More than 100,000 copies sold! Millions of Americans know yoga as a superb form of exercise and as a potent source of calm in the midst of our stress-filled lives. Far fewer are aware of the full promise of yoga as "the way of the fully alive human being"--a 4,000-year-old practical path of liberation that fits the needs of modern Western seekers with startling precision. Now one of America's leading scholars of yoga psychology--who is also a Western-trained psychotherapist--offers this marvelously lively and personal account of an ancient tradition that promises "the soul awake in this lifetime." Drawing on the vivid stories of practitioners at the largest yoga center in America, where he has lived and taught for more than ten years, Stephen Cope describes the philosophy, psychology, and practice of yoga--a practical science of development that urges us not to transcend or dissolve the self, but rather to encounter it more deeply. In this irreverent modern-day Pilgrim's Progress, Cope introduces us to an unforgettable cast of contemporary seekers--on the road to enlightenment carrying all the baggage of the human condition: confusion, loss, disappointment, addiction, and the eternal conflicts around sex and relationship. As he describes the subtle shifts of energy and consciousness that happen at each stage of the path, we discover that in yoga, "liberation" does not require us to leave life in the world for some transcendent spiritual plane. Life itself is the path. Above all, Cope shows how yoga can heal the suffering of self-estrangement that pervades our society, leading us to a new sense of purpose and to a deeper, more satisfying life in the world.
yoga and the quest for the true self
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An inspiring guide to finding your life’s purpose—what spiritual teachers call dharma—through mindfulness and self-exploration. Stephen Cope says that in order to have a fulfilling life you must discover the deep purpose hidden at the very core of your self. The secret to unlocking this mystery, he asserts, can be found in the pages of a two-thousand-year-old spiritual classic called the Bhagavad Gita—an ancient allegory about the path to dharma, told through a timeless dialogue between the fabled archer, Arjuna, and his divine mentor, Krishna. Cope takes readers on a step-by-step tour of this revered tale and highlights well-known Western lives that embody its central principles—including such luminaries as Jane Goodall, Walt Whitman, Susan B. Anthony, John Keats, and Harriet Tubman, along with stories of ordinary people as well. If you’re feeling lost in your own life’s journey, The Great Work of Your Life may help you to find and to embrace your true calling. Praise for The Great Work of Your Life “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 “A masterwork . . . 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.”—Yoga Journal “I am moved and inspired by this book, the clarity and beauty of the lives lived in it, and the timeless dharma it teaches.”—Jack Kornfield, author of A Path with Heart “A rich source of contemplation and inspiration [that] encourages readers . . . to discover and fully pursue their inner self’s calling.”—Publishers Weekly “Fabulous . . . If you have ever wondered what your purpose is, this book is a great guide to help you on your path.”—YogaHara
The author of Yoga and the Quest for the True Self offers spiritual seekers from all traditions a practical introduction to the wisdom and teachings of the Yogasutra, as he brings together insights from yoga philosophy with modern psychology to offer lessons in ethical living, enhanced creativity, and the discovery of one's higher purpose. 20,000 first printing.
Introduces "yin" techniques for older or less flexible practitioners that focus on safe and creative ways to stretch and improve strength.
“Essential reading for anyone interested in understanding and treating traumatic stress and the scope of its impact on society.” —Alexander McFarlane, Director of the Centre for Traumatic Stress Studies A pioneering researcher transforms our understanding of trauma and offers a bold new paradigm for healing in this New York Times bestseller Trauma is a fact of life. Veterans and their families deal with the painful aftermath of combat; one in five Americans has been molested; one in four grew up with alcoholics; one in three couples have engaged in physical violence. Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, one of the world’s foremost experts on trauma, has spent over three decades working with survivors. In The Body Keeps the Score, he uses recent scientific advances to show how trauma literally reshapes both body and brain, compromising sufferers’ capacities for pleasure, engagement, self-control, and trust. He explores innovative treatments—from neurofeedback and meditation to sports, drama, and yoga—that offer new paths to recovery by activating the brain’s natural neuroplasticity. Based on Dr. van der Kolk’s own research and that of other leading specialists, The Body Keeps the Score exposes the tremendous power of our relationships both to hurt and to heal—and offers new hope for reclaiming lives.
It is estimated that some 54 million people in the U.S. act as informal caregivers for ill or disabled loved ones. We can add to these countless workers in the fields of health and human service, and yet there is still not enough help to go around: as many as three fourths of our informal caregivers report "going it alone." It's no wonder that "caregiver burnout" and depression afflict so many. Sure to be welcomed by caregivers of all types, the groundbreaking new Medicine and Compassion can help anyone reconnect with the true spirit of their caregiving task. In a clear and very modern voice, Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche and Dr. David R. Shlim use the teachings of Tibetan Buddhist philosophy to present practical tools for revitalizing the caring spirit. Readers, in turn, will find their patience, kindness, and effectiveness re-energized. Offering practical advice on dealing with people who are angry at their medical conditions or their care providers, people who are dying, or the families of those who are critically ill, Medicine and Compassion will strike resonant cords with medical professionals, hospice workers, teachers and parents of children with special needs, and those caring for aging and infirm loved ones.
How Not to Be Afraid of Your Own Life is an inspirational and practical guide to conquering fear and embracing joy. Although you may not realize it fear is getting in your way and stopping you from connecting with others, realizing the significance of your life, and finding fulfillment and joy. It doesn't have to be this way. Susan Piver has the key to breaking down the barriers of fear that are holding you back. Using simple meditation techniques, based in Buddhist principles, she will teach you how to: -Open your heart to relationships -Gain the confidence to pursue a meaningful career -Achieve perspective to live your authentic life With a contemporary approach to ancient practices Susan teaches you how to incorporate principles of meditation and mindfulness into your everyday life. This isn't about enlightenment on a mountaintop it is a way of bringing intelligence and courage to the way you relate to yourself, your family, your friends, and your life. How Not to be Afraid of Your Own Life features the "7-Day Freedom from Fear Meditation Program" a guided journey into discovering what may be holding you back from experiencing life to the fullest. Using meditation, journaling, and other reflective practices you will find a respite from everyday pressures and learn techniques to help you re-enter your busy life refreshed, renewed, and ready to live the life you were born to.
first published account of the spiritual master who inspired Kripalu, the largest yoga center in the U.S.
“Most of us will have many friends throughout our lifetimes —friends of all shapes, sizes, and callings. Many of these are wonderful, meaningful friendships. Some are difficult. But some magic few of these are connections that have gone right to our soul. These five or seven or ten friendships have been powerful keys to determining who we have become and who we will become. . . . These are the people I call Soul Friends.” As the Senior Scholar-in-Residence for over 25 years at the renowned Kripalu Center, Stephen Cope has spent decades investigating —and writing about —the integration of body, mind, and spirit and the rich complexity of our relationships with others, and with ourselves. Perhaps the central truth that arises from his work is this: human beings are universally wired for one thing —vital connection with one another. Soul Friends invites us on a compelling journey into the connectivity of the human psyche, the study of which has fascinated scholars, philosophers, and thinkers for centuries. Cope seamlessly blends science, scholarship, and storytelling, drawing on his own life as well as the histories of famous figures —from Eleanor Roosevelt to Charles Darwin to Queen Victoria —whose formative relationships shed light on the nature of friendship itself. In his exploration, he distills human connection into six distinct yet interconnected mechanisms: containment, twinship, adversity, mirroring, identification, and conscious partnership. Then he invites us to reflect on how these forms of connection appear in our own lives, helping us work toward a fuller understanding of “who we have become and who we will become.” Without a doubt, the journey to our most fulfilled selves requires us to look within. But in order to truly thrive, we must make the most of who we are in relation to one another as well. Unsparingly honest, deeply wise, and irresistibly readable, Soul Friends gives us a map to find our way.
THE CLOUD OF UNKNOWING and THE BOOK OF PRIVY COUNSELING are the first explorations in the English language of the soul’s quest for God. Written in Middle English by an unknown fourteenth-century mystic, THE CLOUD OF UNKNOWING expresses with beauty a message that has inspired such great religious thinkers as St. John of the Cross and Teilhard de Chardin, as well as countless others in search of God. Offering a practical guide to the life of contemplation, the author explains that ordinary thoughts and earthly concepts must be buried beneath a “cloud of forgetting,” while our love must rise toward a God hidden in the “cloud of unknowing.” THE BOOK OF PRIVY COUNSELING, also included in this volume, is a short and moving text on the way to enlightenment through a total loss of self and a consciousness only of the divine. William Johnston, an authority on fourteenth-century mysticism and spirituality, provides an accessible discussion of the works, detailing what is known about the history of the texts and their author. In a new foreword, Huston Smith draws on his extensive knowledge of the varieties of religious experience to illuminate the relevance of these works for contemporary readers.