Thursday, February 28, 2008

A Path Not For Everyone, But Maybe For You

My class with Charles Eisenstein is called "The Yoga of Eating" and is based upon his book by that name. Many of you are familiar with Charles Eisenstein's book "Transformational Weight Loss" (TWL), a book that is an in depth look at part of "The Yoga of Eating" (YOE) that deals with weight loss. TWL is about much more than that, as those of you who have read it know. TWL and YOE are about the practice of trusting your body and all that this entails.

The YOE class is absolutely fantastic because it is a chance to converse with the author via Skype, ask him questions, discuss obstacles to my practice, and hear ideas that were not presented in the books. My class is small, so I get a chance to express my thoughts about what I've read and ask as many questions as I have. I cannot put into words how much, how positively this class and my readings are affecting me.

Both TWL and YOE are about much more than food, eating, and weight issues. They are about a different way of looking at oneself, life and the world. After my second class (number two of three) I decided that I was desperately hungry (pun intended) to find out more and so began to read Charles Eisenstein's "Ascent of Humanity" (AOH), planning on finishing it before my next and last class.

AOH is almost 600 pages, is Charles Eisenstein's life work, and looks (when you pick it up) intellectually demanding, dry, and philosophical (in a bad way). I've had it for about four months but it frankly intimidated me. After the last class though, I didn't care how hard it would be to plow through because I wanted to read it. I was very pleasantly surprised. AOH is intellectual, but passionate and spiritual and most of all---mind-blowing and life-changing. It fits in with everything, everything we've been reading here in our on-line community.

So I started AOH yesterday before I got sick and now I hate to put it down, even to come here to blog. I don't want to do anything else but read it. I want to find out what is coming next! I want to finish it before Tuesday so that I can ask the author any questions I might have. It is the type of book that you read once and feel it's impact, then read again and again to integrate into your life, to think about, and (I hope) to discuss it with others.

None of these books are full of dogma to be read and accepted or rejected. They are compilations of out-of-the box reframes about commonly held cultural assumptions. They are questions. They are new ways of looking at life. Most of all, they are invitations to experience truth for yourself and to come to conclusions that are life-affirming, playful, and joyful.

If you liked TWL, read YOE. If you've got to find out more, then read AOH. AOH fell into place for me after reading the novel "World Made By Hand".

If this all sounds like way too much, or if you just want to find out more but not immerse yourself at this point as I am doing, Charles Eisenstein is making serial videos about the content of AOH here. What really comes through in the videos is Charles Eisenstein's gentle and peaceful spirit and intellect. He says that the purpose of AOH and his other seminars based upon his books is to be life-changing. In my case, he has already succeeded.

However, the impact of all three of his books will continue to reverberate through my life as I integrate what I am learning from them into my spiritual practice. This part---this integration---has only just begun for me and is a journey. It is a setting aside of a lifetime of being a part of a culture that did not resonate with me in so many ways and left me filled with anxiety always and depression often. I am happy to embark on a different way, unsure of where it will lead me, but certain that I am where I need to be.

~Pictures By LoveHubbie Mark

~Post Title Shamelessly Stolen from Oprah about "A Course in Miracles"


Journey Through Life said...

Wow, it all seems so overwhelming! But also wonderful. It is so great to hear you so inspired and excited and full of life!

thailandchani said...

I am so getting that book! Like today! Thanks for the recommend. :)

This part of what you said resonated deeply with me - which is why I am getting the book:

this part---this integration---has only just begun for me and is a journey. It is a setting aside of a lifetime of being a part of a culture that did not resonate with me in so many ways and left me filled with anxiety always and depression often. I am happy to embark on a different way,

Jane said...


Your photos are breathtaking today. Just lovely. Thank you for those images.

I'm so amazed at the power of the internet and the many ways that we can connect on a learning level. Who would have imagined years ago that you could communicate via Skype with an author?

Happy weekend!


Olivia said...

Thanks, Annie. It can be overwhelming. It has to be the right time. I am only reading 20 pages per hour with AOH. I normally read 60 per hour. But all day I keep running to it because I can't wait to see what's next :)

If it's not right for you now, maybe it will be later, or something else will be. We'll all get there one way or another, that's for sure, and I do believe it. Each of our paths are unique but we are all going to the same place.

Love and Special Friday Blessings,


Olivia said...


Yes, yes, yes. And first there is the reading about it, and then there is the doing it which will be even better than reading about it---creating the culture in my own life and with others. A culture that will be amenable to the changes in consciousness that are coming...soon. A different culture.

I have been wondering as I've been reading if the reason I've been so in love with the Hawaiian culture is that it embodies the things that are ME and that are absent from our culture. It is exciting to see that what is within me that yearns for this other way of life is healthy and normal and just lost in our current American culture. I'm wondering if it will be similar for you with Thailand?

I long to write more but I will wait until you read the book. I think that you will love it. Don't let the intellectualism of it scare you as it did me. Just start reading and you'll see that you don't really need be an academician to fall in love with what Charles Eisenstein is saying.

Special Friday Blessings,


Olivia said...

Thank you, Jane! I never thought of it that way, but you're right. What an opportunity, something that didn't really exist before now.

I will relay your admiration of the pictures to LoveHubbie. He is not a regular blog reader of mine so he misses out on all of the lovely things you gals and guys say about him. I refreshed my screen and on this dreary day the colors lept off the page at me. You are right!

Special Friday Blessings,


yertle said...

I will have to check these out. Thanks for sharing and the pictures are beautiful.

BOSLady said...

New to your blog, so pretty! so clean! The books are tempting.

Olivia said...

Thank you, yertle. I hope you decide to investigate further. I'll tell LoveHubbie you like his pics. He got his underwater camera ready today for Hawaii next week, so surely more exceptional pictures are to come :)

Special Saturday Blessings, O

Olivia said...

Boslady, thanks for the kind words. Try one of Charles Eisenstein's books and you won't be sorry.

Your blog and profile are VERY interesting; you seem to live a fascinating life. I'm thrilled that you visiting my ordinary little corner of the woods (literally) here!

Take care, special Saturday blessings, come back soon,