Monday, September 16, 2013

Book Release - Interplay: An Artist's Approach to Spirituality

Posts have been infrequent here because I've been busy writing my book Interplay: An Artist's Approach to Spirituality and preparing for its release. The bulk of this blog so far can be described as an early rough draft of the book. Ideas are relatively underdeveloped here, and I invite the reader to turn to the book instead of exploring preceding posts.

Going forward, I will provide excerpts from the book and expand on the material. I will also offer new angles on the book's key concepts that present them in a more general light. In contrast, the book is largely autobiographical and the ideas are tied to personal experience, presented in the order they were conceived. Both styles of writing come with benefits and can be seen to be complementary.


Driven by the pursuit of inspiration and breakthrough experiences, musician, artist, and writer Abu-Shakra explores the inner terrain and develops a spirituality centered on attaining higher states of mind.

Interplay shows the benefits and risks of intensely energized, minimally disciplined spiritual development and emphasizes evoking the balancing process directly from life’s experiences.

Weaving memoir with fiction, discussions on art and music, and unique observations on the nature of reality, Interplay traces the author's progression from skepticism to groundbreaking revelations on synchronicity, mysticism, and the process of initiation.

Format: Softcover
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Format: Hardcover
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Format: eBook
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Advance Praise

"As a story of spiritual transition and transcendence, this is a book that will be of great interest to many people. Open-minded readers will find a great deal to ponder."

"A dynamic and thought-provoking account of one man’s spiritual and artistic evolution....This book acts as a challenge to skeptics and a heartfelt appeal to the open-minded....[Interplay] serves as a powerful treatise on spiritual discovery and provokes thoughtful introspection in regards to one's spirituality." --San Francisco Book Review

"Devotees of art and spiritual exploration will find much to contemplate in Interplay. Weaving various art forms together with spiritual and psychic exploration cannot help but motivate those who wish to use their own art as a means to awakening." --ForeWord Clarion Reviews

"In every stage of his development—both spiritual and creative—this musician/artist/fiction writer/philosopher creates a complex "palette" of perspectives. Beginning with this multiplicity he strives to reach a simplicity that retains the original rich complexity, much like the miraculous harmony that comes of mixing the color on a palette....the reader will return again and again to "Interplay" in search of anchor points, synchronicity and synthesis in one's own spiritual journey."

Sunday, March 3, 2013

The Green Dragon

Someone in the bar was advertising green dragon smoke. I, once dragon slayer, having battled the proliferating heads of an all-pervasive hydra, let the words "tonight, I shall find your dragon" slip from my lips. Perhaps it had already subsumed the bar; a subterranean rhythm was apparent.

I was conversing with a group of friends and casual acquaintances. I was aware that the mirror archetype was especially strong this evening, that my personality was being acutely influenced by those around me. A subtle vision surfaced, depicting a panel of mirrors, a grid whose limits were unsure. I kept a part of my attention on the vision, to ensure its proper harvest.

As time progressed, I detected movement in the mirrors, like the edge of a curtain playing in a breeze. I suddenly realized what moved was the wing of a dragon. The vision unfolded; I was flying into the dragon's mouth.

Having been absorbed by a mirror, I witnessed another panel. I could imagine--but not see--that the two mirrored panels between which I was positioned extended their reflections infinitely. I kept moving, smoothly passed through one panel after the next, until I traversed the dragon to completion and exited out its tail.

I saw shards of light bounce about the space of a rectangle with dizzying complexity. The vision ended in an energetic frenzy. I opened my eyes. I was back at the bar, but on which side of which mirror?