Best Ten Goodreads of 2013

Every year I am asked, “Derek, what good books have you read?” Now, I post quotes here and there, and when there is a really good gem, I normally cannot stop talking about it, but I rarely write reviews. So here is my list of “must reads.”

They are in order in terms of when I read them. Most recent to oldest. I hope you get the chance to add some of these to your own library. They have impacted my values, morals, healer’s toolkit, integrity, heart, holistic practice and spiritual progress throughout the year and continue to do so. May they move and teach you as much as they have taught me.

Top Ten Favourites Diary of 2013

a swiftly tilting planet

1. A Swiftly Tilting Planet by Madeleine L’Engle.

“Hate hurts the hater more’n the hated.”
“Part of doing something is listening. We are listening. To the sun. To the stars. To the wind.”
“The world has been abnormal for so long that we’ve forgotten what it’s like to live in a peaceful and reasonable climate. If there is to be any peace or reason, we have to create it in our own hearts and homes.”

the spiral dance

2. The Spiral Dance: A Rebirth of the Ancient Religion of the Goddess by Starhawk

“Decide what is sacred to you, and put your best life energies at its service. Make that the focus of your studies, your work, the test for your pleasures and your relationships. Don’t ever let fear or craving for security turn you aside. When you serve your passion, when you are willing to risk yourself for something, your greatest creative energies are released. Hard work is required, but nothing is more joyful than work infused by love.” (page 11)

the earth path
3. The Earth Path by Starhawk

“Whenever we are able to live for a moment within that consciousness of the whole, we become more whole, more healed. How sad, how grim and tragic, to live within an awareness that can see a seedball only as a weapon, that misses the wonder of the potential for transformation and growth within it, that is forced to view the world as an arena of danger, combat, and betrayal. In today’s world we are more and more pressured to live within that limited consciousness, to accept its restrictions as reality, to discount any other possibilities as fantasy, romanticism, wishful thinking. Yet it is the construction of our imagination that produces that grim world. Today we live in a world so devitalized, so alienated and fragmented, that many of us are hungry for magic: for a way to perceive and experience the whole, to live in a dynamic, animate universe. It’s no wonder that Harry Potter is popular worldwide among adults as well as children, for a world of talking hats and whomping willows and flying broomsticks reflects that sense we have as children that everything around us is alive and has a consciousness of it own. Instead of forcing children to “outgrow” that awareness, we should cherish it as the vital understanding that can help us become healers of this wounded world. For we cannot intervene effectively, cannot say something back to the world, unless we first understand and hear something. And we cannot hear unless we open our ears and realize that the world is speaking to us. And as soon as we do, we become more alive, more wild, more at home in a vital and dynamic universe.”

the original reiki handbook
4. The Original Reiki Handbook of Dr. Mikao Usui by Dr. Mikao Usui and Frank Arjava Petter

“Intuitive Reiki by Dr. Usui is different: It asks that we free ourselves of the rules. Rules are meant to give us support. The moment that they begin to hinder us, they no longer fulfill their purpose.”

women who run with the wolves
5. Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Ph.D.

“Sometimes the one who is running from the Life/Death/Life nature insists on thinking of love as a boon only. Yet love in its fullest form is a series of deaths and rebirths. We let go of one phase, one aspect of love, and enter another. Passion dies and is brought back. Pain is chased away and surfaces another time. To love means to embrace and at the same time to withstand many endings, and many many beginnings- all in the same relationship.”

true love
6. True Love: A Practice for Awakening the Heart by Thich Nhat Hanh

“Let us imagine that the members of the Congress practiced mindful breathing and walking, deep listening, and calm loving speech. As it is, every time they convene, they quarrel and shoot poison arrows, because very few of those people are capable of calming, of practicing loving speech. The situation is very tense; there is a great deal of hatred and anger and discrimination. how is it possible, in such a state, for people to practice deep looking with the aim of achieving a deep knowledge of the nation? So it is necessary to practice mindfulness – it could be Buddhist or Christian – but it is necessary to bring mindfulness to our everyday life. If you are a journalist, a teacher, or a filmmaker, you should practice mindfulness – for the sake of your own calm and your own happiness, but also for that of other people as well. Because we need your calm, your compassion, your understanding. So we should be mindful as individuals but also as a community, as a family, as a nation.”

imagery in healing
7. Imagery in Healing by Jeanne Achterberg

“Health is being in harmony  with the world view. Health is an intuitive perception of the universe and all its inhabitants as being of one fabric. Health is maintaining communication with the animals and plants and minerals and stars. It is knowing death and life and seeing no difference. It is blending and melding, seeking solitude and seeking companionship to understand one’s many levels. Unlike the more “modern” notions, in shamanic society health is not the absence of feeling; no more so is it the absence of pain. Health is seeking out all of the experiences of Creation and turning them over and over, feeling their texture and multiple meanings. Health is expanding beyond one’s singular state of consciousness to experience the ripples and waves of the universe.”
“Throughout the history of medicine, including the shamanic healing traditions, the Greek tradition of Asclepius, Aristotle and Hippocrates, and the folk and religious healers, the imagination has been used to diagnose disease.”

8. Inferno by Dan Brown

“The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis. – Bertrand Zobrist”
“Dante’s poem, Langdon was now reminded, was not so much about the misery of hell as it was about the power of the human spirit to endure any challenge, no matter how daunting.”
“The decisions of our past are the architects of our present.”

9. Aromatherapy: Soothing Remedies to Restore, Rejuvenate, and Heal by Valerie Gennari Cooksley, R.N. 

“Aromatherapy is more thoroughly defined as the skilled and controlled use of essential oils for physical and emotional health and well-being. Science is now confirming what has been known for centuries: essential oils have healing properties on both physical and emotional levels. Absorbed through the skin and via the olfactory-brain connection through inhalation, they have been considered among the most therapeutic and rejuvenating of all botanical extracts throughout the ages.”

wherever you go
10. Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn

“Perhaps the most “spiritual” thing any of us can do is simply to look through our own eyes, see with eyes of wholeness, and act with integrity and kindness.”
“Life on earth is a whole, yet it expresses itself in unique time-bound bodies, microscopic or visible, plant or animal, extinct or living. So there can be no one place to be. There can be no one way to be, no one way to practice, no one way to learn, no one way to love, no one way to grow or to heal, no one way to live, no one way to feel, no one thing to know or be known. The particulars count.”
“Mindfulness practice means that we commit fully in each moment to be present; inviting ourselves to interface with this moment in full awareness, with the intention to embody as best we can an orientation of calmness, mindfulness, and equanimity right here and right now.”


5 thoughts on “Best Ten Goodreads of 2013

    1. Inferno, for me, brought to light one of my biggest concerns with modern society: overpopulation. It is scary how the numbers keep going up, yet instead of dealing with the source of the problem, we only try to help with the symptoms via charities giving food and supplies. We cannot just keep putting a band-aid over this issue. We must arm the people of the world with the education they need. An education based on good complete health so that they will be able to develop the necessary skills where rape and having children just for the sake of having children does not happen. Education in conjunction with aid is how we will be able to overcome suffering. Educating and teaching people to be happy, healthy, and self-sustaining where we can embrace permaculture along with local folklore and customs will create less greed and hatred. We have so much to do as a global community. We are all children of the same planet. We need to help our brothers and sisters so that we can all help our Earth Mother.

    2. “”If the world is to sustainably support 7+ billion people, cities are going to play a huge role in making that happen. Cities must shift from being consumers of the outside world to being able to provide most of the resources for their inhabitants. Each building must become a micro power plant using renewable energy. Transportation must focus on improved mass transit options and a shift from an automobile-centered to a bicycle-centered system. Above all, cities will need to be able to grow nearly all their own food, on rooftops, in apartment windows, in vacant lots, in vertical (indoor) farms, in food forests, and almost every place imaginable both to increase resiliency and cut down on food miles.” Read more, here:

      1. Hmm true that but we always have two ways to deal with a problem. Spreadin a virus that makes everyone infertile is just not right 😀 I guess counselin is all we can do and obviously education. And trust me Derek everything will be fine 🙂 Change takes time 🙂
        And you are livin in a perfect world. Ask me I see innocent people dyin every day.

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