by Penelope Bright, photos by David Sand
November 23rd, 2003, at Barnes & Noble Bookstore at The Grove
A festive atmosphere greeted everyone arriving at The Grove on Sunday, November 23rd in Los Angeles, as MSIAers flocked to the Barnes and Noble Bookstore where Dr. John-Roger and Dr. Pauli Sanderson launched their new book, When Are You Coming Home?The third floor of the bookstore was overflowing with eager participants who filled all of the available chairs and then spilled out into the book aisles, standing anywhere that they could find space.
The Barnes & Noble representative introduced John-Roger and Dr. Pauli Sanderson. John-Roger began his talk by reading passages from the book, and then answered questions from individuals in the audience. He was funny, gracious, generous with his time, and obviously full of merriment as he spoke about patterns of addiction, about gossiping and its effects, and about why human beings do the things they do.
Then J-R turned the proceedings over to Pauli Sanderson. As a former colleague of J-R’s prior to his MSIA days and also the first administrator of MSIA, Pauli’s stories and anecdotes from the “early days” of the Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness are many, varied, and often very funny. Stories from J-R’s life can be found in the When Are You Coming Home? book. Pauli was charming as she told about her (seven year) process of putting the book together. Pauli took questions from the audience too, after J-R lovingly encouraged her to talk longer.
Over 600 books were sold (reserves had to be brought in!), and just about everyone stood in line to have their books autographed by both authors. Everyone, that is, except the Peace Theological Seminary’s Doctoral students who were under time constraints to return to their class in Santa Monica. Line standing is one of the more venerable traditions in MSIA, often leading to laughter, catching up with old friends, romances, and occasional dancing (it was very entertaining watching David Rodgers, of the Institute for Individual & World Peace, learning a few new samba moves from the adorable Ariel Downs, age 13 and an avid ballroom enthusiast!). The Farmers Market/Grove retail area was also holding a televised tree lighting ceremony starring Jack Espey as their Santa Claus. Jack, formerly of the Windermere Ranch, sports “Santa whiskers” all year round — a definite plus in this season!
MSIA’s marketing staff provided great service as usual, gathering books for the Doctoral students, bringing them to the 2101 Wilshire building in Santa Monica, and then low and behold, John-Roger showed up at the end of class to sign the students’ books. He and Pauli sat in the lobby at 2101 signing books until all of the students’ books were signed. What a treat!
You can buy the When Are You Coming Home Book at your local bookstore or online at Amazon.com. Don’t miss these fascinating stories from John-Roger’s life. The book takes you on John-Roger’s spiritual journey and will energize and provide insights into your own. Enjoy!