A Primer for Pilgrims

July 12, 2014

With pleasure, we announce publication of the newest Soul*Spark eBook, A Primer for Pilgrims.

*PilgrimsfinalCoverIn a wealth of ways across a wide span of traditions and hundreds of generations, pilgrims have sought out holy places: forest groves, healing wells or springs, pyramids, mountains, churches, temples, stone circles or labyrinths. Millions of people have traveled for a host of reasons.

In the end, whether we go willingly or unwillingly, whether we regard ourselves as tourists, business agents, or sacred travelers, we are all, pilgrims. A pilgrimage is a journey, not only outward to a faraway place, but also, inevitably, inward toward spiritual understanding and growth. In our era pilgrimage can be as well a critical geospiritual deed to help maintain the balance of our land, our planet, our lives.

This eBook is an invaluable guide to personal spiritual growth, as well as to earth healing. It’s also a collection of riveting and beautifully told true stories about critical geospiritual actions in North America

This nonfiction eBook by veteran journalist Steven McFadden also acknowledges, honors, draws from and strives to integrate the many cultures and traditions which have streamed onto Turtle Island (North America) over the last 500 years or so.

Author Steven McFadden walks the labyrinth, circla 1998.

Author Steven McFadden walks the labyrinth.

We have long needed, and finally have begun to find ways to graft the far-flung traditions from Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Australia, Asia, and beyond — onto the rootstock that is so deeply embedded here: Native ways. So many teachings make beautiful sense, in both the short and the long term, in ways both common and rare. We need all the wisdom we can summon to meet the challenges of our times, and native pilgrimage teachings offer a deep foundation.

The book offers a wealth of insight about the challenges that arise in pilgrimage and the profound good that such a spiritual exercise may bring – not just for the individual pilgrims, but also for the world at large.

Pilgrims may set out to do penance for past evils, to find answers to questions, to invoke blessings, to pursue spiritual ecstasy, or to seek a miracle for a friend or family member. Increasingly in our era, pilgrims also set out to help heal the earth.

In most mystical traditions it is said that the human soul itself, every human soul, is on a pilgrimage, consciously or unconsciously. He or she is bound for a holy place and therefore life is not just for enjoyment, but the soul also has dharma, a purpose or objective that must ever be kept in focus.

Now as you set out on the literary pilgrimage of reading this book, my hope as the author is that it will offer up useful compass points to help you maintain your bearings.

Journeys to luminous locations are often undertaken by people with scant understanding of what pilgrimage is and the principles that have been found to enhance it. Thus, they may see only what they have come to see, whereas intentional pilgrims may more readily open doors of perception, encounter revelation, and gain constructive power.

To the extent any or all of us are alienated by modern life from the natural world, a pilgrimage to a sacred place can help heal and restore this. The energetic atmosphere of sacred places can awaken a slumbering soul, providing not only renewal, but also a clearer sense of purpose. The energy can invigorate and promote balance — assisting human beings to realign through physical, mental, and emotional planes.

Pilgrim Marie McFadden

Pilgrim Marie McFadden

Just as I finished writing and prepared to publish this new eBook, my mother died. Marie Dolores Fitzsimmons McFadden was herself an inveterate pilgrim. Over the 92 1/2 years of her life she traveled to just about every region of the planet, and to an impressive number of sacred sites including Jerusalem, Rome, Fatima, Lourdes, El Santuario de Chimayo, St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin, and many other places. To honor her memory, this new book is dedicated to her, as well as to all of us who are “on the road” in an era when extreme circumstances call out for our presence and our intelligent healing participation.

A Primer for Pilgrims delivers nonfiction insight, excitement, inspiration, adventure, and more. It’s available in 10 different eBook and Smartphone formats through Smashwords, and also available for Kindle through Amazon.com and for all Apple devices such as iPad and iPhone in the Apple bookstore.

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#Amazon-buynow


The Latest Soul*Spark: Teach Us to Number Our Days

May 27, 2014

With pleasure, we announce the publication of our 4th Soul*Spark, Teach Us to Number Our Days: A Compilation of Keys for Adept Aging (2nd ed.).

*daysfinalThroughout history most successful and long-lived civilizations have held a place of respect for elders, and have benefited from their life wisdom. By and large this tradition is missing today, to the detriment not only of elders but also of society.

True elders are people who have gracefully accepted the passage of time, integrated their life experience with deep understanding, and made the fruit of their long experience available to others.

But how does one do this? How does one become a true elder? This elegant compilation – a book drawing on the wisdom of all cultures and all times – offers keys from wisdom keepers around the world, from all traditions, and from all eras of history.

“Clearly not everyone who becomes old also becomes an elder. But some do, and many more could…True elders are people who have gracefully accepted the passage of time, integrated their life experience with deep understanding, and made the fruit of their long experience available to others,” writes author and editor Steven McFadden.

As reviewers have commented, this book is a “salutary collection of quotations which put the accent on the positive aspects of conscious aging and sharing wisdom with the world.”

The book is now available for purchase via Smashwords in 10 different ebook formats, so it can be dowloaded and read on any device: ebook reader, smartphone, computer, iPad or tablet.  It is also available now through Amazon.com, and will soon be available through Barnes & Noble, Apple Store, and other major retailers.


How We Must Be to Influence the Future

October 30, 2013
Leon Secatero

Grandfather Leon Secatero

The late Navajo elder Leon Secatero once told me that he saw the Wind Walkers take corn pollen in their mouths to bless their words before they spoke to him.

“The elders talked about positive things, focusing on the positive to make things happen, to bring in good energy so that life will continue. They said to use song, prayer, dance to focus on positive thought, and to help us go forward on the path to the future in a good way, in a sacred way.”

“What I was shown,” Grandfather Leon told me, “was the way we should be, how we must be to influence the future, and also to influence all the plants, the animals, the waters, the air and the fire.

“It’s important. I came to a knowing that the only way you can have the power, is through the color and the light of positive thought and energy. Put all your concentration on this, not other things.

“Put your concentration on the positive. That’s how it’s done.”

- Excerpt from a forthcoming Soul*Sparks book
by author Steven McFadden


Special Fall Sale: 20% off Classical Considerations

September 25, 2013

From now until October 31, 2013, you can save 20% off the cost of the Soul*Sparks ebook, Classical Considerations: Musings Prompted by the Late Harvard Master John H. Finley, Jr.

wisdomlightTo purchase the book at the sale price, follow this link to the Classical Considerations web page, and select the ebook, Smartphone or PDF format you want, and then on the check out page enter coupon code RV74E.

A discount on wisdom! Such a deal.

Like shards of pottery excavated from some ancient site, the fragments of Master Finley and the classics offered herein allow readers to extrapolate and to experience some of the debate and discussion that he spurred at Harvard – questions and responses that remain eminently relevant.


New Book Birthed: Classical Considerations

January 31, 2013

MusingsfinalWith pleasure, Soul*Sparks Books announces the publication of a new, nonfiction eBook: Classical Considerations.

Life’s foundational questions come elegantly to the fore in this skillfully crafted nonfiction story about the late John H. Finley, Jr.  For 51 years Finley was the celebrated and erudite Eliot Professor of the Classics at Harvard.

Luminous and compellingly relevant, Finley’s story leads readers directly into engagement with the fundamental wisdom questions of any worthwhile life.

Classical Considerations offers a compact (44 pages) but strikingly lyrical array of intellectual sparks that will kindle an exuberant fire in every reader’s soul.

The eBook is available now at Amazon.com, Barnes&Noble.com, and in 9 different ebook and smartphone formats at Smashwords.com.  There is a version adapted to iPhones and iPads at Smashwords, and the book will soon be available through the Apple store and other online venues.


Coming Soon in 2013

January 19, 2013

Musingsfinal


“Profiles in Wisdom” – bestseller now an ebook

July 21, 2012

This wise and provocative collection is highly recommended.” – Library Journal

I’m pleased to report that Harlem Writer’s Guild has this week announced that one of my early books, the best-selling Profiles in Wisdom: Native Elders Speak About the Earth, has been converted to an eBook file format.  The new eBook version, EPUB, is becoming the standard for the eBook industry.

With the epic fires, drought and storms that have marked this summer, the publication of this work as an ebook seems all the more relevant. Many of the venerable native elders I interviewed for the book spoke of Earth Changes, as understood from their traditional teachings. And they offer much guidance on how we can respond.

In writing the book, I took my lead from John F. Kennedy’s Pulitzer Prize winning Profiles in Courage. Focusing on the quality and relevance of sagacity, the book Profiles in Wisdom presents the stories and thinking of 17 Native American spiritual elders. As our existing culture shifts, what do the ancient ones who have been trained in the sacred traditions of Turtle Island (North America) have to say to us? The elders offer penetrating and poetic insight on a host of crucial matters.

Profiles in Wisdom gives the elders an opportunity to relate their diverse teachings about the human relationship with the Earth. Each of the elders has a personal story, character trait, or insight that can help us get in touch with our own innate wisdom. Their teachings are in response to a series of critical questions asked of each of them: What is your personal story? What do you see happening in the world now? What do you see ahead? What specific advice do you offer to those who will listen? What have you come to know about living in balance on the Earth? How could other people apply these lessons?

Profiles in Wisdom is available for immediate download as an ebook on many web sites.

New York Times Book Review:Profiles in Wisdom does a fine job not only of presenting the dignity, complexity, and wit of important Indian philosophers and religious leaders, but also of issuing cautions agains easy uplift and wisdom injections…There are some stirring and unexpected powers unleashed in this book.”

The Washington Times, John Elvin: “Our leaders should sit and listen to the counsel Steven McFadden has gathered in this book.”


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