= Heart-Centered Living
Reviewer: The Rebecca Review November 19, 2003
"Turmoil is a call for awakening. Every
challenge, great or small, is moving you to look deeper and draw
forth the highest in you. You're never given a challenge beyond
your ability to meet and master. You'll rise above every
circumstance because you're greater than any circumstance."
Alan Cohen's wisdom continues to inspire me after years of
hearing excerpts from his books on the "Dave 'til
Dawn" show. Every time Dave Wingert would read a quote or
passage it would be exactly what I needed to hear. Finally, I
decided to read all of Alan's books and thought I should start
with "Wisdom of the Heart."
Alan Cohen's message accesses a deep place of peace and can
calm a troubled heart. His insight and wisdom will resonate with
your core beliefs, no matter what religion you espouse. If there
is a battle between your head and heart, this book will quickly
remedy any doubts and will foster an environment in which you
can escape the tyranny of the mind.
Through aphorisms, lessons, poems, quotations, humorous stories
and parables, Alan provides a calm environment in which you can
reconnect with your heart. Unique quotes and passages from
Anatole France, Theophane the Monk, Parker J. Palmer, Rumi,
William Shakespeare, D. H. Lawrence, William James, Piet Hein,
Walt Whitman and Albert Schweitzer made this book quite
interesting. Especially since these were not quotes you would
find that easily. There are also many stories that are part of
oral traditions passed down through generations of storytellers.
Each chapter begins with a story or poetic quotations and then
Alan provides a few paragraphs of insight. There are 52
selections. You can read one a week or devour them all in a
single sitting. I enjoyed this book so much, I seriously could
not stop reading and the pages kept turning.
Many of the stories have humorous endings. This book will
also heal with laughter. I loved the story about "Caller
I.D." in which a mystery is solved and two people find
their soul mates. Then, in "Smoke Signals" we find
that in the irony of life, our problems can be solved by what we
first assume is a tragedy. In "True To Yourself" Alan
shows how we can follow our unique path in life and reap the
benefits of perseverance.
Alan Cohen has a unique style of writing. He is able to
condense profound thoughts in a minimum of sentences. He speaks
directly to your heart. I found his lyrical style comforting and
healing. "Wisdom of the Heart" will lead you to a
place where your heart will open and your mind will submit to a
new place of calm.
Alan is a "truth finder." If you are seeking, this
is a book where you will find a place to set down your
depression, discouragement and failures in the past.
"Wisdom of the Heart" shows you the beauty of the
"Cosmic Coincidence Control Center." It guides you to
the path of a success thinker and gives you permission to follow
the path your heart will love.
Also look for:
The Dragon Doesn't Live Here Anymore
A Deep Breath of Life
Lifestyles of the Rich in Spirit
Looking in for Number One
The Peace that You Seek
Why Your Life Sucks and What You Can Do About It
The Dragon Doesn't Live Here Anymore
Tears and Dreams , October 4, 2004
Adversity is our dear friend. It is the driving force that
pushes us out of our comfortable nest and forces us to learn to
fly on our own. We can really welcome adversity as a gift.
Without it our growth is very slow. With it, we are transformed
from fledglings into masters. Every great person has a history
of adversity. No one has ever made a contribution to humanity
without first undergoing a certain amount of trials. ~Alan Cohen
Through Alan Cohen's books I've learned a lot about myself and
quite a bit about life itself in all its highs and lows. Alan
seems to encourage me to look at life as more of a challenge. He
sees humor and lessons in situations that would cause others to
sink into a deep depression. He has a secret way of looking at
life that he reveals in his caring way and wise contemplations.
At the start of this book he lists dynamic ideas to open your
heart and mind and then he delves into an almost
autobiographical essay. If you are interested in how Alan
started his journey, then this particular book will reveal his
initial interests, his yearning for a connection with the Divine
and how he sought out various books and teachers to guide him in
his spiritual quest.
This book is divided into two sections: The Journey and The
Homecoming. Alan talks about how he visited a Zen monastery,
became interested in Ram Dass and Jesus' teachings and worked in
a Seven-Eleven type store. He finally meets a spiritual teacher
named Hilda who has a profound effect on his life.
Through stories, meditations and inspired insight he weaves a
book to heal your soul and comfort you in times when you need a
shoulder to cry on. You can draw strength from this book or make
it a place of comfort and support. Some of the essay chapters
Enough is Enough
If Not Now, When?
Health, Wholeness, and Holiness
The Key to the Future
The Power of Appreciation
The Law of Attraction
There is an intimacy in Alan's books that mingles with humor and
spiritual healing. It seems that when I'm feeling sad, Alan's
books either make me laugh or help me to release my negative
emotions in tears. So, either way, the reading of The Dragon
Doesn't Live Here Anymore helped me fight off a few angry
invisible dragons. There are nice dragons too, I think. Those
are the dragons that love to fly across the October moon and
enjoy seeing their shadow floating across lakes.
After reading this book, you may want to watch the Dare to be
Yourself video or look for additional books. When I read Alan's
books, I seem to wake up the next day high on life itself. There
is an energy in his books that makes me want to write!
Happily Even After
Honoring Those You Have Loved, September 20, 2004
Alan Cohen has the almost god-like ability to see good in
even the most trying of situations. He may have in fact
perfected the art of Wabi Sabi living as described in a book by
Taro Gold of the same name. I have never ceased to be amazed at
how Alan Cohen can see good in even the most devastating
emotional situations. He is truly a survivor and life can rarely
throw him a challenge he can't handle.
If you are going through a divorce, considering a divorce
(especially if you have children), are in the middle of a
breakup or even just ending a relationship with your significant
other, then this book may be a helpful guide leading you towards
greater happiness instead of unending self-defeating patterns.
I love finding quotes in Alan's books and the quote that stood
out was: "Every problem comes to you with a gift in its
hands." ~Richard Bach
While it is almost impossible to see the good in a breakup if
you want to stay in a relationship, there is something to be
said for a gain in the area of self-esteem if you find yourself
free to look for someone who will treat you with more respect.
The list of common ways we distract ourselves from emotional
pain made sense to me. They are probably the same ways a person
could escape from depression or dealing with life's everyday
problems. Denial, blaming, guilt and addictions are discussed
briefly and there are real-life examples throughout this amazing
First, you realize you do have the power to love, even if you
don't have the power to maintain the relationship that is
dissolving. To love a person who has rejected the very core of
yourself is probably the most difficult thing you will ever have
to do besides deal with the death of a person you love. Staying
friends with your ex? How? Apparently it is possible and can be
accomplished by allowing yourself to move through the various
stages as you move out of a deeply involved lover relationship
and turn a lover into a friend.
Imagine an author who is able to find the opportunities gained
in a situation where your heart has been broken. In this
discussion of "staying friends with your ex," Alan
Cohen also gives lists of the wrong reasons couples get together
in the first place. This could be helpful as you seek a
different partner. He delves into post-breakup scenarios,
meaningful breakup rituals, communication issues, transitional
relationships and how to communicate through a brick wall.
I do have to make one comment in regards to knowing when it is
time to not maintain a friendship. When the person is abusive,
it might just be time to end the relationship and find the love
and support you crave in a more nurturing environment. Often,
God will send angels to lead you from a bad situation to a place
of healing. By being patient in the cycles of resting and
renewal, we can then grow in spiritual ways we never imagined to
be possible. Chapter 9, Good-Bye for Good is a chapter that
could bring healing instead of discord.
I think this is possibly the most helpful relationship book Alan
Cohen has ever written, although I still have a few more books
to read. The section on the Power of Thought is an excellent way
to send love to those who are far away. I found page 159 to be
especially healing and that one page is worth the price of the