BOOK CLUB: WHAT I'M READING (JANUARY)
~ approach reading as ritual.
START WHERE YOU ARE: A GUIDE TO COMPASSIONATE LIVING - PEMA CHODRON
"Start Where You Are is an indispensable handbook for cultivating fearlessness and awakening a compassionate heart. With insight and humor, Pema Chödrön presents down-to-earth guidance on how we can "start where we are"—embracing rather than denying the painful aspects of our lives. Pema Chödrön frames her teachings on compassion around fifty-nine traditional Tibetan Buddhist maxims, or slogans, such as: "Always apply only a joyful state of mind," "Don't seek others' pain as the limbs of your own happiness," and "Always meditate on whatever provokes resentment."
Working with these slogans and through the practice of meditation, Start Where You Are shows how we can all develop the courage to work with our inner pain and discover joy, well-being, and confidence."
NON-VIOLENT RESISTANCE (SATYAGRAHA) - M.K. GANDHI
"Mohandas Gandhi gained the deep respect and admiration of people worldwide with both his unwavering struggle for truth and justice and his philosophy of non-violent resistance — a philosophy that led India to independence and that was later taken up by the American civil rights movement. This volume presents Gandhi's own clear and consistent vision of that philosophy, which he calls Satyagraha — literally, "holding on to the truth." Through Satyagraha, one brings about change by appealing to the reason and conscience of the opponent and puts an end to evil by converting the evil-doer.
The book begins with an introductory explanation of Satyagraha, including a description of how it differs from passive resistance and what it has in common with the civil disobedience of Thoreau and non-cooperation in general. It proceeds with detailed discussions of discipline and self-control, including living simply, recognizing the unity of all loving beings, and serving one's neighbors wholeheartedly; the courage and training necessary for the Satyagrahi; successful on-cooperation and civil disobedience; political power and Satyagraha, the development of a non-violent army; the use and effectiveness of such techniques as non-payment of fines and taxes, social boycotts, fasting, sympathetic strikes, and other forms of non-cooperation; women and picketing; and many other topics.
Invaluable to ethicists, political philosophers, students, and participants in the ongoing struggle for human rights, this inspiring book is as relevant today as it was when first published half a century ago."
COLORED COSMOPOLITANISM: THE SHARED STRUGGLE FOR FREEDOM IN THE UNITED STATES AND INDIA - NICO SLATE
"A hidden history connects India and the United States, the world’s two largest democracies. From the late nineteenth century through the 1960s, activists worked across borders of race and nation to push both countries toward achieving their democratic principles. At the heart of this shared struggle, African Americans and Indians forged bonds ranging from statements of sympathy to coordinated acts of solidarity. Within these two groups, certain activists developed a colored cosmopolitanism, a vision of the world that transcended traditional racial distinctions. These men and women agitated for the freedom of the “colored world,” even while challenging the meanings of both color and freedom.
Colored Cosmopolitanism is the first detailed examination of both ends of this transnational encounter. Nico Slate tells the stories of neglected historical figures, like the “Eurasian” scholar Cedric Dover, and offers a stunning glimpse of people we thought we knew. Prominent figures such as Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Swami Vivekananda, Booker T. Washington, W. E. B. Du Bois, and Martin Luther King Jr. emerge as never before seen. Slate reveals the full gamut of this exchange--from selective appropriations, to blatant misunderstandings, to a profound empathy--as African Americans and South Asians sought a united front against racism, imperialism, and other forms of oppression."
What are you reading this month? Drop some recommended reading for us in the comments below. More book recommendations on the READING LIST.