. I like the format of my group: We take turns reading, engage in discussion, do exercises.

I’m interested in Gurdjieff’s teachings, but I wouldn’t call myself a follower. I’m more of an explorer seeking wisdom. By the way, although he was fluent in Turkish, Greek, Armenian, Russian, and other languages, Gurdjieff didn’t write in English, and apparently a lot of what he wrote was embellished for teaching purposes and not necessarily straightforward, so to understand his teachings, it helps to read what his students wrote.

I do think he was a remarkable man and urge anyone interested in his life and teachings to at least see the film Meetings with Remarkable Men, or read his book of the same name, an account of his search for ancient spiritual wisdom.

Another book on my nightstand is called mBraining: Using Your Multiple Brains to Do Cool Stuff, by Marvin Oka and Grant Soosalu. It includes recent findings in neuroscience about the head, heart, and gut brains and how using these multiple brains can increase intuition and wiser decision-making. The authors’ background is Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), cognitive linguistics, and behavioral modeling.

Our modern culture emphasizes the head brain. We try to think our way out of problems. Farming and civilization have been around for 12,000 years, and we are still killing each other. We are now ruining the planet we live on. In my opinion,  more intelligences are direly needed! I would surely like to have more resources, to use my multiple brains appropriately and experience less conflict, more intuition, better decisions…

So how do you tell which brain is operating? How do you know which brain is best suited for a given situation? How do you know when they’re not working together? How can you strengthen the brain you use the least? How can you ensure all three brains are in alignment for important decisions, relationships, and well-being?

Read the book and learn!

I’m in a different book group reading a book unrelated to the above books except as it applies to my quality of life. We are reading Your Money or Your Life: 9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence to become knowledgeable and mindful about the role of money in our lives. We use a study guide (available for $5 from The Simple Living Network) developed for groups using the book to start on the path toward financial freedom. We meet seven times.

So far, I’ve added up my lifetime earnings (way more than I thought), started tracking every cent that comes in and out, started an inventory of my possessions, calculated my real hourly wage, and come up with a way to determine whether my spending is fulfilling and aligned with my values.

The authors have gotten feedback that after implementing the nine steps, people have reduced their expenses by 25 percent within 6 months and say their quality of life has gone way up. I’m finding this very helpful since I’ve transitioned from being an employee with a regular paycheck to being self-employed.

I’m also making my way through a couple of bodywork books, which I’ll write about another time.

If you’re reading this, you’re a reader. May you find books that nourish you!

Take the NLP personality profile

If you are interested in personality types like the MBTI or the Enneagram as a means of understanding others and yourself, you will be interested in the LifeSet Meta Program Questionnaire.

It measures meta-programs, which is a Neuro-Linguistic Programming term for patterns in cognitive strategies. They are contextual and not set in stone. The ones measured in this quiz are oriented toward work.

Click here to take the quiz to determine your preferences for motivational direction, feedback, relationships, learning, time management, and decision-making.

FYI, my results today were Toward, Internal, Other, Content, Present, and Different.

Four steps for discovering your Enneagram type

The Enneagram is a system that classifies people by type, like personality typing. It’s kin to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. But it’s about more than personality—it’s based on fixation.

According to Enneagram theory, we are either born with or acquire in the earliest years of life a fixation that deeply influences our identity: who we believe we are and how we view life. The fixation is what keeps you from experiencing your essential (healthy) self. It’s how you get in your own way. It’s a filter that in some ways has worked for you, but it can eventually limit you into a habitual way of living that feels too small. You may suspect there’s more to you than that. You can transcend your fixation to find more essence, more freedom, more joy.

Maybe this is what enlightenment is.

There are nine Enneagram types. Each type has two wings and three subtypes. Furthermore, each type moves toward two different types when you are stressed and when you feel secure. Plus, your development level changes with age, experience, and your desire and ability to grow. So it’s a fairly dynamic model, even though (according to theory) people remain their type their entire lives.

To illustrate, my type is Five. Other names: The Investigator and The Observer. We Fives are classic nerds: bookish, shy, avoiding conflict, private, attracted to minimalism, curious, alert, intense, innovative, insightful, cerebral, having a rich inner life, seeking mastery.

Would you believe that part of the path to my essential self is exercise? Living in my body connects me to a vitality that I could never experience living in my head. It took the painful aftermath of a car wreck in my 40s—and the subsequent healing journey—to really get this.

Daily yoga, the outdoor activities I love like snorkeling and kayaking, dance, meditation, giving and receiving massage, hugs, touch, and sex all help me connect with my body, more fully occupy it, and be more present in my full vitality, my essential energy that radiates joy, love, peace, and happiness.

So if you knew me as a child, you’d have known a shy, bookish, smart, aloof nerd. If you know me now, you’d see some of those qualities at times, but you’d also see someone who has a lot of vitality, who lives with an open heart (and who still really likes to think).

For me, the journey from being immersed in my type to living more from my essence has been like moving from a black-and-white world into a world full of amazing colors of infinite variety. I can’t say it’s all due to knowing about the Enneagram, but it has helped and provided much insight.

If you are interested in using the Enneagram as a tool for personal growth, and you don’t know your type, here’s how to find out. It’s not always easy (but sometimes it’s very obvious). You can definitely narrow it down to a couple of types, and then you’ll get an aha! (And you may change your mind later on.) Plus, you will easily recognize some people you’ve known.

It’s important to first note that we often do not see ourselves as others see us. Therefore, learning your Enneagram type might make you feel uncomfortable. Prepare yourself. The truth often hurts before it sets us free.

  1. The Enneagram Institute offers free and low-cost online tests. The free, brief QUEST takes 5 minutes.
  2. Watch a brief video of each of the nine types and self-identify your type.
  3. Watch the videos with people you trust with the intent to identify each person’s type with compassion. Others who know us can be honest yet tactful and supportive (as you can be with them—agree on this beforehand and don’t invite anyone who is insensitive).
  4. If you’re still confused about your type, read how types are often misidentified.

To learn more about how it works, read books. I suggest The Wisdom of the Enneagram and The Enneagram for beginners. For more advanced students, I recommend The Spiritual Dimension of the Enneagram.

Once you are more or less settled on which type most accurately describes you, you can subscribe to a daily “EnneaThought” email for your type that can support your developmental growth.

Here’s my EnneaThought for today:

EnneaThought example

Daily email inspirations

I subscribe to several daily email services that enrich my well-being as I begin each day. I receive joy, encouragement, wonder, food for thought, and catalysts for expansion from these emails. I feel grateful for the people who thought these up and deliver day after day. It makes a difference.

For several years, I got a poem a day in my inbox from Panhala. That stopped a few months ago, and I don’t know why. Joe Riley did a great job of sharing some wonderful poems, and I hope he’s well. No one seems to know. I miss the poems. The link above is still a great repository of poems.

I also get quotes from Tricycle Daily Dharma about Buddhist practice. (Click the link, then the Your Daily Dharma Sign Up Now link to subscribe.) Here’s today’s quote:

Fear is not the Enemy
There are many ways to meditate on fear. One is to wait until it appears adventitiously. Another is to invite it in — when we send out invitations we can be a little better prepared for who shows up at the party. Perhaps for both methods of approach the first thing to bear in mind is that fear is not the enemy — it is nature’s protector; it only becomes troublesome when it oversteps its bounds. In order to deal with fear we must take a fundamentally noncontentious attitude toward it, so it’s not held as a problem, but as a visitor. Once we take this attitude, we can begin to work with fear. ~ Amaro Bhikkhu, “Inviting Fear”

Fear is a visitor to the guesthouse. Allow it in — it protects. Ask what it is protecting me from; ask what needs protection. It is only troublesome when it oversteps its bounds. Got it!

I get quotes from Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, the flawed but wise Tibetan Buddhist teacher, from Ocean of Dharma as well. Here’s the most recent:

THE THINKER. No one can stop or control your thought process or your thinking. You can think anything you want. But that doesn’t seem to be the point. The thinking process has to be directed into a certain approach. That does not mean that it should be in accord with certain dogma, philosophy, or concepts. Instead, one has to know the thinker itself. So we are back to square one, the thinker itself: who or what thinks, and what is the thought process?

Right now playing with how thoughts bubble into awareness, disappear, and new thoughts arise…the flowing mind, the full mind, the empty mind, the nature of mind to think.

The Universe (Mike Dooley) sends me a message of support, encouragement, humor, and expansion every day. I especially enjoy how playful The Universe often is. Playful has become one of my favorite energies.

What if every wrinkle, scar, or gray hair only made you more beautiful? What if every tear you’ve shed, mistake you’ve made, and challenge you’ve faced, only drew you closer to the light? And what if, MaryAnn, for every breath you’ve taken, every sentence you’ve spoken, and every path you’ve chosen, your fans in the unseen multiplied?

Well, I’d say it’s about time you found out.

Be proud, we are –
The Universe

Universe, I must be really beautiful and close to the light, with a multiplicity of unseen fans! Recently had an angel reading with Russell Forsyth, my first, and am feeling more aware of the angels around me than ever before.

Creative catalyst Lynn Scheurell sends me a Daily Catalyst quote each day. Here’s what Lynn sent today:

“God will not look you over for medals, degrees or diplomas, but for scars.” ~ Elbert Hubbard

Wow. Well, as my About Me page says, I’ve got ’em, scars. I do believe that life’s wounds can become spiritual currency and mistakes are for growth, so no matter what, you can’t lose.

The latest addition to my daily email habit is “EnneaThought for the Day,” a message for people of my Enneagram type, Five. Sometimes the messages are very inspiring, as today’s was:

Remember that at your best, you become an intrepid discoverer and explorer, broadly comprehending the world while penetrating it profoundly.

I’m really liking that description of the directions I move toward — broad comprehension and profound penetration. I enjoy using my mind and awareness in these ways.

Enneagram communication styles

Did you know that some people never ask questions?

Some people are very talented at telling stories and anecdotes.

Some people are fabulous at flirting, raising it to an art form and practicing it on everyone they meet.

There are those who crack really funny one-liners and hilarious nonsequiturs.

Some are good with groups. Some prefer long, one-on-one conversations.

Some talk compulsively. Some experience silence with another as a kind of communion.

And sometimes there are holes in conversations, gaps in communication styles.

Sometimes anecdotes seem random, disconnected from what came before, and I find myself wondering (usually later) where the other person might have been going with that or what brought it up in the first place.

Sometimes I’ve put words in others’ mouths instead of letting them tell it their way.

And interestingly, sometimes when I am getting to know someone, a part of them that I’ve never met before will enter the conversation. It can be startling to me, while the part is so ingrained in them they’re not even aware of it.

I find communication — and people — fascinating.

I don’t read minds. I do what I call fake mind reading, trying to understand other people’s motivations, hidden emotions, directions, and so on. Yep, I make up stories about people and why they are the way they are. I’m working on letting go of that desire. It’s not that easy, I tell you! I am addicted to “understanding”.

To refresh myself and share with you, I’m consulting one of my favorite books on the Enneagram, The Enneagram of Liberation: From Fixation to Freedom, by Eli Jaxon-Bear. (Eli is Gangaji’s husband, if you didn’t know, and an expert on Enneagram as a spiritual growth tool.)

Below I’ve provided a brief description of each Enneagram type’s talking style. You may recognize yourself, or more likely, someone you know well will come to mind. Those who know you well may be able to tell you what your most characteristic communication style is.

Please keep in mind that these are generalizations! Twos do not give advice all the time!

Ones’ talking style is preaching, lecturing, sermonizing.

Two: Giving advice.

Three: Propaganda, selling, “the bottom line”.

Four: Lamentation, gossip, responsive to others’ moods.

Five: Systematic discussions (like this blog post! ha ha! ; ) ), investigations, silence.

Six: Setting limits, needing to know the rules, questioning authority.

Seven: Telling stories, charming others, improvisation.

Eight: Laying trips, challenging, pushing buttons.

Nine: Telling a saga or long story, putting listeners into trance.

If you are interested in using the Enneagram as a tool for personal growth, I recommend getting a copy of this book.

Massage, brainwaves, NLP, work, yoga, women in prison, Gurdjieffian book group, trailer, and more

Life is going pretty well. Knock wood, right?

I’m doing well in massage school. Got in some great practice on three people outside of school this past Wednesday, ahead of Thursday’s practical exam. I have a major written test next week and then a week off. It’s hard to believe that I’m about halfway through!

Tomorrow it will be three months since I finished brainwave optimization. I am glad I did it. I feel more centered, my memory is better, and so is my focus. It’s been worth the expense, and I can still go back for individual sessions if I feel the need. It’s been helpful with juggling school/trailer/moving/remodeling/working and so on.

I’m looking forward to doing some gamma wave enhancement when my trainer Gigi Turner at NeuroBeginnings is ready and I have time.

Also, I can have a drink now! You are warned not to drink alcohol during the training and for three months afterward. Kinda makes me wonder what alcohol actually does to the brain. Any drinking I do will be very light — my alcohol tolerance is low.

I did an NLP session with a friend today and picked up a freelance writing/editing job for her website! This is my second recent website writing job. I love doing this for people who have created and are running their small businesses that make the world a better, healthier place, people who are living their passions. I’m looking for more work like that.

I posted my technical writing resume on Monster.com a couple of weeks ago. I’m looking to work 20 hours a week at most, flex-time and telecommuting preferred. Meanwhile, I’m open to doing freelance writing and editing, as well as more yoga and NLP coaching.

I’d love to teach yoga out of my trailer to individuals or small groups (up to 4 max). I’m putting this out there so if you know anyone in South Austin who’d like a small class with more personal attention, you can refer them to me.

I’m considering teaching a donation-only class on Saturday mornings until the weather gets cold. I plan to check out Searight Park in my neighborhood as a possible location. I have Sun Salutations on my mind!

I’ve been attending a weekly class in Anusara yoga at Castle Hill taught by Brigitte Edery or Liz Belile, both great teachers who stimulate and challenge the mind and body. It’s a natural segue from my Iyengar-based training. Love the attention to awareness.

Next week I’m going with Keith Fail into the state prison in Lockhart to teach some basic NLP to women in prison, as part of Truth Be Told‘s Exploring Creativity program. We’ll teach triple description — first, second, and third position, like first, second, and third person in English class, only applying it to your real life. Perceptual flexibility is a fabulous skill to teach, and I’m looking forward to it.

I’m participating in a book group, reading Life in the Labyrinth, by E.J. Gold. This is my first foray into the Gurdjieffian lineage, not counting my longtime interest in the Enneagram. The group has been meeting for a while, and I’m honored to have been invited. We take turns reading aloud, covering a chapter a week, and enjoying some stimulating discussion.

I’ve signed up for a one-day workshop at Lauterstein-Conway later this month on cranio-sacral massage. I’ve mentioned before on this blog that I received CST every month for 2-3 years from Nina Davis. It is a fascinating branch on the massage family tree.

Week after next, I’m trading two hours of Swedish massage, with all the extras, for a two-hour lomi lomi (Hawaiian style) massage with James Moore. Really looking forward to that! I haven’t had a lomi lomi massage yet but have read about the Hawaiian healers who have kept this art alive.

Last, the trailer. I’m working on finding the best weatherstripping for the aluminum jalousie windows — something that will last that I can buy in bulk for the 48 windows, which have had the old, melted weatherstripping painstakingly removed.

Then, I hope to replace the nonworking sliding glass doors at the entry with something that works and build an entry deck. I’ve been using the back door to come and go.

Oh, and I must share this! August 2011 was the hottest month in the hottest year on record in Austin. It was also my first full month of having AC in the trailer. Friends have been telling me about their outrageous electric bills — as much as $400.

My AC ran nearly all day every day in August. I worried about my bill being outrageous.

The August bill was $100. Whew! Jon Esquivel at Austin Star Services did a good job getting a good unit in this trailer. For that I am grateful.

Other tasks coming up include plumbing and wiring my shed for a washer and dryer, getting some good window coverings and installing them, and planting more trees and a fall garden with some edible landscaping.

I am really, really loving my life now and the direction it’s going. It’s scary to make a big change in direction like I did, and it is working out well. Knock wood!

Being a Five, reading, writing, and what works

Part of my journey as a Five on the Enneagram has had to do with my attitude about information.

As a child, I took to reading like a duck to water. I soon became an indiscriminate reader. Comic books, school books, the classics, storybooks and novels, poems, my parents’ books/magazines/newspapers (they were avid readers too), cereal boxes, food labels, trashy magazines, entire menus, every sign that I encountered, billboards, and so on.

My eyes and my mind were very attracted to the written word. (I wear contact lenses now, but my glasses were as thick as Coke bottles.)

I behaved as if I believed that if I read everything I possibly could, at some point I would understand everything. Life, the universe, my purpose, the answers.

This was an unconscious belief, as so many are.

The irony is that I missed out on some important aspects of living because I had my nose in a book!

On the plus side, I was a very good student in school and have gotten many jobs because I could read and write well. (Being an avid reader is the basis for being a good writer, in my opinion.)

I’ve become more discriminating with age, I’m happy to report. I don’t read everything any more. Whew. That wasn’t a very good strategy, was it?

In fact, these days if I start reading a book and if it is not compelling from the start, I put it aside. Maybe I’ll finish it later, maybe not.

Of course, much reading is simply required — road signs, food labels, homework, text messages, deposit slips.

I’ve become more conscious about why I read. Now it’s more of a choice about what information or inspiration will broaden or deepen my journey. 

The reading I most treasure these days is finding new and useful information, information that makes a difference in people’s quality of life. I guess you could call this kind of information insight or wisdom. 

That kind of reading and discerning gives direction to this blog.

I love discovering what works, and I love to share what I find. When I think of what “the truth” means to me, it’s useful information that works or that serves quality of life. Like how to prevent insomnia or a particularly useful way of phrasing an idea, for example.

I’ve also become more attracted to the questions. More on that to come.

Heck, maybe this is one of those things that you know about me already. If so, please rejoice that I’m becoming more conscious.

Insight into internal and external awareness

Tricycle magazine’s Daily Dharma quote (see below) addresses the nature of reality.

It all comes from the mind.

I’ve been interested in the mind and how to use it for a long time. Learning about the 12 states of attention (taught by Nelson Zink) helped me recognize how habitual we often are in how we use our minds — and how we can regain access to neglected states.

One of the characteristics of every state of attention is whether it is internal or external. Some people are more externally focused, while others attend more to their internal experiences. Internal/external are metaprogram sorts in NLP and pertain to Enneagram types as well.

One of the directions to wholeness is to seek more experience with the awareness that you use less often. When an externally referenced person begins to notice more of her/his internal experience, it can be mind-blowing!

Notice how often your mind attends to external matters and how often it attends to your actual experience. Are you more internally or externally referenced?

Tibetan Buddhism weighs in on these states:

The Root of Everything

The mind is the root of everything. In the Tibetan teachings, it is called kun je gyalpo, “the king who is responsible for everything,” or in modern translation, “the universal ordering principle.” Mind is the creator of happiness and the creator of suffering, the creator of what we call samsara and the creator of what we call nirvana. As Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche used to say, “Samsara is mind turned outwardly, lost in its projections; nirvana is mind turned inwardly, recognizing its nature.”

-Sogyal Rinpoche, “A Mind Like a Clear Pool”

Yes, nothing exists outside awareness. Therefore, the mind is the root of everything.

Wikipedia says samsara is “the continuous but random drift of passions, desires, emotions, and experiences.” In other words, suffering.

Nirvana, on the other hand, is said to be beyond suffering, the mind free of attachment.

These are new connections for me today. Thank you for that, Tricycle!

Read these books!

I read a lot.

Let me clarify that. I don’t read as much as a few other people read, or as much as I read in the past, but I am a reader. I’ve been an avid reader from a young age, at times indiscriminate but now much more discerning.

It’s that Buddhist saying: “Don’t waste time.” If a book doesn’t hook me early on, I set it aside and try later. It doesn’t mean it’s not good. It just means it’s not relevant enough to what I need to learn in that moment to make the effort feel alive. Energy flows where attention goes. If there’s no energy there, why bother?

The following is a list of books I read in 2010,  plan to read in 2011 (plan, not commit), read before 2010 (and mentioned on this blog) that have shaped my world, and reference books that I dip into but will probably not read cover to cover. Links are included to the books’ pages on Amazon.com; if you buy a book from clicking a link here, I’ll get a very small financial reward — which I appreciate, because blogging takes time.

I’ve mentioned a few of the 2010 books prominently, namely, The Open-Focus Brain, A Symphony in the Brain, Buddha’s Brain, The Revolutionary Trauma Release Process, and What Really Matters. You can do a search for those posts and read what I wrote if you want.

Books read in 2010

Buddha, by Karen Armstrong

Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love and Wisdom, by Rick Hanson

The Heart of Yoga: Developing a Personal Practice, by T.K.V. Desikachar

Krishnamacharya: His Life and Teachings, by A.G. Mohan with Ganesh Mohan

The Open-Focus Brain: Harnessing the Power of Attention to Heal Mind and Body, by Les Fehmi and Jim Robbins

Relax and Renew: Restful Yoga for Stressful Times, by Judith Lasater, Ph.D., P.T.

The Revolutionary Trauma Release Process: Transcend Your Toughest Times, by David Bercelli

Strengths Finder 2.0, by Tom Rath

A Symphony in the Brain, by Jim Robbins

The Web That Has No Weaver, by Ted J. Kaptchuk

What Really Matters: Searching for Wisdom in America, by Tony Schwartz

Yoga Sutras, translated by Kofi Busia (PDF file)

2011 Reading List

The 4-Hour Body, by Timothy Ferriss

Access Your Brain’s Joy Center: The Free Soul Method, by Pete A. Sanders Jr.

The Alphabet Versus the Goddess: The Conflict Between Word and Image, by Leonard Shlain

Beliefs: Pathways to Health & Well-Being, by Robert Dilts, Tim Hallbom, and Suzi Smith

Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, by Malcolm Gladwell

Chants of a Lifetime: Searching for a Heart of Gold, by Krishna Das

The Complete Book of Vinyasa Yoga: The Authoritative Presentation Based on 30 Years of Direct Study Under the Legendary Yoga Teacher Krishnamacharya, by Srivatsa Ramaswami

Effortless Wellbeing: The Missing Ingredients for Authentic Wellness, by Evan Finer

Emotional Intelligence 2.0, by Travis Bradberry & Jean Greaves

Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation, by Parker J. Palmer

Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life, by Byron Katie and Stephen Mitchell

Nourishing Destiny: The Inner Tradition of Chinese Medicine, by Lonny S. Jarrett

Transforming #1, by Ron Smothermon, M.D.

Waking Up to What You Do: A Zen Practice for Meeting Every Situation with Intelligence and Compassion, by Diane Eshin Rizzo

Yoga Body: Origins of Modern Posture Yoga, by Mark Singleton

Influential books from my past

The complete works of Carlos Castaneda, starting with The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge

Dune, by Frank Herbert

Emptiness Dancing, by Adyashanti

The Spiritual Dimension of the Enneagram: Nine Faces of the Soul, by Sandra Maitri

Stranger in a Strange Land, by Robert A. Heinlein

My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey, by Jill Bolte Taylor

Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma: The Innate Capacity to Transform Overwhelming Experiences, by Peter A. Levine

The Healing Triad: Your Liver…Your Lifeline, by Jack Tips

Reference books

Light on Yoga, by B.K.S. Iyengar

Poems New and Collected, by Wislawa Szymborska

The Subtle Body: An Encyclopedia of Your Energetic Anatomy, by Cyndi Dale

Yoga: The Path to Holistic Health, by B.K.S. Iyengar