A couple of weeks ago, our Awakin Circle
had two inspiring guest listeners -- author Gary Zukav
, and his wife Linda!
We opened with Gary reading the weekly passage on reverence
-- authored by him 25 years ago. :) Anne-Marie had thoughtfully selected the passage, from his book that she had originally read in her teens! Then, we went around the circle, with about sixty five of us sharing a few words about what reverence meant for us. Then, we put Gary on the spot and asked him to share a few words. He gracefully obliged, and shared some great insights and stories from his personal journey. Here's the audio recording
If you don't know of his story, here's is a telling anecdote from the preface by Oprah:
I first read The Seat of the Soul in 1989.
As with all books I'm excited about, I had also bought copies for my friends and colleagues so everybody could be reading it at the same time. I happened to be the first to finish, which meant I had no one to discuss the book with. So, I got my hands on the Mount Shasta, California, phone directory and called Gary Zukav.
"Mr. Zukav, hello, my name is Oprah. I just want to talk to you about your book and would love for you to come on my show and share your --"
"What did you say your name was?"
"Could you spell that, please", he said.
I did. "O-p-r-a-h, and the 'h' is silent," I explained. And then I told him taht I had a talk show, and had to explain what a talk show was, because had been without a TV for several years. This, of course, made me even more eager to speak with him. I wanted to know how he knew what he knew.
The Seat of the Soul changed the way I see myself. It changed the way I view the world. It caused a profound shift in the way I conduct all my relationships, business and personal.
Over the years, Gary appeared on her show 36 times. His message reached millions, but more than anyone it transformed Oprah. "Quite frankly, I don't believe I would ever have dreamed of creating the OWN network had I not read The Seat of the Soul," she said.
Her friend, Maya Angelou, was equally moved: "I keep my second copy of the book covered in plastic at the kitchen table, so it will be protected from years of use and so that the olive oil from a just-made salad will not smudge the cover. After reading Zukav's book for the tenth time, I still find it outrageous.
That night, after the Awakin Circle, Gary and Linda spent the night at our place. Dinesh and I had great conversations with them, including the essence of the term "soul". It was so sweet to see how down-to-earth they were, how much they appreciated the values of ServiceSpace, and ultimately, how we're all just instruments for the larger flowering ...
While writing my first book, The Dancing Wu Li Masters, I discovered -- to my complete surprise -- inspiration that came from beyond my mind, nonphysical intelligences that I could not articulate, and the electricity of creating consciously with constructive intent. I had never experienced anything like this.
It's so inspiring when celebrated and learned people insist on joining as guest listeners! As Audrey would say, from leadership to laddership. :)