I have had the distinct pleasure of taking class from Lady Ruth Lauer-Manenti at Jivamukti in NYC and let me tell you, she is the embodiment of humility and grace. To be in her presence is to watch the teachings come to life. She wrote a divine, humble little book full of wisdom and inspiration. Last night before drifting off to sleep, I opened An Offering of Leaves so that I could fall asleep to something sweet. I read the introduction in which she tells the story behind her intention in writing the book.
While in Bylakuppe, in Southern India, a territory that had been given over to Tibetan refugees, she was touched by the humble generosity of the Buddhist monks there. She writes, “An elderly monk came up behind me and slid a piece of cardboard underneath me. He smiled at me, and my cardboard seat felt luxurious… Everyone can give something. In that spirit, I offer this book, like a piece of cardboard to sit on.” She connects this to a beautiful line in the Bhagavad Gita: “However humble the offering, be it a leaf, a flower, fruit or water, if it is made with love and devotion, I will accept it” (9: 26). And like that, she presents this book to us as a series of short teachings from the world of yoga.
Her book is filled with the wisdom of the yogic scriptures illuminated through simple observations of the real world. I highly recommend this book for anyone looking for more light, and a clearer, more simple perspective.
An Offering of Leaves by Ruth Lauer-Manenti