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Pass the Jelly: Tales of Ordinary Enlightenment Paperback – December 16, 2009

4.7 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

I find in Gary Crowley and his book Pass the Jelly a rare combination of humor, perspective and wisdom—a refreshing take on life and reality. I'm the better for it, and I hope many people partake in this nourishing and tasty feast.
(Dan Millman, author of Way of the Peaceful Warrior)

Pass the Jelly: Tales of Ordinary Enlightenment explores the Pass the Jelly principle, which teaches about cause, effect and acceptance. The author's formula for quick compassion and how to live a fruitful life makes for a powerful set of admonitions perfect for any new age or spirituality collection. (Bookwatch, June 18, 2010)

Gary and his unforgettable characters say a lot about the way things are and about how to live life effectively. You never feel you are being lectured, however. The characters, not the teachings, take the front seat. That makes Pass the Jelly an important contribution to the spirituality genre. Profound spiritual teachings are rarely this easy and this much fun to get, understand, remember, and apply. The one topic Gary never talks about is the one thing this book is all about: love. You feel it on every page, in every paragraph. I loved this book.

(Jerry Katz)

Gary Crowley explores the brilliant ordinariness of 'what is' with a user-friendly writing style that sparkles with wit and wisdom. By humorously showing how everyday encounters can be opportunities for new awareness, he invites readers to open themselves to the obvious beauty and simplicity of the here-and-now moment. If you’re tired of long-winded, esoteric books that aren’t grounded in the real world, then Pass the Jelly is definitely something that you'll enjoy. Highly recommended. (Chuck Hillig)

In a genre loaded with books about the serious business of enlightenment, Gary Crowley’s new book, Pass the Jelly, shows us we can frequently find humor on the road to awakening. I recommend this book to anyone interested in laughing their way to practical enlightenment. (Ike Allen)

About the Author

Gary Crowley was raised in Seekonk, Massachusetts, and lived in the same blue-collar Irish Catholic home in the same child-packed neighborhood for the next eighteen years. Then he moved to California to attend Stanford, graduating with a B.A.in Economics and another in Political Science. He now lives in Encinitas, California, which is near San Diego. Gary is a bodyworker whose practice focuses on people with chronic structural pain. He was trained in Rolfing (also known as Structural Integration) eighteen years ago. He calls his work Functional Bodywork. In 2006, he published the book From Here to Here: Turning Toward Enlightenment. Gary's website is www.garycrowley.com.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 199 pages
  • Publisher: Sentient Publications (December 16, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591810922
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591810926
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.5 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #921,791 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By John R. Childs on November 21, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
People, Oh my goodness, you have too buy this book! Best read in a very long time.
I just finished this masterpiece today. This will make the perfect gift for all seasons. The perfect Christmas Stocking stuffer!
Gary's tales of childhood dazzle the mind in familiar and outrageously funny ways.
I literally had to stop several times to catch my breath from the side splitting humor on steroids that is vividly on display on every page.
The humor is mixed with profound and illuminating lessons of a life that exudes compassion and love
for all the situations he describes that we can all relate to.

The much deeper essence of our true nature is revealed with humor and power!
Every chapter sings with events and people just as they are, and as seen with the depths of Gary's unique take on the crazy world we live in. My hats off to him.

Bravo Mr. Gary Crowley
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Format: Paperback
"A long chain of cause and effect had led to my being where I was, and while this is true for everyone all the time, I knew it wasn't personal. It never is. And knowing this allowed me to soak in the entire spectacle."

Those opening lines lead the reader to meetings with an assortment of lovable, laughable, absurd, and wise characters from Gary Crowley's life. Gary finds a spiritual teaching with each person he introduces. Each story is injected with and wrapped in humor.

This book is character driven. Who is the main character? Perhaps whoever you fall in love with the most. It might be Little Joe, a little person whose teaching I won't reveal but involves a stick:

"All the kids loved Little Joe. He would walk down the street, and the moms would call out to their kids, 'Little Joe is walking by.' ... There are some memories in life that seem to summarize the best of times; my memories of sprinting out of the house to say 'Hi, Little Joe!' are just those. ... I got the gist of what [Little Joe] was saying. 'The stick' might have been my very first esoteric teaching on life.

Maybe it will be Not Jim, the taciturn tow truck driver, "a modern-day wrangler out rescuing humanity's strays on their daily cattle drive to and from work"

Or Raw Boy, the health food store employee engaged by Gary in conversation:

"Oh, I'm completely addicted. I'm a self-confessed Javacrucian. Every morning when I take my first sip of coffee, I say out loud, `God, that's good.' "
"Coffee is the most anti-spiritual drink on the planet," [Raw Boy] challenged.

Shady Grady is one of several adults met by Gary as a lone boy or teen.
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Format: Paperback
Not too often a book can be recommended for ALL.
Witty, uplifting and thought provoking, written in a very light style without pretension.
There is something for everyone in this delightful book.
This would make a perfect gift for any occasion.
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Format: Paperback
So, I received an innocent looking email from Gary Crowley on November 24, 2009, saying that he had a new book coming out, Pass the Jelly: Tells of Ordinary Enlightenment, and he wanted to send me a free copy. Well, who doesn't like a free book? Especially when it's on a topic near and dear your heart: spiritual awakening. So, I told him to go ahead and send it. What I didn't tell him was that I have over a dozen other books that I am currently working through to review for my website, and that I most likely wouldn't be getting to his until well into 2010. The book arrived the very next day, which happened to be the day before Thanksgiving.

After tearing open the envelope and holding the brand new autographed paperback in my hands, I did what all true bookoholics do: I cracked it open and took a big whiff: "Ahhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" After coming down from my fresh glue, ink and paper high, I looked at the cover which features a jar of orange marmalade (which technically should be grape, but you'll have to read the book to find out why!) carefully perched on top of three smooth stones. While I understood the three stones reflected the Zen flavor of the book, I was curious about the jar of jelly and why, according to the book's title, it needed to be passed.

Even though I had no intention of reading the whole thing, I figured I would just read a little bit to find out about the book's intriguing title. Although I didn't know it at the time, that's like being a crack addict and saying you are just going to take one hit and then put the pipe down: you are only fooling yourself.

You see, once you start reading this book, your brain quickly realizes it has never read anything quite like this.
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REALLY FUNNY AND INSIGHTFUL, BUT TOO ARROGANT
Bill Drake, 11/29/09

I was excited to receive this book after really enjoying Crowley's first book, From Here To Here, a wonderful little "nondual" book about the absence of free will, etc. (Readers who love Pass the Jelly won't necessarily like From Here To Here. The books are very different.) This second book of Crowley's is written as a memoir, with reflections on his interactions with different people during the course of his life. It has underlying themes or "teachings", such as the theme that "people do what they do, that's what they do, and that is it." ("Teacher"/author Byron Katie has often said the she can trust people completely.....she can trust them completely to do what they do.) As Crowley explains, "everything is ultimately rooted in, and results from, a long unbroken chain of cause and effect." This is even true, of course, of my writing this little review and the approach that it takes.

Crowley is an exceptionally creative and clever writer, and I found much of the book really funny, causing me to laugh out loud at times (even in public!). His writing style and some of his stories (especially of his childhood) are simply delightful. And his basic "teachings" about life are, in my opinion, "right on." I have read dozens of spiritual/"nondual" books, or books about "spiritual truths", and this is the funniest I have ever seen (although admittedly very few of them have been funny!).

This book could be very significant for a reader unacquainted with the "truths" Crowley reveals through the remarkable journey of his life. And the book's potential in this regard is not to be discounted. Crowley has really been gifted with some profound understandings that began to occur at an unusually young age.
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