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The Red Book: A Deliciously Unorthodox Approach to Igniting Your Divine Spark



The Red Book: A Deliciously Unorthodox Approach to Igniting Your Divine Spark

Sera J. Beak

ISBN: 978-1-118-04091-1 December 2010 Jossey-Bass 320 Pages


The Red Book is nothing less than a spiritual fire starter -- a combustible cocktail of Hindu Tantra and Zen Buddhism, Rumi and Carl Jung, goddesses and psychics, shaken with cosmic nudges, meaningful subway rides, haircuts, relationships, sex, dreams, and intuition. Author Sera Beak's unique hybrid perspective, hilarious personal anecdotes, and invaluable exercises encourage her readers to live more consciously so they can start making clearer choices across the board, from careers to relationships, politics to pop culture and everything in between. For smart, gutsy, spiritually curious women whose colorful and complicated lives aren’t reflected in most spirituality books, The Red Book is an open invitation to find your true self and start sharing that delicious truth with the world.


Prelude to a Kiss xv


Wake Up xvii

1 Light the Match

Set Your Intentions Free 1

2 The Beaming You Who

Gods, Goddesses, and the Blind Man’s Elephant 5

3 Are You Really Gonna Eat That?

Grazing at the Spiritual Buffet, Respectfully 19

4 Sacred Lipstick and Cosmic Lattes

1001 Ways to Give Prayer a Makeover 41

5 Catapult Your Inner Waitress

Ritualize Your Life; You’ll Just Feel Better 55

6 Divine Winks

The Universe Wants Your Attention. Will You Wink Back? 71

7 Dream On

Widening the Spotlight in Your Internal Theater 93

8 Peeling Your Onion

Who Do You Think You Are? 109

9 When Sparks Fly

Know Your Self, Transform the World 125

10 Breaking the Rules

Healthy Transgressions Make the Heavens Applaud 135

11 Open Up and Say Ahhh

Sex. Spirit. The Twain Shall Meet—Under Your Covers 143

12 Sitting Down and Shutting Up

The Best Spiritual Tool You Will Ever Learn, Ever (Except for the One in Chapter Thirteen) 171

13 Know That You Know

Trusting Your Intuition with Your Life 197

14 Keep Your Self Buzzing

Crank Your Vibe; It’s Your Cosmic Duty 221

15 The Joke’s on Us

The One Mandatory Ingredient for Every Path 231

16 Roar

Finale (Like Red Wine Spilled onto a Mattress) 241

Judge a Book by What You Uncover

Resources to Keep You Blazing 247

Select Bibliography 273

Acknowledgments 281

The Author 287

Beak, a religious scholar and writer for the San Francisco Chronicle Web site,, presents a brief but potent book focused on invigorating spirituality in the 20- or 30-something American woman. She vividly criticizes the patriarchal interpretation that has dominated most belief systems for centuries, and then quickly moves on to create her own feminist one. Beak encourages her female audience to do so as well, with their own "red book" modeled after hers, which was first given her as a birthday gift by her sister after their grandfather's death. Beak initially rejected the idea of keeping a journal, but soon found herself writing down prayers, recording dreams and in essence keeping a spiritual scrapbook. Avoiding the typical sentimentality, Beak's vision is a modern, femme fatale spirituality. The book lives up to its "unorthodox" subtitle, advocating that young women search for the spiritual in all things, even sex (memorably in a chapter called "Open Up and Say Ahh"). Beak calls herself a "spiritual cowgirl," taking her readers along for the ride. Her writing is probably too brazen for more conservative spiritual readers, but she displays poignant insights throughout. (June 16) (Publishers Weekly, February 27, 2006)