A Field Guide to Lucid Dreaming: Mastering the Art of Oneironautics by Dylan Tuccillo

A Field Guide to Lucid Dreaming: Mastering the Art of Oneironautics by Dylan Tuccillo

luciddreamingAn excellent guide to experiencing or deepening lucid dreams, A Field Guide to Lucid Dreaming is filled with tips, tricks and advice to explore your dream world.

My husband and daughter experience lucid dreams all the time and I don’t or, at least, haven’t yet. It’s embarrassing.

It’s as if they have access to worlds that I can only dream about, literally. I picked this book up because I wanted to develop this skill too.

So far, with the advice contained within this Field Guide, I’ve realized that I was dreaming once, became lucid and immediately woke up. But, that’s progress.

I’m encouraged actually. If I can go lucid once, I can do it again.

“Lucid dreaming is the ability to know you’re dreaming while you’re dreaming. A lucid dreamer is able to go to sleep at night and wake up within his or her dream. With this unique awareness, you can generally behave like someone who is awake, exercising the free will, imagination, and memory of waking life.” introduction. How fun would that be?

Ever wanted to fly? Face your nightmares? Talk to a deceased loved one? The authors of this book claim that it is all possible.

They addressed some of my problems directly: “Quite often, the amateur lucid dreamer’s early exploits in lucidity last only a few moments. If you’ve become lucid already but lost your awareness very quickly, don’t worry. This is common. In the next chapter we’ll look at ways in which you can stabilize the dream and stay lucid for long stretches of time.” pg 106.

Practice makes perfect, it seems.

The shamanistic beliefs about the dream world are intriguing:“…shamans of indigenous cultures understood that in order for something to be created in the physical world (such as that kitchen you’ve been meaning to remodel, or this book), it must first be constructed in the “imaginal realm.” In other words, lucid dreaming might be a tool in creating our physical reality.”pg 151.

Life is like a dream and we are the dreamers, whether asleep or awake:“This world can be a nightmare or a nice dream. It’s full of friends or enemies, success or failure, meaning or nihilism. We’re headed toward destruction or we’re headed toward rebirth. There are many viewpoints on Earth as there are people. And just like the dream, we shape our experience with our thoughts, emotions, and expectations. pg 246.

Recommended for anyone who, like me, wants to master lucid dreaming. I think that this book will help you find your way.

Sweet dreams 🙂

Thanks for reading!


The Art of Asking; or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help by Amanda Palmer

The Art of Asking; or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help by Amanda Palmer

theartofaskingAmanda Palmer is an extremely talented artist who has done it all- from performing in a punk rock band to posing as a statue on the streets.

I can see why readers are passionate about this book and the author. She just didn’t strike a spark for me.

Memoirs can drag on and become self-indulgent and ridiculous. I feel like that was a problem with The Art of Asking.

The tipping point for me was when she formed The Dresden Dolls with her friend and said (I’m quoting from memory here since I was listening to the audiobook): “I finally had the strongly emoting band I’d always dreamed of” or something like that.

I realized, I was strongly emoting on this book, but not in a good way.

I understand her internal struggles in forming a relationship with Neil Gaiman must have been difficult for her, but her “should I date him, he’s older and richer and more famous than me” just came off as silly and very first-world problems.

I get that she loves her fans, her art, her lifestyle- but it just come together to make a read that I enjoyed.

My apologies to her fans. If it helps, my favorite parts of the audiobook were the songs she put between some of the tracks. Those were actually pretty awesome.

And the over-arching theme of The Art of Asking was good too.

Society isn’t comfortable with asking. We don’t know how to do it, don’t feel comfortable with it and it prevents people from making the art that they were born to make.

You can get that part of this book by watching Palmer’s TED talk. Maybe you should do that instead of reading this.

Here ’tis: https://www.ted.com/talks/amanda_palmer_the_art_of_asking

Thanks for reading.

Art and Practice of Getting Material Things Through Creative Visualization by Ophiel

Art and Practice of Getting Material Things Through Creative Visualization by Ophiel

ophielOriginally published in 1967, the Art and Practice of Getting Material Things Through Creative Visualization arrived nearly three decades beforeThe Secret. With more of an occult, than a New Age twist, the one-name author, Ophiel, talks readers through what is essentially the Law of Attraction, but he never calls it that.

Also, Hippie Readers, look at that cover. Awesome.

Ophiel tends to write portions of the book that he thinks are most important in all caps. LIKE THIS. It can be annoying.

Another interesting quirk, Ophiel talks about him/herself in the third person, at all times.

In this passage, he’s talking about why he wrote this book, and you get to see the author’s style in action: “Ophiel’s defect consists of not being about to accept self-styled prophets’ sayings, and teachings, without raising the following awkward question- and making the following embarrassing test. The question is IS WHAT THEY SAY TRUE? and the test is DOES WHAT THEY SAY WORK, AND PRODUCE RESULTS? And if what they SAY DOES NOT WORK THEN IT IS NOT TRUE, and into the garbage can with it!!” pg iii

Ophiel claims that creative visualization techniques don’t always work for a variety of reasons. He gives the reader exercises and suggestions for improving their results.

“In Creative Visualization work all the planes involved in our cosmic existence are used, the Etheric, the Lower Astral, The Higher Astral, the Mental Plane, and the Causal Plane, AND ALL THESE PLANES HAVE DEFINITE RULES AND LAWS FROM WHICH THEY WILL NOT DEVIATE ONE IOTA.” pg 5. Again, with the capitalization.

He also has interesting ideas about reasons why beginners fail out of the gate. He cites something called “the sphere of availability”: “The new student then proceeds to visualize for LARGE THINGS. BIG THINGS. VALUABLE THINGS. Things that are far beyond his ability- not to visualize-imagine-desire, BUT FAR BEYOND HIS PRESENT ABILITY TO DEMONSTRATE-VISUALIZE.” pg 31.

Ophiel uses different words, but essentially he says, start small, celebrate the small victories and increase your “sphere of availability” in that manner. He also gives practices to improve your visualization skills.

Honestly, if asked to recommend a teacher for creative visualization, I’d say, skip Ophiel and read Abraham Hicks. They’re a lot more fun.

Thanks for reading!

10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works by Dan Harris

10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works  by Dan Harris

10 happierDan Harris had problems, like all of us, but unlike all of us, he was beginning to experience some of the messier symptoms of his dysfunctional inner world in front of millions of people.

He sought help and jumped into the meditation world with both feet. I think its why most people find their way into spiritual practices- something isn’t working quite right in their life and they need to change from the inside out. So, they look for a process of inner change and run smack into meditation.

However, Dan isn’t drinking the kool-aid of the new age movement. He questions every practice for its practical benefits and searches for scientific experimentation to back up those benefits.

In essence, he brings the investigative skills that he applies to his job as a news anchor to the practice of meditation and it’s a delight to read.

I loved this. Dan had the same initial reaction to Eckhart Tolle and Deepak Chopra that I did. One of them seems too mellow to be real and the other seems to market himself too well to be that spiritual.

Over time, I’ve come to love both of those authors/gurus for their wisdom, but they are both just out of this world. Harris isn’t afraid to point that out.

In conclusion, I’d recommend 10% Happier to anyone who wants to become 10% happier- isn’t that all of us?

Also, anyone who has read Eckhart Tolle or Deepak Chopra may also enjoy this, if only for the surprisingly accurate descriptions of their foibles. Anyone who wants to try meditation but feels like they don’t have time, couldn’t do it if they tried, or doesn’t know where to start may find some inspiration from this book.

And, finally, anyone who is fed up with the hippie-dippie-trippie feeling that most spiritual memoirs give them, will find a kindred soul in Dan Harris.

Thanks for reading!

I’ll Put 3 Chips on God, Just in Case There is One by Preeti Gupta

I’ll Put 3 Chips on God, Just in Case There is One by Preeti Gupta

i'llput3chipsongodI’ll Put 3 Chips on God, Just in Case There is One reads like what you would get if you crossed Bridget Jones’ Diary with an episode of Seinfeld and added a dash of New Age spiritual musings.

Preeti, in a conversational way, discusses everything from karma to palm reading.

I liked that she didn’t talk down to the reader or apologize for her thoughts. She just puts it out there and lets everybody come to their own conclusions.

My favorite part of this book was when Preeti goes to the astrologist twice to see if he would give her the same natal chart on both visits. She lets some years pass so that she won’t be recognized by her face and compares the results. They don’t match.

Preeti celebrates the fact that the charts were completely different because it backs up her theory that folks who are in the spiritual business only for money are hucksters.

But, at the same time, she doesn’t dismiss astrology as utter nonsense and leaves the door open for more learning on the subject.

It’s refreshing to find an author who is that willing to entertain different traditions even in the face of a fraudulent experience. She freely admits that she doesn’t know the ultimate truth and I think everyone can resonate with that idea… because, who does, really? Not me.

If you enjoyed I’ll Put 3 Chips on God, I’d recommend reading Life’s Operating Manual: With the Fear and Truth Dialogues(Tom Shadyac’s thoughts on life and spirituality) or Tipping Sacred Cows: The Uplifting Story of Spilt Milk and Finding Your Own Spiritual Path in a Hectic World (in the same conversational type of style as this book and with irreverent humor, Betsy Chasse talks about her journey through the New Age Movement).

I received a free digital copy of this book from the author.

I apologize that I took so long to review it. I sometimes get lost in my own to-read pile. Thank you, Preeti, for sending it to me.

And, thank you, for reading!

Art Of Possibility by Rosamund Stone Zander, Benjamin Zander

Art Of Possibility by Rosamund Stone Zander, Benjamin Zander

art of possibilityThe Art of Possibility takes a psychologist and a musician and smooshes their ideologies together to create a self help program.

“Our premise is that many of the circumstances that seem to block us in our daily lives may only appear to do so based on a framework of assumptions we carry with us. Draw a different frame around the same set of circumstances and new pathways come into view.” pg 1.

The various practices that are discussed in The Art of Possibility seek to create those new frames.

One of my favorite chapters was: Being a Contribution. In it, the authors suggest playing life like a game. “The purpose of describing, say, your professional life or your family traditions as a game is twofold. You instantly shift the context from one of survival to one of opportunity for growth. You also have the choice of imagining other games you might prefer to play in these realms.” pg 59.

As a gamer, that’s an idea that I can easily assimilate into my life. 🙂

I also enjoyed: The Way Things Are“Being present to the way things are is not the same as accepting things as they are … It simply means, being present without resistance: being present to what is happening and present to your reactions, no matter how intense.” pg 100.

A little bit of Buddhist philosophy can go a long way.

One of my complaints about this book is that I don’t think that it fit together as seamlessly as they were hoping it would.

Also, I feel like non-musicians may not get as much out of this book as I did. It is rather heavy on the music stories and metaphors.

But, like many self-help books, it is packed with actionable suggestions and feel-good stories. Recommended for those looking to inject a little more possibility into their lives.

Thanks for reading!

The Power of Personality: How Introverts and Extroverts Can Combine to Amazing Effect by Sylvia Loehken

The Power of Personality: How Introverts and Extroverts Can Combine to Amazing Effect by Sylvia Loehken

powerpersonalityThe Power of Personality is more than just another book that picks apart the obvious differences between introverts, centroverts, and extroverts. It delves very deeply into the strengths and possible hurdles that each face in business, social situations, and with each other.

Loehken presents management techniques for the different personality types and how one might leverage innate characteristics for the most positive outcome possible in a variety of ways. I found the book to be very helpful in explaining my own reactions to most perceived conflicts.

I hope to utilize what I’ve learned in the future to harness my strengths while minimizing the others. Some of my more damaging introverted tendencies are that I’m conflict/contact adverse and easily overstimulated in every day life.

I thought when Loehken discusses how the different personality types view each other that her descriptions were spot on. I think I do tend to categorize most extroverts as loud, unthinking buffoons. My mistake.

I suppose that extroverts view me as “boring, lame duck, sensitive flower, unsociable, professional worrier, reader, timid”pg 51. I never considered why.

Perhaps now with a more educated mindset, I can embrace personality differences and work more smoothly with extroverts. Rather than, in my previous experience, pushing them away so that I can have some peace and quiet.

The other portion of the book that I enjoyed is Chapter 8: Stressful Encounters: Status Games pg 161. It reminded me of a book on body language, I Can Read You Like a Book: How to Spot the Messages and Emotions People Are Really Sending with Their Body Language. But, instead of just focusing on body language, Loehken goes into all manner of status symbols, interactions, and conversational cues.

She dissects how, particularly introverts, do themselves a disservice in their professional and personal lives because of how they perceive and react to conflict. It blew my mind.

It may be because this is a European book (the price on the back is listed in pounds) but I have never read anything like this in an American business book. Loehken talks about the unwritten rules of polite society and how, in sometimes subconscious ways, we shape our relationships and our status to the people around us.

One of her tips for dominating or owning space that I’m going to integrate into my life (right now!) is to sit fully on an office chair instead of perching on the edge. “If you take the whole seating area of a chair, this has a higher status effect than someone who only takes up half the seat or sits on the edge.”pg 175. Lesson learned.

The weak part of this book was any of the bits that dealt with centrovists. Basically, Loehken kept saying (paraphrasing in my own words) ‘If you’re a centrovist, you enjoy the benefits from both types of personalities and will therefore be more successful in whatever it is that we’re talking about in this section.’

It got kind of annoying after awhile because Loehken tells us that everyone exists on a scale of personality (we’re rarely entirely one type or another from situation to situation) so the centrovist advice could have been most applicable for every reader. Unfortunately, it felt more like a ‘Captain Obvious’ moment every time it came up rather than a revelation.

If you enjoyed The Power of Personality, I’d suggest reading I Can Read You Like a Book: How to Spot the Messages and Emotions People Are Really Sending with Their Body Language. It deals with body language rather than the driving personality behind the body, but it is still illuminating. It helps readers monitor the involuntary signals that we send out in our day to day interactions, how to leverage your movements and to send the message that you want to send, rather than broadcasting your internal mindset unintentionally.

I received a free copy of this book through Goodreads First Reads. FTC guidelines: check! Thanks for reading!