March - 2016

posted Mar 2, 2016, 8:23 AM by Laurie DeGezelle

Dear Members and Friends of the Church of the Holy Communion:


I reread the weather forecast for March and realized we may have an early spring with tumultuous storms and unpredictable temperatures.  However, no matter what the weather brings, we may always enjoy a good book.  All we need to do is pick it up and begin our relaxing trip to another clime or become more aware of our own inner landscape.  The following book reviews are the top picks by Spirituality and Health reviewers for your springtime reading pleasure.


Toomey, C. In Search of Buddha’s Daughters

                        A Modern Journey Down Ancient Roads

    Tracing her journey around the world, the author describes the world of Buddhist nuns in Nepal, Burma, Japan, North America, and Europe.  From practicing kung-fu to accepting literary prizes for erotic fiction, the nuns bring a “sense of defiance” even as they demonstrate resilience and generosity in the face of oppression.  Part travelogue and part Buddhist history, this memoir reflects on the author’s search for personal healing.


Newberg, A. MD & Waldman, M.R. How Enlightenment Changes Your Brain.

    The authors describe five common elements of enlightenment: ”a sense of intensity, unity, clarity, and surrender, and a permanent large-scale change in our awareness, behavior or belief system.”  The authors show great interest and respect for a variety of ways of training the mind and in joining science and spirit. 


Altman, D.  Clearing Emotional Clutter  Mindfulness Practices for Letting Go of                                    What’s Blocking Your Fulfillment and Transformation

    The author is a practicing psychotherapist, a former Buddhist monk, and an adjunct faculty member of the Interpersonal Neurobiology program at Portland State University.  He describes the term, ‘emotional clutter’ to include: “anxiety, road rage, lack of self-acceptance, and a slew of communication and relationship issues.” Combining mindfulness teachings with research findings produces “a useful guide to living our lives in a lighter, less burdened way.”


Covington, D.  Revelation A Search for Faith in a Violent Religious World

    A childhood in Birmingham, Alabama, during the American civil-rights movement gave the author first hand experience with “the lasting sensory impressions that violence makes on people.”  His book is filled with personal stories of his life and that of his family, and weaves them with stories of his travels to violent places such as Mexico, Syria, and the American South. Although searching for signs of faith and hope, he observes religious strife and brutality.  He writes of people who believe that life has meaning despite the terror around them. 


With love and care,               Judy Gardner, Parish Nurse                    March, 2016

                        Cohen, Mowe & Wagner( march/april 2016)