Category Archives: Books

Book Select: Play of Consciousness

This best selling spiritual autobiography of Swami Muktananda tells the story of his journey to self-realization under the guidance of Bhagawan Nityananda, candidly describing his extraordinary experiences. Beginning with his spiritual initiation on August 15, 1947, and continuing through his enlightenment nine years later, this is a guide for seekers moving toward the same goal.

Read the book online or on amazon 

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Book Select: Traditional Medicine & Women Healers in Trinidad

With the increasing number of maternal and infant deaths reported in our hospitals, expecting mothers would like to give serious thought to traditional health care. Our ancestors from Africa and India had brought these folk traditions during slavery and indentureship and continued to practice the only way of life they knew. Most women at that time would have given birth to almost a dozen children in the comfort of their home without the assistance of a registered nurse or midwife.

Dr Kumar Mahabir’s latest publication, Traditional Medicine & Women Healers in Trinidad: Postnatal Health Care, discusses the relationship between traditional healers and modern healthcare practitioners in Trinidad and Tobago. The information presented in this book was collected from almost two decades of library studies, oral interviews and extensive research on the health system commencing in the mid-1990s, with special focus on patients admitted to the Mt Hope Women’s Hospital.

The book is the first to be published in the English-speaking Caribbean on this subject, and focuses on the postpartum period in which traditional techniques are used to care for the new mothers and their newborn babies. It highlights the activities of traditional masseuses, their training, and other techniques that were passed down from one generation to the next. These masseuses share not only their techniques and personal experiences, but also a major part of their domestic and family lives.

The wealth of information contained in this book makes for interesting reading and is educational in its own right. It documents the traditional day-to-day rituals of the new mother and her newborn under the care and supervision of elders. D. Mahabir is thorough in presenting the information in his book, covering a wide range of topics that include treating female infertility, inducing the flow of breast milk, “setting” the mother’s womb back into place and ensuring she eats the right foods, as well as treating jaundice in the newborn, and massaging the infant to ensure that his head is “shaped” and his limbs “stretched” and “exercised” in a yogic manner. The reader can also learn about the traditional chatti ceremony which is described as “The sixth-day … celebratory, social announcement of the safe return of the new mother and her newborn from the perils of childbirth …”

Traditional Medicine and Women Healers in Trinidad raises a lot of questions. For example, why are traditional medicine and health care — though easily available and cost effective — not widely accepted as alternative resources, and are often dismissed as primitive. It questions whether there is any real difference between the folk masseur or bonesetter, with no formal training practicing at home, in treating sprains and fractures, and the certified chiropractor operating in his clinic with expensive equipment, when the end result might be the same. Dr Mahabir argues: “… biomedicine, rather than traditional medicine, is supported by a male-dominated, social elite for political and economic intentions.”

He also states that there were men and women healers of long-ago who “prescribed” lime and honey for sore throat, and the same idea is now being patented, packaged and sold by international drug companies, among other products that bear similarities to traditional home remedies.

What is of particular interest in this book is the key role that women played in a society that was male-dominated, especially at a time when women were expected to be subservient to men. As the book reveals, some of the women performed these activities without their husband’s knowledge or permission because they wanted to serve their community.

Dr Mahabir is successful in documenting the humble traditions and culture of our ancestors, and has done a great favour to both the present and future generations by making this information available in the public domain. It would have been a tremendous loss had this information been left to die a natural death. By publishing this book, he has paid a collective tribute to many remarkable men and women who have dedicated their entire lives to caring for others at a time when public healthcare was not a viable option. – CaribeannewsNows

 

This book could be hard to come by but, You can check out the book at ABEBOOKS

Book Select – You Are What You Speak

“An insightful, accessible examination of the way in which day-to-day speech is tangled in a complicated web of history, politics, race, economics and power.” – Kirkus

What is it about other people’s language that moves some of us to anxiety or even rage? For centuries, sticklers the world over have donned the cloak of authority to control the way people use words. Now this sensational new book strikes back to defend the fascinating, real-life diversity of this most basic human faculty.

With the erudite yet accessible style that marks his work as a journalist, Robert Lane Greene takes readers on a rollicking tour around the world, illustrating with vivid anecdotes the role language beliefs play in shaping our identities, for good and ill. Beginning with literal myths, from the Tower of Babel to the bloody origins of the word “shibboleth,” Greene shows how language “experts” went from myth-making to rule-making and from building cohesive communities to building modern nations. From the notion of one language’s superiority to the common perception that phrases like “It’s me” are “bad English,” linguistic beliefs too often define “us” and distance “them,” supporting class, ethnic, or national prejudices. In short: What we hear about language is often really about the politics of identity.

Governments foolishly try to police language development (the French Academy), nationalism leads to the violent suppression of minority languages (Kurdish and Basque), and even Americans fear that the most successful language in world history (English) may be threatened by increased immigration. These false language beliefs are often tied to harmful political ends and can lead to the violation of basic human rights. Conversely, political involvement in language can sometimes prove beneficial, as with the Zionist  revival of Hebrew or our present-day efforts to provide education in foreign languages essential to business, diplomacy, and intelligence. And yes, standardized languages play a crucial role in uniting modern societies.

As this fascinating book shows, everything we’ve been taught to think about language may not be wrong—but it is often about something more than language alone. You Are What You Speak will certainly get people talking.

Check a copy out at GooglePlay

Book Select – Holistic Herbal

The ebook edition of this classic herbal by internationally renowned herbalist David Hoffman. Easy to use, the herbal is hugely popular with herbalists and laypeople worldwide

The Holistic Herbal covers everything you need to know about growing, gathering, preparing, using and taking herbal medicines to improve and maintain health.

With simple b/w line drawn herb illustrations throughout, the book is extremely attractive and contains:-

a simple introduction to health, well-being and how your body works.
• a guide to specific health problems and concerns (you don’t need to be sick to take a herbal cure!) and ‘which herb’ for a range of conditions.
• A–Z herbal, covering over 200 different medicinal herbs and plants.This section comprises the main part of the book and is full of detailed information about each herb.

You can read it over at Google.Play If we come across a pdf link we will update and place it here as well.

Book Selects – The Aladdin Factor

Now this book has been in the collection for over 15 years and I pick it up from time to time. Some books seem to have a window of time where they are extremely fascinating and useful but when that window is closes it seems hard to read.  For me the Aladdin factor has been illusive but a useful read.

Amazon – Anything is possible…if you dare to ask!

Personal happiness. Creative fulfillment. Professional success. Freedom from fear–and a new promise of joy that’s yours for the asking.

We have the ability at our fingertips to achieve these things. It’s the Aladdin Factor: the magical wellspring of confidence, desire–and the willingness to ask–that allows us to make wishes come true. Now bestselling motivational authors Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen introduce us to the Aladdin Factor–and help us put it into effect in our own lives.

The Aladdin Factor helps us by pinpointing the major stumbling blocks to asking–and teaching simple techniques to overcome them. With inspirational stories about people who have succeeded by asking for what they want, this book shows us how to turn our lives around–no matter what kind of obstacles we face. And with this knowledge, we can reap the riches of a truly well-lived life–a treasure that comes not from an enchanted lamp, but from the heart.

 

You can receive the book on Amazon here.  Im thinking of recording audio books to offer.  It may be a good practice. They say you learn by seeing, hearing and then speaking what you wish to retain in memory. This may be the first we conduct a read through for. 1 a month seems possible.