This engaging book of stories was first published by Divine Arts in November 2013 and after wide acclaim and five national awards, it is being reissued with a few new stories, a new publisher, and a new cover photo. It accentuates the author's highest purpose — "to live a sacred life, connected to others, nature, and the divine through love, gratefulness, and acts of service."
Rivvy Neshama is a writer, editor, and community organizer who holds degrees in philosophy, comparative literature, social work, and education. This energized spiritual generalist has walked her talk over the years as a teacher and social worker in Harlem, a campaign manager in Boulder, a college instructor in Queens, and a tarot card reader at Macy's on Halloween.
We thank our friend Jane Vennard for recommending that we read this fine and often funny collection of meaningful stories about body, mind, and soul. Spiritual practices embrace the Spanish phrase "poco a poco" — little by little. With her short entries here, Neshama counsels us to walk the spiritual path slowly, step by step. It is the tiny changes in ritual and habit that open our hearts.
Neshama describes grace-filled encounters with others which flicker and then flame into portable wisdom — visiting a shaman and a Sufi teacher, meeting a cousin she never knew she had on an airplane, heeding the words of His Holiness the Dalai Lama on forgiveness, having little chats with backyard animals, or enjoying the sights and smells of a sacred community event, the street fair.
Since Neshama admits loving lists, we've made our own of quotes from Recipes for a Sacred Life.
*"Life is glorious, but life is also wretched. It is both.
Gloriousness and wretchedness need each other.
One inspires us; the other softens us, They
— Pema Chodron
*"Let there be you
Let there be me.
Let there be oysters
under the sea.
"Let there be cuckoos,
A lark and a dove,
But first of all, please…
Let there be love."
— Nat King Cole song
*"The more I learn about our world.
I sense a kindness at its core.
And it seems that all the species
how to take care of each other."
— Rivvy Neshama
*"Rituals are like ladders:
They can take you to a higher place."
— Rivvy Nashama