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The lessons of a Sri Lankan holy man allow a woman to transform pain into faith in a work that delivers inspiration more...

A debut self-help book mixes recollections and religious instruction.

After a 1998 car accident left her with damaged nerves and chronic pain, Schelling realized she had to use her faith to change her situation. She delved into the spiritual lessons she had learned during her decade studying with Sri Lankan holy man M.R. Bawa Muhaiyaddeen. Several mystical experiences followed her rational exploration of her beliefs, including seeing her own glowing green “light-body, or the soul that is one with God.” Schelling soldered a new connection to the inner guide in her heart and thereby discovered the secret to managing the symptoms of her pain. Her desire to help others manifested in the creation of this book, which she completed in a matter of days. Bawa’s nondenominational spiritual tenets form the foundation of the work, though they become more prominent in the instructional section. The guide portion is accompanied by several sprinkles of specific steps, such as understanding life is a gift, and advice on working with breathing. Schelling’s central metaphor is the inner heart as a plot of land, fitting, since the key to liberation, the author writes, “resides within our very own hands and heart.” The narrator switches from a lively first person to a subdued third person with the move from memoir to instruction. The prose strives to be inclusive but sometimes falls flat: “Many religions exist,” and “No one can say that difficulties are not difficult.” Concepts such as negative energy and life without faith are rendered too abstractly to have much impact. “We all share the common experiences that comprise life in this world” offers the “Life without Faith” section. The book’s modest size counters Schelling’s multiple aims, which include helping others to “discover the exaltedness of our birthright.” But the author’s sweet and sincere personal encounters with the divine bring the high-minded spiritual concepts comfortably down to Earth.

The lessons of a Sri Lankan holy man allow a woman to transform pain into faith in a work that delivers inspiration more than guidance.

Pub Date: July 25, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-9905920-0-6

Page Count: 84

Publisher: Coaching for Resonance

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2017

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This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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An extravaganza in Bemelmans' inimitable vein, but written almost dead pan, with sly, amusing, sometimes biting undertones, breaking through. For Bemelmans was "the man who came to cocktails". And his hostess was Lady Mendl (Elsie de Wolfe), arbiter of American decorating taste over a generation. Lady Mendl was an incredible person,- self-made in proper American tradition on the one hand, for she had been haunted by the poverty of her childhood, and the years of struggle up from its ugliness,- until she became synonymous with the exotic, exquisite, worshipper at beauty's whrine. Bemelmans draws a portrait in extremes, through apt descriptions, through hilarious anecdote, through surprisingly sympathetic and understanding bits of appreciation. The scene shifts from Hollywood to the home she loved the best in Versailles. One meets in passing a vast roster of famous figures of the international and artistic set. And always one feels Bemelmans, slightly offstage, observing, recording, commenting, illustrated.

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 1955

ISBN: 0670717797

Page Count: -

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1955

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