The Three Only Things: Tapping the Power of Dreams, Coincidence, & Imagination by Robert Moss

book coverAs a social worker, I am continually interested in the mind, especially in finding ways to help my clients heal. At a glance, I found this book fascinating for its sheer title. More specifically, Moss reframes nightly dreams to be more than coincidence by giving dreams the power to guide us to a larger purpose. Often people give meaning to dreams, which is soothing or validating to them individually. However, I agree with Moss that dreams should not be dismissed as mere subconscious fantasies.

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Eastern wisdom, modern life: Collected talks 1960-1969 by Alan Watts

book coverI first learned about Buddhism in an undergraduate course on Eastern philosophy. The class read the work of a Zen master, which we all found dense, complicated, and perplexing yet interesting. To save us the several anguishing hours trying to interpret eastern philosophy with a Western mind, I wish that we had read Alan Watts’ book. Watts writes about Buddhism is simple and eloquent language using Western terms to explain contrary eastern perspectives: in the Western world were accustomed very much to thinking of spiritual things as being set apart and distinctly separate from everyday lifeas out of this world,and not of the natural world.But in the art of Chinese and Japanese Zen Buddhism we see a concentration on everyday life. And even when the great sages of Buddhism are depicted, they are depicted in a secular style, just like ordinary people (p. 24).

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12 Steps to Raw Foods by Victoria Boutenko

book coverWhile an entirely raw foods diet may not be for everyone, there is
little disagreement even amongst omnivores that increasing the proportion
of fresh fruits and vegetables in our diet is something that can
benefit any of us (for example, see Michael Pollan’s Ominvore’s Dilemma or In Defense of Food).  But is cooked food an addiction?  This is author Victoria Boutenko’s contention, and while you may or may not agree with this premise, her use of a “12 Step” inspired model does provide a some useful approaches for those who are trying to eliminate or decrease their consumption of cooked foods and increase their consumption of whole, unprocessed fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds.  Pair this with the some basic, approachable raw foods recipes and it is a book that could benefit everyone, even those who would not remotely consider themselves “raw fooders.”  


Some of the steps that will benefit even those who hope to just eat healthier without necessarily giving up all cooked food include:

  • Nourishing Your Body to Eliminate Cravings
  • Acquiring Skills and Equipment
  • Avoiding Temptation
  • Gratitude and Forgiveness
  • Embracing Other Healthy Habits
  • Searching for One’s Spiritual Mission
  • Giving Support to Others

 12 Steps to Raw Foods: How to End Your Dependency on Cooked Foods (North Atlantic Books)  is a significant revision and expansion of the earlier edition.  So much so, that even if you already have the first edition (from Raw Family Publishing), you will still want to purchase a copy of the new edition.  For those familiar with Boutenko’s works, this book contains material that will be familiar — Part 1 contains some of the same information found in Raw Family and Green for Life in condensed form — but there is also new information such as chapter four’s review of scientific studies that support Boutenko’s contention that cooked food is damaging to the human body.   For those new to Boutenko, this is a great introduction to her ideas, methods and life experiences, the latter of which includes the inspiring account of how she healed her families illnesses through healthful eating and exercise.