Notable Books

Notable Books 29

Something New

The One True Adventure: Theosophy and the Quest for Meaning, Joy Mills, Foreword by John Algeo, Theosophical Publishing House, Quest Books, 2008, Pages xiv + 361, $24.95 paperback.

Notable Books 29 B

Joy Mills has left us Theosophist quite a legacy with her talks and her writings. This book is a collection of some of her best presentations and publications. It is perfect for any study group, or individual. The compilers explain how the selections were chosen and best of all, Joy seems to have the last word on their selection and order.

The book is divided into four themes: The Human Condition, Our Hidden Potential, Esoteric Teachings, and Self-Transformation. There are numerous items in the Reference section for follow-up and an adequate Index.

Even though I served on several committees with Joy for twelve years and made three visits to Ojai when Joy was at Krotona, I was struck at the depth of the articles. I knew Joy read widely and integrated much of what she read into her Theosophical philosophy, but found a large number of her selections to be worthy of long term study. Also, for those who knew Joy, it is easy to hear her ‘speaking’ what she wrote. Whether she was speaking or writing, her phrasing remained consistent.
This book is for the beginner and the longtime member. If you don’t have your personal copy, I would urge you to pick one up today.

As I write this review, I have many memories of working with Joy. Here is a personal photo of my first visit to Krotona. The student housing was just a future project that Joy was excited about. We had been walking around looking at the sites where they were going to be built. Also, Virginia Hanson had joined us.

Notable Books 29 C

Krotona 1982, from left to right: Virginia Hanson, Ralph Hannon and Joy Mills

Something Old

Yoga for your Spiritual Muscles: A Complete Yoga Program to Strengthen Body and Spirit, Rachel Schaeffer, Theosophical Publishing House, Quest Books, 1998, Pages xi + 195, $26.95.

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I have been practicing yoga for over 12 years. I have an extensive collection of books; not only of the asanas (poses), but the underlying philosophy behind yoga and its 8 limbs. However, I am embarrassed to say that I only ran across Rachel Schaeffer’s book about 3 months ago from my massage therapist. The reason for missing it all these years is because it is a larger than ‘normal’ books; it is what they call an ‘oversize’ book. I tend to not look at those when I peruse the book stores.

Rachel did her teacher training Kripalu which is a very well known. It is located in Stockbridge, MA . I have never been to their campus, but I do have a daughter that lives less than 3 hours away, so I’m due for a future visit. The area is beautiful, and I have friends who have visited Kripalu and love the place. After discovering this book, I plan on doing some of their many actives they have in the future.

At first glance, this book appears to resemble most of the better yoga books currently available. There are many pictures of many poses along with detailed directions. But it’s the extras that I missed when I first skimmed the 200 hundred pages the first time. For example, she not only recommends keeping a yoga journal of your practice, she gives good suggestions and on ‘how’ and ‘why’. It took me about 5 years to discover what she recommended. Perhaps the most important part is the beginning: What Are Spiritual Muscles? This is really all the introduction you need.

You will realize very quickly that you’ll need to find a quality teacher to assist you on this path. From this book, you’ll know what kind of teacher you are searching for.

There were two things that felt added real value to this book. The first is one of the models is a young Stephen Cope. Currently, Stephen is Scholar-In-Residence and Kripalu Ambassador. He is also a psychotherapist, a national best-selling author, and still a Kripalu Yoga teacher. The books Stephen has written are very good, and I recommend all of them.

Lastly, is a one page spread on ‘Invisible Touch Massage’ or what we call in the Society Therapeutic Touch. And ‘yes’, Dora Kunz is mentioned!

This is such a good book, and if you practice yoga, it is worth your investment. Below is the blurb from the back cover of the book and Kripalu’s web site. For more up-to-date information, you can Google her name.

The author, Rachel Schaeffer, M.A., is a certified teacher of Kripalu Yoga. Trained in Yoga Therapy, Intensive Dance Therapy, and Positive Pregnancy and Parenting Fitness, she teaches yoga and wellness courses as well as coaching private clients. She lives in New Jersey. For more information Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health--dedicated to creating a more conscious and compassionate world.

Note from the editor:

The category Notable Books on Theosophy Forward is compiled by Ralph Hannon


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