Sunday, 9 April 2017

Amida Comes West

Circle Network Book Review: The Other Buddhism - Amida Comes West by Caroline Brazier Paperback £11.99 Published by Mantra Books 296 pages Author website:

In this book, the Rev. Brazier discusses Pureland Buddhism, weaving her insights from contemporary psychology and psychotherapy, with an analysis of the issues facing the world in the twenty first century, whilst sharing her love of medieval Japanese poetry with its zen-like quality. 

This is a charming book, which was a revelation about a devotional approach to Buddhism that I had not previously encountered. As a student of eastern religions, I feel honoured to be asked to review this book. The path of Pureland Buddhism is a focus on tariki  (harnessing a higher power) as opposed to jiriki (the path of self effort).

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Eternal Crystals

Circle Network Card Deck Review: Eternal Crystals Oracle Cards by Jade-Sky, published by Blue Angel, £14.99 with 44 cards and booklet in the set. Each of the 44 cards (5.4" x 4") has a title of a gemstone and a number, an energy that the card relates to and which chakra relates to the gemstone. Also provided is a channelled message for giving special attention to life and healing, guidance and direction with suitable questions. Spreads are a one card, Heart of the Matter Layout, a 3 card Past, Present and Future Layout, and Diamonds in the Future 7 card layout. Jade-Sky is an Australian psychic who also offers workshops. The cards are artworked by Jane Martin who is a life-coach. Ideal for new readers and for more experienced readers who would like a specific card deck devoted to crystals. There are plenty of old favourites: garnet, peridot, tiger eye, carnelian, turquoise, malachite, lapis lazuli, and plenty of lesser and rarely known ones: apophyllite, fuchsite, seraphinite, phrehnite, all innspectacular colour. It is a nice deck! Enjoyable!

Saturday, 1 April 2017

‘Simplicity’ Made Easy by Jennifer Kavanagh

Jennifer Kavanagh has run a community centre in London’s East End, worked with street homeless people and refugees, set up a microcredit programme in London, and worked as a research associate for the Prison Reform Trust. She currently sets up microcredit programmes in Africa and facilitates conflict resolution workshops for Alternatives to Violence (AVP), both in prison and in the community. Since selling her business, after a year’s travel round the world in 2001/2, Jennifer found that she did not want her flat or most of its furniture, and has felt liberated by letting go of many of her possessions. Although she now lives in central London, her flat is small and quiet: an urban retreat, with an occasional glimpse of the stars. Jennifer finds balancing an active life with a pull towards contemplation provides a continuing and fruitful challenge. As she writes, “Life in the world is about a series of balances: of the life within and the outside world; inner experience and outward witness, plenitude and the void”.