This is very interesting news. I have been seeing posters for this person in shop windows and advertisements in margins of magazines.
It costs money to print that stuff and the money has to come from some place.
And it does not fall from the sky, either.
Santa Fe, NM (PRWEB) February 22, 2011
Nicole Grace, Buddhist monk, mystic and award-winning author is the feature interview published in the January/February issue of Nexus, Colorado's premier healthy-living magazine for over 30 years. The article, available online or in hard copy at newsstands throughout Colorado, is titled,"Glimpsing Enlightenment: An Interview with Nicole Grace." The article begins 2011 with an inspiring account of the Bodhisattva path and of Ms. Grace's journey towards enlightenment. It takes an intimate and practical look at the Bodhisattva Way and how she successfully follows it in today's world. One of only six people interviewed each year by Ravi Dykema, the owner and Publisher of Nexus, Ms. Grace's interview provides a rare glimpse of the spiritual experiences that have drawn so many diverse seekers from around the world to her teachings and to her award-winning books. Ravi expressed immediate interest in interviewing Ms. Grace after reading "Bodhisattva: How To Be Free, Teachings To Guide You Home." He wrote, "I am very impressed. She says in a short poem what many books take pages to say. So her message leaves a deeper impression, like the one scene from a long novel you always remember."
Ms. Grace, a bodhisattva herself (a being dedicated to the enlightenment of others) has been teaching the Bodhisattva Way for over a decade now, reaching thousands around the world. She clarified her inclusive philosophy in a November 2010 interview with Vision Magazine editor Sydney Murray: "I teach a mystical approach to spirituality, which is essentially, how to have a direct experience of enlightenment. I also draw from Hinduism and Christian mysticism."
As part of her national book tour for "Bodhisattva: How To Be Free", Ms. Grace recently visited close to a dozen different locations around the country, receiving standing-room-only turnouts at each event. "Bodhisattva" guides spiritual seekers from all faiths and traditions towards a deeper and more intimate understanding of the peace and preciousness of our lives. Inspired by the beauty of the California coastline and the great vistas of New Mexico, as well as other powerful places in nature, the verses and teachings in the book guide the reader to spiritual "aha" moments.
The book won the USA Book News 2010 Book Award in two categories: Poetry/Inspirational and Spirituality/Inspirational. These prestigious awards publicly recognize the impact that Ms. Grace's book is having on people around the country. Achieving record-breaking sales at each of Ms. Grace's book signings, including events in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Denver and Sedona, "Bodhisattva" and its profound life-affirming message are obviously what people are looking for during these challenging times. "When Nicole Grace appeared," said Kris Neri, the co-owner of Well Red Coyote Bookstore in Sedona, AZ, "I truly felt I was in the presence of someone holy and exceptional, but she's also a teacher who shares her wisdom with humor and a worldly awareness."
For more information about the book or upcoming events visit: bodhisattvabook.com.
About Nicole Grace:
Nicole Grace is a Buddhist monk, mystic and author. For over a decade, she has taught Buddhism, mysticism and meditation, as well as personal and professional development seminars to thousands of people around the world. She is the author of "Bodhisattva: How To Be Free, Teachings To Guide You Home" (Mani Press 2010) and a USA Book News 2010 Book Award winner in two categories. She is also the author of the award-winning book, "Mastery At Work: 18 Keys For Achieving Success, Fulfillment And Joy In Any Profession" (Mani Press, 2005).
Praise for "Bodhisattva: How To Be Free, Teachings To Guide You Home":
"In Buddhism, a bodhisattva is a seeker who, upon nearing enlightenment, turns back to devote him- or herself to helping others gain enlightenment too...Grace, an ordained monk, is an excellent expositor of Buddhist thinking. [She] lucidly explains a number of the religion's basic tenets and provides an incisive introduction to the uninitiated."
"The focus on spiritual awakening never falters in this book. Many poems successfully transform personal reflection into a moving message...Those who look to poetry for spiritual understanding will value this book. The last poem, 'Language of Eternity,' takes the reader beyond words to reach that goal." * * * * Four Stars (out of 5)
- ForeWord Clarion
"It is difficult to describe just how much Ms. Grace's poetry spoke to and touched me...memorable words of wisdom that Grace's lyric voice delivers to her readers...the poems are unified in Grace's skilled presentation and conscientious attention to her message, while she balances straightforward emotional honesty with her relish in language and linguistic play."
- Norm Goldman, Book Pleasures
"This book is a breath of freshness. It sings loudly the profound messages of the Buddha in the practice of compassion and tolerance."
- Ashi Kesang Wangmo Wangchuck, Her Royal Highness of Bhutan
"These teachings are jewels of wisdom and, yes, even enlightenment given up in delicate offerings. These words were for me, to be savored over and over again divulging wisdom for our lives. I know that all of my life can be more fully lived through the lens of her words. I savor them. And so will you."
- Sydney L. Murray, Vision Magazine
For more information, contact: info(at)bodhisattvabook(dot)com
Dreaming Bhutan: A Passage Into Grace
A Conversation with Nicole Grace
by Sydney L. Murray
vital force: (n.) the force that animates and perpetuates living beings and organisms
It has never stopped astounding me, the words that Nicole Grace offers in her teachings, which have always resonated so deeply within me. From her new poetic book, “Dreaming Bhutan,” and speaking with her today, I am reminded once again, she is an incredibly important teacher. Her demeanor and, again, her words are a balm to my soul and actually have revived me to once again seek my center, my vital source.
Vision Magazine:Our theme this month is modern culture. How do you think we can live in our modern world and live a fulfilling life?
Nicole Grace:I am glad you asked. I would say that is one of the fundamental teachings I have wanted to communicate for years: the idea that everyone can have a spiritual life, a fulfilling life, without having to be on some formal pathway of spiritual evolution. You don’t have to have a certain kind of life [or] a certain set of circumstances in order to be fulfilled - circumstances that usually entail living outside of the modern world, such as in a monastery, in a loincloth, on a mountaintop in some place in India living apart from civilization, removing oneself from the stress and distractions of life.
In fact, that is a misunderstanding of where enlightenment is and how to access it. Or of what fulfillment is and how to access that. And once you discover the secret, you can live anywhere. Any kind of life circumstance can be even more fulfilling because of the magic of discovering that perfection and beauty and ecstasy are everywhere.
My teacher was fond of saying, “Wherever you go, there you are.” And I love that because you can be in hell in a monastery and in ecstasy on Wall Street - which some people in the “Occupy” movement are convinced is hell on earth. I found ecstasy there. Not because of Wall Street, but because of me.
You can go into some perfect environment, in nature, with no sign of modern culture, no sign of cars, no sound of human life and you can hear birds chirping and, of course, you can be very much in touch with what we consider spiritual life.
But what I find so fantastic is that you can be in the middle of San Francisco and see the entire teeming city melt into gold light and you can watch all of it dissolve and you can dissolve into it. And there is just as much enlightenment there (in the city) as there is in the Himalayas. So when you see that, and experience the ecstasy and that magic in the midst of the loud city, that is something. To not be in a state of conflict with the honking horns, not some kind of inner escape from them, or hiding inside your mind away from them, but rather, to perceive that the honking horns and the teeming people and the sirens and all of that is part of the landscape of enlightenment, not separate from it. Peace exists when you can be in the midst of chaos and noise and see that enlightenment is still there. I find that magical.
It is such a powerful teaching when you speak to someone who is in the middle of a life circumstance that is challenging, stressful, frustrating, and there is this urge to escape, and they don’t.
You might think, I want to be somewhere else, anywhere else—some other life situation—because this one isn’t working. I totally support change. Blow everything up and do something different tomorrow—that is exciting in itself. We should never feel trapped; you can always change.
But it can also be possible to find a solution without changing anything outwardly. You can recognize that right here, right now, in any circumstance, there is perfection and peace. The understanding that eternal consciousness is as present in horror as it is in joy brings peace–the kind of peace that provides relief in times of pain. Peace is not the same as ecstasy, although there is ecstasy in peace. Peace is just that—a silent communion with the source of everything we call Life. There may be no escape from noise in the midst of the modern world. But that noise arises from enlightenment as much as wind on an empty mountain does. In traffic in LA there is just as much beauty [as] if you were sitting in a quiet cathedral in that cool place with cool air on a hot day.
VM: How can each one of us lead a better life?
NG: When we speak of a better life, “better” means different things to different people, but in this context, most would probably define a better life as more peaceful, more fulfilling, less stressful. Some see the acquisition of material things as leading to more peace and fulfillment. I think the number one thing that can bring peace is getting outside of yourself, because it is focus on the self that causes suffering. Self-interest is the ultimate separation from Truth, and from what provides a sense of peace: my pain, I am feeling this, I am going through this, poor me. So the ultimate shift from that is, what can I do for someone else? How can I serve someone else’s happiness or how can I serve an ideal? If you don’t know how to get there, gratitude is the bridge. So if you have a moment of gratitude, then it’s a very short step to selflessness. You can feel gratitude for something, anything. Even in the darkest moment, there is something to be grateful for, however small. And in that you find a bridge to do something for someone else’s benefit.
If you think every day when you get up that before the day is out you will do one thing that benefits someone else or something beyond yourself, and then do it, when you go to sleep you always have that one thing that you did for someone else. It changes you and it makes you feel fulfilled. You do more and more and all of a sudden, days later, not even weeks, you are happy, you are fulfilled no matter what condition your life is in. It stops mattering because there is always someone worse off.
VM:What would be the most common negative affliction, in your opinion, in our modern society here in the United States?
NG:I would say the most negative affliction in a sense—and [for] probably all mankind, but we definitely suffer from it here [in the United States]—is narcissism. Part of it is a sense of entitlement. I have been fortunate to travel in many parts of the world—many Americans haven’t, some by choice rather than financial or other constraints. In Europe, most people take a year off after high school to travel (before college or work). What an education. Americans tend not to travel and just stay here. And what a metaphor that is: our minds can be provincial. But the moment I leave America, even in Europe—I love Europe— they don’t live like we do. We are incredibly spoiled. And it’s wonderful to live here, and I enjoy the amenities here in the United States, but it’s not the way the rest of the 7 billion people on earth live. So it’s very important not to ignore the privilege of having an incarnation where we are so fortunate. And instead of taking privilege to a place of anger and feeling even more self-righteous and even more entitled, rather remind yourself that relatively speaking, “I have perfect circumstances.” Just travel to India and tell me your life circumstances aren’t an absolute fairytale no matter how bad you think they are.
VM: What would you consider positive about our society today?
NG: I would say [a] large number of Americans are living in pain because of the change in the past 10 years in our economy. People are reaching a level of outrage. And in that, attention is being called to people who are suffering. A volume is growing with the Occupy Movement among others where I think in this greater darkness there is potential for change, where light is being shined on the darkness and the direction, the arc [of where] we have been on culturally and economically. Where the most privileged have been getting the most privileges to the detriment of everyone else. We’ve seen this progression, this cycle before, throughout history, before reaching that point where there is a shift. Sometimes it becomes more painful before it gets better. I hope that we are getting to that point where change will be made and perhaps we will all start caring a little bit more about each other.
VM: In your travels around the world, what would you say is the most surprising aspect of other cultures?
NG: I generally read the news every day from several different sources in order to find as much of an unbiased truth as possible. I pay attention to world news because I like to look at the larger patterns and understand what is happening globally, over time, to notice the cycles. And sometimes when I have been able to travel outside the country and see outside of our cultural filter, what is absolutely stunning to me, wherever I have gone, is how much love people from other countries [have shown me] and how much less paranoid they are than we are here [in the United States]. Americans can be led to assume, because of the way the news is [written here], that people of other cultures all have a kind of distaste for us, or are even out to get us.
And yet, in the heart of Egypt, I met people who were so kind and so sweet and who just loved so many things about America. I understand that they or some of their countrymen may disagree with our politics, but with the person-to-person interaction it was different. I encountered this boy in a store in a small town in Egypt and he was just the sweetest kid. It wasn’t about politics; we met person to person. He was asking me about Disneyland and telling me, I love America, and he just wanted to talk to me. He was just an open heart, and love.
It is we Americans; we are the ones that separate ourselves. It’s not the other way around. I found that everywhere you go, people are welcoming and so hospitable and are happy to show their culture. One thing I like to do wherever I travel is learn at least three words: hello; please; and thank you—in every language, in every culture I am visiting. To be respectful and interested, it serves as an offering. You are asking permission to enter their world a little bit. And when you approach it like that, I just found the most extraordinary welcoming.
VM: If there was one moment in this last year creating your new book, “Dreaming Bhutan,” finishing your book, and being on the book tour that truly defined your work, what would it be?
NG: There was a moment I am thinking of that I’ve been privileged to experience more than a few times, and each one is special. I was signing books and a woman came up to the table and she was clutching “Bodhisattva” to her chest as if someone was going to rip it from her hands. And she stood there and was going to express something and she just burst into tears. And we just sat there for a moment together. I am never really in a rush signing books. I love having individual moments with people, and the lines are sort of long because I take a moment with everyone, because that’s how I want to live my life. And so for a moment we were just quiet, and I waited until she collected herself. And she finally got out that she had gone through something challenging and that she had gone into the book [“Bodhisattva”] for guidance. The copy she was holding was very worn from all of the use. She had read it to pieces. She was just trying to choke out through the tears how much it had helped her, and what I felt at that moment was a sense of overwhelming gratitude that I have been allowed to flow through me that which has helped this other being. And having that one moment, I felt like I didn’t need to live another day. It was just beautiful and precious and it’s all I could ever hope for in life.
VM: What is the origin of the prayer flags?
NG: I don’t know the history, but I can tell you the philosophy is really beautiful. Some flags have prayers woven right into the cloth—others have prayers printed on the flags. And as the wind blows through the cloth, the prayers on it are lifted into the wind. There is this piece of fabric that the wind blows through, and the vibration of the energy of the prayer is carried on the wind, blessing everyone touched by it as though the prayers were being chanted to each person directly. Every time the wind blows, the prayers go out. Energy often changes form, but it doesn’t go away. So you have this powerful energy in the prayer, in the cloth, the wind, traveling out into the world…it’s beautiful.
VM: When you go out into the world with your teachings, have you seen a shift in the world in the last year?
NG: The world shifts all the time. What I’m more interested in is what doesn’t change. So while the world may change—all things arise and pass away, as Buddha said—the Eternal mind, the One Mind, doesn’t come or go, it always is. Enlightenment, eternal consciousness, whatever words you want to use, never goes away. It’s never more or less; it’s never closer to one person than to another—that is an illusion. So no matter how much fun you are having or how awful things seem, peace is available, the Source of all, it’s always there, it never leaves.
There can be very dark times where you cannot perceive truth. Loneliness, confusion, depression can make it hard to see or to remember the Eternal. So that’s a time when, if you can just remind yourself, “This too shall pass,” you can connect with that Force that never leaves. That goes for when you are in happiness, too. Peace is always there. Just try to make that leap that we call faith in the happiest times and the darkest times, because you know when everything is horrible it’s hard to touch, and just as hard to perceive when everything is fabulous and you feel fulfilled by whatever material thing is doing it for you then. There are moments when, no matter how painful or hopeless things seem, if you can just remember that enlightenment is with you equally then as when things seem wonderful, you can tap into an everlasting sense of peace and fulfillment.
For more information on Nicole Grace’s teachings and her new book, Dreaming Bhutan, please visit www.likeswans.com.
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