Simple Gifts: Making the Most of Life’s Ki Moments (Audio CD)
One Point Press (2009)
Reviewed by Vicki Landes for Reader Views (7/09)
Author Judy Ringer explains her meditative mind frame and practices in a newly-released audio CD titled, “Simple Gifts: Making the Most of Life’s Ki Moments.” Utilizing the Japanese concept of ‘ki’ (pronounced ‘key’) – a universal energy or life force – she applies it in her own life’s ‘key’ moments for a deeper presence and more positive perspective. Ringer writes, narrates, and sings on this compilation.
The material is divided into four sections: Presence, Bad Reality/Good Reality, Regaining Perspective, and The Path of Gratitude. Within each section, Ringer recalls certain pivotal instances in her life which have caused her to stop and think, center her mind, change her perspective, nurture a sense of gratitude, stop worrying, and live in the moment. Her speaking voice is calming, full of grace, and sincerity. Her stories – described by a reviewer as ‘parables’ in the jewel case insert – are short and serve as quick moments for inward reflection; perfect for a car ride or quiet walk with a headset. The songs interlaced between the stories, however are downright annoying and counter the relaxing nature of her narratives. Although ‘on’ as far as tone quality and pitch go, Ringer’s renditions of these pieces were too cheesy for the overall ‘renew, relax, refresh’ effect she was going for. I went from a serious analysis of my mind frame or meditation on what I’m grateful for to rolling my eyes and cringing upon hearing her extra wide vibrato and the lyrics of songs like ‘Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries’ or ‘On the Sunny Side of the Street.’.
“Simple Gifts: Making the Most of Life’s Ki Moments” is an appropriate audio CD for older generation listeners, perhaps those who don’t want the burden of tackling a long book or would enjoy the succinct moments of contemplation that this volume offers. Without the inclusion of the songs, I think Ringer’s CD would be more widely appreciated by a younger listening audience. Her message is suitable for all ages and easily enjoyed in the car, at home, or lounging in the backyard. Quick and easy, any schedule can accommodate a listen.