What are we to make of direct spiritual experience? Of accounts of going to heaven or meeting angels? Traditional science would call these hallucinations or delusions. Clinical psychologist Dr. Mark Yama argues the opposite. Through interviews with his patients, he shows that underneath the visions and experiences there is a unifying spiritual reality apart from the material world.
One of the stories recounted in this book is the experience of a woman who could see the future. In a spiritual transport, she was taken to heaven where truths were revealed to her that she later discovered were already written in Gnostic scripture. Another woman lived a life marked by a spiritual sensitivity that defied materialist explanation. After she passed away of cancer, she came to inhabit the consciousness of another of Dr. Yama’s patients in the form of a benign possession. These stories, and many others, argue for a deeper reality that places spirituality on an equal footing with the material world.
Nearing his sixth decade as a dedicated climber, William “Bill” Katra describes himself as “not a great climber, but a persistent one.” In his memoir, the author details his climbs in vivid detail, describing some of the world’s most popular routes while emphasizing that scenic beauty is as important to a hike as technical difficulty.
From his early partner-belayed adventures to his more recent unassisted solo “scamper-climbs,” Bill’s techniques have evolved, but his love for the experience remains steadfast. Within recent years, Bill has again summited a few climbs from his younger days, often reflecting on where senior climbers fit in the sport’s changing social—and environmental—landscape. This memoir is a relatable and nostalgic account of a life well-spent in nature, as the author muses on his long-past adventures enriched and nurtured by the wisdom of the present.
In 1980s America, coming out as gay as a father and husband was a significant journey for anyone to make. Coming out as gay as a priest guaranteed immersion into controversy, contradiction, and challenge. This book tells of the Reverend Canon Ted Karpf’s navigation of new social and romantic journeys, all within the context of his priestly vocation in the Episcopal Church.
Covering from 1968 to 2018, Karpf recounts his vivid memories, life-changing dreams and resonant reflections on living a life of faith in a socially and politically tumultuous period. His narratives are crafted as poetic meditations on enduring values and meaning, which can remind any reader that we are neither abandoned nor alone, and that forgiveness is a fulfilling way of living in a world of contradictions.
“Perhaps I should have realized that cancer runs in my family. After all, three grandparents and my father and brother perished from this disease. Yet, when I received my colorectal cancer diagnosis, I was surprised. I never expected to be primarily identified as a cancer patient. Following a typical combination of chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, and more chemo, I was presumably cancer-free when my post-treatment scans looked clean. Nonetheless, within a year I received a terminal diagnosis; cancer had metastasized in my lungs. Thus began my year as a dead woman—a time of chaotic emotions, new priorities, and rapid-fire plans and changes. Expecting the unexpected became a theme in my life, but the things that turned out to be most shocking are social, familial, and even my expectations about what is realistic for a dead woman to be or do.”
Preconceptions about a terminal cancer diagnosis frequently are based on popular culture depictions of cancer and dying, which can be misleading as a guide for knowing what to expect when you’re expecting to die. This memoir provides one woman’s often-irreverent, pop culture-illustrated guide to life that deconstructs some common preconceptions about living with a terminal diagno
In the middle of a paralyzing panic attack, 34-year-old Holly Pennebaker made the call that would ultimately save her life. She realized that her eating disorder had consumed her life for the previous 15 years and made the decision to get help and enter a rigorous treatment program. Holly documented the program in real time, writing about it in an authentic, raw form.
This account chronicles the author’s experience with disordered eating, anxiety and other mental illness from the onset of her major panic attack through the weeks following her completion of the treatment program. By candidly recounting her own journey, Holly explores struggle, hope and self-acceptance.
In the last six years, Colorado has seen a population boom reminiscent of the state’s first few years of settlement. But rather than staking mining claims or establishing homesteads, these new pioneers are on the frontier of an emerging science: marijuana as treatment for various debilitating conditions. This book contains personal accounts from doctors, researchers, and patients–self-proclaimed “refugees” seeking treatment unavailable elsewhere–who are at the forefront of medical marijuana practice. Their stories provide unique insights into a social, political and medical revolution.
“Even ardent just-say-no proponents may reconsider their feelings toward medical marijuana after reading…makes a compelling argument for changing federal laws…helpful appendices…this is an informative, thought provoking, and worthy read.”—Booklist
Ten autistic self-advocates share their experiences with alternative forms of communication such as rapid prompting method (RPM) and facilitated communication (FC), both highly controversial. Their narratives document the complexities that autistic individuals navigate–in both educational and community settings–when choosing to use approaches that utilize letter boards and keyboards. While the controversies remain–RPM requires further scientific study, and FC is subject to criticism about confirmation bias–these individuals share powerful stories in the context of aiming for disability rights. The book concludes with a chapter about best practices for educators, particularly for schools and colleges that have students who use these communication methods.
The Appalachian Mountains are a well-known world treasure, perhaps the most biodiverse region on the planet. This book spans almost six years and 500 miles of hiking by the author along the southern portion of the Appalachian Trail. A fresh perspective is brought to the subculture of “AT” hikers. The path of the trail crosses many areas that featured dramatic family events, and the author weaves in compelling stories of his ancestors who called this ancient mountain range home. Also explored are a multitude of topics ranging from environmental challenges to the modern-day problems facing residents of the region.
This collection makes a particularly compelling argument for the use of communication methods that have given all ten essayists access to a voice that was previously inaccessible: their own. Each chapter is unique, with the exception of two common refrains. Every story includes a hard-won battle for equal access to education and a passionate attempt to make such access universally available for others with autism. In our society schools often equate being
nonverbal with a lack of intelligence. Today we offer a few sneak preview excerpts to
demonstrate that there is nothing further from the truth.
“Placement in the disability hierarchy is based on how you communicate. Clear verbal speech is on top, hard to understand verbal speech is in the middle and no verbal speech is at the bottom. Your placement in the hierarchy usually determines your access to education and community. This disability hierarchy exists everywhere: in society, classrooms, hospitals, work, and in families. It is even in the disability community. Every day, false assumptions about intelligence and communication deny life opportunities.” From “Expectations” by Henry Frost
“When I think of what I want for others, it falls on having fewer obstacles like the ones that I have faced. I would like to see other spellers and typers supported instead of battled. I would rather see the system of effort work toward propelling forward the outmoded methods of trying to teach students with autism. It would be great to see a school where the only thing to struggle against is our autism.” From “Letter by Letter” by Dillan Barmache
“I am exuberant, overflowing with energy. I’d rather gallop than walk, bounce than sit quietly. I’m happiest with high volume, intense beats, jumping, arms flailing, pounding bass, total darkness or bright stage lights and a microphone in hand. I want people to hear me. I am as versed in making silly faces as I am in my favorite songs and my neurology. My mind is lightning fast, hungry, logical. I’m a seeker, determined, a lover of laughter in a body trying to keep up. It can’t, but I’ll keep trying.” From “I am Emma” by Emma Zurcher Long
North Carolina – May 1, 2019 – Scholarly publisher McFarland has announced the launch of Toplight Books, a new imprint with a focus
on the body, mind and spirit.
hope to offer a wide array of books that explore these basic, essential
components of being human that in the pace and pressure of modern life are too
often relegated to the periphery of our consciousness,” said acquiring editor
The first season of releases, planned for fall 2019, includes titles about migrating for medical marijuana, effective communication alternatives for the autistic, and a comprehensive guide to being an injury-free runner. In Migrating for Medical Marijuana, University of Colorado professor Tracy Ferrell shares unique insights into a social, political and medical revolution, including personal accounts from doctors and patients. Communication Alternatives in Autism chronicles the experiences of ten autistic self-advocates, covering effective but controversial communication methods. In The Durable Runner, author Alison Heilig–an RRCA running coach, yoga teacher, corrective exercise specialist, and NASM personal trainer–maps out proven strategies for a lifetime of healthy and happy running.
excited about this eclectic debut of titles for Toplight Books. The neglect of our physical, mental
and spiritual selves diminishes our capacity to respond to life and each other,
to the great detriment of personal and planetary well-being, and we hope to
counter the trend with well-researched books covering any or all of the three
core human dimensions, in original and inspiring ways,” said Foreman.
interests include uplifting and positive books about psychology and
mindfulness, religious studies and spirituality, and alternative health
treatments. Submissions from authors and literary agents are invited,
and should be directed to Foreman’s attention at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Foreman welcomes proposals for books as wide ranging as reincarnation and the
soul, yoga and meditation guides, nature’s relationship to well-being,
explorations of neurodiversity, and scientific studies on the nature of
qi. For more information about the imprint, go to https://toplightbooks.com/.
JEFFERSON, North Carolina – April 6, 2018 – Scholarly publisher McFarland has established new imprint Toplight Books.
“We hope to publish books which strive to improve or help readers understand their body, mind or spirit,” said Executive Editor Lisa Camp. “Our interests include uplifting and positive books about psychology and mindfulness, religious studies and spirituality, yoga, and common medical problems and treatment, among other topics.”