Customer Favorites

An outpouring of love stories

Perhaps love is not something you need to seek any longer. That it is not something you will finally get more of one day, just as soon as you pray enough, meditate in the right way, forgive better, accept more deeply, finally ‘let it all go’, rest as the ‘witness,’ stay in the ‘now’, and become a perfect spiritual person.

Friend, you will never find more love, for love is what you are. It is what your organs, your nervous system, and the cells of your heart are crafted of. It is forming as your arms when you hold another, as your words when you speak kindness, and as your tongue as you taste the honey-nectar of the beloved as it arrives by way of your sweet lover.

Allow yourself to receive the benediction of pure presence, for it is your birthright. It is wired inside you and longing to erupt from your totally out of control heart. For when it does, an avalanche of grace is unleashed, sending love stories, wild music, and sweet poetry into the stars and supernovas, seeding the galaxies with your unique light.

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Sounds True’s Prison Library Project

“The interesting thing about being in prison is that it stops people cold, and for the first time in their lives, they can stop thinking about hustling and trying to survive and start thinking about the purpose of their lives.”

~Bo Lozoff, founder of the Prison Ashram Project

“Like many prisoners, I did my time in a very isolated prison where there was no access to meditation or yoga groups. The books and tapes I received from friends and publishers like Sounds True were critical to my spiritual development and path of transformation over 14 years in prison. Receiving a particular spiritual book, CD or DVD in the mail at the right time can catalyze a whole new dimension of growth for someone behind bars.”

~Fleet Maull, ex-prisoner, founder of Prison Dharma Network

Today, there are more than 2.2 million people in federal or state prisons and jails—that’s nearly one in every 136 U.S. residents—and the numbers are continuing to rise. Since 1993, Sounds True has sought to bring a little light into these dark corridors by sending our used books, music, and audio programs to the Prison Dharma Network and the Prison Library Project. Through these programs, prisoners are given the opportunity to cultivate hope and a greater self-knowing.

You can help

Send us your used Sounds True CDs, DVDs and books and we will forward your donations to inmates throughout the U.S. In return, you will receive a $10 gift certificate from Sounds True that you can apply toward a future purchase.

Here’s some of the feedback we’ve received from prisoners throughout the years:

“I read your book Walking with Grandfather. Boy did it make me think that I’ve forgotten who I am. I have 18 brothers and sisters and left school early to help pay the bills. Now, I’m 50 years old with two boys. When I was younger, my mother told me I was going down the wrong trail. She was right but I didn’t hear her. Now, I know what she meant. You don’t think about what you are told when you are a kid. You need time to stop and think. That’s what your book did for me. Thank you.”

~W.H., Camp Hill, PA

“I have already benefited greatly from Insight Meditation, the 12-Month Meditation Correspondence Course. It’s this rare kindness that overwhelms me when in prison, as it is so rare to find. My goal in prison is to gain as much insight into the spiritual journey as possible. I’m in the best part of my life for learning and accepting those spiritual truths that seem so right to me.”

~G.A., Dannemora, NY

“I’ve been sitting in the chapel sound room listening to one of your programs about healing the father-son wound. I’ve always hated my father but never knew why nor have I wanted to change the way I feel. As I listened, I began to bawl like a baby. I’m glad I was alone because I couldn’t stop myself. I called my dad that night and asked him if he would visit, which he has not done since I came to prison. Thanks to Sounds True for letting me feel something positive for the first time in years.”

~Anonymous

“Thank you for your generous donation of self-help and meditation programs. These programs have been well-received by the men here and they too extend their thanks and gratitude. With your donation, you are helping in the effort to change their lives to be crime and drug free. Thank you, thank you, thank you!”

~Minnesota Department of Corrections

“We received your donation. What a great gift! I hope you know how much the inmates appreciate any acknowledgement that they’re not forgotten and that someone cares about their well-being and growth. God bless you real good. With peace and love.”

~Visions for Prisons, Costa Mesa, CA

“Thank you so much for your kind gift. At a time of ever-increasing inmate populations and constant decrease of funding, any effort made to help inmates transform themselves is driven by volunteers and donation. In light of this, your donation has value above any material price one could put up on it. In a world filled with fear, your expression of love to us was a breath of fresh air. Thank you.”

~M.G., Helena, OK

Send your products to:

Sounds True
Dept. PLP
PO Box 8010
Boulder, CO 80306-8010

NOTE: Limit one $10 gift certificate per customer, per year please.

To find out how you can help the Prison Dharma Network or the Prison Library Project in other ways—whether by financial contribution or volunteering—visit their websites atwww.Prison Dharma Network.org or www.claremontforum.org.

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When Art Inspires Art

I recently I came across a word I hadn’t heard since grad school: ekphrasis, a term used to describe writing (or other art) inspired by another work of art. Think Keats’ “Ode on a Grecian Urn” or Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition.” The list goes on (and perhaps it should even include such Quirk Classics as Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters…).

I find it fascinating that inspiration and creativity can dance in this way across cultures and ages. I think it’s beautiful when an artist can transcend time and space to commune with the spirit of another artist and with his or her creations. When done well, ekphrasis can serve to both honor, sustain, or even deepen an original vision but it can also take us in a completely different, perhaps contradictory or even comical, direction. It’s a cycle of sorts wherein art begets art, recognizes itself, and becomes expressed again in a unique way. Not to improve upon but simply to say, “and this too!”

I suppose one could make the argument that ekphrasis has a place on the spiritual path as well. (In fact, in ancient Greece the word was originally used as a device to call out or give name to the inanimate…check out Plato’s Republic if you’re bored some time…) When we come across an individual who we deem a master of living, so to speak, they can become a source of inspiration for our own artful expression of who and what we are as we go about our days. When we identify ourselves as a Buddhist, Christian, Jew, and so on, perhaps that’s a type of ekphrasis as well.

What are some of your favorite instances of ekphrasis, in art or in other arenas? Have you ever created art inspired by art? I’d love to hear about it!

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Wake Up Festival 2014!

Friends we are so happy to announce and invite you to the 2014 Wake Up Festival!

The Wake Up Festival is a five-day immersion experience in personal and collective transformation. It’s the largest and only festival of its kind, uniting renowned spiritual teachers, bestselling authors, healers, scientists, poets, yogis, and lovers of life within the context of an open-hearted, uplifting community.

The Wake Up Festival is not your usual “festival.” It’s not about outer activities; it’s about inner exploration and discovery. We think of it as a feast of life-changing insights with just the right amount of practice to enable us to truly embody what we learn. You’ll be invited to approach awakening through meditation, personal writing, qigong, yoga, dance, shadow work, and more. And we will do it as individuals each supported by our Wake Up community.

We hope to see you all in August!

This is your gift to the world

The fear of being abandoned. The terror of being lonely forever. The anxiety of being utterly dependent upon another. The panic of unbearable vulnerability and exposure. The dread of the looming death of yourself and everyone around you. These are the great fears that come as you wake, as you fall asleep, and as you dream through this life.

But perhaps the greatest fear of all is the fear of being loved. We don’t really see it this way, though. For when you are really loved, when you are entirely seen, when you are fully held, it is the end of your world as you know it. You will never be the same. You will never again be able to pretend that you are other than perfect and precious as you are. And that is terrifying.

Life is always seeing you in this way.

You long to be loved, to be seen, but please know that the implications are immense; they are cosmic. To allow yourself to be loved in this way a part of you must die. Everything you thought you weren’t must be surrendered. You must let go of the stories of the unlovable one, the awakened one, the special one, the imperfect one, and the despairing one. Love wishes to reveal your nakedness, to remove your clothing, and to burn away all that is false and less than whole within you. What you are is a raging firestorm of creativity, sensuality, openness, warmth, and kindness. Love will never stop until you know this.

In this way, love is a destructive process, for it comes to re-order everything you thought you knew. But will you step into this sweet annihilation? Yes, something will be shattered; actually, everything will be taken away. All that will be left is your wholeness and your raw, tender heart. This is your gift to this world.

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Daniel Pinchbeck: The Many Angles of 2012

Tami Simon interviews journalist Daniel Pinchbeck, the author of 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl, in an exploration of the various views on the meaning of 2012 and examine their validity. By doing so we dive into the broad array of different perspectives, held across the world, on the importance of this quickly approaching date. (49 minutes)

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