By Maresha Ducharme, Balboa Pres, August 1, 2017, 138 pages, $13
Book Review by George Plumb
We are certainly living in turbulent times with global warming, extreme political divisiveness, mass killings, and tremendous suffering going on around the world for a variety of reasons. How we personally deal with all the conflict that is going on around us is a very challenging question. Maresha Ducharme fully recognizes the impacts of climate change, and she and her husband do all that they can to reduce their carbon footprint including living off the grid at the Snow Dragon Sanctuary in Meredith, N.H. She founded the sanctuary in 2000 and continues to be the resident teacher there.
In her recently published book, Ducharme combines and expands on the teachings from several spiritual traditions including Christianity, Buddhism, and others into practices that will transform our personal lives. She states, “The practice of meditation, prayer, and self-reflection can bring us into direct communication with the soul and allow us to feel the sweetness of life and tread the path of love.” She stresses working towards a higher level of consciousness. She says that we should take the blame off of others and take responsibility for our own emotions. We should respond to situations and not react to them.
Her main emphasis is on choosing love. To be kind and compassionate to yourself and to others should be our ultimate life purpose. We should see and feel everything but hold nothing. “We take what is heavy—fear, anger, and self-pity—and transform it into self-awareness and finally into love.” She says that the best way to choose love is through the breath. One of my favorite quotes from the book is that, “In the morning, instead of saying to my husband, ’Have a nice day Honey,’ I say, ‘Remember to breathe’.”
Although a book of only 138 pages, it is not an easy read. It is the kind of book that needs to be read repeatedly in order to fully understand and appreciate what she is saying and then put it into practice. Ducharme stresses that, “The breath is the entry point to a higher level of consciousness.”
In these difficult times, personal transformation for the benefit of ourselves and others is extremely important. This book provides a good starting place to make the changes we all need to make, if we are going to truly address global warming and all the other challenges the Earth and its inhabitants face. To learn more about the book, go to www.mareshaducharmebooks.com. You can also read several positive reviews at www.amazon.com.
To learn more about the sanctuary, go to www.snowdragonsanctuary.com. The author is also the co-owner and account manager for Snow Dragon Solar LLC. (See ad on page 12.)
George Plumb is a long-time environmental activist, an Unitarian Universalist and member of the Vermont Chapter of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship, and organizer of the groundbreaking report, “What is an Optimal/Sustainable Population for Vermont.” He also voluntarily delivers the Green Energy Times in central Vermont by driving his all-electric 2014 Nissan Leaf.