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25 YEARS OF THE SEAT OF THE SOUL

25 YEARS OF THE SEAT OF THE SOUL

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Twenty–five years ago I published a book that I did not know if anyone would read. My publisher had been waiting seven years for a sequel to my first book, The Dancing Wu Li Masters: An Overview of the New Physics. The manuscript I gave her was entirely different, but she published it anyway in Spring 1989. I called the new book The Seat of the Soul. This book immediately began to help people in meaningful ways, and in 1998 Oprah Winfrey and I cocreated a television show about it that aired on Christmas Eve afternoon. Almost everything changed for me after that. Oprah and I began doing audience shows the next Spring, and we did over thirty of them. Oprah needed to share The Seat of the Soul, too. This month the 25th Anniversary Edition of The Seat of the Soul was released.

I did not change the text of the original, but Oprah and Maya Angelou wrote remarkable prefaces for it, and I wrote a new foreword. The big change in the new edition, however, is the one that engaged me, transformed me, and liberated me in ways I could not have foreseen: the 85-page Study Guide in the back. The Study Guide helps you apply the principles in The Seat of the Soul to your everyday life in practical ways and to see more clearly the enormity of the context in which they are becoming visible – the expansion of everyone’s perception within a few generations beyond the limitations of the five senses. Each chapter in The Seat of the Soul has a corresponding Study Guide chapter. Each Study Guide chapter has opening paragraphs, questions, and different kinds of exercises. Before I began working on this Study Guide, I had not thought about explaining the principles in The Seat of the Soul this way. Once I began, I could not stop. Each chapter of the book became a surprising and deeply gratifying exploration for me.

I wanted the questions in the Study Guide to be meaningful, not intellectual, to draw from deeper places than thought, to elicit answers beyond words, to open new doorways. This required only an interest in supporting you, and that was deepest in my heart. The opening paragraphs, however, required me to dive deeply into chapters I had read many times before, clarifying everything that I felt might be unclear or need attention. I reread The Seat of the Soul four times. Just when I thought the Study Guide could not become more supportive, the idea occurred to me to add videos and audio meditations, and that required creating, in effect, a new website. Access to each page in this new website – which became the “Study Guide Extension” – is in the Study Guide at the back of the book. Now the whole thing is done – 25th Anniversary Edition with prefaces by Oprah Winfrey and Maya Angelou, Study Guide, and online Study Guide Extension. It is a joy to recommend them to you.

Some people might ask, “How could something written twenty-five years ago be engaging, much less liberating, to the person who wrote it? Understanding this requires understanding about inspiration, and how it comes from a source other than the mind. Before the mind can write anything, it needs to understand it in its own terms. All everyday writings are done in this way. But The Seat of the Soul is filled with things that do not present themselves in terms of the mind. They come from another place. That is why inspired people can not fathom with their minds the fullness of what they are writing, performing, and bringing into being as they are doing it. The mind can not fathom the fullness of inspired sharing because that kind of sharing comes from beyond the mind. They feel what they are sharing, express what they are sharing, and become what they are sharing, but they are not thinking about what they are sharing while they are sharing it. Thinking about it stops the process. Afterwards, the mind can recognize, appreciate, and revel in what inspiration has created. I have been recognizing, appreciating, and reveling in The Seat of the Soul for twenty-five years. Last year I began to see ways to help others do the same, and the result is the Study Guide and Study Guide Extension online in the 25th Anniversary Edition of The Seat of the Soul.

The publication of this new edition is so much more than the re-release of a classic book. It is an ongoing journey into love and nature of power – which are the same. I am grateful to share it with you.

Love,

Linda & Gary
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LOVING DR. MAYA ANGELOU

LOVING DR. MAYA ANGELOU

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I met Dr. Maya Angelou in 2011 when I interviewed her for a film project that Linda and I were helping some young friends create. Oprah made the connection, and we flew to interview her at her home in Winston Salem, North Carolina, U.S.A. As our questions became more substantive, I could see her engage more deeply in the interview, and her answers became more and more awesome to me. After the interview, to my surprise, she invited us into her dining room for tea. She also gave Linda and me one of her famous cookbooks and inscribed it to “My New Heart Throbs.” I soon realized that Dr. Maya Angelou was one of my heart throbs as well. This was the first of eight trips to her home that Linda and I would make during the next three years.

We both found ourselves thinking about Maya Angelou a lot when we returned home. It was as though we had never left her. Two weeks later she called. “I am still soaring!” she told us. Linda and I felt exactly the same. We decided to create a “salon” by phone and to meet monthly to talk about important and interesting things. Soon we were speaking every Sunday morning, and we continued to speak every Sunday that she was not traveling until she passed on.

There was nothing romantic about Dr. Maya Angelou that I saw, but everything she did came from a deep and deeply loving place. “When you know better, you do better,” she told us and the many members of her extended family that gathered around her dining table, especially on her birthdays and at Thanksgivings. “When you get, give,” she told us. “When you learn, teach.” “People will forget what you say and they will forget what you do, but they will never forget how you make them feel.” Dr. Angelou made me feel included, welcome, significant, part of the family, and a colleague. I have never met a person like her.

She traveled around the country giving events and inspiring talks, often to young people, in her private bus. We once drove to meet her in Portland, Oregon, where she was giving a talk to a huge sold-out audience. As we rode with her in her bus to the venue, she was quiet and inward, as though conserving her strength. When the curtain went up, however, there she was, seated elegantly without her oxygen, ebullient and unstoppable. I wondered whether going that long without oxygen was uncomfortable or fatiguing to her, but as one of the extended family observed, “If Maya’s got it, she’s giving it.” I often thought that she might be in pain as she moved on her walker from her private quarters in her house to the dining table, but if so, she never talked to us about it. Instead she told us, “When you are in pain, don’t be a pain.”

I did not at first recognize the greatness of our new friend or the scope of her reach. The First Lady of the United States described one part of it, “She reached a white woman in Kansas who named her daughter after her and raised her son to become the first black President of the United States,” while a few rows in front of us President Bill Clinton, who had invited Dr. Angelou to read her poetry at his inauguration, sat with the rest of us in celebration of her life.

“When I go on stage,” she told us often, “I bring with me everyone who has loved and supported me. They are on the stage with me. How can I be afraid?”

Dr. Maya Angelou inspired me to do more, reach deeper, and give more than I have in the past. She touched me with her love and caring and complete commitment to loving. The last time Linda and I called her, she came to the phone to tell us that she was speaking with her grandson and said in her matter of fact way, with complete authority, “I can’t talk with you now. The important thing is that you called and I love you and you know that.” We had no doubt about it.

Thank you, Maya Angelou. Your presence will always be a joy in my life.

Love,

Linda & Gary

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