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The Red Book: A Deliciously Unorthodox Approach to Igniting Your Divine Spark

4.16 of 5 stars 4.16  ·  rating details  ·  547 ratings  ·  66 reviews
The Red Book is nothing less than a spiritual fire starter-- acombustible cocktail of Hindu Tantra and Zen Buddhism, Rumi and Carl Jung, goddesses and psychics, shaken with cosmic nudges, meaningful subway rides, haircuts, relationships, sex, dreams, and intuition. Author Sera Beak's unique hybrid perspective, hilarious personal anecdotes, and invaluable exercises encourag ...more
Kindle Edition, 322 pages
Published (first published June 1st 2006)
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I grew up in an environment that exposed me to a lot of different religions... Protestant, Jehovah's Witness, Mormon, Catholic, Seventh Day Adventist, etc.

As I got older I found that more and more people would tell me that I had to choose one religion as the "right" religion. What was so confusing to me was that they ALL said their religion was the one that needed to be followed in order to get into heaven. This caused me to fall away from churches in general because I didn't know WHO was right
When my mother gifted me this book and I flipped through it, I thought "Uh oh! Chick Lit meets Spiritual How-To? No thanks," and I put it aside. But then I found myself in a funk and needed a light, spiritual, female-focused pick-me-up and I picked up this book. What a sweet little gem! Sera Beak's style is very conversational, which I often find extremely annoying, but she pulls it off. She felt like a sweet girlfriend that I could respectfully tease the world with. She's got a great approach t ...more
Super cute, of this moment, chock full of references, an affirmation. Like Bust magazine, Sage Woman, and Shambhala Sun are in a women's group together. The style was a little over the top for me, (re: Bust, women's maggy), but the voice was exciting to hear. Representing young spiritual women that don't buy totally into anything without a healthy dose of skepticism. I would've appreciated an explanation of her philosophy of Red. (Later: ....oh, that's her next book.) Recommended for other up-an ...more
Jude Arnold
This delicious little book is all it's cracked up to be, delightful and insightful. My favorite of the large variety of subjects touched upon were these two: sexuality is part of our spirituality; and after anything that has vibrated together no matter how separated or far apart they maintain that vibratory connection.

This book was an excellent way to kick start our book club. It stimulated conversation that may not have ever been brought up otherwise.

It would be wise to start a discussion on this with the question of, "what is your religious upbringing?"

Written to stimulate thought on spirituality. Great if have never questioned why you believe or don’t believe what you do. The writing style is very simple and kind of fun. Written like sort of like a Cosmo (which can be good or bad).

My favorite chapters w
I think I read this book at the wrong point in my life. Had I stumbled upon it ten or fifteen years ago (before it was written, lol) it may have had more of an impact on me. As it was, I abandoned it about three chapters in. I haven't discarded it - simply returned it to my shelf - I'm not convinced it WON'T be helpful to me at some point.

This is very, very spiritually based (which is great), but just coming off of Steven Pressfield's "The War of Art", I was looking for more of the divine-spark-
The author is very knowledgeable about a variety of traditions, and her discussion was positive and interesting at times. That said, most of the book felt like a remedial course to me. I appreciated the middle to end which involved more practical ideas and I look forward to checking our her reading list, which she provides in the back.
Jill Lemaster-moore
Probably one of my favorite books I own and have passed on to my daughter to read. I like she pulls from many traditions and religions instead of focusing on one. I have never forced a religion on my children and have let them come to decide for themselves so this was a right along with that. This is a spiritual GIRL POWER book and filled with lots of tidbits about how to connect to the Universe and yourself. It moves fast, reads quickly but is filled with so many ideas that you find yourself ki ...more
Rebecca Waring-Crane
While I am not Beak's intended audience -- and, I confess, this was a small distraction as I began reading and she reminded her readers, more than once, that they are smart, twenty-something, post-modern women -- I moved past this snag with every intention of enjoying a slightly smug read of one more woo woo crystal approach to "get your spiritual feel-good on."

Well, her Harvard degree in mysticism and comparative religion, evidenced by her engaging, liberally-foot-noted prose, quickly reduced
The Red Book by Sera Beak is a must have for all you Goddesses out there. This is one of those, every woman should read and have a ratted out, dog-eared, coffee stained copy of on their bookshelves.
Being what some people call a spiritual seeker, I am always on the lookout for a good “spiritual” book. It’s a rarity for me that I find one that I can actually read cover to cover, without getting too bored and having to read something else in between. It’s also a rarity, being a young woman, to fin
I stumbled across this book as I was searching for Jung titles, believe it or not. The title was intriquing and I thought, "hey, getting the 'ol divine spark would be good." so I trooped myself over to the library and picked it up. It was a nice new perspective on finding a pathway to our own spirituality. It never takes itself too seriously but also maintains a solid integrity that many current "self-help" and/or "new age-y" titles tend to sacrifice for the sake of readership.
Sera has a wonder
This book is not going to be a lot peoples cup of honey whiskey and tea but I love it! Anytime I'm feeling all 24 and angsty this is one of my go-to books. It reminds me that yes, there is a higher power but there is also an unquenchable fire in me and I can tap into that sacred energy anytime I need to.
Beak's writing bursts with sass, and her message on spirituality is refreshingly progressive. She reiterates several times that her book is not the be-all end-all of finding yourself.

I found her take on prayer particularly memorable, in that it doesn't even have to be verbal, but can be artistic expression as well. There are some things I'm just not sure are for me, like conjuring up a personal altar in my home, but overall I think this was a good primer to spirituality and soul-searching. There
I feel like I just got a spiritual hug from a kindred soul. I read this book after reading Sera's autobio and that book nor this book disappointed me one bit. It's recharged me on many levels. I want to find more books like this! Speaking of, she gives a great list of books that have inspired her.
This might be one of my all time favorite books ever! I downloaded this book on my Kindle after hearing Sera Beak interviewed by Dr. Oz on Oprah and Friends XM Radio the beginning of the year. After listening to her interviewed I knew that I had to read her book. She is funny, very knowledgeable of different religions and cultures of the world. She weaves different culture, religions into her own. Her book is one that I had to enjoy in little chunks. I highlighted and took lots of notes while re ...more
The Red Book was funny, engaging, and thought provoking, an all around enjoyable read. It's written in a very relaxed fashion, and as such, although full of incite and info, still has the feel of a nice light (often humurous) read.
I am just 16 pages into this book, and already have much food for thought. The author writes about a very tricky subject with flare, and fun. She discusses some aspects of many different religions and the shift of cultures away from a patriarchal view to more earth, feminine influences and how this effects everything from
religions to the Marlboro Man. She uses lots of luscious language and focuses a lot on finding what is right for each individual in the spiritual realm whatever form it might t
I wasn't entirely sure I was an atheist, I just found trouble believing one specific religion was the correct one. This book definitely helped guide me into understanding spirituality by gazing into several religions and recognizing a common thread. The book relies on meditation and learning to listen to your soul. Sera Beak writes as if she's having a one-on-one with you. A woman who can say shit and divinity in the same sentence is my kind of woman. She challenges your conditioned perception o ...more
This book has a little bit of everything. It is definitely geared toward women, though I suppose men might get a little something out of it too. I liked that the author discusses such a variety of religions, beliefs, and spiritual practices. I appreciate that she encourages the reader to test their beliefs and rely on their own sense of what’s right and what works for them. There is a little bit that seemed too much for me (meshing spirituality and quantum physics, quoting questionable studies, ...more
Her second book is way better......this reads a little choppy.
Woo, though I do need to try to listen to my intuition more.
This is excellent- Red Hot and Holy is even better :-)
I guess I put this somewhere in the 3.5 range.

This book would be great for a woman a bit younger than me who is interested in meditation and thinking about spirituality and creativity in a non-patriarchal, non big white guy in the sky, way. I enjoyed it because it was a good reminder of the things I already want in my life, but it definately was designed for a woman much younger than me who is newer to this way of thinking. For me, it was a bit on the reductive side.
Aug 24, 2007 Jeanne rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who would like the divine to slap them on the ass
"The Red Book is nothing less than a spiritual firestarter-- a combustible cocktail of Hindu Tantra and Zen Buddhism, Rumi and Carl Jung, goddesses and psychics, shaken with cosmic nudges, meaningful subway rides, haircuts, relationships, sex, dreams, and intuition. "

I absolutely agree with the above description written on the back of the book. Imagine if "Pronoia" was written specifically with women in mind. This would be close to the end product.
This was definitely a fun read and look forward to discussing it with a group of lovely ladies. I like her open-mindedness and studies of various religions to back up what she's saying. The threading of a new age hipness woven through the prose got a little tedious at times, but was always redeemed with some profound wisdom that resonated within. I would definitely recommend this book, especially to those trying to find their 'Higher Power.'
A nice, hip, fast-paced, very girly (in a good way) inspiring little read about getting in touch with your own spirituality. Really just a friendly, forceful push to read some of the more academic writings on spirituality, Buddhism, Jainism, Juddaism, Christianity, Meditation, Yoga, sex and really anything and everything in-between, that you feel could lend spiritual guidance to you. A fun read for anyone needing a little inspiration.
May 02, 2011 Joy rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Joy by: Just found it at the book store
This was a fun book. It was written for younger women who are just starting to explore spirituality that might be different from the traditions they were raised in, so much of what the author said I've thought about or run across before. However, it was fun, creative and a good boost of inspiration to remind me to stay on my own path.
Krista Skene
A friend of mine bought this for me. She knew I was struggling with 'what to believe'. I am not religious at all, but I would love to have something in my life. I was really inspired by the way that she tackled many different ideas with such gusto. This book made me feel okay about what I believe or want to corporate into my life.
This is an amazing read. Sera is a vivacious, passionate woman talking about spirituality and how it can be added into our lives in a more unorthodox way, which is nice for those of us who tend to see things a little differently. She gets you thinking about things in a different way.. which is always a good thing.
Steven Walker
Nov 05, 2008 Steven Walker is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
I found this book in Borders by pure coincidence and couldn't put it down, so I decided to buy it. So far, I really like the author's witty, down-to-earth, friend-to-friend style of writing. I also found each page I've so far looked at to be a treasure of imaginative insights. I look forward to reading it at length.
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Sera Beak is a world-traveled Harvard-trained scholar of comparative religion and an intrepid spiritual cowgirl. Her first book, The Red Book: A Deliciously Unorthodox Approach to Igniting Your Divine Spark, is aimed at jaded, yet still spiritually curious young women, although the material speaks to all ages and genders. She calls the book a firestarter. Sera is called a woman who is hands down t ...more
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“And I would rather be alive, be real, be increasingly conscious of all that I am, than move around this planet all mechanical and unconscious.” 7 likes
“See, sexuality is less about the actual act of having pretty good sex for seventeen minutes twice a week and much more about surrounding yourself with an ever simmering sensual energy, pulsing just underneath your daily life and infusing almost everything you do. It's like you're always just a little bit horny, just a little turned on, but the object of your gentle lust isn't just your lover, it's divine life itself.” 7 likes
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