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"Downward Dog, Upward Fog" chat > Downward Dog, Upward Fog Chapters 18 to end of book

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message 1: by Julie (last edited Feb 19, 2012 05:12PM) (new)

Julie (julie1014) | 195 comments Hello, Yogafolks! This thread is for chapters 18 to the end of the book. I have enjoyed moderating this discussion very much, and always look forward to reading everyone's responses and discussing how this book resonates with our lives.

I also want to take the time to thank Meryl so much for being a wonderful group moderator and writing such a wonderful book! :)

As with the other threads, my questions are just prompts to get the conversation started. Feel free to answer any or none, and feel free to add any questions to Meryl directly!

I decided to choose my questions based on the discussion guide at the end of Meryl's book. Happy chatting!

1. Why does Lorna feel torn about Brad? Do you find this believable, or do you feel she's nitpicking when he's such a great catch? Were you happy when Lorna ended up with Don? Did you expect that to happen?

2. As Lorna begins to transform, it seems like she might have to leave all her old friends behind. Why do you think she needs to push away her girlfriends for a while?

3. Were you surprised that Lorna was able to seriously embrace her spiritual pursuits whan a real-life crisis happened?

4. Do you think Lorna will be able to sustain the gains she has made in her spiritual growth? In what ways do Lorna's spiritual pursuits mirror yours?

5. What do you think of the Law of Attraction? Do you believe that positive expectations cause things you want to flow your way?

6. Most of us find it hard to stay permanently connected to our higher selves, even though Lorna anticipates that everything will go well with her forever. What do you do when this disconnection happens to you?

7. What is your favorite ice cream flavor? :)


message 2: by Tracy (new)

Tracy | 2 comments Hi Everyone,
I first wanted to say that I loved the book! Meryl, you did a wonderful job of keeping me entertained, and giving me bits of inspiration to keep at my own spiritual journey, and some insightful points I can incorporate into my life. I have already lent the book to a friend! I have also been inspired to start my own woman's group which I have been thinking about for a few years.
I would like to answer the following few questions...

1. Why does Lorna feel torn about Brad? Do you find this believable, or do you feel she's nitpicking when he's such a great catch? Were you happy when Lorna ended up with Don? Did you expect that to happen?

I find this totally believable as I myself am experiencing the same thing! I have been with my boyfriend for 6 months, and we really have a wonderful time together, and he is a great guy... but right now I am struggling with weather he is the right guy for me. I was surprised to see she ended up with Don, and think it was a nice twist.

2. As Lorna begins to transform, it seems like she might have to leave all her old friends behind. Why do you think she needs to push away her girlfriends for a while?

I can also relate to this. I didn't really feel like she might have to leave them behind, or that she pushed them away. I guess its because in my experience, you just drift apart form people/friends from time to time, because you are in different places, or I believe in a different vibration. This happened to me with some friends I had at work who I loved alot, but I one day realized they were very negitive,and they drained me. I just naturally drifted away, as I didn't feel good anymore. I didn't want to gossip, or complain... as a result, I attracted many other wonderful people into my life. I didn't stop being friends... we just don't have the same close relationship at all.. and thats ok. I believe its natural for you to attract people into your life that you can learn from and who you feel good with... and as you change, so do your relationships.

I really enjoyed the book...thanks so much Meryl... I look forward to seeing another book perhaps from you one day ;)

Namaste,
Tracy V


message 3: by Meryl (new)

Meryl Landau (meryldavidslandau) | 807 comments Mod
Tracy, so great that you could relate to my story, especially in terms of the friends and boyfriend!

Question for everyone: what would you like to see Lorna do or discover in the sequel I'm currently writing? On a prior thread, someone mentioned chanting, which I personally love and, in retrospect, am surprised I didn't have Lorna do in this book. Feel free to share your views or desires for anything about the next book.

One thing I will say is I do not believe that people discover inner peace and then everything is wonderful from then on, the way it is for Lorna at the end of this novel. This is women's fiction, so it felt right to end on a happy note. But at the start of the sequel Lorna will already be grappling with some new challenges that have her off balance again, at least temporarily. Just like the rest of us :)

Meryl Davids Landau


message 4: by Julie (new)

Julie (julie1014) | 195 comments 1. Why does Lorna feel torn about Brad? Do you find this believable, or do you feel she's nitpicking when he's such a great catch? Were you happy when Lorna ended up with Don? Did you expect that to happen?

I was pleasantly surprised that Lorna ended up with Don! I can relate somewhat to what Lorna is feeling. I have a boyfriend, and we live together. He's a great guy, but does not meditate or "do" yoga. However, he is very supportive of me.

2. As Lorna begins to transform, it seems like she might have to leave all her old friends behind. Why do you think she needs to push away her girlfriends for a while?

I agree with Tracy's post, when she uses the word "drifted." Sometimes we have to remove ourselves from certain people in order to obtain and achieve our goals.


message 5: by Julie (new)

Julie (julie1014) | 195 comments AAAHHHH! Ok, I just finished typing an extremely long post to answer the rest of the questions, as well as addressing Meryl and her next novel. When I hit "post," I received a message stating there was a problem and could not post. If I remember correctly, this happened to Meryl once before. So, before I run away screaming while throwing my computer out the window, I am going to take a few deep breaths, head to bed with my cat and book, sujal for a little bit, and come back to this tomorrow. :)


message 6: by Alison (new)

Alison Zak | 12 comments Maybe in the next book Lorna could travel to another country to explore her practice further. I love travelogues and yoga. A book with both is perfect :)


message 7: by Meryl (new)

Meryl Landau (meryldavidslandau) | 807 comments Mod
Julie wrote: "AAAHHHH! Ok, I just finished typing an extremely long post to answer the rest of the questions, as well as addressing Meryl and her next novel. When I hit "post," I received a message stating ther..."

Yes, this did happen to me. And it sounds like you handled it beautifully. Kudos to you for staying (mostly) in a calm, peaceful place, no matter what the world is dishing out. After all, that's the whole message of Downward Dog, Upward Fog!

Meryl Davids Landau


message 8: by Meryl (new)

Meryl Landau (meryldavidslandau) | 807 comments Mod
Alison wrote: "Maybe in the next book Lorna could travel to another country to explore her practice further. I love travelogues and yoga. A book with both is perfect :)"

Interesting idea. But if she does go somewhere, it will be brief. (Still, that could be fun. Definitely filed away in my brain--thanks!) My main aim is to address the question of how you stay connected to your spiritual essence in your everyday life. I think it's much easier to do when you're on a month's retreat to India or Bali or wherever most women go.

Meryl Davids Landau


message 9: by Jenene (new)

Jenene 1. Why does Lorna feel torn about Brad? Do you find this believable, or do you feel she's nitpicking when he's such a great catch? Were you happy when Lorna ended up with Don? Did you expect that to happen?

Truthfully, while reading the book I feel like Lorna was being a little nitpicking. Mostly because he was incredibly kind and really seemed to care for her.

2. As Lorna begins to transform, it seems like she might have to leave all her old friends behind. Why do you think she needs to push away her girlfriends for a while?

I think she needed to explore her new self and see what that meant. It's hard to continue to hang out with folks whose mind views are so different than your own.

3. Were you surprised that Lorna was able to seriously embrace her spiritual pursuits whan a real-life crisis happened?

no, recently my own practice has helped me stay calm and think of the 'bright side' rather than thoughts of failure and negativity and rage i used to feel. example: yesterday i noticed my engagement ring diamond (circa 1890s) had popped out of the setting somewhere… and i had just run a 4 mile race… i was incredibly calm and collected and i still have hope that perhaps we will find it. but if we don't, although a big financial and mental loss for my husband and i, i know that it's just an object and not really mine in the end anyway.

4. Do you think Lorna will be able to sustain the gains she has made in her spiritual growth? In what ways do Lorna's spiritual pursuits mirror yours?

i think she will be able to sustain a lot of it. i feel like it's easy to delve into an exciting new topic or hobby or whatnot but that it tends to fade over time. since i've started seriously practicing in sept i feel like i've kept pretty good momentum by participating online on groups ilke this and reading blogs and doing yoga and meditation challenges. next step is to go to a physical studio at least once a week i think. maybe. or a retreat. it's easiest if you surround yourself i think.

5. What do you think of the Law of Attraction? Do you believe that positive expectations cause things you want to flow your way?

i like to believe this and i'm trying to practice it. recently i started keeping a gratitude journal and i believe reinforcing these positive thought patterns will help. i am going to do some law of attraction mantras for my lost gem! it is most definitely sitting on my finger back in it's setting...

6. Most of us find it hard to stay permanently connected to our higher selves, even though Lorna anticipates that everything will go well with her forever. What do you do when this disconnection happens to you?

when i start thinking negatively i have been reminding myself to try and think positive and i've also been trying to meditate out of bad moods/situations. both i think help but i still have a chip on my shoulder sometimes and i will probably need year to make myself a more optimistic person - i tend to expect the worst. i know it's part of how i grew up, so it's definitely deep in there, but i know i can change it. positivity and meditation is the way to go for me.

7. What is your favorite ice cream flavor? :)
so many. last night i had dulce de leche at my friends restaurant. oh yum.


message 10: by Jenene (new)

Jenene hi meryl -

i think a powerful thing that could oppress Lorna in the 2nd book is a chronic illness (on a larger scale than her cough). having a chronic illness means it's soooo good/healing for you to practice, but sometimes it be so.damn.diffcult. when you are feeling quite terrible. it's hard to keep focus.

just an idea.


message 11: by Meryl (new)

Meryl Landau (meryldavidslandau) | 807 comments Mod
Jenene wrote: "hi meryl -

i think a powerful thing that could oppress Lorna in the 2nd book is a chronic illness (on a larger scale than her cough). having a chronic illness means it's soooo good/healing for yo..."


Thanks, Jenene. I'm actually working on something along those lines--not quite a chronic illness but something equally major and serious. I agree that things like a chronic illness definitely sharpen your focus. (As does losing an heirloom ring--good for you for staying positive!) I can't say more about that aspect of my sequel since it will be a major spoiler, but I will let on that at the start of the next book, Lorna and Don are married :)

Meryl Davids Landau


message 12: by Connie (new)

Connie | 1 comments Yay, I finally finished :-) It was a great read!!

I related with so much. I think I would enjoy a weekend retreat sometime. I'll have to look into that.

I think meditation is the hardest for me. I have such a hard time shutting my brain off. I have some new cds to try that one of my yoga teachers made for me so hopefully I will find something that works.

Also, the way Lorna was able to blend her friends together in the end is something I hope to have in common as well! It's all good but it funny how some people react to my yoga practice or my area at home with my things ("is this where you do your magic?".) I think the best so far was going to see Krishna Das last week and people asking me why and how much did it cost to do that. I asked one of the guys the same question about U2 (which I have nothing against for the record.) haha


message 13: by Meryl (last edited Feb 29, 2012 09:18AM) (new)

Meryl Landau (meryldavidslandau) | 807 comments Mod
Hi all: Thanks so much for reading my book and playing on this thread. I so appreciate it. And of course I appreciate Julie for asking that the book be the group pick and moderating the discussion.

I'd love to request that anyone who feels so inspired please post a review on Amazon (even if you didn't get the book there). Reviews don't have to be long--a few words is fine, and even lifting what you wrote on Goodreads reviews if you did is great, too. Thank you in advance!

Connie: Thanks for weighing in. So good to bump into you at Krishna Das. I love how you wrote that people ask, "Is that where you do your magic?" Obviously they mean it in a different way, but since I do believe meditation and yoga and other spiritual practices bring about magical changes in the mind and body, it could be fun to say "yes!" :)

Amanda (and Connie): Glad the part about the friends resonated. It's challenging (for me, too) to keep old friends who don't get the spiritual stuff, but since they bring so much to my life I think it's so worthwhile. Of course, as others have noted, some friends just move out of your life, and that's fine too.

I definitely plan to include flashback about the 10 day retreat in the sequel, although I have to say myself, having personally struggled through a silent weekend retreat once, I simply cannot imagine doing 10 days. Have any of you done a long silent retreat?

Love to you all!

Meryl Davids Landau


message 14: by Julie (new)

Julie (julie1014) | 195 comments Meryl wrote: "Hi all: Thanks so much for reading my book and playing on this thread. I so appreciate it. And of course I appreciate Julie for asking that the book be the group pick and moderating the discussion...."

Meryl, THANK YOU for providing us with such a wonderful book to discuss! It was such a delight to moderate the discussion!

I have a Nook. I'll have to double-check and make sure I posted a review there. :)

I have never attended a silent retreat. I have attended retreats where we eat silent meals, but that lasts about an hour, lol!

I don't have any real big suggestions for your next book as far as what the characters do. I do, however, LOVE the way you refer to spiritual practices/authors/speakers. It gives your book so much character, and I love how it makes me utilize your book as a reference! Whatever Lorna and her friends/family do, I will be anxiously waiting to visit with them again!

Love to you, Meryl!

Julie


message 15: by Deborah (new)

Deborah (blevdeb) | 30 comments Meryl - I really enjoyed this book and will recommend it to other friends. It was a very entertaining "story", but still a tool for helping someone along on their journey, since it showed the real life struggles of someone pursuing a more spiritual life. Perfection isn't the goal - in fact seeking it, limits us to some extent - and seeing what can/did happen and her reaction, helps to build some road maps - I know everyone is different and journeys are unique, but I'm definitely glad that I read your book and look forward to the next one.


message 16: by [deleted user] (new)

"Maybe in the next book Lorna could travel to another country to explore her practice further. I love travelogues and yoga. A book with both is perfect :) "

Speaking of books and travel, have you all seen this??
http://www.spiritquesttours.com/eatpr...
I find people love or hate this book.


message 17: by Meryl (new)

Meryl Landau (meryldavidslandau) | 807 comments Mod
Jen wrote: "Speaking of books and travel, have you all seen this??
http://www.spiritquesttours.com/eatprayl...
I find people love or hate this book. ..."


I loved the book, as did all of my friends. So I was actually surprised to see some people give in 1s on Goodreads. Just goes to show everyone has their own taste and brings their own perspective to any book.

That tour actually looks very fun, although nowhere near the spiritual journey Gilbert took. This seems more spas and shopping.


message 18: by Julie (new)

Julie (julie1014) | 195 comments Meryl wrote: "Jen wrote: "Speaking of books and travel, have you all seen this??
http://www.spiritquesttours.com/eatprayl...
I find people love or hate this book. ..."

I loved the book, as did all of my friend..."


I liked the disclaimer that the website has at the end of the page, lol!

"This tour is not affiliated with or endorsed by Penguin Books or Sony Pictures. Elizabeth Gilbert will not be leading this trip. Julia Roberts has probably never even heard of Spirit Quest Tours. Javier Bardem will not marry you. Richard from Texas (RIP) will not give you advice. James Franco will definitely not make out with you. Still, you should come on this trip."


message 19: by [deleted user] (new)

I loved the book too, and the audio version with her reading is equally awesome. Yeah, probably not as spiritual unless you make it so, but someday...someday. ..I will go to Bali! And yes Julie, I loved the disclaimer too. :-)


message 20: by Deborah (new)

Deborah (blevdeb) | 30 comments Deborah wrote: "Meryl - I really enjoyed this book and will recommend it to other friends. It was a very entertaining "story", but still a tool for helping someone along on their journey, since it showed the real..."

Already have someone else reading the book and I'm heading to my Amazon account right now to right a review. Can't say again how much I enjoyed your book.


message 21: by Meryl (new)

Meryl Landau (meryldavidslandau) | 807 comments Mod
Thanks, Deborah! I really appreciate your comments! I love connecting with readers who resonate with my novel. And thanks for offering to review on Amazon and for passing the book along and spreading the word.

Namaste!
Meryl David's Landau


message 22: by Lisa (new)

Lisa | 40 comments Just finished this book today and really enjoyed it! Thanks Meryl for such a fun spiritual story that is relatable and uplifting! Can't wait for the sequel ;)


message 23: by Meryl (new)

Meryl Landau (meryldavidslandau) | 807 comments Mod
Thanks, Lisa. Glad you enjoyed it! Don't know if you're in the New York area (or if you have friends there), but I'm visiting the big apple this weekend and am doing a book reading Saturday (May 12, 2012) at 1 pm at Integral Yoga Institute on W. 13 Street. In addition to reading, I'll be leading everyone in yoga poses featured in the book. Should be great fun--and it's free!

Meryl Davids Landau


message 24: by Lisa (new)

Lisa | 40 comments Unfortunately for me I am way out in the Midwest ;) Sounds like it would be fun. Hope your day goes well and you have a good time.


message 25: by Lisa (new)

Lisa | 5 comments I am unable to find a KOBO download for this book, can anyone recommend where I can find one ?


message 26: by Meryl (new)

Meryl Landau (meryldavidslandau) | 807 comments Mod
Hi Lisa:

Thank you for your interest in my novel! I appreciate it!

Unfortunately, Downward Dog, Upward Fog is not available for Kobo, only for the Kindle and the Nook. You can download a Kindle app on an iPad or iPhone and read it there, if you have those devices. And, of course, it is available in paperback from Amazon and others.

Sorry if these don't work for you. Again, I am honored by your interest in my book.

Meryl Davids Landau


message 27: by Lisa (new)

Lisa | 5 comments Thanks Meryl, I will get hold of a paperback :) I am looking forward to reading it.

Thanks
Lisa


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