Hollydolly Books

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Location: Gatineau, Quebec, Canada

I am an avid book reader. I prefer to read books by Indian authors or books set in India. I am also very interested in the Hindu religion/philosophy, so I do quite a bit of reading in that area. I also enjoy attending my local Hindu temple. It is so beautiful there, and the people are so gracious. They also serve delicious food. It is served with such love it is a joy to partake. I also am a real armchair traveller, so travel literature is a real favorite . I have also become a practising Buddhist, so I do a tremendous amount of studying, which I love. I enjoy going to my local Buddhist temple for study and meditation. Just to walk into the shrine room and see the beautiful serene statue of Buddha is very calming. I am also attending Yoga classes regularly, which I enjoy very much.I am also trying to improve my meditation.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Dalai Lama Visit

I am still enjoying the magic bubble I am encased in after attending the talk by His Holiness, who I am proud to say, is my spiritual leader. I relished every second spent in his company. It is an enormous privilege to be able to so, when so many of his followers in Tibet are denied this due to the Chinese, an invading force.

His Holiness is such an engaging person, when he speaks its as if he is speaking to you, and to you alone. On Sunday, I think there were close to 8 thousand people in attendance. He had each and everyone spellbound. His talk was very relaxed, at times humor filled.

He said ” the problems which we are facing, including Tibet, ultimately they are here, pointing to his heart, “First inner disarmament, then outer disarmament”. Despite all the atrocities committed by the Chinese upon his people, he is still an advocate of non-violence. He firmly believes that violent confrontation only heightens the violence. To me this makes perfect sense. How can peace prevail when it is forced upon another by violent means?

To me this was the highlight of my year; I cannot explain just how it enriches my life to hear his Holiness speak. I treasure his written word, and to hear him speak in person is just a wonder.

When he travels back to India, he will take with him yet again the love and respect so many Canadians have for him. I am so proud of our Prime Minister, meeting with His Holiness openly despite the insane drivel from Chinese authorities. I hope, under his breath Mr Harper was saying, "China, blow it out your ear".

Tashi Delek

Friday, October 26, 2007

The Dalai Lama Is Coming To Ottawa

This beautiful, gentle, peace loving man will be here Sunday, (Oct 28)and I will be attending his teaching. This will be the second time I have seen His Holiness and I am so excited.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

A Golden Age

Recently I read "A Golden Age" by Tahmima Anam. The story is set against the backdrop of the Bangladesh War of Independence. It tells the story of a family, and of a country on the brink of revolution, at a moment when all things seem possible. The opening line of the book caught me"Dear Husband, I lost our children today." From that moment on the book never let me go. It is the moving story of one woman's life during Bangladesh's War of Liberation, and the lengths to which one is willing to go for the people they love.
This is a must read.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Thich Nhat Hanh

If in our daily life we can smile, if we can be peaceful and happy, not only we, but everyone will profit from it. This is the most basic kind of peace work.

Art of Power, by Thich Nhat Hanh

Together with the Dalai Lama, Thich Nhat Hanh is my favorite, most beloved author. I read and cherish all his teachings. He speaks directly to my heart. No matter how bad a day I might be having, I can just read some of his words, or look at his picture on my altar, and I am immediately calm. A wonderful beautiful man.

This book was a treasure to read. As I devoured each and every page, it was if he was speaking directly to me.

"Thich Nhat Hanh illustrates how our current understanding of power leads us on a never ending search for external markers like job title or salary. This me–first approach to life may have originated in the business world, but the stress, fear and anxiety it causes are being felt by all of us everyday.

The words of this beautiful gentle Monk teaches us that true power comes from within and that what we seek we already have.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Orange Trees of Baghdad

'The Orange Trees of Baghdad is a stunning book . Leilah Nadir takes us with her in her quest to meet the members of her family whose lives have been uprooted by war."

This is a book that I found absolutely poignant to read. Without ever stepping onto Iraqi soil, Leilah Nadir, has captured the the sounds, sights and smells of Baghdad, she put me there. I could feel the agony her family experienced in seeing the country they love being torn apart by war. I could feel the heartache as her family watched their lives changing and unable to do any thing about it.

"Through her fathers memories, Leilah recounts her family's lost story, from Iraq at the turn of the twentieth century during the British occupation, to the Iraq-Iran War and the Gulf War. Through her cousins still living in Baghdad, she experiences the thunderous explosions of the present-day conflict, and Leilahs friend, award-winning photographer Farah Nosh, brings home news of Leilahs family after her visits to Iraq, as well as stunning photos of civilians and their often tragic stories".

I do urge everyone to read this book. I know I have had lot's of thoughts after putting this book down. My heart aches for the people of Iraq. Yes, times were bad under the rule of Saddam, but to see what is happening now...............I just place my hands together and bow my head in prayer for all those beautiful people of Iraq