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Three Books to Unleash the Wild Woman Soul

As I write this post Cardi B is defending her new WAP video that is igniting a fever of objections disproportionate to any leveled at the misogynistic and sexually explicit lyrics and images of male rap performers. Kamala Harris is chosen to be Joe Biden’s running mate however her strengths are sidelined by a flurry of the same timeless terms of denigration used to belittle female strengths throughout history. She is “Nasty”, “Unpleasant” and dares to not smile accommodatingly and stroke the ego of every male who disagrees with her. Women are losing their jobs at a much higher rate than men in COVID times. This is partially due to their higher representation in the lower paid service industry professions that are hardest hit by...

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Shakti Reads: Ikigai

The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life The residents of the small southern Japanese island of Okinawa seem to have found the fountain of youth. It is not that they do not age. They do. In fact more people live to be centenarians here than anywhere else on earth. However, it is the quality as well as the quantity of the years lived that stand out on this idyllic island paradise. Study of the health, happiness, and meaning that these people experience in their lives promises to shed insight on how we could all be living longer, and more joyfully. The key to living as well as Okinawans revolves around a concept called ikigai (or life purpose). It is finding your ikigai...

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Shakti Books: Night Boat

What is the Sound of One Hand Clapping? This famous paradoxical riddle is one of the many legendary historical zen references in Alan Spence's biography of the illustrious Zen Master, Hakuin. These riddles, or koans, are used to illustrate the limitation of  logical reasoning, and in turn trigger enlightenment when one meditates on them with sincerity, and intensity. Hakuin taught that every life experience was a koan of some form. This story of his life is inextricably  woven into an exposition of zen art and poetry, portrayed against the backdrop of the enchanting Mount Fuji, and the bustling activity of the Tokaido, the famed walkway between Tokyo and Kyoto. The book begins with Hakuin as a scared, spiritually thirsty child struggling with a terror of hellfire and...

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Shakti Books: Thief of Time by Terry Pratchett

[caption id="attachment_1677" align="alignright" width="183"] A well worn copy[/caption] Truly Profound Yogic Silliness As I prepare to spend the Summer in the Himalayas where the seat of the Tibetan government is in exile I felt compelled to re-read Terry Pratchet’s comedic take on Buddhist traditions, Thief of Time. I know what you might be thinking, but in my defense I also watched Kundun (the life of the Dalai Lama) and read a lovely book by his holiness as well. These more sober activities were educational for sure, however Pratchet’s ridiculous and hilarious take on humanity, with a dab of Buddhist (kinda) philosophy, partially set in a monastery (sorta), was, hands down, the most fun part of setting the tone for my travels. As with most of Mr. Pratchett’s...

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