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Listen to: The Spirituality For Dummies CD of Inspiring Music

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Watch: The Documentary "Peace Pilgrim: An American Sage Who Walked Her Talk"

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From Reviewer Natalie Brown

Here is a book that, in all sincerity, I initially scoffed at. How could a subject so vast, meaningful and unwieldy as 'spirituality' be followed by that now-familiar suffix "for Dummies"? There is a "NetWare for Dummies," a "WordPerfect for Dummies," and an "Internet for Dummies," among other similar titles. The theme of this self-deprecating little series has, up to this point, been obvious: friendly how-to manuals for the technologically inept. But now, a "Spirituality for Dummies?" Come ON, I thought upon first hearingof this latest helpmate for dum-dums, do-do-birds and the like. Surely this would be a trite, shallow instruction book on the attainment of 'spirituality' (whatever THAT may be, vague term that it is), something suitable only for people with no GENUINE interest in spirituality, self-improvement or contemplation at all, but rather a fleeting desire to merely skim the surface of such weighty and worthy undertakings. This, I predicted, might be a good book for gift-giving but would ultimately be neither a source of enlightenment nor help to anyone, only as one of those dust-collectors that have been flipped through once and never again.

Well, I'll be, if I don't feel like a true dummy myself for having been so quick to dismiss what is in actuality a sparkling book! Having done my share of reading in this genre (that is, 'spirituality'--not 'dummies'), I can heartily say that this is among the very best, most comprehensive and enjoyable books on the rather daunting subject, and you should not be put-off by what might seem too generic a title, as I so foolishly was. This is a book that belongs on everybody's shelf, or, better yet, nightstand, no matter what their spiritual orientation, or lack thereof, may be. It is as valuable to beginners as it is to the already-'spiritualized.' One can open it to any page and come upon something worthwhile, humorous, encouraging, inspiring, familiar, or just plain educational. It is a grand accomplishment on the part of the author, Sharon Janis, whose first book, 'Never to Return,' chronicled her own spiritual journey and years in an ashram.

She doesn't just touch on things superficially, nor does she write with even the slightest hint of a guru-esque, higher-than-thou style. On the contrary, she is engaging, down-to-earth, and funny. And so the book is accessible, but never boring. Meditation, the meaning of spirituality, relationships and yoga are just a very small bit of all that is to be found in its cartoon-emblazoned pages. The chapters are well-organized--with thoughts separated into digestible, bite-sized chunks--and are peppered with quotations from such varied figures as Rumi, Shakespeare, Nietzsche, Jesus and Dolly Parton. Clearly, it is not exclusive but INclusive of all sorts of perspectives, philosophies and practices.  The truth is, spirituality is personal, and different for everyone. This is a book that is extremely conducive to discovering just what unique meaning and place spirituality has for YOU. (And even if you're not looking for something that deep, it really is entertaining and fun to read, too, and did I mention it comes with a CD?) I really liked it.



Feedback from Readers:


You are the first spiritual author that I have connected to so holistically. It is your simplicity and truth, vibrating from the core of clarity and Love that I connect with. And I am so deeply touched by your expression through music too. You bring this radiant beauty to seekers of all levels of spiritual understanding. Wow! Thank you so much for your beloved presence. I feel very blessed for discovering you, my dear sister. -- J.L.


After years of wondering what the meaning of life was, and what my purpose here on earth is, I found this book! It helped me uncover the world of spirituality, which in turn helped me answer some of these most fundamental questions! The book is such an easy read, and the author has a brilliant sense of humor. I often reference the book over and over, for information on certain specific subjects, which is very easy to do in the "Dummies" format. It is also written to embrace all religions, non-religions, races, genders, etc. It truly is a book for everyone!  I recommend this book to anyone seeking to grow spiritually, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did (and still do)!  -- C.G.


As I read your book I began understand that there were missing peices in my life. The bits began to fall into place. I reacquainted myself with a dear friend who is spiritually attuned and began reading anything I could find on spiritual awareness. I began to pray again and became radiant and happy. - C.


I'm reading "Spirituality for Dummies", and I wanted to say thank you. There are a few books that I keep on my shelf, and read over and over again, that remind me of what I know and what I don't and what I've forgotten along the way. This one just got added to the list. Thanks. Blessings on your path, and may the light within you light your way. - C.


I'm joseph from france. I read your book in french "sagesse et spiritualité pour les nuls". Spirituality for dummies in english. Its a master piece. I'm not a great reader, I find books so boring in general, but your book is so complete and "non religious" (no religion in particular leads your main ideas!).  That book did so much, I have many problems, actually your book helped!!   BLess you.     - J


I just finished reading "Spirituality for Dummies" and loved it so. Up until this moment it's the most inspirational, uplifting, soul-enriching book I've seen. Thanks for your labor of love. Joy and grace always, - R.L.


Hello Sharon. I just want to let you know that I have just finished reading your book, "Spirituality For Dummies". Actually it was my first Dummy Book. However, I have read some of the books you mentioned like "Autobiography Of A Yogi", and   "The Prophet" . I had studied medicine in India in the late 80's and was exposed to such works while I was there but never got into the deeper aspects. Your book is more suitable as it blends both western and eastern outlooks. I really enjoyed your humorous approach. I hope I will be able to become more spiritually evolved as I try to practice some of your practical tips. Also this is the first time I have ever written to an author of a book that I have read...Once again I would like to express my thanks to you for writing this book which gives anyone reading it a chance to discover what a wonderful experience this life can be if only we look within.Goodbye, and godbless. - J.S.G


I would just really like to say "nothing" about your book Spirituality for Dummies.   If I said "something" about it, I would surely not serve it justice.... I will say "nothing" about the book because I do not want to try to describe the indescribable.... words can not describe how indesribably interesting it was to see such a book that flows with the Whatever-You-Want-To-Call-It.....But then again, all books flow with the Whatever-You-Want-To-Call-It too, but books like yours helps people realize that everything flows with the Whatever-You-Want-To-Call-It........I am now 20 still going to school and working...even though I do these things, I know they are just What-Ever-You-Want-To-Call-It......When I think of myself....I don't think, "I am happy with life" or "I am sad with my life"....I just think...."I Just AM.".....Hope to hear from you, D.


I just read Spirituality for Dummies, and I was particularly pleased with your chapters on the way one can 'meditate', 'contemplate' and come to 'union'; those things you wrote clearly from experience (chapter 7); I'm going tomorrow to make a review of your book on the Flemish Radio Broadcoast (i.e. the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium), and I'm sure I will tell about the good things you brought to the people who precisely need or are searching for what you are telling about. Up to now I've studied only christian spirituality, and made reviews of books of it.... but you opened my eyes to this other, eastern, approach, which is quite different from the western one, even if in essence they are pretty much the same. Thank you for introducing me into that other, eastern world of spirituality! Many greetings! - B.T.


Dear Sharon, I greatly enjoyed your book, "Spirituality for Dummies."   A friend recommended it to me, and I'm glad he did.   - J.C.


I must say your writings have been a tremendous blessing and I honor your credentials. Your insight has been an inciter to my being. I am a much different person after reading your book. can now see the value of peace, love, and compassion toward our fellow Being. I am a Christian and belief strongly in our lord Jesus Christ. - R.


Dear Kumuda, Sometimes a book has just popped into my hands, as if thrust there by some unseen hands, and said, "Read me." Nevertheless, when I found myself holding "Spirituality for Dummies," by coincidence, in a bookstore one evening, I protested (to myself) that I hardly needed another book on spirituality, having at this point, a pretty good personal library on that subject. I skimmed the book for a   minute, replaced it on the shelf, and left.   Haunted all week, however, by the depth and insight of some of the quotes I had gleaned in a minute's skimming, I found that I couldn't wait to get back to the bookstore and have another look. I am now the delighted owner of "Spirituality for Dummies, " a book which I shall continue to mine for wisdom for some time to come. What an extraordinary work!   To find all this wisdom and wit packaged in a "Dummies" format book seems so humorous -- and delightful!   I found myself asking, "Who in the world is this author?"   The fine print on the title page pointed me to your web site, where I found "Never to Return." I have my own copy now of "Never to Return," but I have also very much enjoyed the pictures in your on-line edition. I just wanted to say thank you for writing both of these wonderful books. They have meant a great deal to me. It has been a pleasure to get to know you through your writing.   - G.


Dear Ms. Janis, I am a priest working with an ecumenical field ministries group.   One of my students brought Spirituality for Dummies to my attention, and it is quite an impressive book.   As I am in the process of putting together a pamphlet on spirituality for our hospital chaplains hand out, I'd like permission to quote (with appropriate acknowledgment) from your work.   Can you give this to me, or do I need to write to your publisher?   If there is a fee involved, I will be glad to pay it. Thank you for an excellent read and a much needed review of the Siddha Yoga perspective. Bless you, - A.B.M.


bless you for your book spiritually for dummies - you really pulled it all together for the western oriented mind- and the music -out of this world - bless you kind & loving soul. - P.S.


Your book really made me laugh and I am still finding it totally uplifting. Thank you for being a "dummy."   All the best in your future endeavours. I'll be looking forward to the next publication. Yours faithfully, R.M.


I keep picking up your book, and discovering and re-covering more fine gems in it.   This is really a wonderful book. I also appreciate how it is lightly infused with your personality. Just enough for flavor, never an imposition. I like hanging out with your book, a few moments at a time.   So, thank you. - R.P.


Hi.   I'm a student at Eastern Kentucky University, and I just recently bought your book Spirituality for Dummies I just finished it today, and I thought it was very good.   Wonderfully done.   I am now reading Meditation for Dummies now. :)   I'm going to eventually get my PhD in Religion.   I especially loved the part in your book where you talked about the blessed Chocolates!   I have a few plants in my room that aren't looking so good I wish they could get some kind of spiritual blessing like that!   ha ha.   It must be my Karma or their Karma not for sure. lol   Well catch you latter and keep writing. - S.


I just wanted to tell you how much this book has meant to me.   I've been going through some of the roughest times in my life and this book is getting me through it.   It seems to know what I need.   I just want to thank you for writing it.   Bless you!   D.V.


Hi Sharon, Just a note to tell you that I am really enjoying your book, Spirituality for Dummies - more specifically, it's contents but not the title! (I find the title somewhat debasing - we are all God so we cannot be be dummies! I even covered the words "for dummies" on the cover and spine of the book to hide them from view!).The week before this 9-11 World Trade Center tragedy happened I had read chapters 11-13 and I know the reason I'm feeling so centered and happy is because of it.    I love your book. - G.


I thoroughly enjoyed your Spirituality for Dummies book.   Very well written.   Thanks for all the guidance!   I'm looking forward to reading your other book.   It's on my list to buy.   :)   You're a true inspiration!   I'm 20, and I live on my family farm in WI.   Your garden analogy really hit home.   I love how you described all the people are seeds/flowers that are planted in the field.   Sharon, I'm so inspired now to start weeding, and planting more positive flowers.   :)   Thanks again. A new friend, - A.


I love the book and so far have purchased 6 to give away to family and friends.   I laugh a lot and sometimes cry. It makes me feel wonderful.   Thanks for writing spirituality it does you proud. - P.


I want to thank you for sharing your great heart and mind with the world of seekers, as well as unknowing seekers, in Spirituality for Dummies.   You have provided me with the framework in which to fully appreciate where I was, and how far I have come in my sadhana.   Your work is also helping me to construct a new framework for the present moment, and, the future.   To read another's words which reflect one's own deepest knowing is enlightening and inspiring. With Great Love and Many Blessings to you, - G.B.


I rarely find the depth of understanding that your book reflects. You have the rare gift of expressing very complex ideas with simplicity. Please continue to bring that gift to the world as it is needed at this and all times. - T.L.


You can only imagine that I received some odd looks when checking this book from the local library. There aren't many books that I buy, but this one I'm adding to my collection as it was such a joy to read. This book was very vaulable in lifting my spiritual awareness and broadening my understanding. You wrote a fine book. My complements! - K


Thank you setting your knowledge and experience on paper. I just began reading "Spirituality for Dummies" and it is exactly what I need. I've read several books on eastern religion/philosophy and spirituality. While I came away from most of them with my head feeling better my heart did not. Your book is serving as mold which will bind together several disjointed and fragmented concepts I have about being spiritual. Thank you, kindly. PS Since I already knew that I didn't know, am I now qualified for advanced dummyhood? - C.


Dear Ms. Janis, Your book, Spirituality for Dummies, has really changed my life.   I don't want to go into a long diatribe about the road I've traveled and how far I've come spiritually, but suffice to say, with the help of your book, "I've come a long way baby!" May your journey be filled with peace and joy. - P.H.


Wow Sharon, you're book is truly wonderful - blows me away as I say in my review which just went up -starts on the right margin, down a bit, at   What a job you did - way more than I would have guessed - a true blessing.   It's one I will keep and use for a long long time, truly. And the wonderful bonus of the cd - your amazing grace is one of the best I've ever heard, and I love gospel! Blessings, - A.


Just a note to tell you I enjoyed "Spirituality for Dummies" and the CD. I've read a fair amount of spirtually oriented stuff but I found your witty, down-to-earth writing style welcoming. I especially liked the last chapter on 10 examples of seeing your life through spiritual eyes. I'm not always successful at it, but the book gave me some great insights. Thanks, - S.


I recently purchased (by coincidence) this book and have read about 1/3 of it.   I've been in the AA program for 17 years.   I just wanted to express my gratitude and appreciation for God bringing you into my life.   I am presently reading the section on contemplative writing which I think will be most helpful to me.   I think your book will affect many lives.   Thank you for being a part of my life. - B.


Dear Sharon, I recently bought your book "Spirituality For Dummies" and I have quickly gone through it and highlighted in orange the parts that enlightened me the most.   I intend to go back and digest the highlighted portions more thoroughly.   Thank you for demystifying spiritualality and bringing it down to the human level and up to the modern age.   I have visited your website and have read some of the excerpts on it.   I would be interested in your autobiography.   All the best from: - A. G.


Sharon, I think you have done an excellent job in writing this book " spirituality for dummies". I have not really finished reading the book but am enjoying allot your accompanying CD. I have introduced your book to my friends in Malaysia. I am a professional engineer . My business has failed with a lost of millions. Now my family has fallen apart. After reading your book, I am taking happiness as a process and regaining my confidence and seeing life as it is. Regards, - S.N.V.




CLICK the CD to listen to tracks from the new CD,
and click the book for sample pages and more info


Excerpts from Spirituality For Dummies at


Cultivating Spiritual Virtues

Exploring the Meaning of Spirituality

10 Small Things You Can Do to Uplift Your Life
             (with photos)

Living Spiritually in a Conscious World

Practicing Spirituality for Personal Growth

Transcending Life's Problems through Spirituality

11 Commandments for Living a Spiritual Life

5 Divine Forms to Check Out

The 7 Stages of Universal Creation Based on Kashmir Shaivism

10 Spiritual-Sounding Lines and What They May Really Mean
              (humor with photos)

How to Connect with the Divine through Prayer

Singing to the Divine

What Is the World Made of?

How This World Is Like a Movie

Dream Interpretation and Spirituality

The Laws of Karma

Should You Make Lots of Good Karma?

How to Clean Up Your Karmas

The Law of Attraction

How to Untangle the Web of Desires

10 Opportunities to See Your Life with Spiritual Eyes
           (with photos)

How to Rise Above Illusions

The Power of Affirmations

Remember That the Universe Is Always Listening

How to Use Manifestation Techniques

How to Clarify Your Spiritual Intentions and Goals

What Is the Supreme Surrender?

The Importance of Divine Guidance

How to Depend on Spirit

What Enlightenment Is Like

What makes Spirituality For Dummies different from other contemporary spiritual books?

  • Breadth and depth of coverage – It is rare to find a contemporary spiritual book that covers the breadth and depth of topics covered in Spirituality For Dummies.
  • It's Universal and Personal– The author brings quotes and ideas from many spiritual, religious, psychological, ancient wisdom, scientific, and philosophical traditions together with personal insight and advice.
  • Friendly, knowledgeable guidance with no strings attached – The author’s goal in writing this book is to share beneficial ideas and worldviews that are accessible to people from all walks of life.


About the Author:

Sharon Janis was brought up by psychology-teacher parents and studied neuroscience and film at the University of Michigan, before spending ten years living a monastic ashram life – studying, chanting, and serving in deep spiritual immersion, while producing and editing hundreds of videos for the worldwide Siddha Yoga spiritual movement.  

After a decade of monastic life, Sharon moved to Hollywood for a career as film editor, director, and producer of popular television shows and films – including many evening news and news-feature shows, Hard Copy, X-Men, and The Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers – winning a Los Angeles Emmy, an Associated Press National Board of Directors award, and many other accolades. With her combination of monastic life and Hollywood creativity, Sharon offers a fresh view and style that motivates, entertains, educates, and enlightens with a down-to-earth intimacy, touches of music and singing, and a generous dose of humor. 


Watch a video about Sharon and Spirituality For Dummies


Sharon and Spirituality For Dummies on the news


Find more info and video and audio clips of the author at:  Sharon Janis Speaking.


Every copy of Spirituality For Dummies comes with
A CD of inspiring devotional music!

The Spirituality For Dummies 2nd Edition music CD comes in the back of every book and gives a delicious taste of inspiring spiritual music, including Gregorian chanting, Christian songs, Buddhist texts, Jewish prayers, Hindu chants, Latin hymns, and gospel music, sung by artists including Erik Peterson, Cantor Kathy Robbins, The Eternal OM, the Desert Fathers, Kali Mandir, Premanand Trikannad, Swami Nirvanananda, and the author.



Additional Works by Sharon Janis

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as part of the Night Lotus offering of free multimedia spiritual resources





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CLICK HERE to go to Sharon's speaking, concerts, and workshops page


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blessings on your path