Saturday, March 28, 2009

Sufi Rapper: The Spiritual Journey of Abd al Malik

Religion in Review: March 2009 - 3/23/2009 10:40:00 AM - Publishers Weekly
Sufi Rapper: The Spiritual Journey of Abd al Malik
Abd al Malik. Inner Traditions, $16.95 paper (176p) ISBN 978-1-59477-278-8
Successful French rap star al Malik pens this lyrically written and uplifting little memoir. Although his Congolese parents provided an idyllic early childhood for him in Africa, their moving to France subjected him to the merciless environment of the French banlieues (ghettoes). With honesty, al Malik describes his double life: he was a gifted student reading Camus and Sartre, and he made a small fortune picking pockets every weekend, and later dealing drugs. The contrasts of his life eventually led him to Islam and to the nascent African-American rap movement, both helping him to make sense of the debauched lifestyles he saw. As his fame as a rapper increased, he became more and more confused that music was not permissible in Islam. His agonizing dilemma finally led him to a Sufi spiritual leader who helped him realize that his love of music and art were not wrong but part of divine planning. His story is one of a unique individual, a rapper who quotes American novelist Jonathan Franzen, a Muslim man in awe of his wife’s courage as she gives birth to their son. (Apr.)

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Friday, March 27, 2009

A member of the family

Many of us think of our dogs not as pets but as full-fledged members of our families. If you own a dog-or are thinking about getting one-A Member of the Family is the ultimate resource for integrating your canine companion into the life of your household.
What should you do if you need to leave your dog alone at home while everyone is at work? Are you providing him with the exercise he needs? How can you make sure your children and dog get along well? How do events in the human family-such as birth, marriage, or divorce-affect the family dog? All of these questions and many more are answered by bestselling author Cesar Millan in his new book.

See my previous post on Cesar here

Monday, March 23, 2009

N.Y.Times Article:Ancient Chinese Craft Shifts Building Designs in the U.S.

Ancient Chinese Craft Shifts Building Designs in the U.S. - The New York Times
Even the $2.5 billion Riverside South project on the Upper West Side could include some elements of feng shui because of the entry of a group of Hong Kong investors as Donald J. Trump's new partners in developing the site. "It's just another element in which you can have the advantage over your competitors," Mr. Trump said. "Asians are becoming a big part of our market and this is something we can't ignore."

The theory behind feng shui is that a life force flows through all things -- buildings, hills, rivers, power lines, people -- and the manipulation of the force through the proper orientation of physical structures can enhance a person's luck, wealth and good health.

In the Far East, buildings with good feng shui can draw mobs of buyers eager to enhance their fortunes. Bad feng shui, in the opinion of a practitioner, can break a deal in a moment.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Singapore Flyer

Advanced News: Feng Shui and the Singapore Flyer | Heads Up English | ESL Lessons
Advanced News: Feng Shui and the Singapore Flyer
Sunday, 10 August 2008

Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese practice which purports a connection between heaven and earth, both of which directly influence a person's positive energy. Masters of the traditional practice believe that the energy affects prosperity, particularly health, wealth, and personal relationships, and determines favorable places for homes, burial sites, agriculture, and the like. It's now spread outside China, and is often used to ascertain the most favorable arrangement for furniture in homes. It even influences building design, the latest of which is Singapore's observation wheel, the Singapore Flyer.

The Singapore Flyer is the world's largest Ferris wheel, at forty-two storeys tall. It has twenty-eight air-conditioned cars, each of which can hold twenty-eight passengers. The cars face the business district as they rise, and then face the sea and beaches as they complete their journey. But Feng Shui experts iterated that the counter-clockwise rotation of the wheel stole good fortune from the city. The Flyer went against the sun and sent that energy out to sea.

Rather than scoff and dismiss the Feng Shui masters, the chairman of the Flyer considered the recommendations. Singapore may be an ultra-modern city, but many traditional values and beliefs still maintain sway. As a result, it mattered less that the changes cost some six figures (the exact amount remains undisclosed). The chairman justified the expense, likening the change to putting together the perfect ending to a movie.

Many other structures in Asia have had large amounts of money spent in order to tap into the energy. A skyscraper that looked like a giant candle had a pool constructed on the roof, as water puts out fire. Another building was redesigned to include a massive square hole in the middle to follow the dictates of Feng Shui. The wheel, as of August 4th, now rotates clockwise, and brings good fortune to the whole of Singapore.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

"Millionaires don't use Astrology, billionaires do!"

Astrology of Finance
An interesting bit of history reveals that Mr. J.P. Morgan, yes, THE Mr. Morgan, mega-financial tycoon, was quoted as saying, "Millionaires don't use Astrology, billionaires do!" It is a documented fact that Mr. Morgan purchased a ticket for the Titanic's maiden voyage a few weeks prior to her ill-fated departure, as so many of his elitist associates had done. However, J.P. Morgan suddenly changed his itinerary for the South of France. His close friends claim that Mr. Morgan had consulted with his astrologer just prior to changing his travel plans.
J. P. Morgan - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
John Pierpont Morgan (April 17, 1837 – March 31, 1913) was an American financier, banker and art collector who dominated corporate finance and industrial consolidation during his time. In 1892 Morgan arranged the merger of Edison General Electric and Thompson-Houston Electric Company to form General Electric. After financing the creation of the Federal Steel Company he merged the Carnegie Steel Company and several other steel and iron businesses to form the United States Steel Corporation in 1901. He is widely credited with having saved or rescued the U.S. national economy in general—and the federal government in particular—on two separate occasions. He bequeathed much of his large art collection to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and to the Wadsworth Atheneum of Hartford, Connecticut. He died in Rome, Italy, in 1913 at the age of 75, leaving his fortune and business to his son, John Pierpont "Jack" Morgan, Jr.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Latest News:Extravaganza Amsterdam 2009

Two weeks ago,I was in Amsterdam for the w-e for the Extravaganza & it was great !Have not seen Kuala Lumpur in a while so to see Lillian & her team (Connie,Nicky & Jan) & all my classmates was just great.
Congratulations to Lady Lynn !I had a really good time.
Of course i spent most of my time with Marie-Lise,we had 3 years to catch up !Last time we saw each other was in Bodanath,Népal : )
I met some very nice people,it was truly cosmopolitan.A former banker,a diplomat,a Sanskrit scholar...from Spain,Russia,Lebanon,Canada.
I learned a lot about the coming year.For each of the animals signs,the forecast for the different industriesYear of the Ox:hard work brings reward.Got plenty of tips to share,if you are nice to me of course :))
I 've been quite busy since i got back,checking if i updated my FS well,writing,translating but i though i 'll give you some news.

Plenty of good wishes for the year of the Ox !!!


Monday, March 2, 2009

Dipa Ma 's Biography

Read the life story and spiritual teachings of Dipa Ma, a major figure in contemporary Buddhism. She was the teacher of such well-respected western Buddhists as Jack Kornfield, Sharon Salzberg, Joseph Goldstein, Alice Walker and Sylvia Boorstein, among others.

An accomplished yogi, she was an inspired teacher and a devoted mother and grandmother. A woman who found great freedom through profound levels of insight and one who exemplified in her every action immense kindness, generosity, and mindfulness.

Through this unique account of a remarkable woman, together with the reminiscences of her students, many more aspiring practitioners will be inspired by her life and legacy.

Foreword: Sharon Salzberg
Introduction: Joseph Goldstein
Afterword: Jack Kornfield

This book, like Dipa Ma, is simple, straightforward and powerful.
Alice Walker, author of The Color Purple

Link to Wind Horse Publications

Link to Barnes & Noble