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A Monk in the Bee Hive: A Short Discourse on…
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A Monk in the Bee Hive: A Short Discourse on Bees, Monks and Sacred…

by Skye ann louise Taylor

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Beekeeping and Buddhism are not ordinarily two pursuits mentioned under the same cover; but then, A Monk in the Bee Hive: A Short Discourse on Bees, Monks and Sacred Geometry is neither spiritual discourse alone nor natural history survey; but lies somewhere in the shadowy realm between the two.

Perhaps this will be the most difficult part of its marketing process, too: the fact that spirituality readers typically don't receive in-depth accounts of beekeeping, while nature readers looking for details on managing bees will find A Monk in the Bee Hive is more than a nature story.

Instead, it's a story of author Skye Ann Louise Taylor's
meditative explorations which center around nature in general and connections to the sacred world of something she calls "the great bee".

Now, the concepts of 'sacred queens' or 'holy drones' may prove far-fetched to the ordinary beekeeper; but to new age audiences, it's an intriguing vehicle for exploring the world using images and ideas of bees as the foundation for personal insight and spiritual exploration. Under this approach, something as basic as observing a queen bee's lure and size translates neatly into deeper lessons on life that blend beekeeper actions and their consequences with larger explorations.

As the author learns how to work with and handle bees, so she gains not just confidence but insights on how the world of the hive works in response to human attitudes as well as internal processes: "Since then I have never worn a veil or globes, but I am slow and careful with these wild ones, these lovely honey bees. To get close to beauty, sometimes you just have to take a risk."

From the unnatural drives of the industrial beekeeping business and its relentless compulsion for 'bigger and better' to the origins of alienation, A Monk in the Bee Hive moves deftly from a serious of personal, introspective reflections to larger social issues: "With the loss of this relationship comes a loss of caring. We tend to care for what comforts us. When what comforts us becomes a gizmo rather than a landscape, then, looking at that landscape, our mind mines it for parts to make our gizmo with. We stop caring about the landscape, we no longer see it whole. We are sniffling for the parts."

While hard to neatly define and categorize, the most likely happy reader of this evocative, spiritual and philosophical natural history will be the new age reader with a prior interest in bees, Buddhist thinking, or both. Such an audience will appreciate the deeply reflective, yet accessible, blend of thought and interaction with nature that makes up this exceptional, delicate dance between beekeeper and bee. ( )
  DDonovan | Feb 9, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0981575773, Paperback)

Literary Nonfiction. A MONK IN THE BEEHIVE introduces and carries the reader to a higher octave of beekeeping. It has been called forth by the need for a recognition of the forces informing all of life itself. Drawing on her experiences as a Buddhist monk, Skye ann louise Taylor is adroit in her perception and application of sacred principles to life in the bee hive. Sacred geometry, astronomy, sacred queens and holy drones meld and swirl together in hives made of wood that resonate with the underlying formative forces moving throughout the hive and its surrounds. A MONK IN THE BEEHIVE is a book for a twenty-first century connection to all things bee.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:41 -0400)

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