We all long for boundless love as we long for home. But how can we find our home – our meaning and purpose – if we don’t know our self? Wise-Love is an exploration of the self, or consciousness, through the eyes of saints, sages, seers, and mystics. As we embark on the journey to the self, we discover that the self’s most charming characteristic – part of its eternal, unchanging nature – is that it is a lover, a lover who can be satisfied only when ordinary love evolves into wise-love.
Pranada Comtois, a devoted pilgrim and spiritual teacher, illuminates bhakti’s wisdom school of heartfulness and shows why mindfulness alone can never satisfy the self. “Joy comes from an awakened heart and expanded consciousness, not from a controlled or stilled mind.”
The first part of Wise-Love explores the nature of self/consciousness and how we interface with the world with the use of our physical body and subtle body (mind, intelligence, and ego). By understanding the distinctions between our real and false selves, we can factually answer the questions Who am I? What is my purpose? and How can I be happy? The second half of the book examines the nature of matter, the world of consciousness, karma, faith, mysticism, the efficacy of sacred sound, the maha-mantra, kirtan, humility, depth compassion, and how to culture wise-love. Each chapter unfolds with an understanding of matter and consciousness to present a key that unlocks our eternal nature so that we can experience the unbounded joy of the self in our daily lives.
When we encounter the self, we’re automatically introduced to our Divine Suitor and our loving relationship with him. Filled with insight and fresh perspectives, Wise-Love offers a map for the journey to our home of eternal affection, where a porch light is always lovingly lit, and a warm embrace from our Divine Other awaits.
Secretly nestled in the Upanishads and extolled in the Bhagavad Gita, bhakti shines as the crown jewel on the head of India’s timeless wisdom about consciousness. Often over-simplified as “devotion,” bhakti is the method of experiencing the self and its Essence/Source. This concise yet comprehensive handbook exploring the meaning of bhakti’s sophisticated philosophy promises to enrich you wherever you are on the spiritual path.
Praise for Wise-Love
Pranada has made a real contribution to anyone who is interested in diving deeper into a Bhakti path—the Way of Love and Devotion—offering us a gateway into the universal heart and the power of love that transforms us all, our very nature, and source of realization.
Pranada Comtois artfully connects transcendental philosophy to practical experience in a down-to-earth voice that’s sure to resonate with modern seekers. A great resource for yoga teachers and a must read for anyone who longs for a deeper understanding of devotional yoga, Wise-Love is a lucid revelation of bhakti-yoga as the science of spiritual emotions.
In her groundbreaking work Wise-Love, teacher-practitioner Pranada Comtois offers readers a rare combination of textual exegesis and common sense insights about the journey to self-awareness. In tracking consciousness—the fundamental core self that is both the subject and object of contemplative practice—too often writers gravitate to extremes, favoring either a detached analysis of source texts or an indulgent exposition of personal insights. Readers are consequently presented with bits and pieces of the spiritual journey, but no clear picture of where it leads. We can be grateful that Pranada has taken such care to ground her very readable work in a scholarly yet simple exposition of classical Vedanta. Here at last is a practical guidebook for all sincere seekers, to be savored and celebrated.
In Wise-Love, Pranada Comtois shows us that cultivating awakened consciousness and perfect joy is not only possible, but is our birthright. Claim the treasure with which the mystics of all traditions tease us: a transformational encounter between lover and Beloved, in which the individual soul melts into the luminous sea of Love.
Wise-Love is destined to be a staple in yoga teacher trainings across the world as it gives a straightforward and easy-to-understand approach to bhakti yoga. Such books can only be written by people living it, and Pranada Comtois has been practicing for more than forty years. She sheds a light for us who are trying to practically apply this path of love in our daily lives.
How refreshing to find a well-written book that presents the Bhakti path in a practical way that anyone can apply in our modern world.
Do not underestimate this book. Wise-Love delivers both wisdom and deep emotion. This is Zen Bhakti Yoga. It is bright, concise and juicy.
Pranada leads her readers on a practical journey into the deepest regions of the heart while engaging both an interreligious and nonsectarian spiritual component. This is not a sentimental book that panders to our common need for affection. In defining our true identity we’re led to discover the highest realms of spiritual love. Using eloquent and yet simple language, Pranada brings us where we need to go: into the sweet center of own being where the most profound love naturally awaits us. Highly recommended for anyone seeking to nurture their soul.
The imperative need now for us, as a species, is to move from our heads to our hearts, to learn to live differently, to love in a more profound and complete way. This beautiful and transformative book takes us from the concept of love as generally understood to the experience of love as an exalted state of being, a permanent state of ecstatic devotion and union with the Divine. Wise-Love is a priceless gift that can act as a guide in these distressed and distressing times.
We have come a long way since the “Hare Krishnas,” as they were known, sang and danced across the Western cultural landscape, drawing ridicule from mainstream culture—and often from the counterculture as well. Five decades ago, few understood that those ecstatic chanters represented a venerable spiritual tradition backed by an esteemed body of sacred literature. Now, thousands attend kirtan festivals and yoga studios host regular kirtan evenings. Still, little is known about the conceptual, philosophical and pragmatic underpinnings of the Bhakti path. Wise-Love is a much-needed corrective. Combining rigorous research and accessible prose, it is a welcome addition to the ever-expanding, ever-deepening transmission of Vedic wisdom to the West.
In her debut book, Pranada Comtois offers us a colorful cornucopia of heart exercises for the modern mystic. Creatively juxtaposing ancient, Bhakti wisdom from the East, with familiar views of Western thinkers, Pranada weaves together philosophy, psychology and her own personal insights to broaden our definition of love. Wise-Love promises to unveil the nature of awakened consciousness, inspire our spirits and nourish our hearts in the most profound ways.
Wise-Love unfolds as a sublime threshold into a new order of being—the realm of ananda, or spiritual bliss, in relationship with the Divine. It carries the reader into a most secret and confidential understanding of loving exchange that exists beyond the limited concepts available within our ordinary everyday linear ways of thinking. Practical approaches compliment the beautiful philosophical framework making this an inspiring addition to any seeker’s spiritual library.
Wise-Love is the perfect companion for someone seeking to understand the true nature of love. Love comes in many shades and degrees. With Wise-Love Pranada Comtois offers an exploration of love as devotion to something that’s beyond us and yet is us. That devotion or bhakti leads us into the eternal, true love that our hearts seek. This book is for those who may feel disillusioned by the more materialistic types of love and yearn to delve into the Divine.
Wise-Love is a beautiful journey into the wisdom of the heart by Pranada! Wise-Love effortlessly invites the reader to the path of love and surrender with supreme insight. . . . This book shall reach the hearts of many and open the hearts of even more. A gripping tale of love and light.