Saturday, August 5, 2017

Ordinary Goodness by Edward Viljoen

The book of the month for August at Center for Spiritual Living Santa Rosa is Ordinary Goodness by our own Rev. Dr. Edward Viljoen.  In February Rev. Ruth Barnhart wrote an insightful review of this book.  Here is her review:

Once again Edward Viljoen brings inspiration with his latest book, Ordinary Goodness. In his introduction, he quotes C. S. Lewis as saying, "To love is to be vulnerable." And in Viljoen's typical style, he draws on that vulnerability, that realness of just being human, as he explores living ordinary goodness. He tells stories about his experience with his grandmother, his early role model of love and acceptance. He tells how she would often  say, “Oh for goodness sake” when incidents would occur that might bring a more profane expression from others, and then he invites us into the deeper meaning of these words. After simply reading the introduction, I already felt inspired to strive to live from this higher perspective, to live more for goodness’ sake. Throughout the book, Edward shares personal stories to illustrate his points, both with experiences where he struggled and those where he brought his greater understanding. He also offers many points of wisdom from spiritual teachers from all traditions. And woven within each section are suggestions and simple practices to support the reader in finding and living from ordinary goodness. Here is a spiritual book that is not lofty or complicated, but written for ordinary people like us, living our ordinary lives, for goodness sakes.

Ordinary Goodness by Edward Viljoen is available from Stepping Stones Books and Gifts.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Book Review: Gracism

The Art of Inclusion


by David A. Anderson

“Gracism, the positive extension of favor on other humans, based on color, class or culture.” This is the definition created by David A. Anderson, who wrote, Gracism, The Art of InclusionAs the minister of a large multicultural church, Anderson teaches how to live from and as grace in our interactions with any and all diversity. As an African American man, he understands racism but he also includes himself in the stories of our prejudices and challenges in accepting people different from us. 

As a Christian minister, Anderson relates stories and teachings from the Bible to illustrate his points and ground us in spiritual principles. This didn’t create any challenge for me. It was easy to see the parallel in Jesus’ call for us to love, and our own teaching's reminder that we are one and our nature is love. His approach is very practical, relevant to  our lives today.

At the end of each chapter he leaves us with questions to ponder about ourselves and our own behaviors. He presents positive suggestions for the opportunities we encounter to bring grace into our interactions with race as well as all expressions of diversity.

In these times of great division, with issues involving diversity extending into all areas of humanity, I find this book very informative, encouraging and empowering.

Review by Rev. Ruth Barnhart, a staff minister at Center for Spiritual Living, Santa Rosa.

Gracism is available from Stepping Stones Books and Gifts.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Fanna-Fi-Allah Sufi Qawwali Concert

Date:  Saturday, July 8
Time:  7 pm
Center for Spiritual Living, Santa Rosa
2075 Occidental Road

The amazing Sufi Qawwali group, Fanna-Fi-Allah, is coming to the Center for Spiritual Living Santa Rosa to draw us into their sung prayers. Led by Tahir Faridi Qawwal, the Canadian and American members of FFA have immersed themselves in the Chishti Sufi Qawwali ecstatic tradition of Pakistan and India for almost 20 years, and are recognized as the preeminent qawwali group outside of Pakistan. Tabla player Aminah Chishti is the first woman qawwali tabla player recognized in Pakistan as a master in her own right. Their main teachers have been members of the family and musical lineage of Nusrat Fattah Ali Khan.

Their voices are intense, their devotion deep, their musicianship is world class and their performances are inspiring! You'll be hooked from the first percussive "clap"! Included in the evening will be excerpted footage from their upcoming documentary film on qawwali in general and their journey of the last 17 years.

This concert is their only appearance in the North Bay for this tour.

Tickets are $20. Click here to order.
Tickets will also be available at the door.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Free Event: A Manual for the Modern Mystic

a Stepping Stones Books and Gifts Free Event

an evening with author
Rio Olesky

Date:   Friday, June 2, 2017
Time:  7 pm
Center for Spiritual Living, Santa Rosa
2075 Occidental Road


Astrology is an ancient symbolic language that helps us, individually and collectively, to connect to that which is greater than we are. It’s a mystical art that reveals ways to understand both our own internal dynamics as well as ways of developing consciousness and aiding spiritual growth.

Rio will introduce his book, A Manual for the Modern Mystic, which discusses 12 universal laws, each one associated with a sign of the zodiac. Rio uses stories and personal anecdotes as well as quotes or references to mystics throughout history. He discusses ways of working with these laws to enhance spiritual growth and consciousness development.

Please join us on June 2nd.  This free event is sponsored by Stepping Stones Books and GiftsNo Reservations or Tickets are required.

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