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Book Review: "Women of Power and Grace" by Timothy Conway

Review by Deborah Allison

It is both refreshing and inspiring to encounter a book entirely devoted to the lives of nine saintly women in Women of Power & Grace: Nine Astonishing, Inspiring Luminaries of Our Time. Coming from diverse backgrounds and representing three of the world's major religious traditions, these lives reflect a truth about holiness that is often overlooked. True spirituality, enlightenment, or whatever you wish to call it, is far from convenient. We have a notion in the West that once enlightenment dawns, all goes well. This is a confusion of orders of reality. On the level of spirit, that boundless oneness is never lost, bringing a connectedness and loss of fear and attachment that remains a permanent feature of life. However, as the stories clearly show, the order of reality called "the body" can remain incredibly challenging.

You will most likely recognize some of the women, for example, Anandamayi Ma and Mata Amritanandamayi (Ammachi) who are two of the more famous representatives from the Hindu tradition. Other names may be less familiar but their consciousness, service and vision are just as compelling. Some lives are filled with miracles serving as inspiration in a secular world. Others tell of amazing service to humanity under horrific conditions.

Women of Power and Grace is a treasure in any library, public or private. Timothy Conway's book is a sobering reminder what it really means to be challenged and to serve.

(c) copyright 2006 Michael Laughrin

From the August/September 2006 issue of Michael Laughrin's North American Jyotish Newsletter. Click to subscribe to this free Jyotish newsletter.

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