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The Great Work of Your Life: A Guide for the Journey to Your True Calling by [Cope, Stephen]
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The Great Work of Your Life: A Guide for the Journey to Your True Calling Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Review

Praise for "The Great Work of Your Life
"
"Cope layers biographical teaching stories between the lessons offered by what might be the greatest teaching story of all: the Bhagavad Gita, in which Krishna teaches Arjuna about finding and manifesting your life's divine purpose, or dharma. Cope, while examining the life struggles faced by such visionaries as Jane Goodall, Harriet Tubman, and Mohandas Gandhi, encourages readers to reject the modern idea that 'we can be anyone we want to be' and instead to discover and fully pursue their inner self's calling....The historical portraits make interesting reading in their own right--Cope is a skilled storyteller--but in the service of illustrating a well-organized thesis about achieving true fulfillment, they offer a rich source of contemplation and inspiration." --"Publisher's Weekly"
"The director of the Institute for Extraordinary Living at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health inquires into the dharma--vocation or calling--of a selection of both illustrious and ordinary individuals. 'Yogis insist that every single human being has a unique vocation, ' writes Cope. Turning to the "Bhagavad Gita" for guidance, the author realized the difficulty in penetrating even the first piece of advice: 'Discern, name, and then embrace your own dharma.' For some, their dharma is a ready and apparent gift, but others struggle long and hard to hear that piece of inner music, that passion. So Cope illustrates this fact of life through example, drawing smooth portraits of important historical characters and twining them with glimpses into the lives of everyday people he knows. For example, he weds Henry David Thoreau's courage to follow his muse in front of an entire town's disapprobation with the story of a psychiatric nurse with a magical caregiving hand who needed help in recognizing and using her talent. Cope also tells the stories of Robert Frost finding a voice word by word, Walt Whitman's wartime nursing, 'a calling for which he didn't even know he was searching, ' and Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot breaking the rules to understand the connection between seeing and painting. With ringing clarity, Cope gets his main point across: that seeking is "all" and that dharma will allow you to bear life's suffering. 'You only "get" yourself when you lose yourself to some great work, ' he writes. An engaging exploration into living fully."--"Kirkus"
"You'll find inspiration in these pages. You'll gain a better appreciation of divine guidance and perhaps even understand how you might better hear it in your own life. With this masterwork of a book, Stephen Cope shows us once again that great yoga writing need not be esoteric, complicated, or full of Sanskrit to point the way to liberation."--"Yoga Journal"
"Stephen Cope is a national treasure. He is an incredibly rare combination of brilliant spiritual thinker, elegant prose stylist, and empathic, grounded teacher. The dharma stories threaded throughout "The Great Work of Your Life" are moving and instructive. Keep a pen and paper handy as you read this remarkable book: It's like an owner's manual for the soul."--Dani Shapiro, author of "Devotion"
"I am moved and inspired by "The Great Work of Your Life, " the clarity and beauty of the lives lived in it, and the timeless dharma it teaches."--Jack Kornfield, author of "A Path with Heart"
"I was spellbound and inspired by this book from beginning to end. I thought, How is he going to bring together the message of the Gita, the enduringly compelling lives of so many amazing people, the quest for passionate expression in the lives of his friends--how will he keep so many balls juggling at the same time without dropping any--and end by making it all relevant to me right now in my life? And he has! One rarely thinks of a dharma book as a page-turner, but this one is indeed that. This is a great read and a great revitalizing breath of fresh air."--Sylvia Boorstein, author of "Happiness Is an Inside Job"
"Stephen Cope has taken great Western figures--poets, painters, freedom fighters, a composer--and shows how the dharma of fierce determination played through their lives and how it can inspire all of us today. Tears came to my eyes as I read how Walt Whitman found himself. This is an important book--West and East informing each other. It was a joy to read."--Natalie Goldberg, author of "Old Friend from Far Away
"
"Consistently well-written and get-up-and-go inspirational, this book should go right to the top of your reading list... this valuable book should help you bring 'the great work of your own life' into sharper focus." -"Yoga International"

"From the Hardcover edition."

Praise for "The Great Work of Your Life
"
Cope layers biographical teaching stories between the lessons offered by what might be the greatest teaching story of all: the Bhagavad Gita, in which Krishna teaches Arjuna about finding and manifesting your life's divine purpose, or dharma. Cope, while examining the life struggles faced by such visionaries as Jane Goodall, Harriet Tubman, and Mohandas Gandhi, encourages readers to reject the modern idea that 'we can be anyone we want to be' and instead to discover and fully pursue their inner self's calling .The historical portraits make interesting reading in their own right Cope is a skilled storyteller but in the service of illustrating a well-organized thesis about achieving true fulfillment, they offer a rich source of contemplation and inspiration. "Publisher s Weekly"
"The director of the Institute for Extraordinary Living at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health inquires into the dharma--vocation or calling--of a selection of both illustrious and ordinary individuals. 'Yogis insist that every single human being has a unique vocation, ' writes Cope. Turning to the"Bhagavad Gita"for guidance, the author realized the difficulty in penetrating even the first piece of advice: 'Discern, name, and then embrace your own dharma.'For some, their dharma is a ready and apparent gift, but others struggle long and hard to hear that piece of inner music, that passion. So Cope illustrates this fact of life through example, drawing smooth portraits of important historical characters and twining them with glimpses into the lives of everyday people he knows. For example, he weds Henry David Thoreau s courage to follow his muse in front of an entire town s disapprobation with the story of a psychiatric nurse with a magical caregiving hand who needed help in recognizing and using her talent. Cope also tells the stories of Robert Frost finding a voice word by word, Walt Whitman s wartime nursing, 'a calling for which he didn t even know he was searching, ' and Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot breaking the rules to understand the connection between seeing and painting. With ringing clarity, Cope gets his main point across: that seeking is "all" and that dharma will allow you to bear life s suffering. 'You only "get" yourself when you lose yourself to some great work, ' he writes.An engaging exploration into living fully." "Kirkus"
You ll find inspiration in these pages. You ll gain a better appreciation of divine guidance and perhaps even understand how you might better hear it in your own life. With this masterwork of a book, Stephen Cope shows us once again that great yoga writing need not be esoteric, complicated, or full of Sanskrit to point the way to liberation. "Yoga Journal"
Stephen Cope is a national treasure. He is an incredibly rare combination of brilliant spiritual thinker, elegant prose stylist, and empathic, grounded teacher. The dharma stories threaded throughout "The Great Work of Your Life" are moving and instructive. Keep a pen and paper handy as you read this remarkable book: It s like an owner s manual for the soul. Dani Shapiro, author of "Devotion"
I am moved and inspired by "The Great Work of Your Life, " the clarity and beauty of the lives lived in it, and the timeless dharma it teaches. Jack Kornfield, author of "A Path with Heart"
I was spellbound and inspired by this book from beginning to end. I thought, How is he going to bring together the message of the Gita, the enduringly compelling lives of so many amazing people, the quest for passionate expression in the lives of his friends how will he keep so many balls juggling at the same time without dropping any and end by making it all relevant to me right now in my life? And he has! One rarely thinks of a dharma book as a page-turner, but this one is indeed that. This is a great read and a great revitalizing breath of fresh air. Sylvia Boorstein, author of "Happiness Is an Inside Job"
Stephen Cope has taken great Western figures poets, painters, freedom fighters, a composer and shows how the dharma of fierce determination played through their lives and how it can inspire all of us today. Tears came to my eyes as I read how Walt Whitman found himself. This is an important book West and East informing each other. It was a joy to read. Natalie Goldberg, author of "Old Friend from Far Away
"
Consistently well-written and get-up-and-go inspirational, this book should go right to the top of your reading list this valuable book should help you bring 'the great work of your own life' into sharper focus. "Yoga International"

"From the Hardcover edition.""

About the Author

Stephen Cope has been for many years the Senior Scholar in Residence at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in the Berkshire Hills of Western Massachusetts. He is the author of a number of bestselling books, including "Yoga and the Quest for the True Self "and "The Wisdom of Yoga."

"From the Hardcover edition."


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3237 KB
  • Print Length: 306 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam (25 Sept. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0080Z5JT4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #73,380 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was drawn by Stephen Cope's premise, I've read some of his other work and think he's an interesting and insightful thinker, but not necessarily good at communicating this ideas in text. As an introduction to the Gita this is a nice book, but too long. I don't care for his detailed descriptions of the lives of either the well-known individuals he uses as examples, and who seem to have been chosen at random, or his hybridised 'oridinary people' who were all of a type and suffering from some seriously tiresome first world problems, so I skipped large chunks of these long life-stories. I'm still not really clear what this individual 'dharma' to which we are all to aspire actually is, as his concept isn't properly concluded and seems to conflict with a lot of Buddhist and yogic teaching I've come across elsewhere. Made me want to go to the source and read the Gita myself.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have enjoyed reading Stephen Cope's 'The Great Work of Your Life' because of its depth and rigor, it is well researched, and the author has managed to share his own experiences while directing the readers attention to some of the greatest achievers of the present and past.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is one of the best books I've read for a long time. Stephen Cope writes clearly on the subject of dharma from the perspective of the Bhagavad Gita, which is an excellent introduction to these subjects if you are unfamiliar with them. As a yoga teacher, I am familiar with both but there was a lot to learn here, and this book has inspired me both to read Cope's earlier books, and also to find out more about many of the famous people who were used as examples of living their dharma to the full.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
So enlightening, what this book does is bring to the forefront all the things that maybe you now, but in a way that you can actually understand about the direction of your life.very much work the read
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I loved this book. I loved Stephen Copes's open, warm, curious and colloquial style of writing. His obvious deep, lived and felt understanding of this subject is rather breathtaking. This book came at just the right time in my life and it has helped me tremendously with my own dharma dilemmas.
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Well written, great stories, thoroughly recommended!
For people who are living life on a spiritual path. Who know what it's like to feel 'guidance' in their lives.
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