Finding Your Self
Exercises and Suggestions to Support the Inner Life of the Teacher
Torin M Finser
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Torin Finser has created a beautiful collection of insights, exercises, meditations and observations all focused on supporting the inner life of the teacher. For, as Rudolf Steiner pointed out in so many ways, it is through precisely this sort of inner work and outer practice that it becomes possible for any of us to develop strength and enthusiasm for our work, particularly when our work is as demanding as modern day teaching.
This collection is a gem, and not, in my opinion, only for teachers. I believe that almost anyone will find a wellspring on each page. Teachers, parents, counselors, booksellers, counter clerks and more: all of us can help make the world a better, richer place and our own lives happier by practicing what is held in the pages of this little book.
The Light of the "I"
Guidelines for Meditation
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This remarkable short guide to meditation is the fruit of many years of meditative experience as well as thirty years of teaching meditation. Through exercises and meditation sentences it delineates an accessible, systematic process of inner work by which a person can come to experience both the “I,” or Self, and the miraculous nature of that Light that, as inner Light, we call attention.
Beginning with simple meditation sentences that illuminate the role of attention in perception, the person wishing to take this path is led gradually to the reality and experience of form-free attention.
Kühlewind offers-step-by step guidance in concentration exercises, sentence meditations, visualizations (image or symbol meditations), and perceptual meditations for guidance on the path. He also offers advice and help with the difficulties and problems that can arise.
Each stage of the path—in itself and in relation to the whole sequence—is presented in a way to be understood through meditative thinking. Deepened in this way, it becomes, as well, a work of philosophy—but philosophy understood as a transformative way of life, an inner path.
Raising the Soul
Practical Exercises for Personal Development
Warren Lee Cohen
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Raising the Soul is a warm and engaging guide to 7 basic exercises (6 of which resemble closely the 6 Basic Exercises as described by Rudolf Steiner) developed over centuries and in many different cultures for the purpose of training ourselves toward moral equanimity, purposeful action and love. William Cohen's explanations very clearly come from personal experience and a warm interest in helping others. As such, reading Raising the Soul is like inviting a good friend into your home and having that friend prove to be very wise and very generous in sharing that wisdom. It is truly a beautiful book without being in the least bit sentimental, and I think that anyone who is interested in self-development will find it becomes a lifelong companion. I can't recommend it highly enough and am very grateful that William Lee Cohen wrote it.
The book is organized so that each chapter introduces a different soul capacity that can be developed in turn. The headings include:
- Review of the Day
- Clear Thinking
- Intention in Action
- Balance in Feeling
- Positive World View
- Open Mind
In addition to Cohen's clear descriptions of the exercises, there are also chapters that answer many general questions"
- Along the Way: Obstacles and Progress
- Harmonizing Intentions
- What Is the Soul?
The appendices offers a plan of action for integrating meditative activity into your life.
Homemaking and Personal Development
Meditative Practice for Homemakers
Veronika van Duin
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Veronika van Duin has made it her life's work to help others create homes that can contribute to the creation of a healthy society. Her first book, Homemaking as a Social Art, remains a beloved companion and source of inspiration to homemakers throughout the world. It is generally the first book we recommend to anyone seeking support and direction to their task of creating and keeping a home.
In Homemaking and Personal Development, Veronika explores the need of homemakers to find personal balance amid the delights and disappointments of daily life. Truly, there are few tasks in this world that are as "real" as homemaking, and the opportunities for arriving at exhaustion, depression, self- and other-blame and more are legion. Veronika is able to help because she has 'been there and done that' as a homemaker of more than 40 years experience. Happily for all of us, she has found multiple pathways to joy and balance that are realistic for homemakers in the course of their busy days.
We very highly recommend this book: There is truly something in it for every stage of homemaking and for every homemaker. Out of Veronika's experience, you can find exercises that can be "sandwiched" in between diaper changes and meals, imaginations and awarenesses you can hold to restore your balance and warm your soul when sleep-deprived, deeper meditations you can undertake to strengthen your soul and spirit when your life gives you that sort of time. Most especially, Veronika is there to support your homemaking by supporting your inner life in every way she knows how.
Thank you, Veronika, for a book that is truly a seed for a better future.
a book of soul and spiritual exercises
Edited and introduced by Christopher Bamford
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Start Now!, in my opinion, will become one of the most well-worn and well-loved handbooks on the shelves and in the hands of those committed to spiritual development. It contains every essential exercise and meditation by Steiner that I've ever encountered -- in fresh, well-edited English. This includes the Calendar of the Soul, the Foundation Stone Meditation, and the Rose Cross Meditation, as well as the Six Essential Exercises and the Retrospection exercise. I've looked hard and must say that I find nothing missing -- and much that I didn't think of but that clearly belongs in the forefront of modern awareness.
Start Now! offers the most extensive collection available of Steiner·s spiritual instructions and practices, including meditation instructions; mantric verses; daily, weekly, and monthly practices for developing one·s soul qualities; karmic exercises and meditations for working with the dead, with the angelic hierarchies, and with our guardian angels.
- Introduction by Christopher Bamford (background and context)
- Prologue · Framing the Work (including Steiner·s early ·Credo·)
- Meditation Instructions and Explanations
- The Way of Thinking
- The Way of Reverence & Its Fruits
- Developing the Chakras, or ·Lotus Flowers·
- Six Essential Exercises
- The Backward Review, or ·Retrospect·
- Living the Year Spiritually (including the complete ·Calendar of the Soul·)
- Meditations from the Esoteric School
- The Rosicrucian Path
- The Christian-Gnostic Path
- Working with the Dead
- The Foundation Stone Meditation
- Meeting the Guardians
- Bibliography & Further Reading
This is one of those rare books that I would place in the "must have" category. A lifetime of joy and discovery!
Guidance in Esoteric Training
From the Esoteric School
Translated by C. Davy, O. Barfield, et al
$22.00Add a review
Guidance in Esoteric Training is a terrific "how to" book that we are very glad to see back in print and expanded. If you have been looking for well-defined exercises to use for your own spiritual and moral development, this sourcebook will meet your needs. Included are exercises for developing the capacities of heart, mind, and spiritual awareness, as well as lectures and essays by Rudolf Steiner on topics of inner development and modern initiation. Guidance is a treasure chest you will return to again and again.
bringing Christ into your life
$12.00Add a review
In this concise and down-to-earth book, Jörgen Smit removes much of the mystique surrounding meditation by guiding the reader along the path of meditative knowledge as developed by Rudolf Steiner. He shows how we can fruitfully build up meditative images, how we can gain control over our thoughts and our will by various straightforward and practical exercises, and how to balance meditative work with work on themes from our own biography in order to avoid a one-sided egotism that can occur as a result of intensive inner work.
Simple. Direct. Useful. If you've been looking for a clear pathway into an enlivened inner life, this is a great place to begin.
The Little Series: Spiritual Insights
From the Work of Rudolf Steiner
Compiled by Helmut von Kügelgen
Translated with permission of the author's estate by the Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America (WECAN)
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In general, I am not a fan of excerpts, but this little book is so outstanding that I'm happily setting aside my usual preferences. Helmut von Kügelgen has gathered together meditations, exercises, thoughts by Rudolf Steiner that are so powerfully alive that the book itself practically vibrates with the excitement of imminent discovery. I think it would be possible to work with this book for years without exhausting your interest or plumbing its full depths.
The author's loved Waldorf Education, and especially the kindergarten very much - as he gathered these meditations and exercises, the thought in his mind and heart was always that the book would be service to teachers bringing this education to the coming generations. A very beautiful book!
Seeking Spirit Vision
Essays on Developing Imagination
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Seeking Spirit Vision, if you are willing to take it up and work with it, will change your life, as much perhaps as the most significant person you have ever met did. This book, if you wish, can become a lifetime friend - a very wise friend.
- Robert Sardello, Ph.D.
The School of Spiritual Psychology
Dennis Klocek has always had a remarkable ability to bring together seemingly disparate bits of knowledge, observation, experience and alchemically transform them into golden nuggets of insight, lights along pathways formerly unseen. Seeking Spirit Vision brings together in writing and in one volume the fruits of Klocek's lifetime of pathfinding, of his quest to make manifest that the many dispersed spiritual streams, science. and art are, in fact, shimmering aspects of a truly unified Reality. This book is simply golden.
In it you will find bits of spiritual history, explanations of the nature of experiences both esoteric and mundane, and especially an overflowing abundance of exercises -- explained more clearly than any others I have encountered -- which, over time, can heal the human body, soul and spirit toward clear vision.
Seeking Spirit Vision can truly become a lifetime companion and lead you to a personal experience of the varieties of wonder and spirit our universe holds in store for us.
The Seer's Handbook
A Guide to Higher Perception
$25.00Add a review
The Seer's Handbook is the heart-gift of a man who has lived what he writes about. It is a beautiful thing to see a friend stay the course and arrive where he sought to go so many years ago. And then, for Dennis to share his journeys with us, giving us a map to places seldom travelled - my heart warms just thinking about this gift he brings us.
Dennis marries the wisdom of the alchemists with Steiner's Western path of initiation, then shows us how we can awaken our soul to become an organ of perception that will unveil worlds that stretch beyond the confines of space and time. He gives us exercises, meditaitons, insights and a few cautions -- in truth, he extends a hand for us to grasp as we move along a new path with eyes not yet adjusted to the qualities of cosmic light.
This book is a joy and a beautiful guide to spiritual reality. If seeking is your heart's delight, you could do no better than to carry a copy of The Seer's Handbook on your journey.
Facsimile Edition of the original book containing the calendar created by Rudolf Steiner for the year 1912-1913
Edited and introduced, with relevant English translations by Christopher Bamford
$30.00Add a review
You will find meditative verses for the individual weeks of the year. You should take these meditations quite particularly into your hearts, for they contain what can make the soul alive and what really corresponds to a living relationship of the soul forces to the forces of the macrocosm.
Many are familiar with Rudolf Steiner’s work The Calendar of the Soul, the book of fifty-two weekly meditative verses that run from Easter to Easter. Few, however, know anything of its history. The form in which it appears today derives from the 1925 edition, which appeared only a few days after Steiner’s death. This was the first printing of the verses in their current form as a commercially available edition. Seven years earlier, in 1918, an edition with a short introduction by Steiner appeared as the thirteenth of the “Colorful Waldorf Astoria Booklets,” tiny books packaged with Waldorf Astoria cigarettes and intended for soldiers in the trenches. The project was an initiative of Emil Molt, the owner of the cigarette company, an anthroposophist, and a close friend of Rudolf Steiner. It also appeared in a series of books edited by Molt’s friend Hermann Hesse, intended for German prisoners of war. Neither edition was available to the public through bookstores.
The Calendar itself came into being seven years previously. Imma von Eckhardstein, who had been a member of Steiner’s inner circle of coworkers since 1904, first had the idea in spring 1911. Soon afterword—for health reasons—Marie von Sivers decided to spend three months at Portorose, near Trieste, on the Adriatic. Imma von Eckhardstein accompanied her. Rudolf Steiner also spent much time there when not lecturing. Von Eckhardstein was given the task of illustrating the calendar, following Steiner’s indications for new monthly zodiacal images, as well as for other images.
Publication was planned for the end of 1911, with the help of a grant from the Foundation for Theosophical Art. The actual printing occurred in Munich in March 1912, under the watchful eyes of Imma von Eckhardstein. Books were available in April. Only a limited edition was published, and it was never reissued.
On April 11, in Helsinki, following a special lecture for Russian members who had traveled from Moscow to hear him, Steiner showed his audience the new Calendar 1912/13, saying, “Whoever meditates on these verses will achieve a great deal.”
The calendar begins with an introduction by Steiner on the nature of a calendar as a way to connect past and future as well as earth and cosmos. It is important to get a sense of the movements of the Sun and Moon in relation to the planets and fixed stars. It is also important to bring the past into the present by invoking great beings in the evolution of consciousness on their appropriate birth or death days, and to celebrate the Holy Days. Steiner designed new zodiacal images for each month, traced the phases of the moon, and specified significant people, events, and/or festivals for each day. By living into the year in this way, one is ready for the meditative year as expressed by the weekly verses of the soul calendar.
Soul Calendar and the Lemniscate
Essays and a New Translation
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Barbara Betteridge devoted much of her life to an exploration of Steiner's Calendar of the Soul in relationship to a lemniscatory understanding of the cycle of the year. It was our privilege to know Barbara during much of this time, and to work with her in small ways as she translated the Soul Calendar into English.
I can't begin to tell how important her resetting of the verses of the Soul Calender as four points on the yearly lemniscate has become to me over the years. From my perspective, it was one of the most eye- and heart-opening revelations of life's journey. Rather than working with polar counterpoint, as in the setting of the Pusch translation, Barbara's perspective reveals each verse (each week of the experienced year) as one of four posts supporting a living aspect of the cycle of the year.
It is with a wonderful thing to see her work in print and to be able to share it with you. May you find what I found here.
Calendar of the Soul - Mann Translation
Translated by Christopher and Lisolotte Mann
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Rudolf Steiner wrote the 52 verses of The Calendar of the Soul as content for meditation aimed at helping people to awaken to the life cycles and purposes of the Earth and nature. Each verse reflects the life of the natural world at a particular point in the cycle of the year - the reflection is seen in the mirror of the human soul. My own experience of these verses is that they act as illuminating light on what I am both witnessing outwardly and experiencing inwardly. I have always found that each verse moves me toward greater participation in the seasons of the World.
If you have been curious about this particular meditation, or have been wanting to begin a meditation practice for yourself, I can highly recommend the content of The Calendar of the Soul as being rich in experience and fruitful in outcome. I am actually very, very grateful for the time I have spent with these verses.
Because everyone responds to the various translations in very personal ways - they all have weaknesses and strengths when compared with the German originals, I will simply offer the St. John's Tide verse from each version and let you decide which is just right for you right now.
The world's fair shining glory
Compels me from the depths of soul
To let my being's God-given powers
Soar out into the Universe -
Abandoning my Self,
And trusting only, seek myself
In light of worlds and warmth of worlds.
Calendar of the Soul - Pusch Translation
Translated by Ruth and Hans Pusch
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As my comments in the Mann translation also hold good for this translation, I'll simply let you read the St. John's Tide verse from this version:
The radiant beauty of the world
Compels my inmost soul to free
God-given powers of my nature
That they may soar into the cosmos,
To take wing from myself
And trustingly to seek myself
In cosmic light and cosmic warmth.
The Illustrated Calendar of the Soul
Meditations for the yearly cycle with fifty-two pictures by Anne Stockton
Translated by John B Thomson
Hardbound with bound ribbon bookmark
$24.95Add a review
In addition to my comments found with the Mann translation, I'd like to add that this special little volume holds a treasure of visual meditative material - the paintings, some of them tremendously beautiful, themselves offer abundant insights and reflections of the cycle of the year. My own approach would be to sometimes use only the pictures as my content, sometimes only the verses. I can even see developing a visual/written word rhythm throughout the week - and I can imagine the fruitfulness of this approach to be great. As you can surmise, I have not yet tried this (I only just discovered the book), but I do intend to work with it -- and am very eager to do so.
Here is John Thomson's translation of the St. John's Tide verse:
The shining beauty of the world
Compels me to set free from depths of soul
My life's God-given powers
To wing their way in the worlds,
And to forsake myself
And, filled with trust, seek still myself
In the light and warmth of worlds.
The Little Series: Michaelmas
From the Work of Rudolf Steiner
Helmut von Kügelgen
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To our eye, Helmut von Kügelgen has succeeded in putting between two modest covers the deepest, most useful and most beautiful thoughts, essays, imaginations, verses and observations of Rudolf Steiner on the subject of Michaelmas and the Archangel Michael. This is a heart-opening, invigorating anthology.
- How to Use This Booklet
- Anthroposophy and the Human Gemüt
- Michael's Battle with the Dragon
- Twelve Verses from the Calendar of the Soul
- Michaelmas Verse
- The Michael Festival in the Course of the Year
- Enthusiasm and the Consciousness o fthe Waldorf Teacher
- Healthy and Ill instead of True and False
- The Fine Weaving of the Spiritual in the Material
- The Battle of Michael Described for the Waldorf Teacher
- Truth-Wrought Pictures of Michael and the Growth of Human Freedom
- On the Genesis of Evil
- Threefolding and the Michael Festival of the Future
- Easter and Michaelmas
- Trust in Spirit Bring Michael-Strength
- Michael's Ascent to Time Spirit and His Battle with the Dragon
- The Art of Education: Bulding the Vehicle in which Michael Will Ride into Our Civilization
- On the Being of Michael - His Gaze - Rejection of Nationalism
- The Message of Michael
- The Equilibrium Between Lucifer and Ahriman through Christ
- A Picture of Equilibrium
- On the Mystery of Michael
- From the New Testament
An Outline for a Renewal of Waldorf Education
Rudolf Steiner's Method of Heart-Thinking and Its Central Role in the Waldorf School
Mark-Dominick Riccio, Ed.D.
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Mark Riccio's book is a masterful presentation not only of the heart of Waldorf Education, but of ways of nurturing the heart-opening approach of this educations such that it - and those who teach it - spring to life, creative and loving in the here and now. Heart-Thinking, an articulation of Steiner's cognitive approach, when done with open eyes, a smiling face, and a warm heart leads the thinker through successive levels of understanding, each culminating in a flowering metamorphosis transforming into the next level. So, too, Riccio's 100 page gem of a book - to engage in his understanding, to try out his exercises (which are fun - no long faces here!), is to find oneself at a point of transformation - and the choice (the only real choice) is to embrace life more fully, open your heart, and move on to the next level.
As Riccio tells us, the heart of Waldorf Education takes the students (and their teachers!) on such a journey of heart-opening transformation as it teaches them the things they need to know to become part of the family of humanity.
The seed of revolution (or, more correctly, evolution) that is this book lies in the suggestion, the hope, of the author (and myself) that teachers and staff at Waldorf Schools embrace the challenge of developing their own capacities of Heart-Thinking (and in my mind, this applies without modification to homeschooling co-ops and parents). Were this to occur, it would transform the education offered into something that fills all of society with a new life - and nurtures rather than drains those who provide it and support it.
I have great hopes that many will embrace these proposals, this way of learning to love without blindness. Not just our children, but all of us, will thrive on the effort.
A Primer for Spiritually Thinking Educators
A New Organic-Living Translation of Rudolf Steiner's Original Essay, Education of the Child with Study Material
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Here at last is what many have been asking for - a workbook that moves step-by-step along the path outlined in A Study Guide to Rudolf Steiner's Heart-Thinking. Anyone following it with the liveliness of thought offered by the author will, I predict, find themselves in the adventurous realm of continuous discovery about both the world and themselves.
Mark Riccio offers up an excellent overview (i.e., how to proceed) and then begins with his own translation of Steiner's essay The Education of the Child. In doing so, he has reshaped the title to indicate that all educators (not just those in Waldorf settings) are invited to partake, as was Steiner's intent. In my mind, he also indirectly points to the fact that everyone is at one moment or another an educator and that anyone who wishes can draw from the well of its inspiration.
His process is one of diving into the words to arrive at the thought they surround, then to retrieve that thought from the depths of its dwelling place and bring it back into our world as living insight and inspiration. What you'll discover is nothing less than sheer joy.
For groups or individuals, this is a pathway from the head to the heart and out into the world. Enjoy!