BEAR SPEAKS

The Story of 7 Sacred Lessons Learned from a Montana Grizzly

Laura Carpini

Bear Speaks is a marvelous, fantastical teaching tale in the tradition of The Celestine Prophecy. A young professional woman from Los Angeles goes camping in the Montana wilderness to “find herself” and escape the pressures of family and fiancé, about whom she’s having some doubts. Once in the forest, she discovers that she is anything but alone. As she explores the natural world around her, she encounters the trickster coyote, a wise old spider and an adventurous raven, all of whom have the ability to shapeshift and communicate with her, mind to mind. And soon she finds herself falling in love with a magnificent bear named Ishmel.

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Bear Speaks is a marvelous, fantastical teaching tale in the tradition of The Celestine Prophecy. A young professional woman from Los Angeles goes camping in the Montana wilderness to “find herself” and escape the pressures of family and fiancé, about whom she’s having some doubts. Once in the forest, she discovers that she is anything but alone. As she explores the natural world around her, she encounters the trickster coyote, a wise old spider and an adventurous raven, all of whom have the ability to shapeshift and communicate with her, mind to mind. And soon she finds herself falling in love with a magnificent bear named Ishmel.

As she gets to know Ishmel, he transmits to her seven sacred lessons:

• All your needs will be met.
• Time is an illusion.
• Have no fear.
• Release into love.
• Create a loving reality.
• Connect energy lines to heal the world.
• Vibrate with joy.

These lessons are both familiar and new, with the ring of truth from various spiritual traditions. Above all she learns, and teaches us, that the source of your fear can become the guide for your life. Bear Speaks tells an enchanted tale about trusting what life presents us.

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  • Weiser Books
  • Paperback
  • October 2010
  • 160 Pages
  • 9781578634828

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$14.95

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About Laura Carpini

Laura Carpini graduated magna cum laude in English literature from UCLA. After a brief and disastrous career as an attorney, she became a middle school teacher. In addition to this book, she has written several screenplays. She is a yogi active in the Santa Monica yoga community.

Praise

Bear Speaks captivates the mind and teaches us to uncover the truth of Joy in modern life. I wholeheartedly recommend it.”—Erich Schiffmann, author of Yoga: The Spirit and Practice of Moving into Stillness

Discussion Questions

The protagonist has a wobbly relationship with her father.  To what extent does he influence her, and provide her with the skills that allow her to expand her perception of the world in the forest?  What is the general role of family in the story?

The main character’s initial reason for going to the forest is to prove her independence.  Yet from the beginning she is reliant on Jerry, handyman and forest ranger extraordinaire.  How are her interactions with him a precursor for discoveries about herself and independence that she makes later in the story? 

How does the appearance of the Coyote become a turning point in the woman’s interactions with the forest?  Why does her relationship with him help her to settle into her environment?

Discuss the earthquake and Ishmel’s entrance.  How does her initial perception of the Bear as a “stalker” contribute to her fear and excitement when they finally make contact?  Discuss the significance of the name Ishmel.  What does the Bear’s name reveal about what she will learn from him?

The woman finds herself drawn to both the Grizzly and Brian.  What is the basis for her attraction to Brian, and how does it differ from her need for Ishmel?

What are some of the elements of shamanism in the story?  To what extent does the main character become a shaman herself?

What is the lesson of the Woman in the Cave?   Why does the woman warn the protagonist about Ishmel? Are those warnings legitimate? 

What does the protagonist learn about the role fear plays in her development?  How does confronting her fear help her evolve as an individual, and ultimately allow her to become part of a community?

Discuss the two rainstorms in the story and the main character’s reactions to them.  How do the Snake’s movements in the second storm coincide with her internal opening?  How does that internal change allow her to refashion the external appearance of the forest?

Discuss the protagonist’s pregnancy and how it connects with Ishmel’s teaching about immortality and the ongoing nature of life?