Book of the Month: The Great Work of Your Life by Stephen Cope
“I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life” - Henry David Thoreau.
May’s featured book is The Great Work of Your Life by Stephen Cope. In it, Stephen explains the discrepancy between those of us who have meaningful, rewarding lives and those who don’t. Further, he explores what an extraordinary life, a glorious life, is and how we live it.
Dharma is a Sanskrit word meaning sacred duty, but like so many English words it means so much more. It speaks to a unique vocation that we all have: the powerful path upon which we must set our feet. It is our sacred calling which we must heed if we are to be authentic and enjoy a rich and extraordinary life. What is the deepest most desperate calling of your soul? What do you need to be? The answers to these questions will enlighten you to your dharma.
How do we successfully seek the path to our dharma and become what we must become? Stephen says there is a plan that can be seen in the ancient epic poem, the Bhagavad Gita, which means ‘Song of God’. There are answers within this poem to many sacred questions. But one of the best is, 'What should I do with my life? How can I become a “perfect expression of authentic being?” As we read the powerful exchange between the warrior Arjuna and his mentor Krishna and the adventures that follow them through the pages of the book, it becomes our story. We see that we are not so different after all. When we are doing our best, most wonderful work, we are solidly in our dharma; we are a song and the whole planet benefits. We are each the master in our unique fields. Which is why we focus on our own journey and not anybody else’s path. We need to live our own life.
Organized around Stephen’s energizing ideas, this book contains stories and journeys from famous and average people. For example, he speaks about such diverse people as Jane Goodall, Walt Whitman, and Ludwig Van Beethoven and how they each lived out their unique dharma. This remains an option for each of us if we will embrace it. Our life is enriched by bravely advancing forward. Henry David Thoreau was right. What makes you want to leap out of bed in the morning? Your journey is worth the effort. But we must release our limiting beliefs and step into what awaits us on the other side of fear. In Stephen Cope’s eloquent words, ‘we must be lit up, from the inside.’
About Cheryl Graham
I’ve been following the spiritual path the entirety of my life. But when I found the Centre for Spiritual Living in 2009, I was blessed and knew I was completely home and right where I belonged. Here was a philosophy and belief that honoured me body and soul. As well, writing is a delightful experience for me and to be able to use my English skills to expound upon books and ideas is extraordinary.
About the Centre for Spiritual Living White Rock
We believe that spiritual community is key in living a life of purpose and meaning. We gather to inspire, support, and invite heartfelt connection that empowers the soul.