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Spiritual Teachings I love

Spiritual Teachings I love.

Of late I have been reading Thich Nhat Hanh, The Art of Power (HarperOne, 2007). This is a beautiful book. It’s about true power, the power that comes from within, from the wellspring of goodness and truth within our souls.

I love what this spiritual teacher says about renewal and about the practice of love and mindfulness. So inspiring. I have just reached the part of the book where Thich Nhat Hanh talks about the declarations of love: “Darling, I am really here for you” is the first declaration. The second is, “Darling, I know you are there and it makes me happy.” And the third is, “Darling, I know you suffer. That’s why I am here for you.”
It’s wonderful to read these statements; they lead me into a deep reverie about love. I end up thinking about my beloveds and deeply sending them my love.
I also have been thinking about a Pathwork lesson on redemption. In general, I am guarded about the Pathwork. It’s not my path, it’s not for me. I find it harsh, rigid, inflexible, and unkind. But there are some interesting and compelling ideas in the Pathwork lectures, which were channeled by Eva Pierrakos, the wife of Core Energetics founder Dr. John Pierrakos.
The lecture in mind was about making restitution after real guilt. “Real guilt” is distinct from “false guilt.” We all do terrible things; that’s part of the human condition. Each of us has a shadow. The work of any spiritual path is to own and integrate the shadow.
At the same time, if we do something terrible, we feel badly about it–unless we’re a sociopath. Fortunately, in the spiritual traditions, there’s a method for returning to self-esteem, for rectification.
The steps are: own the action, apologize for it from the heart, and make restitution. This is about taking responsibility for our own actions. It is liberating, it is empowering. It is one of the foundations of the art of power.
Thought for the Day, HuffPo, and Blog Tour
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Thought for the Day, HuffPo, and Blog Tour

Today’s thought:

“Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.”   Siddhārtha Gautama Buddha

Here’s the link to my recent HuffPo Blog on Censorship, Eros and Assplay.

And here are some recent great blogtour stops:

Chicklitcentral, Review and Giveaway: “I really enjoyed reading The Love of My (Other) Life… My favorite part was how Traci L. Slatton decided to end the book, it was a bit of a twist and made me happy to read. I look forward to seeing more from Traci L. Slatton in the future!”

The Little Black Book Blog: “I loved the concept behind the story. Every decision you make can lead you on very different paths in your life. I also enjoyed the way it was written.”

Chicklitclub posted my thoughts on why Tessa is a strong female character.

And coming soon, FALLEN in Spanish. Already available in Kindle.


Guru Purnima

Guru Purnima

Guru Purnima

I enjoy the holidays of many religions. Today July 3 was Guru Purnima, the day of celebrating divine teachers. The word “Guru” breaks down into “Gu” darkness and “Ru” dispel, eliminate. So this day is a day to honor the teachers who bring divine light to dispel ignorance.

Many teachers throughout the years have blessed me with their wisdom and light. To all of them I say: Thank you. To my teachers both in and out of the diverse schools I’ve attended: Thank you. My life is richer and brighter because of all those beings who have graciously shared their light with me.

Thank you also to the wonderful Komilla Sutton who has guided me in mantras and jyotish. I recommend her heartily.


My recent post on HuffPo: What I’m learning about life from writing novels…
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My recent post on HuffPo: What I’m learning about life from writing novels…

Writing novels is at the very core of my life. It follows that I take my craft as a novelist seriously. It’s about continual improvement, about personal best. I feel fortunate that I’ve chosen a profession–an obsession, really–that offers me an opportunity to grow throughout my life, even unto the day they pry my cold, stiff fingers off the keyboard and lay me in a plain, pine box. It’s not like, say, dance, which is over sometime in your 30’s. Your brain can keep forming connections and laying down new pathways. Look at Shakespeare’s THE TEMPEST, written when he was no longer young. It’s some of his best writing. The language of that play is sheer beauty.

But I also want to improve as a human being. Writing is so integral to my life that it becomes a springboard from which I launch into almost all other pursuits, endeavors, tasks, responsibilities, roles, and recreations.

Here’s my recent posting on the Huffington Post, in which I wrote:

So, what is story? I ask myself this question every time I sit down at my computer and stare with a peculiar mixture of dread and anticipation at an empty white document page. I’ve attended workshops, read books, interrogated famous authors, and even matriculated in a creative writing graduate program to figure out the answer. The pared-down statement above was taken from screenwriters, who often tackle the issue best. Some novelists seem to look down on screenwriters, but those people deal with story every day, in its palpable, unvarnished essence. They get it right, they make a movie and they eat. Otherwise, not so much. So they’re not kidding around. They have something to teach us novelists.

Indeed, all sorts of people have something useful to teach me. Condescension doesn’t behoove me — respect does. I never know who will toss me the next meaty nugget about writing, or about living.

Also, I don’t want my life to be story-like. I don’t want my life filled with conflict and obstacle, which is how a good writer toys with her characters, prevents them from fulfilling their desires, and sucks in readers. I want my life to be smooth, like the most elegantly milled vanilla ice cream. Peace nourishes my creativity; when my life calms, my mind fills with intriguing possibilities.

Read the article here.


writing novels, Fallen
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Saturday, February 19, 7-9 PM.

Gallery 300

300 WEST 22nd Street@ 8th Ave.

Sculptor SABIN HOWARD’s magnificent bronze statues of Greek gods become the focal point of Jungian astrologer and mythologist MONTY TAYLOR’s insights into the psyche and soul revelations that the sculptures bring to life, in a lecture tour at the Sabin Howard Gallery on 22nd & 8th in NYC.

Entitled “HEROES OF THE INNER VOYAGE”, the lecture tour will blend Monty’s mythological (and related astrological) insights with Sabin’s heart-centered visual expressions of the timeless self. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to experience high art and timeless wisdom and be uplifted in the process.

Admission is FREE. All are welcome within space limitations. Please RSVP today either on Facebook or to MontgomeryTaylor22@nyc.rr.com

to reserve a place on the Guest List.



Check out a preview of these magnificent works at www.sabinhoward.com. Read more about Jungian astrologer and mythologist Monty Taylor at www.astrologydemystified.com.


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Brene Brown: The power of vulnerability | Video on TED.com

Brene Brown: The power of vulnerability | Video on TED.com

Over the last several years, I have been given a wonderful opportunity: I’ve been repeatedly attacked by someone in my life, through litigation, character assassination, poison emails, contemptuous letters, and screaming episodes that occur both in public and on the phone.
It has been unpleasant. Often sad. Certain therapists, who are infected with the false notion that “It takes two to tango,” eg, two parties necessarily participate equally in high conflict situations, refuse to see that it is happening. This is one of the problems with current psychotherapy. Fortunately, a few therapists are starting to see beyond those kinds of cheap, untrue platitudes.
So I know for a fact that, in a conflict, if one person wants to fight, the other person’s best efforts at conciliation may fail. Because despite years of my returning kindness for blame and excoriation, the persons involved in this situation are not amenable to any kind of peace. Some people are committed to their own malice, hate, and vengefulness.
The opportunity here, despite the profound discomfort, is to reaffirm my self-worth internally. It’s for me to see myself as worthy of love and connection in the face of someone desperately wanting me to feel unworthy. To do this, I have had to come to some awakenings. One is that other people’s feelings and actions have absolutely nothing to do with me. They do what they do because that’s who they are. Someone who acts with constant nastiness and negativity has that internally with which to act. It’s no reflection of me.
Another awakening is something beautifully articulated in the video above: “Blame is a way to discharge pain and discomfort.” I never articulated it to myself this way, but I had a sense of it. I came to this understanding, which correlates with the first one, by way of realizing that if even five percent of what these people say about me were true, I would be Adolph Hitler or Genghis Khan. I simply am not.
But they really, really want me to feel bad.
And that is about them, not about me.
So it has been a gift. And it is a gift that has led me deeper into my heart. Because it makes me feel vulnerable, to be so constantly attacked. And in that vulnerability, I have come to recommit to my own courage, to offer myself compassion, and to tell my story with my whole heart. I affirm my imperfections. I love with all that I am despite the lack of guarantees–though, to be sure, this is for me a daily practice, not a fixed endpoint. Another practice I cultivate is one of gratitude.
So I recommend the TED.com video posted above: it’s a shortcut to the learning that I came to via unpleasantness. And it’s great fun! May all who read this blog know their own self-worth, and find in their hearts both their frailty and their lovableness.