Jenifer Madson chatted with Dr. Pat in July about her new book, Head to Heart, and the many wayswe can bring mindfulness and meditation into our daily lives.
Enjoy the interview here.
We have officially passed the halfway mark for 2014, and are enjoying our summer. We hope you are too! Of course, what makes summer even better? A good book! Here are our July titles.
In this beautifully illustrated guide, artist and shamanic teacher Evelyn C. Rysdyk shows you how to create, decorate, consecrate, and use various sacred tools in ritual and healing.
Navaho traditional healers bring rattles, corn pollen, eagle feathers, and sage smoke together with songs and dances to affect healing. Ulchi shamans use drums, rattles, and larch tree wands called gimsacha to work healing magic. Manchu shamans will perfume the air with incense and tie on a heavy bustle of iron jingles as a part of their ceremonial costume. Modern shamanic practitioners likewise use sacred tools to facilitate our connection to helper spirits in the Upper, Middle and Lower Worlds, as well as the spirits of nature. While you can purchase many of these tools, there’s nothing quite as powerful as making your own. You’ll find instructions for making rattles, drums, masks, mirrors, spirit figures, fans, bells, pouches, wands, prayer bundles, flutes, whistles, and more. Plus suggestions for responsible ways to obtain the materials you’ll need.
The author’s original artwork and photographs of shamans and their authentic tools appear throughout the book.
This is a classic text on the essence of Buddhist meditation. It is an excellent, in-depth description of mindfulness practice and its benefits. It includes a concise explanation of clear comprehension, which is the kind of mindfulness you use in the course of your daily life. It also presents an easily understandable explanation of the Four Foundations of Mindfulness.
This new edition includes an introduction from noted author and teacher Sylvia Boorstein.
Although the Buddha lived over 2500 years ago, his teachings on meditation are among the most effective methods for healing the pain of grief, finding inner peace, and overcoming the sense of dislocation caused by living in the 21st century. Mindfulness is a method not only for committed Buddhists. It is for everyone interested in mastering the mind.
Jen Madson, author of Head to Heart, answers some very interesting questions about the book!
What prompted you to write this book?
I was inspired to write Head To Heart shortly after I published my last book, Living The Promises, which is a collection of meditations for people in recovery from addiction. I received tremendously positive feedback not only from the recovery community, but also from people who aren’t addicts or alcoholics, who really benefited from the tips on mindfulness that I shared in that book. I felt really compelled then to write my next book of meditations, for a general audience, on mindfulness moments for every day life.
How do you define “awakening”?
Awakening” isn’t a one-time occurrence, although moments of clear realization can feel quite sudden.
Awakening is a process; a gradual awareness; a growing insight which must be cultivated to be sustained.
Awakening to a new idea or way of being is usually a mixture of poetic consideration and practical application.
How does one “successfully” meditate?
So many people struggle with meditation because they believe it’s about clearing your mind of all thoughts. It’s not about “no thought,” but the practice of calming your mind – through breath work and pointed focus – so that you can observe your thoughts, and no longer chase and indulge them.
What are the benefits of meditation?
The greatest benefit of meditation for me has been the ability to detach from all the hopes and fears that threaten to wear me out if I get too attached to them. It gives me a tranquility of mind and clarity of insight with which to understand how to be most peaceful and most helpful, the best I can, on any given day.
Do you have to practice meditation and awakening every day for your life to improve?
The good news is, once you learn the basics of meditation from a sitting practice, you can easily use those tools – of detachment, discernment, and compassion – “on the move,” in your every day life. Then it becomes a way of daily life, and because of the joy and calm that comes from it, you begin to want to meditate and awaken.
What do you hope is the impact of writing and publishing this book?
This book is my contribution to world peace – one entry at a time, one reader at a time, hopefully the world over, I want people to have simple tools for being more mindful in their thoughts, words, and deeds, and therefore more helpful to others and themselves.
If someone followed the instructions in your book very diligently for one year, what could they expect to accomplish?
I wrote the book during a time of great loss and transition, so I literally had to practice what I preached every single day, and a year later, I came away with a greater sense of peace, purpose, and compassion than I had ever felt before, which is what I believe can happen for others who diligently follow the book’s suggestions.
Can you believe we’re nearly halfway through 2014?! It doesn’t seem possible. But we are, which means our next round of books are now available!
Head to Heart gently guides us to cultivate (and sustain) those moments of clarity—the awakenings of everyday life—and to embrace and grow from them all, no matter how joyful or painful.
“Awakening…think of it as something we need to do every day; it is a process, a gradual awareness and growing insight,” Madson writes. Practice awakening to:
Practice can happen anywhere, any time: on the mat or on the move, sitting or walking, in silence or conversation, alone or with a group; in short, whenever you are consciously pointing your mind toward greater clarity and service while connecting with the Spirit, you are meditating and preparing to awaken.
Head to Heart times 365. Each brief meditation opens to the promise of peace, joy, and purpose.
When it comes to Voodoo, few things are more iconic than the Voodoo doll. Known also as conjure dolls, doll babies, dollies, baby dolls, poppets, fetich, fetish, and effigies, they are servants of fast-acting, long-lasting magic. If you are seeking a new job or new friends, need to find your one true love or keep your lover at home, wish to be rid of your enemies or protect yourself from thievery, in these pages you will find the doll and the spell to do just that and more.
Drawing not only on New Orleans Voodoo and hoodoo traditions, Alvarado also presents doll spellwork from ancient Greece, Egypt, Malaysia, Japan, Africa, and the European grimoires of old magic. You’ll learn how to make, use, and properly dispose of your Voodoo doll.
Be warned: this is some of the most effective magic that exists so be ready to reap what you are about to sow, or in this case, sew!
Paul R. Hill, Foreword by Robert Wood with Don Crosbie Donderi PhD
Paul Hill was a well-respected NASA scientist when, in the early 1950s, he had a UFO sighting. Soon after, he built the first flying platform and was able to duplicate the UFO’s tilt-to-control maneuvers. Official policy, however, prevented him from proclaiming his findings. “I was destined,” says Hill, “to be as unidentified as the flying objects.”
For the next twenty-five years, Hill acted as an unofficial clearinghouse at NASA, collecting and analyzing sightings’ reports for physical properties, propulsion possibilities, dynamics, etc. To refute claims that UFOs defy the laws of physics, he had to make “technological sense… of the unconventional object.”
After his retirement from NASA, Hill finally completed his remarkable analysis. This book, published posthumously, presents his findings that UFOs “obey, not defy, the laws of physics.” Vindicating his own sighting and thousands of others, he proves that UFO technology is not only explainable, but attainable.
(Hampton Roads Publishing)