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A Restrospective on the Tranquil Space Arlington Book Group

Aug 18, 2014 // by admin // Blog, books, Yoga // 3 Comments

Last night marked the 17th meeting of the Tranquil Space Arlington Book Group. We’ve met 4 to 6 times a year since October 2011 and have had some incredible discussions. In light of forthcoming 18th meeting (November 16, 2014) and 3 year anniversary in early fall, here’s the list of everything we’ve read and discussed so far:

August 2014—Yoga Body: The Origins of Modern Posture Practice by Mark Singleton

May 2014—Gita Wisdom by Joshua Greene

February 2014—Yoga Gems: A Treasury of Practical and Spiritual Wisdom from Ancient and Modern Masters by Georg Feuerstein Ph.D.

January 2014—Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn

October 2013—Yoga Body, Buddha Mind by Cindi Lee

August 2013—The Secret Power of Yoga by Nischala Joy Devi

June 2013—Mindfulness in Plain English: 20th Anniversary Edition by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana

April 2013—The Tao Te Ching as interpreted by Stephen Mitchell

February 2013—Happy Yoga, by Steve Ross

December 2012—Bringing Yoga to Life by Donna Farhi

October 2012—The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff

August 2012—Yoga & the Path of the Urban Mystic by Darren Main

June 2012—Comfortable with Uncertainty by Pema Chodron

April 2012—Poser: My Life in 23 Yoga Poses by Claire Dederer

February 2012—Myths of the Asanas by Alanna Kaivalya

December 2011—The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

October 2011—Hand Wash Cold: Care Instructions for an Ordinary Life by Karen Maezen Miller

The book group has been a blast these last 3 years and I expect more lively and provocative discussions as we continue. Our 18th meeting will be on November 16, 2014, 7:30-8:30 PM at Tranquil Space Arlington. We will discuss Journey into Power by Baron Baptiste.

A list of dates and books for 2015 is being developed. Leave a comment here with any recommendations for future book group selections.

Hand Wash Cold

Oct 16, 2011 // by admin // Blog, books, Yoga // 6 Comments

Tonight was the inaugural meeting of the Tranquil Space Arlington bi-monthly book club. We read Hand Wash Cold by Karen Maezen Miller for our inaugural book. This book relates life and life experiences to the seemingly mundane activities that we perform in and around the house – the laundry, the kitchen, and the yard. We spent an hour sharing our thoughts about the book, sharing quotes that we found that resonated with each of us, and realizing that although our situations may be different, we all share similar experiences and have similar things going on in our lives. The discussion was wonderful and everyone shared. Here’s a collection of some of the quotes from the book that resonated most with me (there are many more) and some pictures from the evening.

our set up in the tea lounge at TSA

“It’s the things we fear that chase us down, that haunt and hobble us until they inevitably overtake us and leave us with the weary self-fulfillment we were so afraid of.” (pg 71)

“Unconditional love does not pick and choose. This love comes without judgment but not without action.” (pg 83)

the favors, made by co-book club leader Clare

“Life arrives in a precise and yet unplanned sequence to deliver exactly what we need in order to realize our greatest potential.” (pg 64)

“Happiness is simple. Everything we do to find it is complicated.” (pg 33)

“The world needs a homemaker – me – to make a home within it.” (pg 66)

setting up the favors

“We are not the designers of our lives. Life is the designer of us.” (pg 63)

“Somewhere deep in my skin was the capacity for untarnished joy and freedom. How could I find it again?” (pg 33)

“We can only love the world we wake up to. The world where things change, dishes get dirty, we age, we get sick, and, one day, we die.” (pg 113)

our book club group (minus me)

“Attention is the most concrete expression of love. What we pay attention to thrives. What we do not pay attention to withers and dies.” (pg 130)

“when we release ourselves from judgment and inadequacy, we free everyone else from our criticism and blame.” (pg 26)

me, Clare, & Sarah (co-leaders of the book club) - Big, big, big thank you to Clare & Sarah for making this such a great night - it would not have been the same without them.

“There’s really nothing more to it. For your own peace of mind, get rid of any three-letter word that you might automatically insert before now. As in the or not. Take those out and put nothing else in. Get rid of the idea that now is anything but right here: where you are, as you are.” (pg 106)

“Sort the light from the dark, the delicate from the indestructible, and the heavy duty from the hand wash cold. Empty the basket, and empty it again. That’s the wonderful thing about laundry: it never ends.” (pg 169)

As you can see, there were many elements of this book that resonated with me. Our hour of discussion hit on many of the quotes or elements above in one way or another. We talked about multi-tasking, paying attention, letting go, doing laundry, doing the dishes, and gardening. We talked about life and how life happens. I often like to say that life happens when you least expect it, let it happen. And that is something that I took away from this book. It was filled with some things I knew, some things I had never thought about, and many things that I should remember day in and day out. I have numerous passages highlighted to use at the end of my future yoga classes and expect this will be among the books that I go back to over and over again. I’m excited about our next meeting in December. Happy Reading!

Have you read any good books lately? Any must-read recommendations?