Here, There and Everywhere

LastConception-CoverMy novel The Last Conception was just born at Melange Books.

The description and some kind words from best selling, nationally recognized and award-winning novelists, follow (below).

I hope you’ll get a copy or two and tell your friends, family and colleagues. If you enjoy the story, don’t hesitate to leave a good review.

Available in print and eBook formats at: Melange Books
Kindle edition available at: Amazon

With Gratitude,
Gabriel

The Last Conception
By Gabriel Constans
Melange Books – 179 pages
Published: July 17, 2014

A successful embryologist (Savarna) must make difficult and life-changing choices. Should she continue devoting her soul to work and party with her girlfriend Magdalena or settle down with Charlemagne (Charly) and have children? If she decides to have children, how and when will they start the process and what will it take to convince her conservative East Indian mother to stop trying to marry her off to a “good man”? If that isn’t enough pressure, throw in the bomb her parents plant when they tell her she MUST have a baby because she is the last in line of a great spiritual teacher who reportedly never had children!

Advance Praise for The Last Conception by Gabriel Constans.

Gabriel Constans’ inspiring new novel delves into the framework of our purpose in life; explores the tenuous balance between destiny and personal truth and the struggle we undergo when those forces are at odds. Constans weaves the two together seamlessly and in the end, we are certain that love surpasses tradition, destiny and our own selfish wants.
Syd Parker, best-selling author of Secrets of the Heart, Love’s Abiding Spirit and Immediate Possession.

Often, when tradition and technology meet they collide without forgiveness. Gabriel Constans manages to bring these opposites together with an open heart and the result is a story of compassion, love and the gifts that a generous partnership can provide.
Joan Tewkesbury, award-winning filmmaker, screenwriter and novelist. Author of Ebba and The Green Dresses of Oliva Gomez in a Time of Conflict and War.

The Last Conception is a delightful read! It depicts a family muddling its way through a mire of personal, cultural, and generational differences, and reminds us all to slow down and remember – what else – love. Besides, what good are agendas when the dance of life is out of our control?
Clifford Henderson, author of acclaimed Spanking New and Mae’s Request.

“The Last Conception” is a bhakti-fest of love and loss, hope and courage that comes in unexpected packages. Take a peek into the lives of an Indian-American family faced with an unusual demand of their medical professional unmarried daughter whose job and personal life intersect in unanticipated ways. Although happy endings are never guaranteed, it seems that one is in the offing for this savory literary masala.
Edie Weinstein, author of The Bliss Mistress Guide To Transforming the Ordinary Into the Extraordinary.

The Last Conception is an engaging and unexpected tale of a young American woman whose choices about partnership and parenting have significant implications for her East Indian parents. According to them, it is Savarna’s destiny to have a child, to continue the lineage of an ancient spiritual teacher. The novella is well written and fast-paced and evokes important inquires into spirituality and the true meaning of birth.
Donna Baier Stein – author of the novel Fortune and award-winning short stories, including The Yogi and the Peacock, El Nino, The Jewel Box, Coming Clean and Lambada.

In The Last Conception, Gabriel Constans reaches into everyone’s heart and mind. He explores the essence of religion, not as something prescribed, but as a suggestion of loving connectedness beyond time.
Arny Mindell, author of The Dreammaker’s Apprentice and The Shaman’s Body.

The Last Conception is a compelling read. The mystery at the heart of this tale about the complicatons of conception lures the reader to examine the deeper issues facing the characters: telling the truth about one’s needs and desires, the urge to have children, the pressures of family ancestry, and the power of love. Suspenseful and sweet, there’s always an unexpected twist, all the way to the end.
Marcy Alancraig – author of A Woman of Heart, accepted by the National Jewish Book Awards and Lambda Awards for a debut novel.

Watching the fútbol festivities over the past month has taught me much and more about the power of sport – its ability to unite nations toward a common cause, create hope for the future, and celebrate the victories of others as one’s own.

What if these same responses – unity, hope for the future, and celebration of success – also happened each and every time a poor entrepreneur pulled herself out of poverty?

futbol2014-Header-copy-4

In Honduras – a player in this summer’s games – FINCA reaches nearly 20,000 individuals, and we consider each success akin to a game-winning goal. For Ana Osorio, that goal was receiving a FINCA loan for her cheese business, allowing her to buy greater quantities of milk at better prices. Initially clearing just US$2 in profit per day, Ana has nearly quadrupled her earnings, allowing her to better provide for herself and her family.

Join FINCA as we celebrate the success of Ana and the over one million other microentrepreneurs in 22 countries who have benefitted from FINCA loans – and show your support today.

Thank you for your generosity.

Sincerely,

Soledad Gompf
Vice President
FINCA

South African anti-apartheid author Nadine Gordimer dies, aged 90
Reuters South Africa
Mon 14 July 2014 1:07pm GMT

JOHANNESBURG, July 14 (Reuters) – South African Nobel Prize-winning author Nadine Gordimer, one of the literary world’s most powerful voices against apartheid, has died at the age of 90, her family said on Monday.

Gordimer died peacefully at her Johannesburg home on Sunday evening in the presence of her children, Hugo and Oriane, a statement from the family said. (Reporting by Ndundu Sithole; Writing by Ed Cropley; Editing by Pascal Fletcher)

images

Good Minds Suggest—Deborah Harkness’s Favorite Books with Brainy Heroines
From Goodreads – July, 2014

16054217Who better to mold a brainy heroine of paranormal fantasy novels than a devoted academic herself? Professor Deborah Harkness teaches history at the University of Southern California, although you may know her better as the author of the wildly popular All Souls Trilogy, which includes A Discovery of Witches, Shadow of Night, and the final installment out this month, The Book of Life. Harkness’s intellectual passion is the history of science—encompassing the history of magic and alchemy. At the heart of her madcap epic is a similarly erudite historian, Diana Bishop, a researcher (and witch, whose magical powers have been suppressed) who uncovers a powerful manuscript at Oxford’s Bodleian Library and falls in love with an aristocratic 1,500-year-old vampire (who is, appropriately, also a bookworm with a penchant for genetics). Harkness shares five books featuring women who can out-reason or out-research any adversary.

Read all of Professor Harkness’s recommendations and more at GOODREADS.

8 Days Until Release

LastConception-CoverIn eight days my novel, The Last Conception, is being released by Melange Books!

Here are some wonderfully kind words from one of the pre-publication reviews.

‘The Last Conception’ is a bhakti-fest of love and loss, hope and courage that comes in unexpected packages. Take a peek into the lives of an Indian-American family faced with an unusual demand of their medical professional unmarried daughter whose job and personal life intersect in unanticipated ways. Although happy endings are never guaranteed, it seems that one is in the offing for this savory literary masala.

Edie Weinstein, author of The Bliss Mistress Guide To Transforming the Ordinary Into the Extraordinary.

The Navy said it couldn’t happen again, but now U.S. Navy sonar exercises in Crete have driven whales onto the beaches to die, once again.

This heartbreaking photo shows just two of the whales who were killed by U.S. Navy sonar exercises in April.

whale-stranding-credit-300x198

Now the autopsy results are in, showing hemorrhaging of internal organs, bleeding from the ears, and other signs of decompression sickness, and the cause of this crime is clear: Navy sonar. OUR Navy.

Enough is enough. The killing must stop. Right now!

As commander in chief, the president has direct command over the Army and the Navy. He is constitutionally charged with taking care that the laws are faithfully executed. The killing of innocent whales and dolphins—whether in domestic or foreign waters—is a flagrant violation of the Marine Mammal Protection Act and other federal laws. The Navy is not above the law. These crimes violate every code of human decency and must be stopped.

With the single stroke of his pen, President Obama can order the Secretary of the Navy to cease sonar trainings in whale and dolphin habitats.

Please join me in demanding that the president sign an executive order halting sonar trainings in marine mammal habitats.

The president has direct authority over the National Marine Fisheries Service, the federal agency charged with enforcing our marine mammal protection laws. With one phone call, the president can order the head of Fisheries to require the Navy to conduct Environmental Impact Statements on all its training ranges, both domestic and international.

It’s too late to save the whales who died during the U.S. Navy war games in Crete. But if you and I cry out for justice, we can compel the president to act. Together, we have the power to end the U.S. Navy’s war on whales and dolphins.

Click here to add your name to the petition, and then pass it along to your friends who care about whales and our oceans.

With heartfelt thanks,

–Lyndia

This petition was created on MoveOn’s online petition site.

PHOTO CREDIT: L. Aggelopoulos /Pelagos Cetacean Research Institute 2014. Used with permission.

Keep It Simple

Keep It Simple: The gift of awareness.
by Andrew Olendzki
Tricycle Summer 2014

The human mind has a tendency to make everything it takes up more complicated and elaborate than it needs to be. You may have noticed this. The Buddhists even have a word for it, papanca, which means something like mental proliferation.

086ThusHaveWeHeard

Meditation moves us in the other direction. It is an attempt to remove, piece by piece, layer by layer, all of the baroque ornamentation with which we embellish our world of constructed experience. Underneath all the drama, the restlessness, the hopes and fears, behind the narratives we weave about ourselves, and even before we’ve thought of ourselves as ourselves, lies a simple, unadorned awareness. It’s not even a thing—just an event that happens, a little burst of knowing, deep in the center of it all.

Experiencing this awareness has more to do with subtraction than with addition or multiplication. René Descartes was on its trail in his Meditations when he imagined all the complexities of our world to be an illusion. Take away everything with which we populate the story, and what is left? Just me, thinking. The Buddha got two steps further than Descartes, beyond the “me,” and beyond the thinking: awareness occurs. Knowing as an event does not belong to anyone, nor need it be constrained by the thinking of thoughts.

This is an alien idea for many in the modern world. Because so much of our mental activity consists of thoughts, images, concepts, and words, it seems inconceivable that the mind might manifest in powerful ways devoid of thought. Yet you can feel this for yourself (so to speak), here and now. It might take some practice, and 20 minutes of letting go of one thing after another, but the simple event that is consciousness, that unadorned episode of awareness, is accessible to direct experience. Like the dimmest of stars in the night sky, it slips away if you try to pin it down. But if you learn to release hold of the clutter and pry the mind out of the grooves and channels in which it is accustomed to run, you can feel it spilling out and spreading formlessly in other directions.

One of the most basic structures of the mind taught by the Buddha is that consciousness manifests in six modes, flows through six channels, or passes through six doors (choose your preferred metaphor). Consciousness is always aware of something, and it accesses six kinds of objects by means of six different organs. The sensory organs (eye, ear, nose, tongue, and body) and the mental organ (mind/ brain) compose an apparatus that is capable of processing information, each being sensitive to a particular type of data. The objects of experience consist of the information processed by the organs, and since there are six of them, there are six kinds of things of which we can be aware (sights, sounds, smells, tastes, touches, and thoughts).

Notice that thoughts are only one of these six strands of experience. Do we spend one-sixth of our time thinking about things and the rest of the time immersed in sensory experience? Hardly. We tend to operate in thinking mode almost exclusively, cycling through the other senses just briefly enough to provide information for the weaving of our conceptual narratives. Don’t believe me? Try practicing mindfulness of the body.

The first step in establishing mindfulness is to switch over to channel five, the stream of tactile bodily sensations, which serves to disrupt the tyranny of the thinking organ. That the attention wanders so easily and continually off the breath and into the story line demonstrates its habitual dominance. With patient and diligent practice, however, one can train oneself to be intensively aware of bodily sensations for many mind moments in a row. One “knows” the breath directly and intuitively, unmediated by concept, narration, or word.

The mind is now operating just as intensively as when we are thinking, but we are not thinking. We are being aware: not of the cognitive content of our thoughts but of the universe of microsensations that are exploding within the body every moment. Or perhaps we are intently aware of the nuances in the sound of a bird’s call, the rush of a passing car, or the cough of a person behind us in the meditation hall. Once just a data point to embellish our story, these sounds, when attended to without commentary, expand to become a vast territory encountered directly with awareness. The information provided by the senses is no longer of great interest, and serves merely as a support for something far more captivating: the quality of knowing.

Awareness itself becomes the most compelling object of awareness. This simple knowing, so peaceful, so clear, so open, seems diminished by and even wasted upon the narrow confines of mere thoughts. As the thinking about things is gradually squeezed out of the mind by filling the senses with awareness, and as each experience is allowed to flow through the point of focus without obstruction, we begin to get a glimpse of a profound simplicity. Everything is changing, everything is interdependent—and there is no one to whom any of it belongs.

Read complete article and more at TRICYCLE.

Tag Cloud

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 39 other followers