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The Great Work of Your Life

A Guide for the Journey to Your True Calling

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eBook published by Bantam (Random House Publishing Group)

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About This Book
From the director of the Institute for Extraordinary Living at the famed Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health comes an incisive and inspiring meditation on living the life you were born to live.
 
In this fast-paced age, the often overwhelming realities of daily life may leave you feeling uncertain about how to realize your life’s true purpose—what spiritual teachers call dharma. But yoga master Stephen Cope says that in order to have a fulfilling life you must, in fact, discover the deep purpose hidden at the very core of your self. In The Great Work of Your Life, Cope describes the process of unlocking the unique possibility harbored within every human soul. The secret, he asserts, can be found in the pages of a two-thousand-year-old spiritual classic called the Bhagavad Gita—an ancient allegory about the path to dharma, told through a timeless dialogue between the fabled archer, Arjuna, and his divine mentor, Krishna.
 
Cope takes readers on a step-by-step tour of this revered tale, and in order to make it relevant to contemporary readers, he highlights well-known Western lives that embody its central principles—including such luminaries as Jane Goodall, whose life trajectory shows us the power of honoring The Gift; Walt Whitman, who listened for the call of the times; Susan B. Anthony, whose example demonstrates the power of focused energy; John Keats, who was able to let his desire give birth to aspiration; and Harriet Tubman, whose life was nothing if not a lesson in learning to walk by faith. This essential guide also includes everyday stories about following the path to dharma, which illustrate the astonishingly contemporary relevance and practicality of this classic yogic story.
 
If you’re feeling lost in your own life’s journey, The Great Work of Your Life may provide you with answers to the questions you most urgently need addressed—and may help you to find and to embrace your true calling.

Praise for The Great Work of Your Life
 
“Keep a pen and paper handy as you read this remarkable book: It’s like an owner’s manual for the soul.”—Dani Shapiro, author of Devotion
 
“A masterwork . . . You’ll find inspiration in these pages. You’ll gain a better appreciation of divine guidance and perhaps even understand how you might better hear it in your own life.”Yoga Journal
 
“I am moved and inspired by this book, the clarity and beauty of the lives lived in it, and the timeless dharma it teaches.”—Jack Kornfield, author of A Path with Heart
 
“A rich source of contemplation and inspiration [that] encourages readers . . . to discover and fully pursue their inner self’s calling.”Publishers Weekly
 
“Fabulous . . . If you have ever wondered what your purpose is, this book is a great guide to help you on your path.”—YogaHara
Show less
From the director of the Institute for Extraordinary Living at the famed Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health comes an incisive and inspiring meditation on living the life you were born to live.
 
In this fast-paced age, the often overwhelming realities of daily life may leave you feeling uncertain about how to realize your life’s true purpose—what spiritual teachers call dharma. But yoga master Stephen Cope says that in order to have a fulfilling life you must, in fact, discover the deep purpose hidden at the very core of your self. In The Great Work of Your Life, Cope describes the process of unlocking the unique possibility harbored within every human soul. The secret, he asserts, can be found in the pages of a two-thousand-year-old spiritual classic called the Bhagavad Gita—an ancient allegory about the path to dharma, told through a timeless dialogue between the fabled archer, Arjuna, and his divine mentor, Krishna.
 
Cope takes readers on a step-by-step tour of this revered tale, and in order to make it relevant to contemporary readers, he highlights well-known Western lives that embody its central principles—including such luminaries as Jane Goodall, whose life trajectory shows us the power of honoring The Gift; Walt Whitman, who listened for the call of the times; Susan B. Anthony, whose example demonstrates the power of focused energy; John Keats, who was able to let his desire give birth to aspiration; and Harriet Tubman, whose life was nothing if not a lesson in learning to walk by faith. This essential guide also includes everyday stories about following the path to dharma, which illustrate the astonishingly contemporary relevance and practicality of this classic yogic story.
 
If you’re feeling lost in your own life’s journey, The Great Work of Your Life may provide you with answers to the questions you most urgently need addressed—and may help you to find and to embrace your true calling.

Praise for The Great Work of Your Life
 
“Keep a pen and paper handy as you read this remarkable book: It’s like an owner’s manual for the soul.”—Dani Shapiro, author of Devotion
 
“A masterwork . . . You’ll find inspiration in these pages. You’ll gain a better appreciation of divine guidance and perhaps even understand how you might better hear it in your own life.”Yoga Journal
 
“I am moved and inspired by this book, the clarity and beauty of the lives lived in it, and the timeless dharma it teaches.”—Jack Kornfield, author of A Path with Heart
 
“A rich source of contemplation and inspiration [that] encourages readers . . . to discover and fully pursue their inner self’s calling.”Publishers Weekly
 
“Fabulous . . . If you have ever wondered what your purpose is, this book is a great guide to help you on your path.”—YogaHara
Product Details
eBook (288 pages)
Published: September 25, 2012
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Imprint: Bantam
ISBN: 9780345535689
Other books byStephen Cope
  • Yoga and the Quest for the True Self

    Yoga and the Quest for the True Self
    Millions of Americans know yoga as a superb form of exercise and as a potent source of calm in our stress-filled lives. Far fewer are aware of the full promise of yoga as a 4,000-year-old practical path of liberation—a path that fits the needs of modern Western seekers with startling precision. Now Stephen Cope, a Western-trained psychotherapist who has lived and taught for more than ten years at the largest yoga center in America, offers this marvelously lively and irreverent "pilgrim's progress" for today's world. He demystifies the philosophy, psychology, and practice of yoga, and shows how it applies to our most human dilemmas: from loss, disappointment, and addiction, to the eternal conflicts around sex and relationship. And he shows us that in yoga, "liberation" does not require us to leave our everyday lives for some transcendent spiritual plane—life itself is the path. Above all, Cope shows how yoga can heal the suffering of self-estrangement that pervades our society, leading us to a new sense of purpose and to a deeper, more satisfying life in the world.

    Will Yoga & Meditation Really Change My Life?

    Will Yoga & Meditation Really Change My Life?
    Personal Stories from 25 of North America's...
    Stephen Cope asked 25 yoga and meditation teachers to share their "tales from the path"--their thoughts on how the long-term practice of yoga and meditation has changed their lives. The result is a unique collection of stories offering insight and inspiration for everyone seeking a more satisfying life.  

    The Wisdom of Yoga

    The Wisdom of Yoga
    A Seeker's Guide to Extraordinary Living
    For modern spiritual seekers and yoga students alike, here is an irreverent yet profound guide to the most sophisticated teachings of the yoga wisdom tradition–now brought to contemporary life by a celebrated author, psychotherapist, and leading American yoga instructor. While many Westerners still think of yoga as an invigorating series of postures and breathing exercises, these physical practices are only part of a vast and ancient spiritual science. For more than three millennia, yoga sages systematically explored the essential questions of our human existence: What are the root causes of suffering, and how can we achieve freedom and happiness? What would it be like to function at the maximum potential of our minds, bodies, and spirits? What is an optimal human life? Nowhere have their discoveries been more brilliantly distilled than in a short–but famously difficult–treatise called the Yogasutra. This revered text lays out the entire path of inner development in remarkable detail–ranging from practices that build character and mental power to the highest reaches of spiritual realization. Now Stephen Cope unlocks the teachings of the Yogasutra by showing them at work in the lives of a group of friends and fellow yoga students who are confronting the full modern catastrophe of careers, relationships, and dysfunctional family dynamics. Interweaving their daily dilemmas with insights from modern psychology, neuroscience, religion, and philosophy, he shows the astonishing relevance and practicality of this timeless psychology of awakening. Leavened with wit and passion, The Wisdom of Yoga is a superb companion and guide for anyone seeking enhanced creativity, better relationships, and a more ethical and graceful way of living in the world. From the Hardcover edition.

    Selected Prose, Daybooks, and Papers

    Selected Prose, Daybooks, and Papers
    This is the first comprehensive critical edition of the unpublished writings of Pulitzer Prize-winning objectivist poet George Oppen (1908-1984). Editor Stephen Cope has made a judicious selection of Oppen's extant writings outside of poetry, including the essay "The Mind's Own Place" as well as "Twenty-Six Fragments," which were found on the wall of Oppen's study after his death. Most notable are Oppen's "Daybooks," composed in the decade following his return to poetry in 1958.Selected Prose, Daybooks, and Papersis an inspiring portrait of this essential writer and a testament to the creative process itself.

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