A spiritual guidebook explains basic tenets of yogic philosophy and how they can be integrated into everyday routines.
In this book, the search for happiness is characterized as “the greatest adventure of human life.” And the way to begin that hunt is to commit to the practices of Yama and Niyama, the first two “limbs” of the eightfold path of Ashtanga Yoga. Yama centers on avoiding actions that derail the mystical journey and cause harm to others, like lying or theft. By contrast, Niyama aims to foster serenity and a deeper connection to eternal truths through study and self-discipline. The text explores the qualities of love, mercy, appreciation, and empathy. It offers insights such as “Having compassion for living beings, their pain and the harsh actions that come from their pain, is the root of forgiveness” and “Loving yourself is essential because it is by loving your own self that you become able to love others.” Understanding the causes of conflict and violence, reconciling clashes between instincts and ethics, and learning how to deal with negative judgments are other topics, along with behavioral exercises to help readers incorporate the instructions into their lives. In this well-written guide, Ma (Feminine Mysticism, 2014, etc.), a licensed clinical psychologist as well as a teacher, deftly examines the structure of society, including how survival-based fears drive many of humanity’s most destructive deeds against itself. The concepts she lucidly explains have a universal quality, with echoes in the ideological principles of major religions like Christianity and Islam. A glossary at the back of the book is helpful, though the Sanskrit terms used throughout the text may be unfamiliar and off-putting to some readers. Getting the most out of this valuable guide requires personal self-examination and a willingness to consider fundamental yet simple lifestyle changes, such as showing gratitude and committing to performing a daily selfless act of service to another.
Kind, wise, and reflective of timeless truths, this yoga manual merits careful reading and rereading.
Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)
Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.
Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").