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Mayada was born into a powerful Iraqi family. One grandfather fought alongside Lawrence of Arabia. The other is acclaimed as the first true Arab nationalist. Her uncle was Prime Minister for nearly forty years, her mother an important politician. When Saddam Hussein and his Ba'ath party seized power, and instituted his reign of terror, Mayada found herself alone in Baghdad, a divorced parent of two children, earning a meagre living printing brochures. Until one morning in August 1999 she was summarily arrested and dragged to the notorious Baladiyat Prison, falsely accused of printing anti-government propaganda.
There she was thrown into a cell with 17 'shadow women'. Like latter-day Sherezades, these women passed their days, while waiting for the next interrogation and torture session, telling each other their stories. They were eager to hear Mayada's stories of her privileged former life, of the history of her proud family, of kings and queens, of meetings with Saddam himself.
Not only the story of a woman intimately connected to Iraq's cultured, ancient history, this book is a powerful witness to the terror and horror wrought by Saddam on the lives and souls of its ordinary citizens.
How to See Yourself As You Really Are is based on a fundamental Buddhist notion that love and insight work together to bring about enlightenment, like two wings of a bird. It provides a new perspective on the psychological problems of hurting ourselves through misguided, exaggerated notions of self, others, events and physical things. It shows how even our senses deceive us, drawing us into unwise attachments and negative actions that can only come back to haunt us in the future.
Drawing on wisdom and techniques refined in Tibetan monasteries for more than a thousand years, and adopting as its structure traditional Buddhist steps of meditative reflection, How to See Yourself As You Really Are includes practical exercises and gives readers a clear path to assess their growth and progress.
The book is enlivened throughout with warm personal anecdotes and intimate accounts of the Dalai Lama's experiences as a life-long student, a meditator, a political leader and an international figure working with other Nobel Peace Laureates to address crises around the world.
One of the world';s foremost religion journalists offers an unexpected and provocative look at where the Catholic Church is headed--and what the changes will mean for all of us.What will the Catholic Church be like in 100 years? Will there be a woman pope? Will dioceses throughout the United States and the rest of the world go bankrupt from years of scandal? In THE FUTURE CHURCH, John L. Allen puts forth the ten trends he believes will transform the Church into the twenty-second century. From the influence of Catholics in Africa, Asia, and Latin America on doctrine and practices to the impact of multinational organizations on local and ethical standards, Allen delves into the impact of globalization on the Roman Catholic Church and argues that it must rethink fundamental issues, policies, and ways of doing business. Allen shows that over the next century, the Church will have to respond to changes within the institution itself and in the world as a whole whether it is contending with biotechnical advances--including cloning and genetic enhancement--the aging Catholic population, or expanding the roles of the laity.Like Thomas Friedman';s The World Is Flat, THE FUTURE CHURCH establishes a new framework for meeting the challenges of a changing world.From the Hardcover edition.
From the author of Conclave and All the Pope’s Men comes the story of Pope John Paul II’s last days, the behind-the-scenes dynamics within the College of Cardinals that led to the choice of Joseph Ratzinger as Pope Benedict XVI.On April 18, 2005, the College of Cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church gathered to elect a successor to Pope John Paul II. Faced with several potential candidates, the cardinals made a bold choice, entrusting the Keys of the Kingdom to 78-year-old Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany, a man whose views on the challenges facing the Church and the broader culture could not be more unambiguous, or controversial. Questions arose as the world watched while Ratzinger was installed as Pope Benedict XVI, the 266th pontiff of the Catholic Church. Why Ratzinger? Why someone so clearly identified with the previous pope? Why not a “compromise” choice? Why a Cardinal from Western Europe and not from Africa or Latin America? What would this mean for the future of the Catholic Church? No one can tell the story of exactly what took place during the closed doors meeting, known as the conclave, when Cardinals from around the world cast their votes for the next pope, better than John L. Allen, Jr. As a correspondent for National Catholic Reporter and a Vatican analyst for CNN and National Public Radio, Allen has spent years covering Vatican politics and personalities, and his unique access to Roman alls of power has enabled him to write the ultimate behind-the-scenes account of the election of Pope Benedict XVI. The Rise of Benedict XVI is based on extensive research and exclusive interviews with eight cardinals representing five nationalities, guaranteeing readers an intimate glimpse into this monumental decision.But Allen’s insight also means that he is in a unique position to evaluate the accomplishments and legacy of the man now known as Pope Benedict XVI, and to provide some analysis of the direction he would take the Catholic Church in the coming years. Ratzinger’s long career as a major Vatican insider, force of influence, and occasionally polarizing figure, has ensured that his pontificate will be one of the most fascinating in the history of the Catholic Church. Benedict XVI would certainly have a major impact on the lives of the faithful around the world, and John Allen’s riveting new book is the definitive work on this turning point in history.From the Hardcover edition....
Jon Krakaueryes'>#8217;s literary reputation rests on insightful chronicles of lives conducted at the outer limits. He now shifts his focus from extremes of physical adventure to extremes of religious belief within our own borders, taking readers inside isolated American communities where some 40,000 Mormon Fundamentalists still practice polygamy. Defying both civil authorities and the Mormon establishment in Salt Lake City, the renegade leaders of these Talibanlike theocracies are zealots who answer only to God.At the core of Krakaueryes'>#8217;s book are brothers Ron and Dan Lafferty, who insist they received a commandment from God to kill a blameless woman and her baby girl. Beginning with a meticulously researched account of this appalling double murder, Krakauer constructs a multilayered, bonechilling narrative of messianic delusion, polygamy, savage violence, and unyielding faith. Along the way he uncovers a shadowy offshoot of Americayes'>#8217;s fastest growing religion, and raises provocative questions about the nature of religious belief.From the Trade Paperback edition.
The Vatican Diaries is an inside look at one of the world's most powerful and mysterious institutions, by John Thavis.
'A humane and realistic and (yes) humorous picture of a mortal institution. To an old Prot like me, it's a tour of alien terrain and a bridge to old and dear friends' Garrison Keillor
For thirty years John Thavis worked for the Catholic News Service in Rome and reported on the inner workings of the Vatican. The Vatican Diaries is his insightful and often very funny account of exactly what goes on in this unique and secretive institution. It's a place where cardinals fight private wars, scandals are constantly threatening to undermine papal authority, and reverence for the past comes up painfully against the considerations of modern life.
He describes the politics surrounding the election of a new pope and the beatification of an old one, the angst of dealing with the international issue of sexual abuse, the intricacies of arranging a Papal visit to India, the conflicts involved in trying to build a car park over an ancient Roman burial site - and above all the unfathomable personality of the conservative Pope Benedict XVI, the first pope to resign for 600 years. At this extraordinary moment of crisis in the Church, Thavis's account of its inner workings is invaluable.
'One closes John Thavis' perceptive study reflecting on the Vatican's challenge: to persist in a secularizing worl sometimes fascinated by the pomp and pageantry of St. Peter's-but often hostile or increasingly indifferent to the Church's determined mission to harmonize warring factions and bickering enemies, even if both are on the same Catholic side' New York Journal of Books
John Thavis recently retired as the prizewinning chief of the Rome bureau of Catholic News Service, where he had covered the Vatican since 1983. He is the past president of the International Association of Journalists Accredited to the Vatican, and in 2007 the Catholic Press Association awarded him the Saint Francis de Sales Award, the highest honour given by the Catholic press. He divides his time between Minnesota and Rome.
'Breathing brings the secret joy of meditation to you. You become
joyful, fresh and tolerant and everyone around you will benefit.'
The Sutra on the Full Awareness of Breathing is one of the three most essential
teachings of the Buddha. In Breathe! You Are Alive, scholar, poet and Zen master
Thich Nhat Hanh unfolds this core teaching, showing how to apply it to
everyday life. He explains the methods of conscious breathing that are presented
in the sutra and offers exercises for practicing those methods today. Moreover, his
engaging commentary shows the profound nourishment that can be available to
us when we slow down and get in touch with our breathing. Breathe! You Are
Alive shows how we all begin to take in peace and happiness with each and
An inspiring devotional featuring daily wisdom from number one New York Times bestselling author, Joyce Meyer.
Renowned Zen master and Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh, explores the origins of fear and offers detailed practises on how to deal with its often toxic presence in our lives. Formed by a lifetime of mindfulness in action, he also shows us the path to peace, happiness and freedom that can come out of such explorations. For him, happiness is not found by suppressing our emotions but by purposefully living in a mindfully aware state. Only in this way can we identify the source of pain that is responsible for our fear, and cut it off from its roots so that the pain can subside. When we're not held in the grip of fear, we can truly embrace the gifts of life.