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* Featured Title * Paths to Wholeness: Fifty-Two Flower Mandalas by David J. Bookbinder

Tuesday, January 3, 2017
Paths to Wholeness, David J. Bookbinder, Featured Title, On My Kindle Book Reviews

Genre: Nonfiction, Photography, Self-Help, Spirituality
Format: eBook, Print
Publication Date: December 1, 2016

Back Cover

"David Bookbinder is one of those awakened souls whose near-death experience gave him fresh and timeless eyes. He has taken that gift and poured it into Paths to Wholeness: Fifty-Two Flower Mandalas, using innovative photography and heartfelt reflection to surface and praise the mysteries of the inner world." - Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening and The Endless Practice

More than just an arresting coffee table book, Paths to Wholeness: Fifty-Two Flower Mandalas also serves as a guide for successfully traversing the hills and valleys of our existence. The photography is stunning and the short essays that accompany each image are drawn from David's considerable life experience, spiritual and therapeutic training, and innate and accumulated wisdom. - Lama Marut, A Spiritual Renegade's Guide to the Good Life and Be Nobody

Paths to Wholeness: Fifty-Two Flower Mandalas, David J. Bookbinder, Featured Title, On My Kindle Book Reviews

Q&A

What inspired you to write this book?
My path to wholeness began with a brush with death that altered who I am, physically, emotionally, and intellectually. In this book, I worked to distill the best of what I’ve learned on the two-decade quest since then, from my career as a psychotherapist, and in the many years I have been on the planet.

As a therapist, I accompany my clients on the sometimes smooth, sometimes rocky journeys of their own paths to wholeness. We form a bond, and I serve as both companion and guide. They trust me because they know, as the late Leonard Cohen put it, “I’ve been where you’re hanging, I think I can see where you’re pinned.” In this book, I hope to engender a similar sense of accompaniment. Many of the people who have most influenced me I encountered in the pages of their books or in exhibitions of their work, but as I took in their thoughts, ideas, experiences, and imaginings, my interactions with them felt like a personal relationship. Here you will find the outline of my own path to wholeness, the teachings that have guided me, and insights I’ve gained along the way. I offer them to you in the same spirit that authors and artists from the past have shared their teachings and experiences with me.

Carl Jung, one of the fathers of modern psychology, believed mandalas are a pathway to the essential Self and used them with his patients and in his own personal transformation. In this book, I hope to carry on Jung’s tradition of using art as a means for healing and personal growth – the primary purposes it has served for me.
What is one of the most important points you make in the book? Why do feel this one point is important? Let us know what makes this point so meaningful to you.
A central point of my book, and the subject of the first chapter, is that if there is one main factor that divides those of us who do not change from those who do, I think it is acceptance: of who we are, how we got to where we are, and that we – and only we – have the power to free ourselves.

Acceptance is being who we are, in each succession of present moments, swayed neither by avoiding what we fear nor by clinging to what we think we can’t live without. In the absence of acceptance, there can be no forward movement. The hidden patterns that create clinging attachment and fearful aversion take over, repeating themselves in our minds, feelings, behaviors, and relationships. We grow older, and the external circumstances of our lives change, but inside it’s, as the Talking Heads put it, “the same as it ever was, same as it ever was, same as it ever was.”

Acceptance is the door that closes one life chapter and allows another to open. Acceptance is the last of Elizabeth Kubler Ross’s five stages of loss and a necessary precursor to moving on from mourning. Acceptance is the first of the 12 steps in addiction recovery programs and essential to beginning a sober life. Acceptance of self, and of responsibility for change, is the start of true recovery from the many unhappinesses that may come our way. Acceptance can be painful, but it is a pain that unburdens. In difficult circumstances, acceptance is the thing most of us try hardest to sidestep – and then try even harder to achieve. In its simplest form, acceptance is saying to ourselves, “Although I may be suffering, I can be content now. Yes, there are things I would like to change, and when I change them my life may have more ease, but I can already be content with my current circumstances.”

Accepting our real state, no matter what it is, begins the shift from victim – of external circumstances, of thoughts and feelings, of physical challenges, of past injuries – to victor.
Who are some of your favorite authors?
I'm currently on a Haruki Murakami reading streak. Other literary authors I like include older authors such as William Faulkner, James Agee, and Joseph Conrad; more recent authors such as J. M. Coetzee, William Gibson, and V. S. Naipaul; detective novelists Henning Mankell and P. D. James; science fiction writers Robert Silverberg and Philip K. Dick; and the Buddhist teacher and author Thich Nhat Hanh. I'm also a big fan of the poet William Blake.
What are you currently reading?
Murakami's The Wind-up Bird Chronicle.
What do you enjoy doing when you are not reading or writing?
I'm partial to motorcycling, photography, movies, and talking with friends late into the night.
Is there anything else you'd like to tell us about the book?
I've made a curated subset of the book, titled Paths to Wholeness: Selections, free on Kindle, iTunes, NOOK, Kobo, and Smashwords. The award-winning Flower Mandala images that are paired with each essay can be found at http://flowermandalas.org, and two coloring books for adults based on these mandalas are 52 Flower Mandalas and 52 (more) Flower Mandalas.

About David J. Bookbinder

David J. Bookbinder, Paths to Wholeness, Featured Title, On My Kindle Book Reviews
David J. Bookbinder, author. Reprinted with permission.
David J. Bookbinder is a writer, photographer, and psychotherapist. His award-winning Flower Mandala images were inspired by the paintings of Georgia O'Keeffe and the flower photographs of Harold Feinstein, with whom he briefly studied. David has been taking photographs since he was six. He came to psychotherapy after a transformative near-death experience shifted him toward art and healing. David holds Masters degrees in Counseling Psychology and Creative Writing. In addition to 'Paths to Wholeness,' he is the author of two coloring books for adults that are based on his Flower Mandalas, as well as a book about American folk music and three books about computer software.
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Paths to Wholeness: Fifty-Two Flower Mandalas sounds like an inspiring and empowering book, and I am honored that Mr. Bookbinder allowed me to feature this book on the blog!

I also just discovered that Mr. Bookbinder is hosting a giveaway for Paths to Wholeness: Fifty-Two Flower Mandalas and 52 (more) Flower Mandalas, so make sure to visit his blog before January 5th to find out more! 

Have you read Paths to Wholeness: Fifty-Two Flower Mandalas? If so, what did you think of it? Let us know in the comments.

Thank you, Mr. Bookbinder for joining the On My Kindle family of authors. I hope that we can work together again in the future!