The 10 Best Books of 2006

Some of you asked for book recommendation. I have my own list which I will post later, but for now, have a look at these links:

The New York Times pick

Publishers Weekly favorites

Amazon editors list

This is a good site for kids' book



He who has a "why to live', can bear with almost any "how"....

Woe to him who saw no more sense in his life, no aim, no purpose, and therfore no point in carrying on. He will be lost.
I am re-reading Viktor Frankl's book called, Man's search for meaning. If you have time please pick up this book to read. Dr. Fankl endured years of unspeakable horror in Nazi death camps. During, and partly because of his suffering, Dr. Frankl developed a revolutionary approach to psychotherapy known as logotherapy. At the core of his theory is the belief that man's primary motivational force is HIS SEARCH FOR MEANING.


The New Commandments

My spiritual teacher, Rev. Tom, has proposed Ten New Commandments (to augment the original Ten Moses gave the Judaic world) that he feels are especially appropriate for our modern times.

11. Thou shalt not worry. (it is the most unproductive of all human activities.)

12. Thou shalt not be fearful. (Most of the things we fear never come to pass anyway.)

13. Thou Shalt not cross bridges before you come to them (No one has ever succeeded in doing this.)

14. Thou shalt handle only one problem at a time. (Leave the others to God until their turn comes up.)

15. Thou shalt not take your troubles to bed with you. (They make poor bedfellows.)

16. Thou shalt not try to carry the problems of the world on your own shoulders (only God has a back that strong.)

17. Thou shalt be a good listener (For God often speaks to us through the mouths of others.)

18. Thou shalt not try to relive yesterday. (it is Gone; Rejoice in today.)

19. Thou shalt dismiss Feelings of frustration (90% of them are rooted in self-pity and interfere with positive action.)

20. Thou shalt count thy blessings daily (never overlooking the smallest one, for our biggest blessings are often composed of many small ones.)


Kids' Book

Some of you have mailed me and asked me to recommend a book for kids. Well, I had to ask my son, since he loves reading. He just finished reading, "My SIDE of the MOUNTAIN" and he loved it and he wants me to read it too, so we can talk about it (I just loved it when he asked me to read it :-) ). So if you are thinking of buying a Christmas present for a 10 year old, this will be perfect gift.
It's story about a boy and his love of nature and runs away from home to live in the mountains. There, Sam must rely on his own ingenuity and the resources of the great outdoors to survive - and he discovers a side of himself he never knew existed.


Win or lose?

Before your children learn to win or lose,
they play at games for fun.
But then they come to believe
that they must win
at games, at business,
and at war.
they even learn to win or lose
at love.

But the Tao teaches
that games are for fun,
that business is for the common good,
that no one wins at war,
and that love endures for all.

Tao Te ching
the parents, william martin


Earth's gravity

I finally received Sheema Kalbasi's book called, "Echoes in Exile" and I sat down and read the whole thing. I absolutely loved this part:

Life is too long to live heartless...and cruelty is what we all have. Even earth is cruel to pull us by its gravityand not
allow us to fly.

Congratulation Sheema! You ARE flying with your words despite the gravity!


The power of You!

YOU are the "Time Person of the Year" for 2006. Finally, the power of individual is being recognized, albeit, Time has a different reason than mine, but I'll take it whatever way they come. Enjoy and exercise your power.


Flow of life

A man found a cocoon of a butterfly. One day a small opening appeared. He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could, and it could go no further.

So the man decided to help the butterfly. He took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon.

The butterfly then emerged easily. But it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings.

The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, which would contract in time.

Neither happened! In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It never was able to fly.

What the man, in his kindness and haste, did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening were God's way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.

Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our lives. If God allowed us to go through our lives without any obstacles, it would cripple us.

We would not be as strong as what we could have been. We could never fly!

Inspiring stories

The news media has become only the source of "bad and sad" stories! If one wants to hear or read and inspiring stories, one has to dig deep, but good storie ARE actually more than the negative stories in the world. All you have to do is to do the google search. So this is what I read today:

A former hockey player who was paralyzed in his first college game told an audience at St. Michael's College that a positive attitude can get them past even the most daunting obstacles. Travis Roy says October 20, 1995 was the best and worst day of his life. The Boston University freshman was living out his childhood dream of playing college hockey. He was paralyzed eleven seconds after taking the ice for the first time.

He said he thought his life was over, but decided he had to find some new dreams.

"The best part about having a positive attitude is that you are far more likely to identify opportunities that exist all around you. That's what life's all about. Recognizing opportunities and taking advantage of them, identifying and creating new experiences that lead to timeless memories," says Roy.

Roy created a foundation to help fellow survivors of spinal cord injuries. He says he's confident he will walk again.


Make the most!

Make the most of the best and the least of the worst.

~Robert Lois Stevenson

This the best advice I have recieved this week. I hope you will like it too.



There once was a monk who travelled from village to village, smiling. His name was Ananda, which translated means "joy" or "bliss". He had no home, no money and no possessions to speak of. He wore a saffron robe, some beads, and a wonderful smile which he gave away to everyone he met. So warm, so loving and so infectious was his smile, everyone would smile in his presence.

One day the monk met a boy, also called Ananda. The boy walked beside the monk along a winding path. He asked the monk, "Are you a holy man?" The monk smiled, "I am as holy as you are". The boy smiled. "Why do you not own anything?" he asked. "My smile is my own," the monk replied. "But what about money, a home, a horse?" asked the boy. "The world cannot give me my smile - my smile is between me and God," said the monk.The boy and the monk walked along in silence. Eventually the boy asked, "Who are you, monk?" "I am the smile that went around the world," explained the monk, "and my gospel is a gospel of smiles." "Tell me more of your gospel," said the boy."
Happiness is heaven. And heaven is in your heart. You are born in heaven and you are born to be happy. Happiness is your gift to the world. When you are happy you glow. You live. You give. You are generous and kind. You find love. You give loving. You are love.Above all, when you are happy you give all the things that appear to be missing whenever you are distressed," said the Monk.The Monk went on, "Happiness suits us all. It brings out the best in us. Happiness is creative. You can create a whole new world out of joy. Happiness is attractive. You draw to you wonders of the world when you smile and mean it. Happiness is miraculous. It inspires love. It brings everything it touches to a full bloom."
"Do you always smile?" asked the boy. "Yes, even when I am asleep," laughed the monk. "How do you manage to smile always?" asked the boy. "Smiling is easy because I believe in happiness and I also believe in you," replied the monk. Now the monk and the boy were both smiling.


The art of kindness

A wise woman who was traveling in the mountains found a precious stone in a stream. The next day she met another traveler who was hungry, and the wise woman opened her bag to share her food. The hungry traveler saw the precious stone and asked the woman to give it to him. She did so without hesitation. The traveler left, rejoicing in his good fortune. He knew the stone was worth enough to give him security for a lifetime. But a few days later he came back to return the stone to the wise woman.
"I've been thinking," he said, "I know how valuable the stone is, but I give it back in the hope that you can give me something even more precious. Give me what you have within you that enabled you to give me the stone."

"The Wise Woman's Stone"
Author Unknown


The Meaning of Life!

What is the meaning of human life, or, for that matter, of the life of any creature? To know an answer to this question means to be religious. You ask: Does it make any sense , then, to pose this question? I answer: The man who regards his own life and that of his fellow creatures as meaningless is not merely unhappy but hardly fit for life.

~Albert Einstein, 1934 in Amsterdam


Thoughts or Dreams?

"Good thoughts are no better than good dreams, unless they be executed"

~ Emerson



We still do not know one-thousandth of one percent of what nature has revealed to us.

~Albert Einstein



"The one thing that a fish can never find is water; and the one thing that man can never find is God.”

Eric Butterworth (1916-2003)

Eric Butterworth has often been referred to as a "Twentieth Century Emerson." I learned through him that "You can change your life by altering your thoughts", when I read his book called, "Discover the power within", it all became so clear to me. I wish I had read that book 20 years earlier, but it's never too late. For those of who are looking for a great gift to give during this Holiday season, this Butterworth's book can be an ideal gift.


billionaire's love

I picked up a little book called, " The Tao of Warren Buffett" to read last night (it's written by Buffett's daughter-in-law), expecting that I will get a bits of advise on business and investment strategies. After all, Warren Buffett is the second richest man in the world. I was surprised to read his advise on Love and relationships. Here is what he said about Love and his idea of what it means to be successful:

"Wouldn't it be great if we could buy love for $1 million. But the only way to be loved is to be lovable. You always get back more than you give away. if you don't give any, you won't get any. There's nobody I know who commands the love of others who doesn't fell like a success. And I can't imagine people who aren't
loved feel very successful."


Holiday spirit

My all time favorite charity organization is World vision which also has a high rating according to Charity navigator. They just have published an e-card for this holiday season that I would like to share with all my Friends and see if you like to contribute. click here: Word


"By wisdom a house is built,
and by understanding it is established;
by knowledge the rooms are filled
with all precious and pleasant riches"

Prov 24:2-4



"The fountain of content must spring up in the mind, and he who hath so little knowledge of human nature as to seek happiness by changing anything but his own disposition, will waste his life in fruitless efforts and multiply the grief he proposes to remove. "

"It is common to overlook what is near, by keeping the eye fixed upon something remote. In the same manner, present opportunities are neglected, and attainable good is slighted, by minds busied in extensive ranges, and intent upon future advantages. Life, however short, is made still shorter by waste of time; and its progress towards happiness, though naturally slow, is yet retarded by unnecessary labour."

~ Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

Man & Woman

When woman recognizes the divine in men and inspires them to express it, she has
no difficulty living happily with man to who she has been drawn. When men understand women and adore the divine qualities in them they will be endowed with power from on high to live so that perfect harmony results.

Letters of Myrtle Fillmore (1845-1931)

Myrtile Fillmore was the co founder of Unity, an important nineteenth-century American religious movement, Myrtle Fillmore (with her husband, Charles) was seeking Christianity's essential oneness in its dozens of often conflicting denominations. The vision they shaped together of that oneness led to the Unity School of Christianity, which, a hundred years later, operates a vast global outreach.


Be at peace!

Rev. Thomas Witherspoon is my spiritual teacher and I owe my many break throughs in life to his teachings. In one of his books called, "the peace that passes all misunderstanding", he discusses and clarifies many issues that I see some of my dear friends have trouble with the idea of "sin" when it comes to religion. I hope the next paragraph from his book will help some to think deeply about the idea of "sin". I believe we are all born whole and perfect, and we are not born jealous, evil, corrupt, weak, etc. The idea of "sin" has been misrepresented in many religions.

This is what Rev. Tom says;

In order to come to terms with peace of mind concerning God and ourselves, the first consideration must be this: God does not punish us for our sins; we are punished by them. You are perfect, as God is perfect, at the spirit level, and our very reason for being is this incarnation is to bring the physical up to the spiritual level of being. With each thought, with each action, our every ideal should include the transformation from the human to the spiritual level.

By your thoughts and actions you create the world in which you live. If you think wisdom, there is wisdom, if you think misunderstanding, there is misunderstanding. The world, the true world, is a wold built on thought.

You are God's temple, and God's spirit dwells in you! Be at peace.



Who are we then
in this complicated world-tangle,
that is really just the single, straight
line down at the begining of allah?

We are emptiness.

This is the last portion of Rumi's poem called EMPTINESS. Jelaluddin Rumi was born in the year 1207 and until the age of 37 was a brilliant scholar and popular teacher. But his life changed forever when he met the powerful wandering dervish, Shams of Tabriz, of whom Rumi said, "What I had thought of before as God, I met today in a human being." From this mysterious and esoteric friendship came a new bright of spiritual enlightenment. In this poem, I think Rumi says exactly what Landmark is teaching, that out of this nothingness that we can create something big for our lives. You can read more about him and his other poetry here:


God speaks Hebrew

A dear friend of mine, Sheema Kalbasi, has published her first English language poems called echoes in exile. Sheema is not only a talented and well-known Iranian poet but also a passionate human rights activist.

Here is her poem called:
God speaks Hebrew

He sneezed within me,
God and his kissable mouth,
Smiling with a wide-open heart!

God never cheats,
Never rapes,
Never hates

Sings in Hindi,
Persian and Russian,
Latin, Swahili and Sindi!
Can be understood in Semitic languages,
Arabic and Hebrew!

God walks in kimonos,
Sophisticated and elegant
Smells like iris and talks like English
He is a little Chinese village-man,
Rejecting the ism

He reborn the angels,
As they sing the symphony of cotton fields,
A freedom's journey,
An escape from unformed yellow seeds

Crystal hands, crystal stars,
Crystal green gardens,
And my crystal laughter,

Essentializes the whole poem of life.

you can read her blog here: Zaneirani and can buy her book here. Good Luck Sheema jan!

Book to read

Just finished reading "the birth of Venus" by Sarah Dunant. It is a wonderful novel about a woman's life during Medici's reign in Florence ( around 1480's), and its about her passion for art, her relationship with God and his rebelion toward the menaing of being a Christian at that time. Alessandra Cecchi is a young woman born into the Renaissance world of Florentine, Italy. The plot is full of twists... here are some exerpts:

"Everyone had somthing to sell, and those who had nothing sold their

He shrugged." Man must rules his slaves like a tyrandt, his children like a
king, and his wife like a politician"

Love is bigening of all God's creation together, Plato and Christianity in Joyous union. So the physical act of love of man and woman was the frist rung on a ladder that might lead that might lead to a final estati union with the Godhead


Thanksgiving Day!

If I hear the Ocean roar
If I see the eagle soar
If I sense what flowers say
Then this is my Thanksgiving day!

If I catch the rain drop's kiss
If I feel the sunset's bliss
If I blend with natures way
Then, this is my Thanksgiving day!

If I hear you talk to me
If I see what you can be
If I love you on your way
Then, this is my Thanksgiving Day!

Every day is time to give
Every day is time to live
Everyday is time to say
That this is my Thanksgiving Day!


Man is his own star

"Man is his own star; and the soul that can
Render an honest and a perfect man,
Commands all light, all influence, all fate;
Nothing to him falls early or too late.
Our acts our angels are, or good or ill,
Our fatal shadows that walk by us still."
Epilogue to Beaumont and Fletcher's Honest Man's Fortune



One of my all time favorite author/philosopher is Ayn Rand. Right after finishing Landmark education forum, I picked up her book, Atlas Shrugged, as I sometimes do to reread some portions that I had underlined before. Here is what I found:

"no one's happiness but my own is in my power to achieve or to destroy"


Inspiring one card at a time

What an interesting way to inspire people, by words only! check out this site

Self Reliance!

Ayn Rand's and Emeson's ideas are similar to what LandMark Education tries to teach. In a nutshell; the path to happiness is self reliance! Here is what they had to say:

Every man builds his world in this own image,; he has the power to choose, but no power to escape the necessity of choice. If he abdicates his power, he abdicates the status of man, and the grinding chaos of the irrational is what he achieves as his sphere of existence-by his own choice.

What I must do is all that concerns me, not what the people think. This rule, equally arduous in actual and in intellectual life, may serve for the whole distinction between greatness and meanness. It is the harder, because you will always find those who think they know what is your duty better than you know it. It is easy in the world to live after the world's opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.

Importance of the WORD

What I learned in the landmark Fourm, was the importance of the word spoken. We create something the moment we talk about it. It just hit me that it is the same what Bible has said 2000 years ago.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.
All things were made through him. Without him was not anything made that has been made.
JOHN 1:1

Happy 46th birthday Jean!

Happy birthday to my best friend and my awesome husband,
May your life be as serene and peaceful as the lighthouse we saw in Maine. Remember the feeling you had when you visited there? Remember:

life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but
by the number of moments that take our breath

My son's contribution to this blog

My older son loves poetry, so he was reading the following poem from "shel silverstein"and said, "mom, I think Solverstien has been to that forum too!"

God says to me with a kind of smile,
"Hey how would you like to be God awhile
And steer the world?"
"Okay," says I, "I'll give it a try.
Where do I set?
How much do I get?
What time is lunch?
When can I quit?"
"Gimme back that wheel," says God."I don't think you're quite ready yet."


DANCE, as though no one is watching
LOVE, as though you've never been hurt before
SING, as though no one can hear you
WORK, as though you don't need the money
LIVE, as though heaven is on earth



My Decleration of my new being!

The possibility that I am inventing for myself and my life is the possibility of being a loving, generous and authentic mom, wife, daughter, sister, friend, daughter-law, colleague & boss.

Some of you may ask, "What is this jargon?!!"... Well, it's a new “being” and you will only understand if you participate in the Landmark Education Forum.

November 12th, was my new beginning. I will never forget the day. Thanks to Jeff and Hari for inspiring me for which beyond these words cannot describe.

They helped me finish my spiritual journey and get in touch with my "God" within me.