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Shiva's Blog

Tending the Heart Fire Release

Friday, November 22, 2013
Dear Friends,

On Dec. 15th just a few days before the full moon and winter solstice, I offer my first book baby, the 280 page full-color visual book, "Tending the Heart Fire - Living in Flow with the Pulse of Life" into the world. A book of four parts, it is an offering of 108 meditations for every-body and a call for us to wake up from the past 350 years of misinformation about our extraordinary heart. Tracing the legacy of the "heartfire" through cross-cultural spiritual traditions and our rich history beginning in Ancient Egypt and Greece to the present, I offer people a 360-degree view encompassing science and spiritual wisdom so that we can retrieve the power of our energetic heart in our daily life.

This has been my transformation from hardened intellectual, hard-core ashtangi, through rough times and ecstatic initiations - slowly my energetic heart has become the intimate inner core, the rhythmic conductor, the inner fire from which I tend the oscillations of life.

This book is for you, and the yoga world in general, as it felt important for my first book to pay homage to the roots in a universal way, bringing many lost teachings of the sahaja and tantric understanding of vinyasa to the foreground.

These are the days where we look out and see the "dim fire" - depression, despair, the disheartening as well as the "excessive fire" that burns us out, with too much, too fast, reactionary and disconnected actions. To cultivate a balanced inner fire is to bring us to the heart of yoga. The book is about how to tend the inner fire through over 108 meditations based in Tantra and Bhakti as well as the "living vinyasa" through the wisdom of ayurveda and the cycles of holi-days of the year.  This process in part was incubated through the  "Tending the Fire - Living Yoga Sadhana" offerings for the past two years as I was writing in the midst of a full householder life. Writing, living and sharing the teachings kept me going through the weight of a long creative process.

I am grateful for all the teachers, artists and mentors who fertilized this book even offering their review (see below): Sally Kempton (who wrote the foreward to the book), Andrew Harvey (the great mystic teacher), Daniel Odier (for his Sahaja wisdom), Paul Muller Ortega (with his tremendous teachings of the triadic heart), Lorin Roche for encouraging me to write with somatic power. For Christopher Tompkins, scholar and dear friend, who was simultaneously writing his dissertation below in our little studio apartment - he provided so many extraordinary translations and thoroughly read and provided the checks and balances of the Tantric part. Great thanks to Maria Garre and Dr. Lad's teachings which informed the Ayurveda transmission.

The artists whose photographs are part of this visual book - Jenay Martin (who did a special shoot in the ocean for the book), James Wvinner, Amir Magal, Rich Van Every, Mario Covic, Jeff Volk and the greatest surprise of all - Demetri Velisarius. During our travels, Demetri and I both became photographers to catch the amazing light we found ourselves in. Demetri's photos are the most in the book and of course I am forever grateful for my partner in all ways. The book is dedicated to my sun-son Jai!

The great team - Kristen Townsend (Ms. On it!) who was there from the beginning and helped anchor the details that one cannot even imagine when one starts a book project. She is a loyal angel! Glenisse, Julian, and of course the wonderful designer Lisa Firefly who did some of the initial designs to help guide the designers at Sounds True. I am crazy about the vision of Tami Simon and the team at SoundsTrue.

This is not a "big budget" book but a total labor of love. We wanted full-color and 12 x 12. So I gave my soul. It is not about the mula. It is about offering something that I feel passionately about with all my heart - the re-embodiment of our energetic heart and the inner syncopation with our own body rhythm and nature that is our optimal flow.

I wanted to write a book for everybody that was also rich at the roots and not a watered-down version of yoga. I wanted to offer a book that would vibrate in your hands and be a resource by your bedside or in class. My prayer is that this will have a positive ripple effect in whoever holds this book.

So I release and I let go and I can't think of a better way of celebrating than by joining C.C. White who is my sister on this path and a great Ma force in the world through her love and Soul Kirtan.

Please come and celebrate with us. This night is dedicated to the Fire of Love.

I will have the first 108 books available through Exhale on Dec. 15th before the release of the book baby on January 1st everywhere. This will be an amazing evening of Soul Kirtan, cacao and herbal elixirs and fire of love altars to open to the full-moon/winter solstice. Please join us and help spread the word. Details below.

Love all ways to all creators with a seed dream, an evolutionary expression,

Shiva
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