Category: From Ashes Into Light

My novel, From Ashes Into Light, is a reflection of new insights I gained into PTSD. For example, during an intense flashback to an event that probably caused the original injuries to my ears, I was six years old again; I remembered something that I had repressed.

PTSD flashbacks, I now realize, are part of a healing process. New information creates the space for re-learning, re-evaluating and honoring a journey that may take a lifetime.

Do we need to be reminded, these days, that there is no acceptable hatred? Horrible and reprehensible deeds are not o.k. The trauma such deeds create are not easily overcome. More and more people are suffering from PTSD.

I published the historical/metaphysical novel From Ashes Into Light in 2016 with themes in mind that I hoped would warn against the dangers of tolerated cruelty. I’d like to think this hope was, and is, not in vain.


Gudrun Mouw is a poet, yoga teacher and a novelist. Her novel From Ashes Into Light won 7 awards, including the Beverly Hills Book Award for Visionary Fiction and a silver medal in the Living Now Book Awards for Inspirational Fiction. For more information, please see her bio.

From Ashes Into Light Personal Updates

Recently, I have been ruminating on the value of different kinds of community. The first six years of my life were spent in the midst of my maternal East Prussian grandparents’ large Seventh Day Adventist family—one of the lesser known religions targeted by Gestapo. There were 8 children, my mother the oldest, and I was the only grandchild at that time. In spite of grace and the gift of co-operation that helped most of the family to survive both the Hitler and Stalin regimes, family connections were torn apart in many different ways as each member, more or less, found his or her own healing path.

As displaced Europeans, my parents and I left the community of our extended families on both sides and moved to the USA. In my early immigrant years—as an only child separated from the protective sense of a larger group— I felt isolated in my efforts to learn a new language and culture. Much later, after meeting Sri Swami Satchidananda Yogiraj, the community atmosphere and enthusiastic co-operation of a spiritual family that he encouraged was extremely rejuvenating and strengthening for me.

I eventually learned, however, that a community, if it is to be fully viable, also needs to acknowledge disparate elements. Humans are seldom in complete agreement with each other, and that is not even desirable. Open minded, honest discourse increases a community’s capacity for growth.

Today, at the border of a 1960s California housing development and a Wild West nature habitat, we have been observing a group of visiting quail. They remind me of a well functioning community. This morning, I had thrown out some sunflower seeds; yet, the quail remain peaceful, without getting in each others’ way. They exhibited a natural restraint as well as co-operation. I enjoy watching them, especially during these current times when there seems to be a pervasive atmosphere of national anxiety.

And so the quail inspire me to practice a loving kindness meditation: “May I forgive all who have harmed me. May I be forgiven for any harm I may have caused to others. May I be peaceful. May I be happy. May I have ease of body and mind. May all sentient beings be peaceful. May all be happy. May all have physical and mental ease.”

—Om Tat Sat.

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Gudrun Mouw is the author of From Ashes Into Light which won the 2017 Living Now Award for Inspirational Fiction as well as 6 other awards. Find out more here.

From Ashes Into Light The Spiritual Journey

I would like to be able to celebrate the news that From Ashes Into Light has won two more awards. How can this be done when the world is reeling and in shock?

I realize, after the presidential election, that my book reads like advance warning. There are things to ask ourselves, and From Ashes Into Light brings up some of these issues in stark ways. I am reminded of the Dylan line: “The times they are a changing.” And the change can be frightening.

I am reading Ge’rard De Nerval from 1854. The poem called Golden Lines begins with a quote from Pythagoras, “Astonishing! Everything is Intelligent!” Yes, I agree, we are swimming in consciousness. Still, what we do with that consciousness/intelligence makes all the difference.

The Romantic Poets responded to difficult times by turning to nature. This was an “Attack on the Old System,” according to Robert Bly in his News of the Universe poems of twofold consciousness.

How will poets respond to our current era? In many different ways, surely, unless an overwhelming movement develops in the genre.

               Morning Cold

Instead of pushing against cold,

muscles contract until

they become aware of themselves

after shock.

Many months of drought, at last, rain;

rain turned to tears.

I wear yellow to remember the sun,

to ward off complacency.

(C) Gudrun Mouw

November, 2016

A Poem From Ashes Into Light

livingnowmedalI am so honored to share that my recently published novel From Ashes Into Light won the Living Now Awards Silver Medal for Inspirational Fiction! The Living Now Awards “celebrate the innovation and creativity of newly published books that enhance the quality of our lives.” I am so thankful for their award, and I am impressed by their commitment to Body, Mind and Spirit books.

From Ashes Into Light was published in February (2016) and comes out in paperback this November. Visit these links to learn more:

Publisher’s page for From Ashes Into Light

Living Now Awards Page

Direct order page

Online order page

 

Description

rainbowcover44490From Ashes into Light is a transpersonal tale of epic tragedy, spirituality, family, and personal redemption. It is told through three distinct voices: the haunting story of Ruth, a Jewish adolescent during Kristallnacht in World War II Austria, Saqapaya, a stalwart Native American from coastal California during the time of the Spanish conquest, and Friede Mai.

Friede is born during WW II to a Bavarian soldier and an East-Prussian mother. As those around her struggle with the inevitable chaos and paradox of war, young Friede opens her heart to gruesome enemies, at times helping her family members escape atrocities.

With war behind them, the Mai family immigrates to the US, where Friede, her veteran father and ex-refugee mother, struggle with reverberations of trauma, suspicion and prejudice. Upon leaving home, Friede meets her spiritual guide and confidant in her fiancé’s Rabbi, who helps her see that the voices from her past are teachers and the horrors of history also contain beacons of light.

Three electric characters weave a narrative of raw consciousness, a moving example of transforming the ripple of suffering through the incredible strength of vulnerability.

 

From Ashes Into Light

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From Ashes Into Light by Gudrun Mouw has won the 2016 International Book Awards in both the Visionary Fiction and New Age Fiction categories. Gudrun Mouw and everyone at Raincloud Press are very excited! We appreciate the recognition!

From Ashes Into Light is available online or through your local bookstore.

Description for the Award Winning From Ashes Into Light

From Ashes into Light is a transpersonal tale of epic tragedy, spirituality, family, and personal redemption. It is told through three distinct voices: the haunting story of Ruth, a Jewish adolescent during Kristallnacht in World War II Austria, Saqapaya, a stalwart Native American from coastal California during the time of the Spanish conquest, and Friede Mai.

Friede is born during WW II to a Bavarian soldier and an East-Prussian mother. As those around her struggle with the inevitable chaos and paradox of war, young Friede opens her heart to gruesome enemies, at times helping her family members escape atrocities.

With war behind them, the Mai family immigrates to the US, where Friede, her veteran father and ex-refugee mother, struggle with reverberations of trauma, suspicion and prejudice. Upon leaving home, Friede meets her spiritual guide and confidant in her fiancé’s Rabbi, who helps her see that the voices from her past are teachers and the horrors of history also contain beacons of light.

Three electric characters weave a narrative of raw consciousness, a moving example of transforming the ripple of suffering through the incredible strength of vulnerability.

 

Post by Erika Lunder, Publisher at Raincloud Press

Contact her at: raincloudpress @ gmail dot com

From Ashes Into Light

bavarianhut_2Gudrun Mouw will be in Los Olivos this Saturday morning at 11 am to read from her book From Ashes Into Light. Please join us at the Grange Hall at 2374 Alamo Pintado Ave. Books will be available for purchase, and Gudrun will stay to sign copies. Thanks to the Book Loft and the Los Olivos Library for hosting the event!

In case you missed it, Gudrun was interviewed on the Northern California radio program called “Nancy’s Bookshelf.” You can listen online to the interview that aired on April 22nd. But spoiler alert, if you haven’t read the book, you might want to skip listening to the interview until afterwards.

 

From Ashes Into Light description:

From Ashes into Light is a transpersonal tale of epic tragedy, spirituality, family, and personal redemption. It is told through three distinct voices: the haunting story of Ruth, a Jewish adolescent during Kristallnacht in World War II Austria, Saqapaya, a stalwart Native American from coastal California during the time of the Spanish conquest, and Friede Mai.

Friede is born during WW II to a Bavarian soldier and an East-Prussian mother. As those around her struggle with the inevitable chaos and paradox of war, young Friede opens her heart to gruesome enemies, at times helping her family members escape atrocities.

With war behind them, the Mai family immigrates to the US, where Friede, her veteran father and ex-refugee mother, struggle with reverberations of trauma, suspicion and prejudice. Upon leaving home, Friede meets her spiritual guide and confidant in her fiancé’s Rabbi, who helps her see that the voices from her past are teachers and the horrors of history also contain beacons of light.

Three electric characters weave a narrative of raw consciousness, a moving example of transforming the ripple of suffering through the incredible strength of vulnerability.

From Ashes Into Light