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"