My colleagues can vouch for at least one aspect of The Power of Soul. Every morning since I received this quite remarkable book, they have been treated, often at full volume, to a glorious piece of music on the accompanying CD, the Soul Song for Rejuvenation sung by the book's author Dr Zhi Gang Sha. It is quite literally uplifting and rejuvenating, I suspect because Dr Sha sings with such abandon, such simple joy and to such delightful melodies. In this age of contrivance and compromise, it's such a relief to feel a connection that comes straight from the heart. Or is it the Universe?
And I'm not alone - in his Foreword to the book, Dr Norman Shealy, Founder of the American Holistic Medical Association who has practised meditation, OM chanting and many other chanting techniques, calls the Soul Songs "by far the most powerful examples of direct soul connection that I have experienced". He's right - it makes me giggle like a child and for an editor that's quite an achievement.
The truly remarkable Dr Sha is regarded as that very rare individual, a Master Healer, both a trained Western medical doctor and practitioner of ancient Chinese disciplines such as tai chi, qigong, king fu, the I Ching and Feng Shui. His Soul Power series of books are New York Times bestsellers and his message is both deeply compassionate and empowering.
We've all heard so much about the coming Golden Age, the Age of Transformation if only we can get over the hurdle of 2012! But, Dr Sha tells us, we're already in this transitional period heralding a new era for humanity. He calls it the Soul Light Era and he's very specific about when it began - August 8, 2003, just a month or so after he began his own work at the calling of the Divine. He's also very specific about how long it will last - 15,000 years - during which upheavals of the sort we're becoming all too familiar with lately will be part and parcel of the transformative process. While in the past mind ruled over matter, in the Soul Light Era soul will become pre eminent, leading all creatures on our earth towards healing and transformation. Hallelujah to that!
Dr Sha starts where any good teacher should, with the basics. We learn that a soul is a golden light, which can sit in different parts of the body, notably the chakra centres, and even within individual cells. So chanting or singing out loud with the sort of joy Dr Sha brings to his work is Yang healing, while even silent chanting has the capacity to heal each cell on a Yin level.
The Power of Soul is an unusual book. I wouldn't say it's an easy read - there's too much repetition and the reader is conscious of a very successful organisation behind the person that is Dr Sha. But what stands out like a brilliant beacon on a dark night is the generosity of spirit that imbues it. Dr Sha tells us constantly that he has been chosen by the Divine to be his vehicle of healing and transformation and he has committed his life to this purpose. To this end, he has included in the book what he calls Divine Soul Downloads for such qualities as love, forgiveness, peace and harmony, together with his own detailed techniques to ensure you receive this gift from the Universe. And there are songs, mantras, a serious teacher's urging to be true to your purpose. These are remarkable gifts in a book I'll return to for its very specific healings.
Margaret Evans has a background in teaching, journalism and publishing. She is the editor of NOVA Holistic Journal.