Book of Transformation and Wildfire

Last night I decided to reread The Dalai Lama’s Book of Transformation, a short book that I originally purchased two summers ago at an airport. As I read it in the car that day, filling time as I accompanied my parents on a shopping trip, I was deeply impressed by the clarity of his words and by the advice he shared. Last night, between rounds here at work, I again felt a true sense of reverence for a man that is undoubtably one of the world’s most inspiring and capable temporal and spiritual leaders.
The Dalai Lama’s Book of Transformation is filled with the sound, practical and universal spiritual advice that Buddhism promotes. The focus of this book is cultivating altruism and compassion, the core of all spirituality, and this is explored in a very accessable language and with metaphors that are easy for anyone to relate to. The Dalai Lama shares methods for transformation that work gradually, yet have profound impact on us over time, creating both a more noble outlook for ourselves and positive cycles that will benefit the world. Universal virtues are promoted in this book and are all shown to be rooted in compassion.
Such a small book can have surprising impact upon any of our lives if we give it sincere attention and take its teachings to heart. While there are more in depth works by this Lama, there’s much to be found here that can enrich your life. If you come across The Dalai Lama’s Book of Transformation don’t hesitate to give it a try.

I recently read Jo Clayton’s Wildfire, the second book in her Wild Magic trilogy. I enjoyed the first book a fair deal, and the sequel is on par with it.
It follows the development and adventures of Faan, a gifted, untrained and displaced young magic-user. The strength of the narritive derives from the realistic characters that are tortured with apparant and authentic flaws. Fann, for instance, struggles with unfocused talent and to control her anger.
Like the previous novel, Wild Magic, it explores cultures created with an attention to detail and realism. It carried over the emphasis on the language of the invented cultures, something I found to actually take away from the immersiveness of the story, bringing attention to foreign words rather than the foreign experiences and details more essential to theme and story. The struggles between gods, users of magic and other characters was well developed, if confusing at times, bringing forth whims and faults of gods in a manner similar to Greek myth, though with a distinct system.
Wildfire is out of print and likely hard to find, but it’s worth tracking down online or from your local used book seller. I’ve not read more than two of Jo Clayton’s books but I look forward to finishing this trilogy and reading other of her books.

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