Book of Interest—No Greater Love

Posted September 9th, 2016 by anna and filed in Anna's Books of interest
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New World Library

How do you feel about following Jesus’ example?

For Sister Teresa it was always personal. “I don’t like people to send me something because they want to get rid of it. Giving is something different. It is sharing.” She helped people because they were there and needed her help, not because she was engaged in the business of helping. It brought her challenges from the establishment but it also brought the love of people around the world. And now it has brought her sainthood.

This Commemorative Edition of Mother Teresa’s book, first published in 1995, includes a forward by Thomas Moore and a reprint of the homily delivered in 2003 by Pope John Paul II at her Beatification Mass. The heart of the book remains, however, Mother Teresa’s words of explanation and exhortation. Schooled by Jesuits and initiated into religious life by the the Sisters of Our Lady of Loreto, she was called again and again to more advanced challenges as she offered herself in service and learned from her devoted endeavors. In a way it is all brought full circle as she is made a saint by Jesuit Pope Francis. It seems, perhaps, a Thank You from the other side for the spiritual foundation she was given and on which she built so magnificently

This is the first time I’ve read this book. The first edition was sometimes referred to as naive in its basic philosophy. To the contrary, I thought as I read. She has a unique and driving clarity about the essence of Jesus’ teachings. Devoid of religious trappings, her words speak more powerfully today than ever about the universal principles of simple Love that lights the way.

© 2016 Anna Jedrziewski and

Book of Interest—Five Meditations on Death

Posted July 9th, 2016 by anna and filed in Anna's Books of interest
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Inner Traditions

Dare you look into the eyes of your own death?

Poet-philosopher Cheng tells us that death is a part of life, and that life-time-death are inextricably merged, much as we might struggle against that. Thus bodily death, which has become such a terror to most of us, is necessary for life—and for gratitude for the gift of life. He references Etty Hillesum, who before her death in the gas chamber at Auschwitz, wrote in her journal: “…by excluding death from our life, we deprive ourselves of a complete life, and by welcoming it, we enlarge and enrich our life.”

Make no mistake, this is not a morbid text requiring that we face the inevitable. It is rather a testament to life and an exploration of what gives life meaning.

It can be viewed as synchronicitous that this book has been released at a time when facing death has become an unavoidable topic around the world. It is almost constantly in the media at the moment, and as journalists and talking heads search for new ways to talk about what is happening at an alarmingly increasing rate, they are also stumbling across keys to giving meaning to death beyond the mundane experience and the power that it summons as a weapon in the material world.

Written in soaring language, filled with poetry from across the ages, Cheng begins by describing himself as coming from the tribe of the damned, the have-nots. The five meditations were originally presented orally and maintain that interactive quality within the printed words. Readers engage in exploration with Cheng rather than being passively informed by him.

I have spent the last few weeks crying, raging, and trying to make some sense of what I am seeing on TV. The review copy of this book seemed to call to me from the pile it was in. I feel as if it is a gift from the heavens. I won’t pretend that I think I understand what it really means or the impact that it will have on my life. I recognize it as an invitation to transcend the chaos in the world and search for better answers. SHOP FOR THE BOOK

© 2016 Anna Jedrziewski and InannaWorks

Ministerial Muses—6.12.16

Posted June 12th, 2016 by anna and filed in Ministerial Muses
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Spirit Connection New York extends our condolences, prayers, and healing thoughts to the people of Orlando. We pray that the victims of this tragedy find their way quickly and safely to the other side.

I, personally, call on everyone to ponder on the fact that this nightmare was deliberately visited on both the LGBT and Latino communities. May the thoughts that fueled this attack be tempered, healed, and transformed.

Bridges not walls. May peace and love prevail.


Garden e-Diary–5.8.16

I planted a small Blue Daze at the front of Goddess Garden about a year ago. When I got back to town this time, it was almost a goner. I started watering it every morning and slowly it began producing new leaves. This morning it surprised me with SIX little blue flowers!

Six is the number of serenity. Blue flowers are said to be miraculous. I’ve been feeling a lot of stress since I’ve been back because it seems like there is more that needs done can I can manage, and I’ve been telling the guides and the faeries that I need a miracle. It looks like one is on the way. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Garden e-Diary–Cinco de Mayo

The birds in the cage attached to my back fence seem to have survived the horrific deluge that we had last night.

Someone suggested that they are fighting cocks being raised for that awful, illegal enterprise. Meanwhile, it looked like whoever had added wood to the top of the cage to shelter them from the rain.

But a closer look suggests that they were just dumping more waste. Did I mention that this is the utility easement?

Garden e-Diary—5.1.16

When I got back to Florida, I was greeted by the faeries and Mr. Beyer’s bright pink lilies. It was a nice welcome home.

There were also lots of the little bushes of white flowers that the butterflies and honey bees love. I call them  wildflowers. Most Floridians refer to them as weeds. I’ve been pulling them out of the flower beds and yard since I got here, leaving a few clusters here and there for the bees.

I planted five little palm tree sprouts when I was here last time and they seemed to be off to a good start. Only two of them survived the dry spell without me, however. Fortunately, there are plenty of new sprouts around the yard thanks to our industrious squirrel population. I’ve transplanted three new ones so far.

I also divided the old oleander in the front bed and planted half of it in the spot where the newer one used to be. That one was killed by the drug dealers with transmission fluid, you remember. We’ll hope they leave this one alone.

The original oleander is thirty years old, but I trimmed it up and we’ll see if it has a few more years left in it. It’s an original old Florida version, the kind that makes seed pods, not a newer hybrid. I’m hoping I can salvage both chunks of it.

On Friday, I realized that the dead foliage on the Sabal Palm at the back of the property was a fire hazard with everything so dry. I headed back to clean it up and discovered that someone had attached a chicken coop to my back fence.

And they bent the fence rail to do it.

I knew the faeries were a bit out of sorts when I arrived but I was too tired and busy to think about why. Now I know what they are upset about. Aside from the vandalism to my fence, and the obvious health hazards, these poor birds are out in that cage in 90° heat!!! I cleared the tinder from my palm tree and went back to pulling weeds in the front bed. Gardening is supposed to be relaxing, isn’t it?

Book of Interest—Way of Love

Posted April 10th, 2016 by anna and filed in Anna's Books of interest
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Harper One

Are Jesus’ teachings relevant to today’s Christianity?

While Christian scripture espouses and explains love, simply reading the Bible doesn’t instantly make one a loving being. Wirzba prefers to think of Christianity as training for becoming a loving person. He tells readers that Jesus’ original vision of the church was for it to be that training ground for love and that modern Christianity should honor that original calling.

A professor of theology, he discusses issues like Learning in Community, Knowing the Love of God, Perceiving Creation, God’s Gardening Way with the World, Freedom and Restraint, The Disaster of Sin, The Ritual Forms of Communal Life, and The Dangers of Heaven, and tells us that “faith without love is deadly”. He’s asking today’s Christians for a renewal of  the commitment to practice love as an act of faith and spiritual growth.

This is a heartfelt dissertation, grounded in common sense, the teachings of both the Old and New Testaments, and Wirzba’s personal story of growth as a loving Christian. SHOP FOR THE BOOK

© 2016 Anna Jedrziewski and InannaWorks

Book of Interest—Becoming Nature

Posted April 3rd, 2016 by anna and filed in Anna's Books of interest
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Bear & Company

Can you enter Animal Mind?

Following up on his successful book, Entering the Mind of the Tracker, Tamarack Song now offers readers 12 steps for learning to move from observing nature to becoming nature. His system teaches the intuitive skills of our hunter-gatherer Ancestors using story and experience rather than traditional study. He tells readers that we all have innate, though largely ignored, primal aptitudes for these skills which are imbedded in our DNA.

From Step 1 which introduces us to the wordless language which Song calls Nature Speak through Step 12 which teaches readers how to learn to literally touch animals in the wild, this is an easy-to-read, step-by-step process for learning to reconnect with nature on all levels. In addition to the simple, yet very specific, exercises offered, Song takes us through the dynamics of engaging with nature from our primal minds. The book contains detailed discussions of the drawbacks of rational-mind dominance, recognizing the experiential mindset, how instant access to information disconnects us from the real world, the cost of sustained sound, busting the night owl myth, and reentering silence. The  exercises include four very interesting sensory-attunement exercises, six sensory-awareness games, and ten tricks for seeing animals in the wild.

This is a powerful call to leave the virtual/intellectual world and reclaim our roots in the natural world. SHOP FOR THE BOOK

© 2016 Anna Jedrziewski and

Book of Interest—Secular Meditation

Posted March 27th, 2016 by anna and filed in Anna's Books of interest
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New World Library

Does meditation exist outside of religious tradition?

Rick Heller and the Humanist Community at Harvard believe that it does. They are working hard to not only provide a place for people who are religion-adverse to come together to share meditation practice, but they are also reconciling traditional meditation teachings with cutting-edge scientific research. Heller has been a facilitator for that work at Harvard for five years.

What is now known as mindfulness practice has been extracted from Buddhism, leaving behind the magical components and lifestyle limitations, so that participants can experience the benefits of the practice without the dogma of any organized religion. Heller points out that one of the problems of that distillation is that attention training is stripped of its ethical moorings. His solution is to focus on training people in both attention and loving-kindness is equal proportions, allowing for inner guidance to replace the external constraints of organized spiritual philosophies. He makes a powerful case for his conclusions as he turns a skeptical eye to both Buddhist teachings and scientific research, positioning readers to come to their own conclusions.

The result of it all is a series of streamlined and accessible guided meditations based on topics like loving-kindness, sympathetic joy, ambient sound, body scans, mantras, mindful hiking, mindful eating, intentional daydreaming, and don’t know mind. It’s a very rich and practical book about an increasingly popular subject. SHOP FOR THE BOOK

© 2016 Anna Jedrziewski and InannaWorks

Book of Interest—Jesus Before the Gospels

Posted March 20th, 2016 by anna and filed in Anna's Books of interest
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Will the real Jesus please stand up.

Ehrman has established himself as one of the foremost voices in the historical Jesus debates. In this, the latest of a long list of influential books, he combines his ideas about Jesus with cutting-edge research from cognitive psychology, cultural anthropology, and sociology. He states that his intent is to provide complicated academic theory, dating back a century, in a form which is both interesting and accessible to general audiences. He more than succeeds in achieving his goal.

Was Jesus actually more zealot than apocalyptic prophet? Did Jesus have siblings? Are the “Gnostic Gospels” really Gnostic? Are traditional gospel teachings based on distorted memories? How reliable is eyewitness testimony? Who were the real authors of the canonical gospels? What impact does collective Christian memory have on the world we live in today? Ehrman offers more insight and information than answers when tackling these questions. By doing so, he is positioning this book to bring an entirely new audience to a thoughtful examination of what has previously been accepted as the truth about Jesus. Highly recommended. SHOP FOR THE BOOK

© 2016 Anna Jedrziewski and