Product reviews for A Moon on Water

Deborah Rose
Seriously, this book can help you to avoid silly mistakes when conveying the complexities of spiritual life to young people and parents. `Well that`s what we all need don`t we`, I heard a drama teacher tell me a few years back after she expressed her frustration with not having well developed material to assist her learners explore their own spiritual intelligence in a way that would avoid offending parents and anyone else who needed to be respected. `A Moon on Water`, is well worth keeping in one`s professional and personal library as a key resource.

I always kept that image in my head and now I stood excited, holding this text in my hand. I knew it was an important text, because its intention is to truly open up a person, to allow them to be themselves whilst assisting them to understand the principles of spirit that the secular and spiritual worlds appreciate. A Moon on Water allows practitioners such as that frustrated drama teacher I met a few years back, to develop a personal relationship with their inner nature, in a cool way. With that, I began reading and using the stories activities and games which I could see were all based on everyday life that we can recognise today in 2011, I gathered myself inward, read the book and listened to the 19 titles on the CD.

My main feedback:

- Relevant topics and story matter
- Multicultural Pedagogy
- Interesting text for social workers, governors, parents, teachers, carers,
- Friendly tone of text, resources and CD
- Parents
- The writing team

Very relevant topics and story matter.
Easy to relate to material. The stories and activities are about easily recognisable issues in life. Like children who love chocolate or have everything materially such as computers, trainers, TV, games and good food, busy parents, or playing with ladybirds . These everyday topics are all linked to fundamental spiritual matters such as unity, love, sharing, forgiveness, play, loneliness parenting, happiness and so on.

Those interested in pedagogy may notice that, although multicultural in flavour, `A Moon on Water`, would have benefited the reader tremendously from including spiritual knowledge from indigenous African religions. This is a serious consideration.

These indigenous African religions include the Bantu in Southern Africa and the Yoruba in Western Africa, and so on. Since they use oracular stories to develop spiritual intelligence of the listener, their inclusion in such a notable text was expected. However, any good tutor can utilise this omission by using it as a starting point to open up people to the marvellous African stories about people like how Heru, the son of King Ausar brought peace and harmony to his dead fathers country after his father Ausar had been killed by his jealous uncle Set. So in fact this book is a starting point for some.

`A Moon on Water`: a launch pad to take on multicultural approaches to spirituality
In fact this is how the book may best work for this sort of area, since those with that knowledge can take this brilliant resource that these writers have provided one step further. So, working hand in hand with the positive intention of this book, all those interested in advancing spiritual knowledge for those who may find their spiritual intelligence omitted in mainstream teachings can now be nourished further.

`A Moon on Water` has a breathtaking quality about it. A quality where one reads the stories, listens to the audios, plays with the activities and is thoroughly engaged using all ones learning facilities. Its approach is multi dimensional in teaching style. The content of the stories takes us into the larger dimension of life and the questions that need to be asked which we all need to answer.

Although not in this particular text, `Moon on water`, open us up to other classic stories seen in indigenous African spiritual teachings such as how Set, who had collaborated with the clever administrator, jackal Sebek (known as Anansi in the Caribbean) formed an army to kill King Ausar. The stories can really invite us to explore questions around how women behave in our communities. For example, in these particular African centred spiritual stories, we can see how it was the Queen Mother, Auset, Ausar`s beloved wife who ran the country based on peaceful principles until her son was old enough to understand his father`s principles of peace and harmony and acceptance. Queen Auset sincerely loved her husband. And she and her people continued to receive blessings from the teaching and maintenance of his principles. These 11 key principles of life such as love, forgiveness, unity, acceptance and harmony with duality, optimisms, wanting the best for others, celebration, physical health and so on, were communicated through stories, songs, games and activities. They kept his country harmonious. Only when Heru, her son, had learnt enough about how they can be applied to life had Auset encouraged him to regain his father`s throne and rule the land. To do so, Heru, took advice from the great oracle, Tehuti, (also known as Thoth in other traditions). The oracle was the inner teacher of harmonious ways of resolving challenges peacefully. So in fact it was Tehuti who would give wisdom in the form of inner tuition, intuition and show it to people through simple stories and songs. I would invite the writers to explore this for further editions of this practical text. Why?

Social context of 2011
In the world today, groups are working to ensure that the spiritual legacy of indigenous people is actually in their statute books. There are many areas in the world today where groups are working with governments to ensure that it remains a legal right that people can experience stories, activities and material from their indigenous backgrounds.

In the UK , which is going through much social change, young people are receiving guidance from the media about gangs, crime, parenting, sex, drugs, so why not material that is written in a modern relevant way that opens them up to happiness, love, inspiration, and the nature of their own divinity is key here. This book does trigger off the multicultural and diverse reflections of the nature and source of divinity. And as a result will be of interest to social workers, care workers, teachers, parent/school governors, librarians, and others with responsibility to ensure resources reflect the pupil`s background knowledge and experience, situation, and environment, as well as learning goals set by the student and teacher. This book is good because it triggers off peoples inner tuition inner wisdom and truly supports it being vocal and respected.

Very friendly audio
`A Moon on Water`, includes 2 free CD`s, containing printable resources, stories and music. I have just listened to the CD and the clearly spoken friendly voices take you on a magical inspiring breathtaking journey in your imagination. Everything you expect from such a resource. The resource could have been even more richly inspiring to the ear, if it one heard much more culturally diverse voices on the audio CD. Nevertheless, the CD is long 19 tracks and in some cases accompanied by relaxing music. Kind or reminds you of faraway places. Each track ranges from a minute to just over ten minutes so you can plan them into your programme for listening and developing into activities.

Activities, games and stories-use as original or adapt
Going over the material, I found myself focusing on the practical activities, fun games and easy to reread and understand stories. For me these are the books major strengths, as they are all used to encourage a personal relationship with God, the creator or spirituality. Any religious or secular practitioner can apply and adapt the material to explore themes. I really love the way the books can be used to explore the nature and source of one`s own divinity.

How would I suggest it to be used? For teachers, or parents who want material, games and stories to flesh out their curriculum. To explore the nature and source of one`s own divinity. So for an example, if you use the Tree of Life to teach children`s spirituality, you would find that there are enough stories, games and activities here to support your teaching plan. If you come from the Hindu, Christian, Islamic, Buddhist frameworks, you also have enough material to develop. As long as ones heart is focused on divinity, then they can quickly use the practical material, as it is, or adapted to reflect ones personal objectives.

Personally, I can see how the CD is ideal for parent-child bonding. I would really encourage parents, to use the CDs for bedtime reading and exploring with their children because the stories are so short and easy to listen to. It could be used in a reading and bonding time between male and female parent. Yes, it would have been so nice to hear a little more diversity in the voices however we do hear male and female narrators and the stories are short and sweet.

The Team
The team of writers includes Steve Bowkett, who is a full-time writer, trainer and creative writing tutor. He has 18 years` experience as an English teacher and has published 40 books. Tim Harding taught in primary schools for 23 years, 15 of these as a head teacher and is now a freelance educational writer and song-writer. Trisha Lee who is Artistic Director and founder of MakeBelieve Arts a theatre and education company with a primary focus on story telling and drama in the classroom. Roy Leighton links the worlds of creativity, commerce and learning. His work ranges from lecturing on complexity, confidence and organisational evolution to running sustainable development programmes for schools and businesses throughout Europe

In conclusion
So in summary, it`s clear that `A Moon On Water`, is intended as a workbook of practical ideas and activities for use in schools that can be applied in a range of contexts across the curriculum; as a basis for philosophical enquiry, for exploring feelings and enhancing emotional resourcefulness, for adding the dimension of values to the subjects and knowledge that children study. And that it is.

And yes, the book seeks to show children how to connect `who they are with what they do, with why they are here`, another way of saying learning about the nature of their divinity and its source. Practitioners using this resource may see how they are also invited to bring in African, Caribbean or other culturally indigenous ways of seeing the world so that stories have even more influence.

Overall, there is something that this book does really well. It draws out the best of the reader. I have said it before, it has breathtaking inspiring moments. Moments that create comfortable space in the spirit of the recipient so that they can experience the nature of their own spirituality. That to me is the most important aspect of any good resource and he main reason why I can say that I would recommend `A Moon on Water`.
Highly recommended.
Guest | 04/03/2011 00:00
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