spiritual

After sitting at the feet of Martin Luther King at the University of Michigan in 1963, Larry Brilliant was swept up into the civil rights movement, marching and protesting across America and Europe. As a radical young doctor he followed the hippie trail from London over the Khyber Pass with his wife Girija, Wavy Gravy and the Hog Farm commune to India. There, he found himself in a Himalayan ashram wondering whether he had stumbled into a cult. Instead, one of India’s greatest spiritual teachers, Neem Karoli Baba, opened Larry’s heart and told him his destiny was to work for the World Health Organization to help eradicate killer smallpox. He would never have believed he would become a key player in eliminating a 10,000-year-old disease that killed more than half a billion people in the 20th century alone.

He's led a Forrest Gumpian life and his story is recounted in his new book, Sometimes Brilliant: The Impossible Adventure of a Spiritual Seeker and Visionary Physician Who Helped Conquer the Worst Disease in History.

  On August 3, 2016, Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) will present Hannibal Lokumbe’s work for full orchestra, soloists and choir, “One Land, One River, One People,” on the Opening Night of The Philadelphia Orchestra’s SPAC residency. SPAC’s program will be only the second complete performance of the work which was commissioned by The Philadelphia Orchestra. The work had its world premiere in November 2015 at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia.

Described by the composer Hannibal Lokumbe as a “spiritorio,” a term that encompasses the work’s libretto and choir elements and its influences from blues, jazz and spirituals, the work speaks to the universality of human struggle, injustice and ultimately, spirituality.

Vocal accompaniment for The Philadelphia Orchestra’s performance will be provided by soprano Laquita Mitchell, tenor Rodrick Dixon, and combined choirs of Morgan State University and Albany Pro Musica. Conductor Stéphane Denève will lead the performance.

Andrew Solomon will be at Oblong Books on 5/14.   (This interview names the incorrect date for the event.)

  Far and Away collects Andrew Solomon’s writings about places undergoing seismic shifts—political, cultural, and spiritual.

Chronicling his stint on the barricades in Moscow in 1991, when he joined artists in resisting the coup whose failure ended the Soviet Union, his 2002 account of the rebirth of culture in Afghanistan following the fall of the Taliban, his insightful appraisal of a Myanmar seeped in contradictions as it slowly, fitfully pushes toward freedom, and many other stories of profound upheaval, this book provides a unique window onto the very idea of social change.

  One in four Americans reject any affiliation with organized religion, and nearly half of those under thirty describe themselves as “spiritual but not religious.” But as the airwaves resound with the haranguing of preachers and pundits, who speaks for the millions who find no joy in whittling the wonder of existence to a simple yes/no choice?

Lesley Hazleton does in her book, Agnostic: A Spirited Manifesto.

  Jason Elias is a leading healing arts practitioner of acupuncture and herbal medicine for over three decades shares his astonishing quest for personal healing while learning the art of healing others.

His memoir, Kissing Joy As It Flies, is inspired by many masters, some luminaries of psychological and somatic healing modalities of the late 20th century, and others renowned spiritual guides.

He believes that stories carry true meaning and share universal principles across cultures, races, genders, and creeds to shed light on dark places.

He practices acupuncture and herbal medicine in New York State where his journey toward healing and wholeness continues.

Thomas Moore was a monk for twelve years, a musician, a university professor, and a psychotherapist. He writes regularly for Psychology Today, The Huffington Post, Spirituality & Health, and Resurgence Magazine. He lectures widely on holistic medicine, spirituality, psychotherapy, and the arts. Moore has been awarded numerous honors, including the Humanitarian Award from Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University and an honorary doctorate from Lesley University.

    Drawing from his years of experience as a teacher, spiritual leader, and avid meditator, Edward Viljoen has written The Power of Meditation: An Ancient Technique to Access Your Inner Power.

The book is a guide to the benefits of meditation practices will help readers cultivate a calm, peaceful, and enlightened lifestyle.

    

  Ann Hood’s 13th novel is The Obituary Writer.

The story goes back and forth in time between 1919 San Francisco, when obituary writer Vivien Lowe searches for the man she lost in the Great Earthquake of 1906, and 1961 Washington, DC, when Claire, a young wife and mother, struggles to decide whether to follow the man she loves or stay in her secure marriage.