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The Spiritual Guide to New York: Yoga, Buddhism, Wicca, Kabbalah & Beyond by Jessica Applestone and Joanne Waage

By Phil Catalfo

Spirit Guides; www.spiritualguideny.com.

A very welcome take on the Big Apple, The Spiritual Guide to New York lists more than 350 sites and centers, including nearly a hundred yoga studios and retreats and more than 60 Buddhist meditation centers. The listings are organized by major traditions--"Eastern" includes yoga, Taoism, and various subsets of Hinduism and Buddhism; "Western" covers Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Unitarian Universalism. Assorted others are included in "Off the Beaten Path" and "...and Beyond."

Authors Jessica Applestone and Joanne Waage provide not only basic info (including getting there by subway) but also knowledgeable discussions of the philosophies and lineages. At first blush, this would seem to be an indiscriminate hodgepodge, but it turns out to be an altogether splendid job. The authors are anything but starry-eyed, warning against possible guru excesses and advising neophytes on how to make their way. One can only hope that Spirit Guides will shed light on other spiritually rich locales in the future.


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