Hi Maddysmom --
Wow! The books you're reading sound really interesting and deep! I'm afraid I haven't even heard of them! (But I'll look into them now -- I'm curious.)
My spiritual path is a bit ecclectic....I've been a wiccan for about six years, but now use my yoga practice as a way to worship. I've reached a point where I feel that I'm "practicing" yoga (or at least trying to practice) every minute of every day. From my thoughts to my words to my actions, I try to be conscious of how I'm living and how I'm treating myself and others. Hatha practice, pranayama, and meditation have really helped me get to this place.
In the beginning it's tough. You mentioned anger in your post. That's the emotion I have the most trouble with. I grew up in a totally screwed up family -- a family that was angry, which made me angry. Even today, I find that I have to work really hard to let myself feel the anger, but not act in anger. It's not easy.
When you practice yoga, do you feel yourself releasing emotions that you've held in your body? That was one of the wierdest and most profound moments in the four years I've been practicing -- the day I realized that not only was I releasing tight muscles in hatha class, but I was releasing pain and anger and sadness as well. I find that I hold anger in my back, sadness in my hips, and pain in my chest. Typical, I think. Have you noticed this with yourself?
As for Buddhism -- I read much of what the Dalai Lama has written. I just love him. I think he's beautiful! Have you read any of his books? I think he's really good at showing us how to live buddhism in today's world. I've also found a great children's book, an introduction to buddhism that I've really found helpful. I can't think of the name of it right now, but if you're interested, I'll find it for you.
Would you like to PM or email? I've been hoping to get some Mothering moms, who are interested in these things, together for discussion. I think email would be good, because then we wouldn't have to worry about posting long responses (which I constantly do!), and we could just write back and forth with book suggestions, thoughts on yoga and spirituality, and our own stories of where we are on our own paths. Would you be interested? I find myself compelled (at times) to post what I'm going through in my practice, things that my teacher has said, etc... but I'm afraid no one will be interested! So, I usually don't post. I guess I don't want to hijack the boards with my own stuff -- especially if it doesn't particularly pertain to mothering. Do you know what i mean?
Anyway, let me know if you want to email. I'd like to hear more about your spiritual quest and the books you're reading.