Soul Afterlife shares your personal journey and the discoveries you have made along the way. What were some key ideas that you wanted to explore in this book?
That is an excellent question. Over a ten-year period, I noted more than a few explanations regarding the meaning of the phrase, “spirit of man”. It was, in part, an attempt to clarify the mind/body/spirit treatment concepts that were expressed in the psychiatric/behavioral health hospital industry. I explored medical, psychological, traditional religious, as well as philosophical justifications for using the word “spirit” – both in the positive and negative. In addition, I studied at a Taiwanese Buddhist monastery in Northern Virginia to understand deep-thinking Eastern philosophical views of the subject of human consciousness. At this holy place, I was introduced to the Buddhist/Sanskrit doctrine of anatman, also described with the Pali term anatta. My Buddhist friends argued that nothing is constant, everything changes through time – that we all have a constantly fluctuating stream of consciousness. In essence, there is no underlying substance that can be called a human soul or an independently fixed spirit.
I was conflicted over this when comparing it to everything that I was discovering. My latest book – “Soul Afterlife -Beyond the Near-Death Experience” – begins by documenting this debate: How can I bring into focus the Buddhist doctrine of anatman in the middle of everything I was uncovering? Ultimately, it required the discipline to look beyond obvious explanations – to remove the veil that seemingly walled in my superficial understanding. Only then could I begin to balance the scales concerning what was behind my continuation – that which I understand to be the consciousness of Bud Megargee.
My key ideas or strategies to explore all of this were:
First, if I place aside the doctrine of anatman, can I find my answers to the “spirit of man,” outside traditional interpretations of the human spirit and in a metaphysical account of what a soul and soul life might look like?
Second, in taking such a voyage I wanted companions – I did not want to travel alone. I wanted readers to become “co-pilots” and journey along with me into uncharted waters to challenging the authenticity of what we all have been taught about a life, death and our consciousness. The only requirements and tools that would be required? Our questions.
Have your spiritual ideas changed or evolved after your time studying at Wat Yaranna Rangsee?
I do not think that they have changed or evolved in dramatic fashion. Perhaps they simply have been categorically enhanced. Let me explain: My Buddhist monastery experience has not been one of deep philosophical enlightenment. Rather, I would classify it as settling on what “core” life beliefs, insights, and actions are essential to whom I have chosen to grow into. The voyage to become deeply self-aware is a weighty challenge. I found that Vipassana meditation – the dedication to self-examination and observation – provided the impetus to consider what I might need to change or adjust to become less flawed.
Confronting the notion that we are significantly more than we can imagine requires the courage to be self-forgiving, less imperfect and more compassionately aware. Perhaps, upon reflection, they would be the spiritual changes I would comfortably recognize.
What is one piece of advice you wish someone had given you before studying at the Buddhist Monastery?
I do not believe that there is a standard training pamphlet that exists prior to visiting a monastery but, here are several of my observations.
I remember initially standing in the entrance to the morning meditation room frozen by the level of respect that was on display between the monks, nuns and early morning visitors. Fashioned within the sounds of chanting and the periodic sound of the striking of an ancient bell, attentive monastic individuals were seeking the challenge of hunting for a moment of sincere enlightenment. Concentration, empathy and understanding are not just expressions for belonging within a Buddhist community. They are the needed building blocks for a heedful way of living.
So, to answer your question more directly – I would like to have been more prepared to understand that I would be an eyewitness to the heart of monastery attentiveness. That laced between the hum of an Om mantra, I would uncover the focused concentration necessary to grasp that, absent of my ego, I am more than I could possibly imagine.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
For the record, in the beginning, I never intended to write or publish anything as unconventional as life within the spirit world. Yet, with five alternative memoirs now in publication, including “Soul Afterlife – Beyond the near-Death Experience”, I am in the middle of organizing a sixth.
One theme that is universal throughout my mystical narrative accounts is the storybook temperament and collaboration of all energy. Within the literary limitations of “Soul Sins,” “Soul Mechanics,” “Soul Imprints,” and “Soul Afterlife,” there is an interconnection of energy with the natural elements that shape how we eventually act as a community.
It is becoming increasingly clear that stockpiled energy defines specific outcomes – individually, ecologically or within the intimate fabric of our society. As a result, I have begun to examine a detailed spiritual explanation of how the roles of water, fire, earth and air affects all life.
In “The Chaotic Energy of the Soul” I knowingly engulf my mystical narratives into the turbulence created by positive and negative chaos. Not everything that we experience is tilted toward disorder, but we need human warriors – those individuals who possess the indispensable energy to actively set the scales within nature’s basic elements, and in doing so, ensure that we all live inside a balanced world.
“The Chaotic Energy of the Soul” will be available in paperback, eBook and audiobook formats beginning Spring 2022.
Posted in Interviews
Tags: author, author interview, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, Bud Megargee, ebook, goodreads, kindle, kobo, literature, nook, novel, personal transformation, read, reader, reading, self help, Soul Afterlife, spirituality, story, writer, writing
DIY Conflict Resolution provides practical and actionable advice readers can use to resolve conflict and improve their life. Why was this an important book for you to write?
Even before the pandemic, too many people around me were hurting, and too often the hurt was exacerbated by their own doing. This is not to blame the victim, but to empower the survivor.
I have been one of those people stuck in a cycle of hurt and self-limitation. I was reminded of this as recently as Sunday, while finally going through some personal items from my late mother’s house. Tucked in a book was a letter from a friend I often wrote while he was playing hockey in Hungary. He gently told me how negative I usually was and how I needed to focus on gratitude. It probably hurt my feelings at the time, but I must have kept that letter because I knew he was right.
It’s hard for me to recognize that version of myself at this stage of my life, and I am so glad! It has taken a lot of work, but I have created healthier brain patterns and taken more productive actions. These have given me a far better life than I had back then. I want that for everyone who’s interested. A book seemed a good way to get them some tools to help them start creating better lives with small, easy-to-take steps they can take immediately.
What is your professional experience and how has that helped you write this book?
I’ve been practicing law in New York City since February 2002. I started my own practice in June 2003, as a result of a “last straw” conflict with an employer I had been very loyal to. That turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
I had begun my legal career litigating, mostly personal injury and workers compensation cases. Occasionally, I went to small claims and criminal court. A few times, I had been in family and surrogate’s courts, including the special part for mental hygiene cases. Regardless of the forum, there seemed to be a huge disconnect between the ideals sought by the parties and the results produced. I had seen this as a plaintiff, too, in my own lawsuit against a prior employer. I was confused by the results because I knew how effective mediation and alternative dispute resolution (ADR) could be. Yet I rarely saw parties opting for them. So, I did what I normally do when I’m looking for answers. I went on a knowledge quest.
I got certified in mediation by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the International Center for Ethno-Religious Mediation (ICERM). I served two years as ICERM’s Main Representative to the United Nations. I completed the Curriculum for Living at Landmark Worldwide and coached Landmark’s Self-Expression and Leadership Program. I committed to continuous self-improvement, so that I could better serve the people around me.
This all came in quite handy after I was violently assaulted on my walk home from Landmark in January 2014. (I tell that story in the book.) Thank goodness I was no longer who my friend wrote to from Hungary in 1997! Instead of treading water from the tears of my sad story (like I would have before), I was able to look more objectively at the situation and more compassionately at the 14-year-old boy who injured me. I found courage to consider what was best for me, him, his family, the courts, and more. I also found the motivation to finally write a book—something I had wanted to do since I was at least 12 years old.
I wasn’t expecting the defining moment of my “writing career” to come with a body slam to the sidewalk, multiple injuries, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Perhaps I wrote the book because I don’t want others to wait for a traumatic experience to remind them to live. I want them to have tools now, and I want us all to have less trauma.
What were some ideas that were important for you to explore in this book?
The most important message I want readers to get is that they can build skill in resolving their own conflicts, and this will improve how they see and feel about their lives. This causes exponential improvement over time. I’m not the most patient person either and I would prefer a more immediate solution. Yet I can see how much easier it is to take small steps consistently toward lasting change. This book is written to keep us all taking those actions, even when we aren’t sure what’s next. As Dr. David J. Schwartz wrote in The Magic of Thinking Big, “Action cures fear.” I hope this will help readers get back in action.
What is a common misconception you find people have about conflict resolution?
People often think conflict resolution is when someone else tells you who is right, who is wrong, and who gets what. There is a place for that process, but the majority of us want more of a say in our lives. We just need to help figuring out how to express ourselves effectively and take effective actions despite our fears, concerns, frustrations, boredom, and doubt. We are all a lot more powerful than we realize, especially when emotions get high.
In DIY Conflict Resolution, Nance L. Schick, Esq. draws from her proprietary conflict mediation process to create an invaluable step-by-step guide to workplace conflict resolution. Informed by Schick’s extensive experience as an employment attorney, diversity trainer, and conflict resolution coach, this groundbreaking guide to listening effectively in the workplace teaches you how to become a compassionate listener and instructs you in resolving conflicts at work on your own. Schick shows you how to navigate your past experiences with conflict and discover practical solutions to define the dispute, understand the interest of each individual involved, and find a satisfactory outcome through specific, measurable actions.Whether you are a leader struggling to adapt to diversifying workforces or just interested in becoming a better listener, troubleshooter, or influencer, DIY Conflict Resolution offers simple mediation techniques for work that will ultimately show you how to listen and lead without fear.
Posted in Interviews
Tags: author, author interview, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, business, ebook, goodreads, kindle, kobo, literature, meditation, Nance L. Schick Esq., nonfiction, nook, novel, personal development, personal transformation, read, reader, reading, self help, story, writer, writing
Sacred Life shares your story to help set readers on a spiritual path to Awakening or Enlightenment. Why was this an important book for you to write?
Since a very young age, I had a strong interest in spirituality and wanted to be a healer. When I suffered traumas as a child and developed many psychological disorders as an adult, I have decided to devote myself to the study of the mind and psychology. By learning how to heal myself, I wanted also to help others in their own healing, and the universe miraculously helped in my endeavor by making my life a laboratory and a journey in healing and discovery of Truth. This book — which is a spiritual self-help guide written in the form of a memoir — is a result of this inborn passion.
What is the first step readers should take on their spiritual journey?
The first step is their ultimate discovery of their own divine Inner Guide within. It is the Sacred Choice that allows us to leave the ego that has been guiding our thinking and acting, which has led us to ever-growing conflict and suffering in our life. This is because the ego is based on the illusion of separation and it never works to bring us the true happiness that we seek other than fleeting feel goods, which are empty and meaningless. Sacred Choice happens when we value and want Inner Peace above all else having realized when we lose peace, we lose everything. By this core choice, our divine Inner Guide starts replacing the ego as the guide in our life. The Inner Guide is our spiritual Heart, and is the center for our direct silent Knowing, which when surrendered to, guides our thinking, deciding, and acting as well as our experiences. When we surrender to this divine Knowing, we are led by a universal Presence that bring peace, happiness and harmony to everyone involved and restores Meaning in our life. It is the only Truth there is, and the One that truly works to bring what we deeply want!
What were some ideas that were important for you to explore in this book?
There are several revolutionary ideas that emerged throughout the 25 years that prepared the grounds for this book:
1) We are not a mortal body with a limited intellect based on the brain, but what we truly are is a Mind (or Consciousness) that is eternal and infinite.
2) While the intellect is personal, the mind is universal in essence, and is nonlocal (beyond time and space).
3) We do not exist in the world, but the world arises in our universal mind as mentations (universal thoughts), which collapse into energies when observed. And thus Einstein was right in asserting that matter is energy, yes, but what he missed to reveal is that energy is a mentation (universal thought). (And that makes Carl. G. Jung wiser in my book since he came closer to the idea of a collective universal mind.)
4) As we — nonlocal mind/consciousness — are the creator of the world, what we experience is merely the outward picture of the inward state of our mind. And thus, the world is the effect, but the true cause is the mind. Therefore, TRUE HEALING is always in the mind, and not in the intellect, or in the body/world. Traditional psychology and medicine fails as a result of this, and can best treat the symptoms.
5) Unlike how we seem to experience it, our CHOICE (or FREE WILL) does not reside in our thinking (intellect) or acting (body/world), but the only true choice we have is the choice we have in the mind, choosing our guide between the ego (felt as conflict) and the divine Inner Guide (felt as inner peace). The former acts based on thinking without knowing, whereas the latter acts based on direct Knowing, which then guides thinking, deciding, and acting.
6) The ultimate choice in the mind is then at the level of feelings of energies: between inner peace and conflict. There is no other choice. Once this choice is made, all our consequent thinking, deciding, and acting as well as experiencing happens according to the laws set by the thought system of our guide, and all our our perceived subsequent choices at the level of the world/body/intellect are mere illusions.
7) While choosing conflict in our mind makes us unhappy and lost in an imaginary separate world of our own making, only our choice for Inner Peace heals us, bringing true wholeness based on unity of Being/Truth and thus makes us truly happy.
What do you hope is one thing readers take away from your book?
I hope and trust readers can save time, hopefully years, in their own healing so they don’t have to reinvent the wheel, so to say, by benefiting from my life experiences of suffering and recovery, as well as the valuable realization and revelations that has emerged from my spiritual teacher and my Inner Guide throughout the years of my ceaseless devotion to divine Truth and Healing.
Posted in Interviews
Tags: author, author interview, Bedri Cag Cetin Ph.D., book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, ebook, goodreads, kindle, kobo, literature, nook, novel, personal transformation, read, reader, reading, Sacred Life: Healing from the Virus in Consciousness, self help, spirituality, story, writer, writing
Bedri Cag Cetin has lived nothing short of an amazing and awe-inspiring life. From his teen years and a harrowing experience with first-love and a chance encounter with extortionists, gang activity, and trafficking in illegal weapons, Cetin has met with challenges that would strike down most people and leave them looking for a way out. Cetin, however, survived by means of different tactics–he turned to spirituality and the search for inner peace. Himself a student of brain sciences, even Cetin had to warm to the idea of seeing a true inner peace as the answer to the problems that plagued his life.
Sacred Life: Healing from the Virus in Consciousness is the autobiographical account of author Bedri Cag Cetin’s life of turmoil and eventual peace and happiness. He begins his journey in much the same way as the rest of us, but he is plagued by traumatic events from which many are unfortunate enough to never recover. His quest begins with doubt, skepticism, and a lot of second-guessing, but he soon sees the light through a much different and clearer window than he ever dreamed possible.
The idea of complete surrender is pivotal in Cetin’s story. This is a difficult concept for so many, however, he takes readers along on his journey and makes the idea of reaching the point of surrender seem much more attainable. His passion for inner peace is almost palpable and at the same time feels quite magical. I have never been an overly spiritual person, but the accounts of Cetin’s are striking and full of hope.
Cetin tells a poignant story of his battle with OCD and panic attacks. His feelings are relatable on so many levels, and the way in which he faces these obstacles will resonate with many a reader. Self-study is incredibly important to the way Cetin copes with his challenges, and he gives readers something toward which they, too, can work.
Many self-help books focused on finding inner peace and happiness delve only into the how-to aspect of changing your life. Sacred Life, on the other hand, reaches out to readers via Cetin’s own personal stories and provides proof of the way he has been able to turn around many horrific circumstances. I highly recommend Cetin’s work to anyone feeling lost spiritually and emotionally.
Pages: 260 | ASIN: B08R7M6SNL
Posted in Book Reviews
Tags: author, Bedri Cag Cetin Ph.D., biography, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, ebook, goodreads, kindle, kobo, literature, memoir, nook, novel, personal development, personal transformation, read, reader, reading, Sacred Life: Healing from the Virus in Consciousness, self development, self help, spirituality, story, writer, writing
Maureen Y. Smith’s Conquering the Seeds of Destruction is one book that I think every adult should have. The amount of prudence displayed in the author’s text is what many adults need to be exposed to. Maureen Y. Smith writes about life, its challenges and the negative energies we surround ourselves with that make us fail to thrive. As a reader, you get to enjoy the text in the book as the subjects covered are real and relatable to many. Conquering the Seeds of Destruction is a book about living a fulfilling life. You only live once, make the most out of it. Every experience that you go through counts. The author writes about enjoying the good experiences and how one can amend their future through the lessons they learned from the awful experiences.
Most of the chapters in Conquering the Seeds of Destruction have the word ‘seed’ in their title. ‘Seed of Anger’, ‘Seed of Bitterness’, ‘Seed of Lust’ and so on. I appreciate the choice of topics as the author talked of negative feelings, situations and habits that many people are not comfortable talking about. No one wants to be told that they are a bitter soul. No one wants to face their anger issues, be told that they are proud or told that they are lonely. I appreciate the author for bringing self awareness to the forefront.
Maureen Y. Smith help readers see the negative side of themselves so that they may improve it. Every issue that is introduced is followed up with an actionable and pragmatic solution. Are you bitter with life? Examine yourself, visit your past, look at your surroundings, you will know why you feel like you hate everything. Every chapter is well written, with practical and easily-understood solutions. The book does a great job of highlighting the problem and then objectively giving the reader the answer they were looking for.
This book gave me the impression of attending a virtual therapy session. The author has kind words for those facing difficulties, and reminds the reader why they matter. This book will help you make better decisions for yourself and have a positive approach in life. Apart from helping one be the better version of themselves, Maureen Y. Smith will also help you mend your relationship with God. She talks about God being a supreme being and why he is important in every believer’s life. Conquering the Seeds of Destruction will teach you about appreciating our differences and more.
Pages: 462 | ASIN: B00BMVRVV2
Tags: author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, christian living, christianity, Conquering the Seeds of Destruction, ebook, goodreads, inspirationa, kindle, kobo, literature, Maureen Y. Smith, nonfiction, nook, novel, personal development, personal transformation, read, reader, reading, self help, story, writer, writing
Sudden Widow is a book for widows/widowers and everyone in their lives, to help readers make sense of an unbearable loss. Refreshing, authentic, heartbreaking, and funny, it is essentially a love story–validation for widows in a world where many don’t recognize the colossal grief and adjustment after suddenly losing a spouse. Reading this intelligent, eye opening memoir, you will laugh, cry, and learn. Perhaps most importantly, readers will feel understood and less alone. This book is a moving, inspiring example of ‘powering through’. For more information, go to suddenwidow.com.
Posted in book trailer
Tags: author, Bella Lynn Thompson, biography, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, ebook, goodreads, grief, kindle, kobo, literature, memoir, nonfiction, nook, novel, personal transformation, read, reader, reading, self help, story, Sudden Widow, writer, writing
In his book Soul Afterlife: Beyond the Near-Death Experience Bud Megargee engages the reader on topics that many think of but not all are open to talk about; life, death, and the after life. Every human being is mortal. Knowing that at some point man will cease to exist is not a pleasant thought for many. The author however tries to make the topic about life, death, and what exists beyond, easy for his readers. Reading Soul Afterlife was a delight because the author’s style of writing is not spooky nor eerie. Even when talking about death, Bud Megargee uses a tone that is friendly and warm. Each topic has something unique the reader learns about living souls and how to deal with disturbing realities.
One of the chapters that I found to be intriguing was the first chapter. ‘The Octopus Analogy’. The brilliant narration set the pace for the book. The author talks about his interest in otherworldly aspects of non-physical realities and explains how he was introduced to the octopus analogy and what it entails. I enjoyed reading about the clustering of souls and the author’s spiritual adventure. Conversations between Bud and his Soul guide Laz were fascinating. While reading the dialogue between the two, the reader not only learns about the spirit world but also gets informed on certain things in life that are thought to be mysterious.
Ever thought of reincarnation? This is a topic that I always find intriguing. The author extensively writes about reincarnation, the birth of new souls, and related topics. The discussions on Buddhist theories were eye-opening. Being a practicing Buddhist, the author had a lot to write about Buddhism, its beliefs, and notions. The text on Buddhist tenets was captivating. Many people question whether Karma is real. In his book, Bud Megargee writes about Karma and explains to readers whether Karma is a real concept or not. One thing consistent about Bud Megargee’s writing style is clarity. Bud leaves no term unexplained. His conversations with Laz the soul guide are raw and enlightening for any curious mind.
At the end of the book, the reader gets to understand life, death, reincarnation, and related topics. Soul Afterlife is a great book for people who are looking for answers about the complexities in life and death. The author bases most of the discussion on Eastern philosophy, which makes his writing style distinct and the content in his book much more interesting to follow. The authors’ thoughts are well defined and the conversations in the book compelling. Bud Megargee’s book answers provocative questions human beings have about life, spirituality, the otherworld, universal energies, and other spiritual subjects.
Pages: 235 | ASIN: B085GM3HNP
Tags: author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, Bud Megargee, ebook, goodreads, kindle, kobo, literature, nook, novel, personal development, personal transformation, read, reader, reading, self help, Soul Afterlife, spirituality, story, writer, writing
The Little Book of Greatness shares with readers five keys they can use to achieve their dreams and live a better life. Why was this an important book for you to write?
I really like helping people, so once I came up with this concept of the 5 Keys, I knew I had to get it out there so people can access it in as many ways as possible. I have a video course in post production, a workbook that is in the works, and more. I just want people to be able to harness the power of this system to improve their own lives.
What is a common misconception you feel people have about self improvement?
Oh wow. So many! That a system will just do everything for you. That your life will change without the hard work. That just because it worked for him or her, that it will work for me. We are all incredibly different, so what works for you won’t necessarily work for me. And of course, it takes actual action to make it happen. That’s one of the reasons I think my framework is so powerful, because it is light enough to allow you to apply it to your life in many many different ways.
How did you develop the 5 Keys to Greatness that you share in the book?
Lots and lots of driving. No, seriously! I was in a situation where I drove around 9000 miles in a summer, so when I wasn’t listening to music or books or anything else, I was working on this concept, and eventually I settled on these 5 main key areas.
What is one thing you hope readers take away from your book?
To make incremental improvements. If we are only a little better each day than we were, we will accomplish so much. Too many of us feel like we have to make big moves; we don’t need big moves as much as we need many small moves.
Posted in Interviews
Tags: Ari Gunzburg, author, author interview, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, business management, ebook, goodreads, inspirational, kindle, kobo, literature, motivational, nook, novel, personal development, personal transformation, read, reader, reading, self help, self improvement, story, The Little Book of Greatness, writer, writing