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What I’m Reading, Watching, and Listening To…

November 18, 2009

I didn’t get an October month-in-review post done, so I thought I’d try out another of Holistic Mama‘s memes – FAB, or Film/Audio/Book share. And in my case I’m making it FABB, because I decided to add some blog posts I’ve liked recently too. And then I threw in some great pictures from some friends’ trip to Egypt. Why not?

Feel free to join in with your own recommendations in the comments or your own post…

At My House We’re Reading…

The Lotus and the Golden Pearl, for my eldest daughter (5 years), about a young girl who is spirited off to a magical island with talking animals to help resolve a dispute. It’s really about peace, and how to see to the roots of conflict and make connections, instead of  ‘otherizing’. But don’t worry, it’s not heavy-handed (like most kids, my daughter shuts down when confronted with any book that is trying to ‘teach her a lesson’.) This book is actually a chapter book, so for independent readers probably 9-12 year olds, but I read it to her over three nights.

And for my fellow chakra lovers out there, all three kids and I also enjoyed Seven Spirals: A Chakra Sutra for Kids. Do I think kids need to learn about the chakras? No, but if you want to introduce them, this is a great start. (And as an aside – we don’t only read ‘spiritual/energy’ books around here, far from it, but it’s just what I list here. Other bloggers are doing a great job covering kids’ books in general.)

For myself, as I mentioned in a prior post, I recently finished The Lost Symbol, the latest from Dan Brown (Da Vinci Code, Angels and Demons.) I won’t even link to Amazon on this one, because this book has more than its fair share of hype. And I enjoyed it, but mostly for the symbology and noetic science stuff. But then, no one reads Dan Brown for storyline or character, really:-) This one revolves around the Freemasons rather than the Catholic Church, and it covers a bit of American occult history too (mixed in with FICTION, of course!!) A good travel read…

Coincidentally, I heard an interview with the author of Occult America: The Secret History of How Mysticism Shaped Our Nation on public radio, and knew I just had to read that book! So I am about halfway through it, and will review it on Amazon and possibly also here when I’m done. If you don’t know about the many alternative religious groups that came to this country in the 17th and 18th century, and the explosion of spiritualism and occultism in the 19th, then in my view you don’t really understand America. And the entire New Age movement, as well as the U.S. current religious/cultural divide, can be directly traced to this history….

Also re-reading The Red Tent for Book Club Mamas – join in!

As for blogs and websites, here’s a few posts and articles I liked this month (and for the sake of variety, I’m trying to mix up the blogs I include on this list each time:)

* Found this cool site about Women Philosophers through StumbleUpon, well worth browsing if you are into such things.

* Enjoyed this post by Buddhist teacher Carl Jerome on Discovering Optimism in my Buddhist Practice, which addresses a common misperception about Buddhism I think – that it is pessimistic.

* Was enthralled by the story of this amazing underground temple complex built under a house in Italy based on one man’s vision…click through to the article for more pictures.

* Loved this article by Mama-Om called The Other Mother, on finding a connection, rather than judging, mothers who are having a hard time (and doing the same for ourselves…)

* And liked 15 Brilliant Thoughts About Unschooling, which is actually quotes from 15 different famous personages on education. (Education is MUCH on my mind right now, with my eldest in public kindergarten. Do NOT get me started. This could be another whole blog, if I had the time….)

* Was happy to find this beautiful poem by Rumi entitled The Many Wines, posted by Betaphi.

And I could go on and on, but will stop for now.

In My Car We’re Listening To…

The soundtrack from Wicked. Really. Don’t laugh. It is WAY better than the much-used Music Together CDs that the kids have made me rotate between for the last 2+ years. We do occasionally branch out to classical and local radio, but in general, we have found musical theater to be the only genre we can all agree on right now. And Wicked has an excellent soundtrack. Here’s our personal favorite:

Defying Gravity

It’s great in full stereo, trust me.

What We’re Watching…

So You Think You Can Dance! My all-time favorite show (and the kids watch it on tape the next day too, sans the ‘boring’ judge talk and commercials.) It’s not a stellar season so far, but my favorite couple right now are Legacy and Kathryn – he’s a B-boy/street dancer and she’s a classically trained contemporary dancer. In this dance, my favorite of the season to date, he plays her fear:

I also loved the Top 20 Group Dance, by Wade Robson:

Finally, I just had to share the following pictures from some friends, of Cell Phone Latte Buddha visiting the ruins of Ancient Egypt. Have I mentioned I am an Egypt-o-phile? And own the entire set of plastic Buddhas…

Buddha in Egypt 1

Buddha by Pyramid

Buddha in Egypt at Night

Buddha in Egypt 2

Buddha in Egypt 3

I look forward to hearing your own FAB(B) shares in the comments or your own post…and if I don’t get another post up before Thanksgiving, please know that you are all on my gratitude list:-)

23 Comments leave one →
  1. November 18, 2009 5:52 pm

    Haha, I enjoyed this post! It’s always good to expand our circles — of what we read, listen, and watch.
    Some of the kids’ books are really good. I’m not so familiar with them because I don’t have kids, but maybe I will check them out at Barns & Noble. Thank you.

  2. Durga permalink
    November 18, 2009 5:57 pm

    Re: Cell Phone Latte Buddha Pics

    You are making me homesick!

  3. themelindachannel permalink
    November 19, 2009 3:16 pm

    Thanks for this post. I enjoyed it! I like knowing what people I’m interested in are reading, watching, and listening too. I think I’ll put those kids’ books on my Christmas list for my son. They sound great. And I think I want that book about Occult America on my own Christmas wish list. Thanks for the ideas. Have a great Thanksgiving! We all have much to be thankful for.

    In love and light,

  4. November 19, 2009 3:24 pm

    Hi Lisa,

    I loved the pics of the plastic Buddha. That was awesome. I want one of those Buddhas! 🙂

    As for my contributions, I would highly recommenr reading “have a little faith” by Mitch Albom. I normally do not love his books but this one was so awesome. I was so sad when the book finished because it just was perfect.

    As for music, I am a Jersey girl and a fan of Bon Jovi so I highly recommend “We Weren’t Born to Follow”. It is a song that endorses my philosophy to the letter.

  5. November 19, 2009 4:12 pm

    Those photos look great and actually remind me of… I’m really dating myself here… but does anyone else remember those “Viewmaster” binocular kind of things? I guess that was sort of an alternative media for a while, at least for kids…

  6. mommymystic permalink*
    November 19, 2009 5:47 pm

    Akemi – you know, funnily enough, I think some of the kid’s books I have read since having kids are actually my favorite books overall! Somehow when adults are writing for kids, they tap into an innocence, clarity, and gentle humor that they don’t always have when writing for other adults…I often love kid’s movies for the same reason (well, SOME kid’s movies – I could personally do without so many princesses, pirates, and superheroes…)

    Durga – home is in the heart, right?

    Melinda – there are some parts to Occult America that I do think you would really like. They talk about the massive explosion of channeling and spiritualism in the 19th century. America was/is really unique in this regard. I really think it has to do with the land…

    Nadia – I would not have guessed you were a Bon Jovi gal, I love it! Although now that I think about it, I think you have quoted that song on your blog? As for Mitch Albom, I actually have liked his books, so I will definitely check that one out…I didn’t know he had a new one. As for the plastic Buddhas, there is an entire set, including a laptop Buddha and a sunglasses Buddha. But I haven’t seen them for sale anywhere in awhile…

    Paul – yes! Those things are still around. And now you can put your own pictures in them too!

  7. November 19, 2009 8:26 pm

    So much to love here, Lisa. It reminds me of a Thanksgiving banquet. Your spirit is so generous. Haven’t seen that term ‘otherizing’ before. I’d like to know what that means to you.

    After I wrote about wanting to see Wicked, a college classmate found me on Facebook. She lived in Manhattan for ten years and got addicted to live theatre. Now that she’s in Houston, we’re thinking about making a trip to NY. She said Wicked is one of the few she’s seen twice and would see again!

    Thanks for the link to my Rumi post, and for all the sharing you do. Happy Thanksgiving week! 🙂

  8. mommymystic permalink*
    November 19, 2009 8:42 pm

    Brenda- I really loved Wicked. It’s traveling now, so may be coming to other cities closer to you too. As for ‘otherizing’, I mean the way we, or rather our ego, has a tendency to think of anyone that is different from us as ‘other’ or separate from us, and then how too often that becomes the foundation for contempt, bigotry, or even violence. Peace is about connection, about recognizing, on a deep level, our connection, rather than separativity, because only through recognizing our connection can we feel compassion. So focusing on ‘the other’ too often turns into demonizing, and conflict…In this particular book, some visiting otters are different from the other animals – they eat and play differently, and that becomes the foundation for contempt, and then conflict…the little girl Lotus has to break through all of that.

  9. November 20, 2009 2:53 am

    I found your post very interesting. It gave me an idea of what you have been up to and reading.

    I have not seen the plastic figures of Buddha before. It looks rather cute from your photos! My elder daughter is also another Egypt-o-phile. She simply loves books on Egypt and borrows a new one every week from the library. However, her memory obscures her from explaining to me what her deep fascination with its culture and history is about.

    Have a happy week!

  10. November 20, 2009 4:56 am

    I know I have a great blog to turn to for a good children’s reading list. I’ll have to read that article on “The Other Mother”.

  11. November 20, 2009 8:55 pm

    Very cool! I’m an Egyptophile, too. Nice to see we have something else in common 🙂 Have you seen the King Tut exhibit? Awesome, amazing exhibit.

  12. ruth permalink
    November 21, 2009 12:54 am

    Oooh, thank you for sharing all these great morsels Lisa :). Wow, Egypt looks amazing, the temple carved into the wall…
    DH and I had some good chuckles about the great unschooling quotes, thanks for the link there. It was also great to find out that Margaret Mead was homeschooled too, she did some great work and made some great contributions to life and anthropology.

  13. November 21, 2009 2:42 am

    This is brilliant MM! There is so much here I just love the sound of and want to gobble up! I really appreciate the reading links too – stuff I wouldn’t have found myself, yet so appropriate for me.

    And I’m running off to check out those child related books right now…

  14. November 22, 2009 3:26 am

    These are such great “leads” and I loved learning your were an Egypt fan. Me too. (I always thought it might be a past life thing…) The Buddha tourist is too cute. I have a little purple one on my desk that a friend sent. 🙂 I hope you have a lovely T-giving with your precious ones. xo

  15. November 23, 2009 9:12 pm

    There is so much wonderful stuff here — I am honored that you included a link to my essay. Thank you!!

    I especially love cellphone latte buddha. Goodness!

  16. November 24, 2009 4:06 am

    Ah wonderful stuff, how eclectic, and I love the little Buddha. How creative!

  17. November 25, 2009 9:19 am

    Hi Lisa, come and join me if you can this Sunday, Nov. 29th at 1pm Chicago time on for a webcast. It would be lovely to say hello! And I am absolutely FLOORED to learn you can put your own pictures in a Viewmaster! I guess my kids are just a li-i-itle too old to have benefited from that upgrade in technology…but now I know what I want for Christmas!

  18. mommymystic permalink*
    November 28, 2009 5:11 pm

    Hi everyone, hope all of you in the States had a happy Thanksgiving. Glad to find so many fellow Egypt-o-philes, but not surprised – I think we really only know a very small percentage of the mystic power and knowledge that was part of the temples of Ancient Egypt.

  19. November 30, 2009 9:10 pm

    I’ve always wanted to read The Red Tent, and you just reminded me of it. Also, thank you for sharing those kids books. I am looking at how to include my children in my yoga practice and help them with one of their own. Nice post.

  20. December 5, 2009 2:49 am

    Great recommendations and wonderful post! You share so much! I also love music from Wicked…Defying Gravity is wonderful and also the one about being Popular! Now I have to go listen to the soundtrack again! xo

  21. December 5, 2009 7:45 am

    REALLY enjoying “Flashforward” at the moment. But why can’t they find American actors for the lead roles? Joseph Fiennes is British. Hugh Laurie (House)…British. Dominic West (McNulty in The Wire) and Ibris Elba (Stinger Bell in The Wire)…both British.

    I suppose it’s revenge for Renee Zellweger as Bridget Jones!

  22. December 7, 2009 3:39 pm

    Catching up somewhat…

    I’m confused about which sytycd you’re watching. USA?

  23. mommymystic permalink*
    December 7, 2009 5:30 pm

    Hi all, thanks for your suggestions. Will post again soon, been caught up in other stuff…

    Mon, yes USA SYTYCD. They decided to move it to Fall, so started the new season right up again. Overall I’m actually a little disappointed compared to the last 2 seasons, and they changed the judging format, which I don’t like, but there are some great individual dancers.

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