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The Original I Ching Oracle: The Pure and Complete Texts with Concordance
The Original I Ching Oracle: The Pure and Complete Texts with Concordance
by Rudolf Ritsema
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars An in depth guide to the I Ching, 8 Oct 2013
Whilst other books I have seen simplify the I Ching, this one retains all the original depth of meaning. It takes a little time to adjust to interpreting it, but is well worth the effort, the result offering a far broader picture than is available in the simplified versions.

One reviewer said it "diminishes the mystical and spiritual meanings that many feel are inherent within the I Ching and sticks to psychological implications." I disagree, it all depends on how the individual reads it. There are several layers of meaning in each hexagram, including many references to the 'dao' or spiritual path, and the 'small' which can be interpreted as trivial material things, but can also be interpreted as maintaining spiritual presence and harmony - thus adding an entirely different quality to any reading. When the 'small' is understood in a spiritual sense, a new dimension is brought to interpretation of the word 'great', also frequently used in the text. I could go on...

I like very much the 'counter hexagram' explanations which can be a great guide to the main area of focus.

The only slight criticism is that the example reading given in the introduction did not resonate with me at all. To be fair, the important thing in any reading is that it resonates with the questioner, it is not for me to judge that, but perhaps a selection of example interpretations would be more helpful. That said, this is the only version of the I Ching that I have felt motivated to buy, others I looked at but did not feel any inclination to get them for myself. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone seriously wanting to understand the I Ching.


Tao Te Ching: a guide to the interpretation of the foundational book of Taoism
Tao Te Ching: a guide to the interpretation of the foundational book of Taoism
by Shantena Augusto Sabbadini
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.18

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book for life, 12 Aug 2013
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I love this book. In it we find the authors verbatim translation of the Tao Te Ching, a selection of alternative translations, a lexicon offering various meanings for each of the Chinese words, and text offering guidance in interpretation. I have read many translations of the Tao Te Ching. Often it seems that difficulties with direct translation of Chinese into English can obscure the original meaning. In view of this I started working on a new translation with the aim of drawing out the spirit of the teaching from the original archaic wording. The author of this book clearly had the same aim; it is by far the best version of the Tao Te Ching that I have seen. Those of us wishing to truly understand the Tao Te Ching will doubtless read many versions, IMHO this edition should definitely be one of them.


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2.0 out of 5 stars It is labradorite, 14 April 2013
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I was a little disappointed with the three stones I ordered; scarcely any of the beautiful sheen associated with labradorite. To be fair they were sold as healing stones rather than jewelery, which should have been a clue to the quality, but I think giving the grade of stone would be more helpful to the buyer.


Life And Teachings Of The Masters Of The Far East: Vol 1 (Life & Teaching of the Masters of the Far East)
Life And Teachings Of The Masters Of The Far East: Vol 1 (Life & Teaching of the Masters of the Far East)
by Baird Spalding
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.90

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Incredible!, 14 April 2013
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A most incredible account of a research trip to India in 1894, meetings with unprecedented spiritual masters, and spiritual knowledge resulting from these meetings.

I have searched for books and scientific reports by other members of the research team of 11 scientists but have not been able to find any such works. In fact I have not been able to find any record of the research party or the expedition.

There are some very good insights in this series of books, suggesting that Mr Spalding did indeed meet some very spiritual people at some point in his life. Sadly there are also some gross misunderstandings of Eastern philosophy. Tragically several of these misunderstandings can be found reproduced and expounded upon in many subsequent new age books. I would therefore urge the serious seeker of Indian spirituality to consult authentic literature. Many of the topics in this series are covered in Swami Rama's book 'Living with the Himalayan Masters'. For insights into Buddhism I have found the Dalai Lama, Matthieu Ricard and Lama Yeshe to be very reliable and inspiring sources of information. Satish Kumar, in his book 'You are Therefore I am' gives delightful multi-faith insights into Indian spirituality. An exhaustive list would not be possible here.

I do not suggest one should not read Mr Spalding's books, only that they are better understood as fictional tales with some valid spiritual insights but also some incorrect and very misleading assertions which, if believed, could lead one on a destructive path far removed from the heart of eastern philosophical teachings. Since it is not the habit of truly spiritual men to pass off works of fiction as genuine scientific research, we are forced to conclude that Mr Spalding himself had not developed a very great degree of spiritual awareness; caution is therefore necessary in accepting his words.

I wish you all success in your search and hope this review may be useful to some degree.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 17, 2014 11:10 PM GMT


Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon's Journey into the Afterlife
Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon's Journey into the Afterlife
by Eben Alexander
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.79

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars NDE for skeptics, 1 April 2013
Dr Eben Alexander discusses many of the hypotheses regarding NDEs with the scientific rigour of a skeptical neurosurgeon. He concludes that none of these hypotheses can explain the facts relating to his own NDE, in which the entire outer portion of his brain had been destroyed by meningitis bacteria - a condition with no previous survivors. Heaven, he says, is a realm beyond the body in which infinite and profound love prevails; it was here that he found himself during his NDE.

There are many important lessons within these pages. When we realize that what lies beyond life in the physical form is infinite and profound love, we must surely ask ourselves what we can do to bring greater awareness of this into our daily living. When we really start to apply it this to our lives we begin to see everything very differently, we do everything differently, and life begins to taste much sweeter.

In addition to this book I also bought Anita Moorjani's book 'Dying to be me', both are compelling reading.


Dying to Be Me: My Journey from Cancer, to Near Death, to True Healing
Dying to Be Me: My Journey from Cancer, to Near Death, to True Healing
by Anita Moorjani
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.69

4.0 out of 5 stars Inspiration for life, 1 April 2013
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I bought 'Dying to be me' after being very impressed by Anita Moorjani on youtube. Her authenticity shines through, while her words carry with them a gentle yet powerful reminder of our true nature.

There are many important lessons within these pages. When we realize that what lies beyond life in the physical form is infinite and profound love, we must surely ask ourselves what we can do to bring greater awareness of this into our daily living. When we really start to apply it to our lives we begin to see everything differently, to do everything differently, and life begins to taste much sweeter.

For those who prefer a more scientific approach Dr Eben Alexander, a neurosurgeon, has written a book about his own Near Death Experience. In it he discusses many of the hypotheses regarding NDEs with skeptical, scientific rigour. He concludes that none of these hypotheses explain the facts relating to his case and describes his experience of brain death.


The Quantum and the Lotus: A Journey to the Frontiers Where Science and Buddhism Meet
The Quantum and the Lotus: A Journey to the Frontiers Where Science and Buddhism Meet
by Trinh Xuan Thuan
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.35

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting, 1 April 2013
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If you like science and are interested in Buddhism this book is exceptional. It explains the more complex aspects of Buddhist philosophy with modern scientific illustrations. Matthieu Ricard has the happy knack of presenting eastern philosophical themes in a very accessible way for the western reader.


The Art of Meditation
The Art of Meditation
by Matthieu Ricard
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Very informative, 1 April 2013
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This review is from: The Art of Meditation (Paperback)
A great introduction to the benefits and practicalities of meditation. I had only toyed with meditation prior to reading this; it completely changed my attitude and approach. Now meditation has become an important part of life and I am very grateful for the benefit it brings.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 2, 2013 5:12 PM BST


Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life's Most Important Skill
Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life's Most Important Skill
by Matthieu Ricard
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Happiness for All, 31 Mar 2013
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It is not necessary to be Buddhist to appreciate this book, the areas covered can be universally helpful. It has much common ground with the Dalai Lama's book 'the art of happiness'. If you want to learn ways of making life happier, both of these books contain effective, practical methods.

Matthieu Ricard has the happy knack of presenting eastern philosophical themes in a very accessible way for the western reader.


The Buddha and the Terrorist: The Story of Angulimala
The Buddha and the Terrorist: The Story of Angulimala
by Satish Kumar
Edition: Paperback
Price: £4.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ageless, 31 Mar 2013
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An inspiring illustration of the power of compassion and wisdom. Highly relevant in our modern world. You don't need to be Buddhist to enjoy it - the author himself is a former Jain monk with a flair for bringing stories alive from various spiritual traditions. I gave a copy to a friend who told me that his 10 year old daughter loves him to read it to her; it really is good for all people of all ages.


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