Saturday, 31 December 2011

You say you want a resolution ...

"You say you want a resolution"
— misquoting 'Revolution', Lennon/McCartney

Resolving to meditate for 10 minutes per day would be more helpful in our lives than many other resolutions that we could make.  10 minutes per day is also a resolution that we can keep.


Read more on Ngakma Nor'dzin's blog, or in her book 'Relaxing into Meditation'.

Happy New Year!


Thursday, 8 December 2011

Always the Season to be Jolly

A Buddhist Christmas

always the season to be jolly 

Ngakma Nor'dzin Pamo

At Christmas time people seem to make an effort to be jolly. Strangers will greet you with a 'Merry Christmas' and generally there is an air of open-heartedness and goodwill. We all enjoy the sparkly decorations and coloured lights and are able to rediscover child-like pleasure in such simple things.

We can always live like this and not forget it just because Christmas is over. It is in fact possible to be warm towards one another throughout the year and continue to encourage the cheerfulness of spirit we discover at Christmas.

As Buddhist parents living in a primarily Christian society, we felt that it was important that our children joined in with Christmas celebrations and felt part of what was going on around them.

Carols have the most wonderful tunes and singing is a joyful experience that lifts our spirits. Christmas is often a time of creativity for children with nativity plays, the making of decorations and cards, and culinary creations.

As a family we have also joined in the tradition of giving presents. Loving parents would like to give the whole world to their children if they could – and there is no end to the desires of children. It is important to remember that ownership of the object of desire does not bring everlasting fulfilment. Once the object is owned, there will be another object that is wanted. So we should not feel pressurised as parents to buy our children more than we can afford or more than it is healthy for our children to receive.

Open appreciation is fulfilling and everlasting, and everything can be appreciated without being owned simply by enjoying it with our senses.

Christmas is a time for families. This can sometimes be slightly stressful when one is forced to spend a protracted period of time with rarely-seen members of the family who insist on treating you as they remember you 20 years ago. It is important to maintain a sense of humour and remember that apparent lack of consideration or irritating behaviour is merely our interpretation of that behaviour, and our opinion should not be taken too seriously. If we keep a light heart and a sense of humour we will find that we can enjoy the eccentricities of our families.

The ancient festival at this time of year was the winter solstice – recognising the death of the old year and celebrating the birth of the new year. Impermanence is a key teaching in Buddhism, so it is useful to be reminded of this.
The past cannot be changed or revisited however much we might wish to.
The future cannot be predicted or foreseen.
All we can ever know and enjoy is the present moment and present moments are infinite.
If we can learn to live in the present moment and appreciate everything it has to offer we will discover happiness and contentment.

There is much to enjoy about the winter –
the iridescence of a snow-swept landscape with rainbows glistening in ice crystals;
the stark beauty of naked trees silhouetted against a clear cold sky;
snuggling in front of a warming winter fire;
tucking into hot soups and stews;
hearing the laughter of children playing in the snow;
deciphering the tracks of creatures that have traversed the garden;
enjoying the softness of winter woollies and cosy hats and gloves.

I hope that you enjoy the Christmas season and appreciate every moment of it.
I wish you a happy and peaceful new year.
Whatever happens next year will happen.
If we approach all that happens with an open heart, a sense of appreciation and the intention to be warm and kind toward others, we will discover peace and contentment and help others to discover this as well.

Merry Christmas.


This article was originally written for — and broadcast on — The Way of the Toddler Hour

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Wrapping up for the holiday

This is likely to be the last post this year as we will shortly be heading off to India and Nepal for about two weeks.

Ngakma Nor'dzin is due to teach on Relaxation and Meditation in Delhi next week and then we are travelling on to Bodha in Nepal to join a pilgrimage there.

Our shops remain open throughout the holiday period with books on Lulu and artworks on Zazzle.com and Zazzle.co.uk

 We hope that everyone has a wonderful holiday, a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.






Saturday, 3 December 2011

Offers from Lulu and Zazzle - Sales don't necessarily sell

From time to time Lulu and Zazzle announce special offers.  These can include fairly drastic price reductions of 25% or even as much as 50% off.

This is good for the customer as it saves you money.  It's good for us also as it may encourage people to buy books and artwork but it doesn't affect the amount we receive.

That's the theory at least.

The strange thing that I have noticed is that people's purchases bear no particular relationship to the offers that are available.  Sales tick over the same as ever.  Sometimes books are even bought the day after an offer on them has ended.

I'm wondering whether people don't get to see the offers that are available and I'm not sure what to do about this.  The offers are often announced on Lulu and Zazzle's twitter streams so you may wish to follow those. I also blog or tweet about offers if I have the time, so people following this blog, or people who follow us on twitter should get to see these things. 

I would very much welcome your comments.

- Do special offers affect your decision to buy?

- Do you get to see the offers from Lulu and Zazzle? 

- What can we do to make sure that you see the offers that are available?

Please leave your comments on the blog - http://aro-books-worldwide.blogspot.com/2011/12/offers-from-lulu-and-zazzle-sales-dont.html - I would appreciate your thoughts and suggestions.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

SPB Roundup - a home for Self-Published Books

Patsy Porco of SPB Roundup has provided a place where self-published authors can list their books at no charge.  This is a helpful resource for authors and for readers  .

"Self-Published Books needed a home–one destination where authors could list their self-published books, and readers could browse titles that were heretofore hard to find. This site is providing what was missing in the book market."

http://www.spbroundup.com/


Tuesday, 22 November 2011

A wonderful read for the artist in all of us - Ted Stilles on 'an odd boy'

It’s not about ‘worth it’ or ‘not worth it’ when you have a dream. If you want to be an Artist, you’ve got to go with your dream – or it’s just a daydream.” — Doc Togden.

Truer words have never been spoken. Doc takes the reader inside the heart and soul of the young creative in a way that at once reveals the relentless pull that takes some of us to heights unimaginable in a world set on conformity. We may be few and far between but he reminds us we are not alone. A wonderful read for the artist in all of us.

— Ted Stilles


Ted Stilles is an American born blues guitarist from Montclair, NJ who was a part of the New York City blues scene in the early ‘70s. His first blues recordings were on the Spivey Records label. He has performed with such blues legends as Willie Dixon, Muddy Waters, and Johnny Winter. In the ‘80s he spent time with Blue Note recording artist Big John Patton. There’s a passion and subtlety to his playing that connect with audiences large and small.

Ted Stilles records with Candyland Recording Inc. http://www.candylandrecording.com/ Candyland Artist Key# 953


Volume 1 of an odd boy by Doc Togden is published by Aro Books worldwide and is available from amazon.com, amazon.co.uk and lulu.com - and your local bookseller.

Excerpts can be read on Doc Togden's Facebook fanpage and at anoddboy.com


25% off books in Britain until 28th November 2011

Lulu are offering 25% off books bought in Britain from now through 28th November 2011 at 23:59.

Here's their small print:

Enter coupon code CYBERWEEKUK305 at checkout and receive 25% off your order. The maximum savings for this offer is £300. Sorry, but this offer is only valid in Pounds and cannot be applied to previous orders. You can only use this code once per account, and unfortunately you can't use this coupon in combination with other coupon codes. This great offers expires on 28 November 2011 at 11:59 PM, so don't miss out! While very unlikely, we do reserve the right to change or revoke this offer at anytime, and of course we cannot offer this coupon where it is against the law to do so. 

So enter CYBERWEEKUK305 at checkout to receive 25% off your order, up to a maximum saving of £300.

http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/arobooksworldwide



http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/arobooksworldwide

Friday, 18 November 2011

Dear Sir or Madman - The Rabbit of Typographical Errors

Some years ago I wrote a letter to a psychiatrist.  Years later I looked at a copy of the letter and couldn't believe what I'd written. The letter began:

'Dear Sir or Madman,'

Yes, I'd written 'Madman' ... in a letter to a psychiatrist.  I never did receive a reply.

More recently I let another typing error go unnoticed, I'd misspelt 'risible' on the Rabbit mugs - all of them.

Unfortunately they've been selling rather well, so I've been gainfully employed not only in correcting the error, but also in contacting the customers to arrange replacement.  It's been a time-consuming lesson in proofreading and the results of not checking things thoroughly.

As you can see from the Rabbit of Death, the mugs are now all correct and once more ready for sale.  Take a look at them at http://www.zazzle.com/arobooksworldwide/gifts?dp=252585008705651924 or http://www.zazzle.co.uk/arobooksworldwide/gifts?dp=252585008705651924 . Do let me know if you spot any mistakes!




Monday, 14 November 2011

Greetings from the Risible Rabbits - now featured on US postage

Ræchel's Risible Rabbits are now available as Greetings Cards, Postcards and US Postage too.

All designs feature The Rabbit of Death, The Rabbit of Skinniness, The Rabbit of Naughtiness (who balances a fried egg between his ears), and nine other rabbits all drawn by Ræchel Togden.

Find them online in a Zazzle store near you - in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Spain, France, Japan, Portugal, UK and USA.  Unfortunately the postage stamps are only valid in the USA.



Ræchel Togden is an artist who works in mixed media – drawing and PhotoShop colouring.  She has been working on the Rabbit drawings since 2010.

The Tiger's Table - An interview with Doc Togden - Freado.com

Freado.com — a site where book lovers can win books — features an interview with Doc Togden where he talks about an odd boy, the influences on his writing, and his next plans for publication.

"Then – there’s an off-the-wall project – a recipe book called ‘The Tiger’s Table’. The gustatory olfactory senses are mainly neglected when people speak of the Arts – and Caroline and I would like to change that. This is something of a long term project because nothing I cook makes references to measurements or qualities. This means we shall have to cook everything and take notes of what we’d need to tell the reader with respect to reproducing our outrageous gastronomic exploits . . . It will be the recipe book that puts the ‘hell’ in health and the ‘die’ in diet ." — Doc Togden

Read the full interview here : http://www.freado.com/users/interview/29347/doc-togden/



Volume 1 of an odd boy by Doc Togden is published by Aro Books worldwide

Excerpts can be read on Doc Togden's Facebook fanpage and at anoddboy.com

The book is available on amazon.com, amazon.co.uk and lulu.com

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Awaiting the stamp of approval

In the USA it is possible to create your own postage stamps.  This is a wonderful opportunity to display artistic creativity.  The stamps have to go through an approval process with the USPS.

We are awaiting their decision regarding Ræchel's Ridiculously Risible Rabbits.  We hope that you will soon be able to buy sheets of these stamps - perhaps just in time for all the cards you send at this time of year.

Meanwhile, you can see Ræchel's Rabbit Calendar and Mugs

Empowered to be more creative

We enjoyed an evening with Doc Togden on 4th November at which he spoke of the nature of Art and the way in which people could be artists in their own lives - if they want to be.

"It would be good to think that people could feel empowered to be more creative in their lives and to think of themselves as Artists. I’m a great believer that hard work in more important than natural ability"
— Doc Togden



Doc Togden is the author of Volume 1 of an odd boy published by Aro Books worldwide.
Excerpts can be read on Doc Togden's Facebook fanpage and at anoddboy.com

Monday, 7 November 2011

20% off books in Britain until 11th November

Lulu are offering 20% off books for their British customers from now until midnight 11th November.  If you're considering giving books as presents, now might be a good time to buy them.

Use coupon code EARLYSHOPPERUK305


Follow these links to our best sellers

Risible Rabbits calendar - an odd boy - Relaxing into Meditation - Moving Being

Or browse the whole store: http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/arobooksworldwide





Saturday, 5 November 2011

Aro Books worldwide - International Zazzle Stores



Aro Books worldwide artwork is available from Zazzle stores - worldwide. Zazzle have now made it simpler to find the store nearest you.  Just click on the appropriate flag in the banner above.

Zazzl also translate the names of the artworks. If you are in Spain, don't miss the Conejo de la Muerte!


Thursday, 3 November 2011

Ræchel's Ridiculously Risible Rabbits - A mug for every month

Ræchel's Ridiculously Risible Rabbits are now available as mugs, steins and glasses and may be purchased from Zazzle stores worldwide.

The mugs feature The Rabbit of Death, The Rabbit of Skinniness, The Rabbit of Naughtiness (who balances a fried egg between his ears), and nine other rabbits all drawn by Ræchel Togden.

Find them online in a Zazzle store near you - in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Spain, France, Japan, Portugal, UK and USA.



Ræchel Togden is an artist who works in mixed media – drawing and PhotoShop colouring.  She has been working on the Rabbit drawings since 2010.


Wales Book of the Year Award 2012 & an odd boy

an odd boy - volume one  by Doc Togden has been accepted as an entrant in the Wales Book of the Year Award 2012 run by Literature Wales / Llenyddiaeth Cymruan odd boy has been entered as a work of literary non-fiction.

"The annual Wales Book of the Year prizes, administered by Literature Wales with funding from the Arts Council of Wales, are awarded to the best Welsh-language and English-language works in the fields of creative writing and literary criticism." — Literature Wales

Works in English are being judged by Spencer JordanTrezza Azzopardi and Sam Adams


Volume 1 of an odd boy by Doc Togden is published by Aro Books worldwide and is available from amazon.com, amazon.co.uk and lulu.com - and your local bookseller.

Excerpts can be read on Doc Togden's Facebook fanpage and at anoddboy.com



Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Ræchel's Ridiculously Risible Rabbits Calendar 2012

We are very pleased to be able to offer Ræchel's Ridiculously Risible Rabbits Calendar as our Calendar for 2012.

The calendar features The Rabbit of Death, The Rabbit of Skinniness, The Rabbit of Naughtiness (who balances a fried egg between his ears), and nine other rabbits all drawn by Ræchel Togden

The calendar is available from Lulu (http://bit.ly/rrtrrr2012callul). There is a preview available so that you can see all the rabbits.


Ræchel Togden is an artist who works in mixed media – drawing and PhotoShop colouring.  She has been working on the Rabbit drawings since 2010.


Friday, 28 October 2011

An evening with an odd boy - Bristol - 4th November 2011

An evening with an odd boy

enjoy an evening of wine, readings and book signing with Doc Togden

Friday 4th November at 7pm

Aro Ling, 127 Gloucester Road, Bristol, BS7 8AX

an odd boy is a memoire of an eccentric aficionado of Bach and Blues, poetry and painting. This is a portrait of the artist as a lad, set in the experimental cultural ferment of the late 1960s... A depiction of an era when the Arts set a generation on fire.

"I wish to inspire people to think of themselves as artists – even though they may never paint, write, or engage in any obvious way. Being an artist simply requires a compassionate state of mind that is open to a joyous appreciation of the sense fields."
— Doc Togden


Volume 1 of an odd boy by Doc Togden is published by Aro Books worldwide and is available from amazon.com, amazon.co.uk and lulu.com - and your local bookseller.

Excerpts can be read on Doc Togden's Facebook fanpage and at anoddboy.com


Sunday, 9 October 2011

Either Doc Togden is normal, or I'm odd too. Kris Gray reviews 'an odd boy'

Either Doc Togden is normal, or I'm odd too, as there are so many similarities here with my early life we could be brothers. We both had fathers who fought against our chosen musical careers and the length of our hair. I like biographies and this one of Doc's early life with his introduction to blues music at the tender age of 7 is like no other I have read before. I couldn't put it down, although often forced to by the late hour. He illustrates his points with quotes from many a blues song, film, poem or book to the extent that I have never seen before. This book should be a benchmark for all future music biographies, I'll even have to go back and re-write some of mine!

Any musician who grew up in the 50's and 60's, when the boundaries of music were being pushed further than they ever will again, will empathise with Doc and his struggles with family, friends and school to fulfil his ambition to be a blues musician. I urge all of those musicians to read this book; it will bring a tear to your eyes of both sadness and joy. I can't recommend it enough. Anybody who thinks The Beatles `Revolver' album was the best one they made certainly knows his stuff!

— Kris Gray


Kris Gray is a Blues musician, record produce, music agent, manage and author.   http://krisgray.co.uk/


Volume 1 of an odd boy by Doc Togden is published by Aro Books worldwide and is available from amazon.com, amazon.co.uk and lulu.com - and your local bookseller.

Excerpts can be read on Doc Togden's Facebook fanpage and at anoddboy.com


Friday, 7 October 2011

Doc Togden interviewed by Cathy Stucker about 'an odd boy'

Cathy Stucker's Selling Books site features an interview with Doc Togden on the subject of an odd boy.

"I wish to inspire people to think of themselves as artists – even though they may never paint, write, or engage in any obvious way. Being an artist simply requires a compassionate state of mind that is open to a joyous appreciation of the sense fields." -- Doc Togden


Read the full interview here : http://www.sellingbooks.com/doc-togden-an-odd-boy/




Volume 1 of an odd boy by Doc Togden is published by Aro Books worldwide

Excerpts can be read on Doc Togden's Facebook fanpage and at anoddboy.com

The book is available on amazon.com, amazon.co.uk and lulu.com

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Backups sponsored by SpiderOak

A computer can let you down at any moment, and when it does the result can be disastrous - total loss of data.  So we need backups.

With this in mind we've been backing up the server that hosts the Aro websites.  Every day, a backup is taken of every website.  The only problem with this arrangement is that the backup files sit on the server.  So in the event of total disaster, everything is still lost.

With this in mind we have been copying the backups to a safe place every month.  This is a piece of work that we could happily stop doing, if there was a way of automating it.

So in September we installed Spideroak on our server.

SpiderOak watches for any changes in the files and ships off any new or changed files to the SpiderOak servers.  Because of this our daily backups are now copied to SpiderOak servers, so in the event of the loss of our servers we can recover all the sites.  And all of this happens without us having to remember.

SpiderOak encrypts all the data, so it always remains private.  It also deduplicates so that if the same file is backed up more than once it only takes up the same space as one copy.

The good people of SpiderOak have been most generous and sponsored us with 30Gb of space.  This should keep our sites safe for some time to come.

If you want to know more about SpiderOak, please see their website (https://spideroak.com/).  If you decide to sign up with them, please use our referral link -
https://spideroak.com/download/referral/90789c3635304ca63da83dec0b67dcfb - you will get 3Gb of space, free, and we get another 1Gb added to our space.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Relaxing into Meditation - Om Yoga and Lifestyle Magazine

From the What we're reading page of Om Yoga & Lifestyle Magazine, October 2011

"What exercises and practices will help us to live a life free of stress? Ngakma Nor’dzin, a Western Buddhist Lama, guides us through relaxation and breathing exercises that lead into meditation. The methods are described in friendly and accessible language, and will enhance the lives of those who practise them."

http://www.ommagazine.com/



Relaxing into Meditation Aro Books worldwide  ISBN 978-1-898185-17-8 http://bit.ly/nrprim

Available from Lulu.com, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com, Wisdom Books, and other bookshops worldwide

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Take at least 10 minutes every day to meditate - Q&A with Ngakma Nor’dzin


"Take at least 10 minutes every day to meditate" - Ngakma Nor'dzin

Ngakma Nor'dzin talks to Sprout Savvy about Relaxing into Meditation 

"Meditation practice injects a period of space into our lives – a few minutes that we give to ourselves to just be quiet and alone. A meditation practice of 10 minutes a day gradually builds into a daily experience of spaciousness where we can discover the mechanism of our habit patterns."

Read the full article : http://sproutsavvy.com/health/relaxing-into-meditation-qa-with-ngakma-nordzin/

Sprout Savvy provides insights about green living through informative videos and articles. Learn how to live a balanced lifestyle by initiating small changes that make a big difference.

Ngakma Nor'dzin is the author of Relaxing into Meditation 
Aro Books worldwide  ISBN 978-1-898185-17-8 http://bit.ly/nrprim 
Available from Lulu.com, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com, Wisdom Books, and other bookshops worldwide.

Friday, 5 August 2011

Read a chapter from 'an odd boy' and help publicise the book

If you would like to read you can't accidentally drink reindeer urine from an odd boy, and help publicise the book at the same time, please click on the 'share to get' button below or go to this page: http://bit.ly/nO9Yj2.  You will be asked to link to the chapter via Facebook or Twitter before downloading the chapter to read.





Saturday, 30 July 2011

We have no stock, but supplies are unlimited

This is the paradox of print-on-demand.  We have no stock, but supplies are unlimited.

We print on demand with Lulu (http://bit.ly/stores-lulu-com-arobooksworldwide) for books and Zazzle for art (http://bit.ly/zazzle-com-arobooksworldwide).  This means that your order goes to Lulu and Zazzle and not to us.

Lulu print books as close as they can to the delivery address to minimise shipping.  This means that orders for the USA are printed in the USA, orders for Britain are printed in Britain.  Lulu themselves are based in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Orders at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other web shops are dealt with in a similar fashion.  Books are printed and shipped to order.  Orders from bookshops work a little differently.  We receive information from Gardners and then place an order on Lulu for shipment.

So although we have no stock — and we rarely see a book — we have an unlimited supply.




Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Deborah Magone on 'an odd boy' by Doc Togden

‘An Odd Boy’ unfolds like its butterflies, one spectacular sentence after another. I love the meeting of two worlds old and new – in a child who becomes a man. I love the references to song quotes relevant to the each part of the story. A delight to read!
— Deborah Magone









“At a mere 5 foot – three inches, this little Blues Rock Mama can belt a tune in the style of Big Mama Thornton, Deborah blends it all together to form her own ‘whimsical and walloping’ vocal style while strutting her stuff on guitar.” http://deborahmagone.com/



Volume 1 of an odd boy by Doc Togden is published by Aro Books worldwide

Excerpts can be read on Doc Togden's Facebook fanpage and at anoddboy.com

Monday, 25 July 2011

Pay With A Tweet - Spam or not Spam?

I came across Pay With A Tweet some time ago and I thought it was very innovative.  It allows an organisation to make something available - a report, a sample book chapter, an ebook and so forth.  If you want the item you pay for it by tweeting about it.  This means that it becomes known to all your Twitter followers.  It looks like a great way to make something well known in a short amount of time.