A spiritual teacher isn’t an ordinary member of the clergy. They are a perceptive, caring, trustworthy human being who provides one-to-one, in-depth spiritual direction.
Celebrities such as Madonna and Russell Brand, and writers such as Elizabeth Gilbert and Deepak Chopra, have all worked with spiritual teachers. So have millions of people from almost every major religious tradition—as well as millions of others who are spiritual but not religious.
A new book, The User’s Guide to Spiritual Teachers, provides invaluable guidance for anyone who is curious about spiritual teachers—or who wants to work with one but doesn’t know how or where to begin.
This user-friendly book also offers practical wisdom for anyone who already has a spiritual teacher, and wants to make the most of that relationship.
Still more important, The User’s Guide to Spiritual Teachers helps readers spot and avoid the predators, narcissists, charlatans, and cult leaders who call themselves spiritual teachers—and who have ruined many people’s lives
The book’s author, Scott Edelstein, has studied happily and productively with spiritual teachers for the past four decades. A longtime practitioner of both Judaism and Buddhism, he is a committed proponent of serious spirituality in all forms and traditions. As the friend of many spiritual teachers from a variety of traditions, he has also spent much time with them “off duty,” sometimes acting as confidant.
Scott has served as editor and literary agent for several spiritual teachers, including Steve Hagen (author of Buddhism Plain and Simple, Meditation Now or Never, and other books) and Rami Shapiro (author of The Sacred Art of Lovingkindness, Minyan, Recovery: The Sacred Art, and other books).
The User’s Guide to Spiritual Teachers was published on March 21 by Wisdom Publications. Wisdom also published Edelstein’s highly acclaimed previous book, Sex and the Spiritual Teacher, which examines the all-too-common problem of sexual misconduct among spiritual teachers. Natalie Goldberg, author of Writing Down the Bones, said of this book, “Anyone who has a spiritual teacher, or hopes to have one someday, should read this book.” Jean Illsley Clarke, author of Self-Esteem: A Family Affair, wrote, “This is the book we should all read before we need it.”
Edelstein’s website on spiritual teachers, www.thespiritualteachersite.com, provides more information on the subject, as well as book excerpts, related articles, and links to media interviews with Edelstein.
Publishers Weekly: “In this short handbook, Edelstein guides readers through choosing and working with spiritual teachers. Drawing on his four decades of experience working with spiritual teachers as an editor and agent as well as a student, Edelstein addresses a surprisingly wide range of topics to help readers make the most of their relationships with spiritual teachers.”
Kathleen Dowling Singh, author of The Grace in Living: “A small book with a big message.”
David Rynick, author of The Truth Never Fails: “A wonderful resource. This guide is down-to-earth and offers a broader perspective about what to expect and not expect from spiritual teachers.”
Tim Burkett, author of Nothing Holy About It: “Finally, a well thought-out, easy-to-read guide to help folks assess whether a given teacher may be prone to abuse his power over them or is genuinely interested in empowering them.”
James Ishmael Ford, author of If You’re Lucky, Your Heart Will Break: “Scott Edelstein’s guide is simple, practical, and useful. It cuts through most of the confusion in seeking a spiritual guide with the clarity of someone who has been through it all. I recommend it to anyone embarking on the spiritual path, or thinking maybe they should be looking for a spiritual guide.”
The User’s Guide to Spiritual Teachers
By Scott Edelstein
Publisher: Wisdom Publications, Somerville, MA
Release date: March 21, 2017
Trade paperback, $15.95; e-book, $9.99; 182 pages
There’s no denying that most people have a fairly good grasp on their reality. However, why they do what they do is an ultimate question that most take to the grave. Having spent many years refining his work as an NLP practitioner, Brian Costello is one of the few people equipped to answer these conundrums, definitively.
In his powerful and life-changing new book, ‘Breakthrough: A Blueprint For Your Mind’, Costello helps readers understand how they think, before guiding them through a series of small and subtle changes that will affect positive new results in all areas of their life.
Understanding the workings of the mind is a field of endless speculation and endeavour. We are naturally intrigued by the mind’s internal processes and are constantly in search of rational and accessible explanations for human behaviour, emotion and thought. In short, we’re all looking for an answer, even if we don’t always know the right question! Increasingly, people are searching for this understanding through courses, books, coaching, therapy, empowerment events and a whole range of other interventions.
Breakthrough: A Blueprint for your Mind is designed to be a straightforward, accessible guide to the workings of the mind and seeks to answer, in as simple a way as possible, the questions ‘why do I do what I do?’ and ‘how can I change it?’ It is aimed at anyone who would like to learn how to work with the mind in a variety of contexts whether that be personal change, work/career or even teaching, coaching or parenting.
“From personal experience, I explain how the mind, the most complex and elusive machine in existence, works,” explains the author, also Principal of the company, HeadStrong. “The great thing is that you only have to make small tweaks to transform your life – again, like a machine.”
Continuing, “The book really has two parts. The first is the theoretical understanding, which has been explained so simply that even a young teenager can understand it. After that, I guide readers through a series of quick and easy exercises that allows them to make these tiny shifts in their thought processes, and change their existence beyond anything they thought possible.”
Since its release, reviews have been glowing. For example, Helen Monaghan comments, “Brian opens the door and lights the way for you. This is why it is important to do the exercises and ponder his questions. It took me 2 weeks to read this book as I stopped every few pages to either meditate on his words or do the exercises, or both! This is most definitely a book that I will be recommending to my clients.”
Jennifer Wilson adds, “This book, Breakthrough A Blueprint For Your Mind is such a well written, easy to follow guide to your thoughts to help you understand how you think right now and how to make really small, subtle changes that will improve your life. You don’t need to have any prior knowledge or understanding as everything is explained in such an amazing way that even on a bad day, I understand.”
Owen Fitzpatrick, International best selling author & motivational speaker says “You can use this book to say goodbye to the problems which stopped you being all you could be, and you too can live the ultimate, wonderful life that you were born to live”
‘Breakthrough: A Blueprint For Your Mind’, from Riverclyde Books, is available now.
Further info at http://rcbks.com/breakthrough.
Copies can also be purchased from Amazon: http://amzn.to/2lGqmaM.
About the Author:
Top mind expert Brian Costello, whose work has been featured on national TV and Radio and in national newspapers and magazines, is the principal of HeadStrong. He has developed a range of interventions that combine his expertise in psychology, NLP, hypnosis, coaching and personal empowerment techniques.
Brian first studied NLP and hypnosis in 2003 and it was the incredible personal changes he made in his own life, using the techniques and skills he now teaches, that changed his focus from one of corporate success to one of helping as many people as he could, make the changes they desired, really, really quickly. It is this personal investment that makes Brian Costello such a passionate trainer and coach. He knows what it is like to change your life – he has experienced it himself.
In 2007, after 4 years of developing and studying the world of NLP and personal change, Brian left behind a successful corporate career as part of a groundbreaking team managing projects across the UK and Europe and HeadStrong was born.
Since those early days, Brian’s work has helped countless individuals with personal issues and challenges. He is invited to speak at events across the country and trains, coaches and consults with major companies such as AXA Insurance, Glasgow City, Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire Councils, Razzamataz Theatre Schools, DMC Fitness, Barclays Wealth, RBS and many more.
In 2011 Brian teamed up with “The Peoples Coach” Steve Burns to create the Scottish Centre of NLP, a training organisation dedicated to delivering exceptional NLP and personal development training. In a few short years, the SCNLP have trained some of the most talented practitioners and therapists in the country, brought internationally recognised Master Trainers such as Owen Fitzpatrick to Scotland as part of the Master Practitioner Program and are creating a new standard for integrity, knowledge and application of NLP.
This is Brian’s first book and will begin a series to be published over the next few years. His second book, Cracking The Teen Code is currently in preparation and will be published on 2017.
It’s a scary fact that narcissists walk among us every day. If you’re like most people, you know at least one of these infuriating and impossible individuals—and chances are you know even more! Sadly, it’s not always easy to recognize a narcissist from the moment you meet (they’re sneaky that way!). But fortunately, Dr. Mark Goulston has unlocked the secrets to identifying and dealing with the irrational people in your life.
“It’s easy to get enmeshed with narcissists because they are deceptively charming when they want to be,” says Mark Goulston, MD, author of “Just Listen: Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone(AMACOM, 2015, ISBN: 978-0-814-43647-9, $17.95) and Talking to Crazy: How to Deal with the Irrational and Impossible People in Your Life (AMACOM, 2015, ISBN: 978-0-814-43636-3, $24.95,www.markgoulston.com). “The earlier you can spot a narcissist, the better are the chances that you’ll be able to distance yourself and sidestep getting tangled in their web of drama.”
Goulston points out that narcissist behavior can include everything from lies and manipulation, to doublespeak, fearmongering, guilt tripping, self-centeredness, and every bad behavior in between. He points out that if you have to deal with a narcissist at work or in your personal life, it can take a real toll on your happiness and quality of life over time.
“The best way to deal with a narcissist is to avoid them,” adds Goulston. “But first you have to know what to look for. My Narcissist Inventory is an essential checklist for identifying suspected narcissists.”
Keep reading for Goulston’s Narcissist Inventory quiz followed by his no-fail strategy to stop narcissistic abuse instantly.
To use the Narcissist Inventory, rate the person on a 1-to-3 scale (1 = rarely; 2 = sometimes; 3 = frequently):
- How often does the person need to be right at all costs?
- How often does the person act impatient with you for no good reason?
- How often does the person interrupt you in the middle of what you’re saying, and yet take offense if you interrupt?
- How often does the person expect you to drop whatever you’re thinking about and listen to him or her—and does the person take offense when you expect the same in return?
- How often does the person talk more than he or she listens?
- How often does the person say, “Yes, but,” “That’s not true,” “No,” “However,” or “Your problem is”?
- How often does the person resist and resent doing something that matters to you, just because it’s inconvenient?
- How often does the person expect you to cheerfully do something that’s inconvenient for you?
- How often does the person expect you to accept behavior that he or she would refuse to accept from you?
- How often does the person fail to say, “Thank you,” “I’m sorry,” “Congratulations,” or “Excuse me” when it’s called for?
To score your inventory, add up the total:
10-16 = The person is cooperative.
17-23 = The person is argumentative.
24-30 = The person is a narcissist.
Of course, there may be circumstances in which you must deal with a narcissist. For those moments when you are forced to endure someone’s inappropriate behavior, keep this strategy in mind. It will shut down a narcissistic rant or attack in seconds flat.
- Identify who he or she is by using the above inventory.
- Never expect him or her to not act in a condescending and controlling manner (so you won’t be caught off guard or blindsided when they do).
- When they act in that manner, look them straight in the eye, unfazed, and let them finish whatever they’re saying.
- When they finish, pause for 2-4 seconds (which will cause them to realize their usual MO didn’t work on you).
- Then say, calmly, firmly, and looking into their eyes, “Please repeat everything you said in the last few minutes, especially about what you want me to do, in a normal tone of voice. I have an uncontrollable habit of tuning people out when they are yelling, talking at, or talking down to me, and if what you said was important for me to hear, I’m afraid you’re going to have to tell it to me again.”
“Here’s the bottom line,” concludes Goulston. “If you don’t learn to manage the narcissists you encounter in daily life, they will control you—or at least make you very unhappy. The sooner you know the red flags to look out for, the better off you’ll be. It’s better to say ‘no, thanks’ and get out of the danger zone than be a casualty of someone’s jerkish abuse.”
About the Author:
Mark Goulston, MD, is the author of “Just Listen” and Talking to Crazy. He is a speaker, advisor, activist, writer, syndicated columnist, radio co-host, former UCLA professor, FBI hostage negotiation trainer, and the author of seven books.
About the Books:
“Just Listen: Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone(AMACOM, 2015, ISBN: 978-0-814-43647-9, $17.95) and Talking to Crazy: How to Deal with the Irrational and Impossible People in Your Life (AMACOM, 2015, ISBN: 978-0-814-43636-3, $24.95, www.markgoulston.com) are available from major online booksellers.
“In the steps of Thomas Pakenham, TreeGirl has produced a unique work that combines a personal (physical & spiritual) ecopsychological connection with a historical and naturalist’s understanding of trees. TreeGirl’s iconic book is an artful mix of the female and arboreal form.”
—Dr. Joe Hinds, Psychologist & Psychotherapist, co-author of Ecotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice
Affinity for trees is embedded in the human psyche. For Julianne Skai Arbor – photographer, certified arborist, conservation educator, and forest ecotherapist – trees are her secret love. In her spectacular new book, TreeGirl: Intimate Encounters with Wild Nature, Arbor, a.k.a. TreeGirl, invites readers to share her love of the wildness and grandeur of Nature through more than 150 stunning photographs of herself and other women gracefully intertwined nude with fifty species of trees in thirteen countries. The captioned images are complemented with each species natural history and ethnobotany, and by five essays on the ecopsychology, science and spirituality of the human-tree relationship.
There is no other book quite like TREEGIRL: Intimate Encounters With Wild Nature. Not just a nature photography book, this work is truly interdisciplinary weaving evocative images, essays, and personal stories to remind us that amidst the craziness of our modern technological culture and unprecedented climate crisis, we humans are Nature and connecting deeply with Nature is truly healing.
As Arbor explains, “Imagine if we completely open our hearts to Nature and fall in love over and over again with the sacredness of this life force . . . I invite us modern humans to become re-enchanted with Nature, to experience intimacy and soulful engagement with trees and our more-than-human companions on this Earth . . . I have found my secret love in the plant kin-dom of trees. I encourage you to find your secret love in Nature as well – to find your wild within.”
Since 1995, the author has traveled the world from Northern California, to Australia and Oceana, to Europe, to the plains of Africa in search of breathtaking trees. Once she finds one that she connects with, she sheds her clothes, scales the trunk and limbs, and photographs herself in authentic connection with the tree. The resulting photographs are gorgeous and awe-inspiring, inspiring the reader to find their own sensorial connection with nature.
Arbor’s well-researched essays holistically address not only her unique life experiences with trees, but the human-tree relationship as well. In Lovers, the author presents a dreamy tale of her sensual, transmutational encounter with a tree. In Tree Affinity, she discusses the biology and psychology of why people are attracted to trees. Her essay Touch Trees presents a holistic view of arboriculture – the science of taking care of trees, while The Goddess and the Green Man is the story of Arbor’s spiritual experiences with trees as female and male Nature archetypes. The last chapter Rewilding offers seven accessible ways for people to connect with Nature to “rewild” themselves – from taking forest bathing walks, making physical contact with the earth, to listening to the more-than-human world.
Beautifully designed and printed, TREEGIRL: Intimate Encounters With Wild Nature serves as both a personal photographic record of Julianne Skai Arbor’s intimate experiences as well as a scientifically grounded look at the importance of trees and the threats that many species now face. This unique book will awaken the readers’ own inner yearnings to find connection and companionship within Nature. As photographer Erica Mueller, founder of the Embody Project says, “TREEGIRL: Intimate Encounters With Wild Nature is the perfect marriage: gorgeous nude fine-art photography book meets arboriculturist’s master class. TreeGirl has set a new precedent for us all to see ? and know ? ourselves as one with wild Nature.”
About the author:
Julianne Skai Arbor a.k.a TreeGirl is the author of TREEGIRL: Intimate Encounters With Wild Nature. She has been on the forefront of the fields of ecotherapy and nature connection since she began creating self-portraits with trees in 1995. Certified as an arborist through the International Society of Arboriculture and as a California naturalist through the University of California, Arbor has taught interdisciplinary college-level conservation education for over ten years, including pioneering the first program in environmental arts.
Julianne Skai Arbor holds graduate degrees in environmental Education and Arts and Consciousness Studies, and is continuing her studies in Forestry and Climate Change. With her passion for trees she creates an experiential bridge to connect people with nature through forest ecotherapy, portrait sessions, and immersive nature retreats with trees around the world. She lives in Sonoma County, California amidst the native oak and coast redwood trees. Her gallery of images can be found at www.TreeGirl.org.