ABC’s booksellers don’t just sell books: as well as being voracious readers, almost all ABC staff members are personally responsible for buying the books for one or more sections in the stores. That means you’ll always find someone who can put exactly the right book in your hands when you need it. We asked our buyers for their tips for the best gifts for the upcoming holiday season, and they came up with some great ones: new books, classic books, magazines, games, merchandise, and stationery.
Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category
The new book by Pema Chödrön, Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change, is almost like a detox program for mind and spirit. Based on lectures she gave during a winter retreat in 2009 about the ‘Three Commitments’, three Buddhist Vows that are normally taken with a teacher, she decided to share this knowledge in a less formal way, make it more accessible to people, and give insight into how we can live and become more content human beings by showing us in what way we can apply these commitments in our own lives.
Even though Pema Chödrön is an American Tibetan Buddhist nun who is a resident teacher at Gampo Abbey in Nova Scotia, she has an uncanny knack to translate Buddhist teachings into day-to-day Western situations and explain how they can be of help without getting stuck in Buddhist traditions or practices. In other words, she is the perfect person to teach Buddhist teachings to people who are interested in spirituality but not Buddhists per sé.
In her very precise and practical style she knows how to reveal the truth about painful situations in our lives and then tells you things your mind actually doesn’t even want to hear, because somewhere inside, a deeper part of you knows this is the real solution to the problem. This is the woman who, when you feel pain, advises you to lean into the pain, because there is wisdom there, wisdom and freedom from this pain we are so desperately running away from. Her honesty makes her work very insightful and in a strange way even beautiful.
With Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change she has taken the theme of living with uncertainty, meaning that you strip yourself from all the distractions the mind clings on to, you come to a place of where everything is constantly changing, which is the nature of life. This is a very difficult place to be for the mind, because it doesn’t want to acknowledge this constant change, starting with birth, moving on to growing up, then becoming old, and at the end, dying. The mind would rather ignore this for as long as possible. Of course in the end it is a lost game, because death will teach us this lesson if we haven’t learned this before.
I have read a couple of her other books – it is always slow reading for me because her lessons need time to sink in – and together with When Things Fall Apart, this is her most profound one. If the idea of detoxing your mind and your life is something that appeals to you, it is worth getting this small book that holds so much wisdom between its covers.
Reviewed by Jilles.
Six Recently Arrived Books from the Religion Section:
- Sentence on page 23 of Religion for Atheists by Alain de Botton
Traditionally November is Spirituality Month on the KRO. Every year this Dutch broadcasting company dedicates the month to matters of the spirit in its many incarnations; through radio and television programmes, magazine articles, the publication of inspiring books, lectures and meetings throughout The Netherlands.
Coming season they will be producing a special edition of the television programme Heb Ik Genoeg? (Do I Have Enough?). Heb Ik Genoeg? is a series in which presenter Karin de Groot immerses herself in worlds that are unknown to her. This season, Karin will be on a candid and authentic search for her spiritual self and how to incorporate this into her daily life. In each of five episodes, Karin will be experiencing a different spiritual branch and live for two weeks according to their teachings. She will often stay for a couple of days at a convent, temple, community and/or attend spiritual gatherings.
Karin recently filmed a segment at ABC Amsterdam with Lorna Byrne, author of the bestselling books Angels in My Hair and Stairways to Heaven. For Lorna, Angels are nothing out of the ordinary. She has always seen them and felt their influence in her daily life. As a child she was taught by Angels about the world around her. They introduced her to wonders of nature, but also to the pain, despair and daily struggles that can weigh us down. ABC’s Femke interviewed Lorna twice for our our blog. Together they talked about her life, her books and of course, her experiences with Angels and how they can help us in our own lives.
Lorna gave an exclusive booksigning at our Amsterdam store, for a specially invited audience, which was filmed by the KRO. We know that some of you will be disappointed not to have been able to attend this special event. As many of you know, Lorna likes to give her full attention to as many people as possible at her events, despite her very busy schedule. In the interests of doing so, and to protect Lorna from her own kindheartedness, we made this a small, closed event. But, you’ll be able to see this episode of Heb Ik Geneog? when it airs on Tuesday November 29th at 7:20 PM, on KRO (NL2).