Friday, May 03, 2019

Read: Singer's The Surrender Experiment

Author: Michael A. Singer
Title: The Surrender Experiment: My Journey into Life's Perfection
Publisher: Yellow Kite Books

This book was recommended by a friend of mine, and I borrowed it from the library.

The book speaks of the author's personal experiences of his decision to let go of his personal preferences and simply let life call the shots. A radical experience in some ways, and I wonder how much I could embrace a life of total surrender like he has done, to let go of himself.

Whatever it is, I am thankful for the read, and have caught a glimpse of what it could mean to fully surrender to the callings of life itself.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Gedun Chöpel: Tibetan Arts of Love

Author: Gedun Chöpel
Introduced and Translated by: Jeffrey Hopkins, with Dorje Yudon Yuthok
Title: Tibetan Arts of Love
Publisher: Snow Lion, Shambhala Publications Inc (1992).

A friend of mine pointed to me that this was one of the books recommended by the author of another book that I was reading, and I managed to get a loan to this book. This edition is a translation of Gedun Chöpel's "Treatise on Passion" by Jeffrey Hopkins.

In this edition, Professor Jeffrey Hopkins gave an accessible introduction to the life of Gedun Chöpel. Gedun Chöpel was a former monk considered to be highly controversial. Gedun Chöpel had travelled to India, where he learned Sanskrit and studied the Kama Sutra.

Jeffrey Hopkins pointed and highlight in the introduction how Gedun Chöpel's "Treatise on Passion" shows sensitivity and concern towards the equality of women. "Treatise on Passion" also discussed on the theme of the sexual pleasure of women and how to achieve it. Other themes that were recurrently discussed in Gedun Chöpel's "Treatise on Passion" were the relationships between sexual pleasure and spiritual insights, the ethic of love, and others.

It was interesting and eye-opening as a female reader to read on this subject matter of love, sex, orgasm and spiritual healing from Gedun Chöpel's perspective. Gedun Chöpel who had once been a monk with vows of celibacy, had travelled and read in depth, exercised independent thinking on the subject matter. It helps to please read this book with the awareness that whatever was written was from a perspective of the writer, Gedun Chöpel, who had practised as a former Tibetan monk, and the socio-cultural background that he was living in. I have found it helpful to first read the introduction by Professor Jeffrey Hopkins to gain some understanding of the context of the worldview of Gedun Chöpel and the references that he has referred to.

Please exercise independent thinking with the awareness that the book was from the lenses of the author and his understanding of the references and texts that he had read, through the translation of another person who did his best to give as close a translation as possible.

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Read: The Courage to Be Disliked

Title: The Courage To Be Disliked - How to free yourself, change your life and achieve real happiness
Authors: Ichiro Kishmi and Fumitake Koga
Publisher: Allen & Unwin

This book was a recommendation from a friend. It was said to be an enormous bestseller in Asia.

The book is based upon the theories of the Alfred Adler and addressed the notion set in the title of this book by discussing the following key aspects:
1) Deny trauma
2) All problems are interpersonal relationship problems
3) Discard other people's tasks
4) Where the centre of the world is
5) To live in earnest in the here and now

This book is written in a manner that revolves around a conversation between a philosopher and a young man. While I appreciate that this style of writing facilitated the accesibility of reading the book and allowed the subject of Alfred Adler's theories to weave like a conversational dialogue to a lay-person, I somehow found myself reading the entire book and not being able to pinpoint what I have learnt from it. Either I have not fully grasp the messages from this book or I had assimilated the teachings subconsciously.

This may not be the book I would readily pick up again, at least not in the near future.

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Read: The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying

Author: Sogyal Rinpoche
Title: The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying
Published in 2017 by Rider

This edition of the book that I was reading is the 25th anniversary edition. A preoccupation with death and a search for the meaning of living had brought me to borrow this book to read.

I possibly have not fully comprehend the depths of this book in a single reading. The book had been such profound to read that at various moments of reading the book, I was tearing and crying from the heart, feeling moved by what I had read.

The author wrote about a question that one of his students asked him "What in your heart of hearts do you really want to happen through this book when it is published?" The author found himself saying "I want every human being not to be afraid of death, or of life; I want every human being to die at peace, and surrounded by the wisest, clearest, and most tender care, and to find the ultimate happiness that can only come from an understanding of the nature of mind and of reality."

From my experience of reading this book, it could open up more exploration on the topic of living and dying. I will not be surprised to find myself referring to this book in the future.


Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Read: Robert Schwartz's Your Soul's Plan

Title: Your Soul's Plan - Discovering the Real Meaning of the Life You Planned Before You Were Born
Author: Robert Schwartz
Publisher: Frog Books

This is not the kind of book I would have readily pick up to read. Sheer curiousity at a moment in time got me to me intereested in this book when a friend of mine started to read it and shared some of what she was present to from the book on Facebook. The book was pointed to this friend of mine in a chat-group by someone I knew.

I realized that my local library holds copies of this book in ebook form, and borrowed a copy of the ebook to read.

This book will be quite a meaningful read for any one who will like a paradigm shift in the way he/ she looks at life-challenges. This book explores the concept of pre-birth planning. Thanks to the generosity of several individuals who participated in sharing their stories in this book, the book explored how the individuals involved could have planned their challenges, and the amount of courage it could require to live the plans.

I am choosing to remain open yet openly skeptical about the possibility of pre-birth plannning. At the same time, in this world where there are so many mysteries, this could be a book to read to open ourselves up to new paradigm.

For more information on Rob Schwartz and Your Soul's Plan, please refer to: https://www.yoursoulsplan.com

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Read: Sonia Choquette's Traveling at the Speed of Love

Title: Traveling at the Speed of Love
Author: Sonia Choquette
Publisher: Hay House, Inc

I was introduced by a friend, whom I have gotten to know when I was travelling in Boston, to the writings by Sonia Choquette. I borrowed this book from the local library, and found her writings to be accessible and exuding a sense of humour that is light-hearted and lively.

This book essentially communicates the message of choosing to live in a frequency of unconditional love. In a modern world when many of us travel at the frequency of fear and exist in a victim consciousnesss, her book encourages us to take our power back by travelling at the speed of love.

I like the way that this book has been written to demonstrate the power of her imaginative use of anecdotes and examples. A book that I will recommend. I will be happy to receive this book as a resource to my personal library in the near future.

Thursday, November 01, 2018

Read: Redfield's The Celestine Prophecy: An Adventure

Title: The Celestine Prophecy: An Adventure (copyright 1993)
Author: James Redfield
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing, New York, Boston.

This book was a recommendation to me. I felt very thankful that by sheer intuition, I went to a local library to borrow this book without first checking the catalogue and was pleasantly surprised that the very local library that I had gone to had stored one copy of the book, and it was available!

Essentially, the protagonist in this book undertook a journey to find and understand a series of nine spiritual insights that were found in an ancient manuscript in Peru.

The Nine Insights of The Celestine Prophecy have been listed in this site: https://www.gurus.org/dougdeb/Courses/bestsellers/Celestine/Insights.htm

The Third Insight speaks of an energy that forms the basis of all things. The perception of this energy by humans can be initiated with an increased awareness of beauty. The chapter on the Third Insight also pointed to how human beings can develop the capacity to notice when and how we give and receive the energy.

In the Sixth Insight, revelation about the different kind of "control dramas" which are patterns of causing others to give us energy were described. Essentially, to be in a state of love with the world on a regular basis, we have to let go of the pattern of behaviour described by these control dramas. The four of them are namely: The Intimidator, The Interrogatorr, The Aloof, The Poor Me.

The Eighth Insight illustrates about interpersonal ethics of relating to others.

The Ninth Insight speaks of the posibility that when humans continue to increase our vibrations to a certain level, we can become invisible o those who are still vibrating at a lower level.

A book worthwhile to read.

Saturday, May 05, 2018

Read: David Hawkin's Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender

Author: David Hawkin
Title: Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender

Written in accessibly manner, this book describes the steps to let of negativity. A book that has brought me comfort when I read it. A book that is suitable for anyone interested in the subject matter.


Sunday, February 04, 2018

Read: Power of Sound

Title: Power of Sound: Tune in to the Secrets of Joyous Living Using Himalayan Singing Bowls
Author: Dr Sujata Singhi
Publisher: Happy Self Publishing (2017)

Thanks to one of my friends, I learnt about Himalayan Singing Bowls and the work of Dr Sujata Singhi. When Dr Sujata Singhi was in Singapore last year, I attended one of the sound spa workshops that she has conducted and received a copy of her book.

Power of Sound, is a book on the healing power of sound, especially through the use of Himalayan Singing Bowls.

The first chapter of the book sets the context of what healing is about. This chapter also lends a glimpse to Dr Sujata Singhi's personal journey that led her to healing using Himalayan Singing Bowls.

Subsequent chapters discuss about concepts such as "chakras", the qualities of sounds, and more about the Himalayan Singing Bowls.

An accessible book to read.

More information on Dr Sujata Singhi's work is accessible from: http://sujatasinghi.com

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Read: Kahn's A Beginner's Guide to Charting Financial Markets

Author: Michael Kahn
Title: A Beginner's Guide to Charting Financial Markets: A practical introduction to technical analysis for investors.

In an endeavour to understand technical analysis so as to have accesss to a tool that could be used to aid in investment decisions, I borrowed this book from the public library.

It is interesting how technical analysis is based solely on data generated by the market and by the actions of the people in the market.

One learning points that I have gained from the book is that technical analysis focuses on how stock prices are moving and how powerful the moves are. Essentially, the technical analysis is achieved by analysing price and volume, and the derivative measures, to ultimately measure supply and demand.

A systematic introductory book to read to appreciate technical analysis. I appreciate the illustrations made by the examples given in the book. At the same time, I felt there were something critical that I could be missing to fully gain sufficient confidence in reading the charts.

Monday, October 02, 2017

Read: David Hawkins' Power vs Force



Author: David R. Hawkins
Title: Power vs Force
Publisher: Hay House

This was a book recommended by one of my friends who so generously lent me the book to read.

A book that builds on applied kinesiology and behavioral kinesiology. I have found it profound and interesting to read. It took me less than a week to read this book.

Do have a good read of this book.

The Foreword in this book is already very inviting, "Imagine - what if you had access to a simple yes-or-no answer to any question you wished to ask? A demonstrably true answer. Any question... think about it."

Monday, August 21, 2017

Read: Secrets of Happy Couples

Title: Secrets of Happy Couples
Author: Kim Olver
Publisher: InsiderOut Press, Chicago, Illinois

This book is dedicated to those who want more love in their lives.

The author is a licensed clinical professional counsellor, life coach, founder of Coaching for Excellence LLC and creator of the InsideOut Empowerment process. This book was part of the results of the author spending two years compiling the research and survey data for "Secrets of Happy Couple". This book is about the secrets of happy, satisfied, and committed couples who had been together at least ten years.

So in essence, self-love is the secret ingredient to happy, thriving relationships.

In this book, the author referred to Dr William Glasser's "Eight Lessons for a Happier Marriage". These Healthy Relationship Habits are:
1. Listening
2. Supporting
3. Encouraging
4. Trusting
5. Respecting
6. Accepting
7. Negotiating differences

Yet this book is more than the Eight Healthy Relationship Habits. It sheds light on what the empirical data says about the secrets of happy, satisfied and committed couples. I was reading this book from a professional angle. Yet it is quite a good book to read for any layperson who's married or single, and wants to learn more about healthy relationships.

I am glad that I have finally completed my read of this book after putting it on a long one-year halt in between.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Read: Turning Goals into Results

Source: Amazon.com


Title: Turning Goals Into Results: The Power of Catalytic Mechanisms
Author: Jim Collins
Publisher: Harvard Business School Publishing Corporation


A book the size of a note-book, this book is part of the Harvard Business Review series where each volume contains a groundbreaking idea that has shaped best practices and inspired countless managers around the world.

The catalytic mechanism is a codified term that Jim Collins named as 'the crucial link between objectives and performance... They make big, hairy, audacious goals reachable.' This term came out from his observation and study of a simple yet extremely powerful managerial tool that has helped organisations turn goals into results.

One question that one could ask in the formulation of a 'catalytic mechanism' could be: "What would it take to actually reach an ambitious goal?"

In this book, the author describes the various characteristics of a catalytic mechanism. He also illustrates examples of how catalytic mechanisms have been used to achieve big, hairy, audacious goals.

In summary, a catalytic mechanism share five distinct characteristics. These are:

1) Produces desired results in unpredictable ways

2) Distributes power for the benefit of the overall system, often to the great discomfort of those who traditionally hold power.

3) "Has teeth", it puts a process in place that all but guarantees that the vision of the organisation will be fulfilled.

4) Ejects viruses, i.e. it helps organizations to get the right people in the first place, keep them, and eject those who do not share the company's core values.

5) Produces an ongoing effect

In this book, the author also provides a few general principles based on his research that supports the process of building catalytic mechanisms effectively. These are:
- Don't just add, remove
- Create, don't copy
- Use money, but not only money
- Allow your mechanisms to evolve
- Build an integrated set

This book is an accessible read to expand one's perspectives on what it would take to reach an ambitious goal with a long time frame. Check it out: https://hbr.org/product/turning-goals-into-results-the-power-of-catalytic-mechanisms-harvard-business-review-classics/10099E-KND-ENG


Monday, June 12, 2017

Read: Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead

Title: The Fountainhead
Author: Ayn Rand
Publisher: Signet

In this fiction book, the author, Ayn Rand, explores and presents her vision of the following themes:
1) Independence: Thinking for oneself, Judging for oneself, Making Decisions based solely on one's own thinking and judgement.

2) Second-handers

3) The morality of individualism

4) Creativity

5) Central purpose: In The Fountainhead, the protagonist, Howard Roark is motivated by the intellectual challenge of solving architectural problems and the artistic drive to create structures of beauty.

It appears that the theme of independence, individualism, creativity and central purpose could be related to the concept of "integrity" which was stated in page 313 of this edition as "the ability to stand by an idea". The protagonist, Howard Roark, was a representation of the 'ideal man' and a person of integrity.

I learnt that the author has eventually used the title to highlight that it is firsthand thinking of history's great creative minds that is the fountainhead of human progress. A book that urges me to think about what could the ideal man be and what it means to think independently for oneself.

SparkNotes Editors.(2002) SparkNote on The Fountainhead. has put up summaries and analysis of The Fountainhead. These can be available here: http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/fountainhead/