Dr. Susan Gregg visits today at Potpourri of Writing to discuss her new book, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Short Meditations, a compilation of meditations and exercises to relieve stress and improve quality of life. She also has a newsletter with thoughtful insights that I've signed up for and receive regularly (see her web site for registering).
Susan, I'm pleased to have you visit my blog. I've browsed your web site and would recommend your readers to do that, too. I'll ask you a few questions so they'll begin getting to know you.
MEA: Readers so often ask me, "Where did you get the idea for your book/story?" Or, "How did you come up with the idea for your book?" So I'll ask you, "How did The Complete Idiot's Guide to Short Meditations come about?"
SUSAN: A year earlier my agent had asked me if I would like to write a meditation book for women. I love teaching people how to meditate so it seemed like a great idea. I wrote the proposal and she shopped it around. Then one day she called me and said the Complete Idiot's Guide series was looking for an author to write a book about short meditations. I was in Europe at the time teaching classes so I e-mailed her back and said, "Count me in."
MEA: You mention the Toltec tradition on your web site which seems very important to your philosophy of life. Would you give us a brief explanation?
SUSAN: The Toltec tradition is an ancient philosophy, a way of life. The philosophy predates the Toltec civilization by many centuries. In essence, it is an awareness that we're a divine being in a physical body, that the entire universe is made up of energy and that we have the ability to create whatever we want whenever we want. I call the people who develop this philosophy the Ancient Ones.
Right now the Law of Attraction of The Secret is all the rage. The ancient ones were living The Secret thousands of years ago.
MEA: Does the Toltec tradition play a role in the meditations in your book?
SUSAN: The philosophy of the Ancient Ones is so much a part of my life. It is also part of Omar writing. I don't think I mentioned it directly in the book but the meditations, the exercises and some of the stories help readers directly experience themselves as a spark of divinity.
MEA: You also offer spiritual retreats. Would you describe these?
SUSAN: My retreats allow people to experience the magic and wonder of the Big Island of Hawaii. They eat wonderful food grown here on the island, spend time in the presence of Pele, meditate, write and have time just to nurture themselves. They're really powerful.
This fall I am doing a series of classes and retreats in Europe. Every year I go to Lithuania and work for a month. I love the country and the people and a best-selling author there. This year I'll also be doing some work in England, and I've gotten permission to do a ceremony inside Stonehenge at sunrise. I'm very excited about doing that.
MEA: What would you like readers to take away from your book, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Short Meditations?
SUSAN: I would like readers to realize they have the power to be happy regardless of what's happening in their lives. And once they choose happiness on a regular basis their lives will change dramatically. That's one of the paradoxes. I found that if I do my spiritual explorations to get things it doesn't work, but if I do them just to do them, magic and miracles happen in my life in a regular basis.
MEA: Is there anything else you'd like to share with us?
SUSAN: From the bottom of my heart I wish you all great happiness and joy. And remember happiness and joy are always just a thought away. Thanks very much for having me and as we say here in the islands – ALOHA!
Although Susan has lived in Vermont and California, she currently makes her home in Hawaii. Visit her web site: http://www.susangregg.com/ , for more information about her books and retreats.