Questions, Questions, Questions.
Where might you be today, had you begun your spiritual journey when you were very young? What if you could find it easy to discuss topics of the spiritual dimensions of life with your child or grandchild, thereby enhancing your relationships? What possibilities open for you when you can look beyond the limited perspective and view we tend to have? How might your relationship with your parents or children have blossomed with the revealing of awe, wonder and splendor in the sweet mysteries of existence?
Our lives are bombarded with things that can take us away from the special connections we are capable of. Each of us has the ability to demonstrate love, compassion, gratitude, and generosity. We can choose to live our lives by the Golden Rule. We can make time to appreciate the exquisite construction of our planet and experience the joys of nature. We can look toward the star-spangled heavens, appreciate the velvet silence, and draw peace from spirituality. We have the ability to find beauty in simplicity, and we can marvel at the complexity of what, at first glance, may appear deceptively simple. Many of us have just forgotten how.
In today’s busy, electronics-oriented world, dominated by distractions, special effects, and noisy shoot-’em-ups, simple earth-based spiritual and moral issues have been effectively obscured from view and buried in the smoky haze of the fiery explosion of computer-generated images.
The Sun, the Moon, the Stars, and Maya is a unique format that was created to help families discuss important issues with their children. Illustrations of Maya, the Shih Tzu puppy muse, in complementary settings, accompany bits of wisdom relating to spiritual and moral issues. Notable quotations are the inspiration for Maya’s simple-language lyrical interpretations meant to evoke awe and wonder in all things and capture the imagination of the child and the child within the parent.
The Sun, the Moon, the Stars, and Maya takes storytelling to the next level, engaging the child within all of us with a desire for a close connection and a yearning for a loving hand to gently guide, as we explore and come to understand, life and the world we find ourselves in is continuously evolving and at the same time cyclical. Are you still ‘that child’ who has similar needs? – I think we all are and that is magic. We are all witness to the ‘circle of life’, we all need to make the time and a safe place for just this type of reflection that can begin with this book.
Click and a new window will open and under the book cover click for preview
Endorsement from Dr. Bernie Siegel of The Sun, the Moon, the Stars and Maya click to learn more Bernie Siegel
“Come to the edge
I may fall
They pushed him and he flew.
Beautiful piece of work“
by Bernie Siegel, MD Author of A Book of Miracles and The Art of Healing
Endorsement from Dr. Carl Hammerschlag - click to learn about his work with Patch Adams and more The Healing Doc -“The Sun, the Moon, the Stars, and Maya, is a beautifully written and illustrated children’s book that’s really for parents who want to open their kids to seeing a world that enriches the soul. I loved reading it.”
Endorsement from Dr. Jeffrey Mishlove This book is magical! The rainbow-colored illustrations are exquisite. Rarely have I encountered a book so filled with love! Jeffrey Mishlove, Dean of Transformational Psychology University of Philosophical Research
Endorsement from Dr Michael Lennox - click to learn more about Dr. Michael Lennox -“The Sun, the Moon, the Stars and Maya” is one of those rare delights that works for both children and adults alike. Rich Okun has created a whimsical world that is not only beautiful to look at, it offers an inspiring entryway into the principles it teaches with grace and simplicity. You and your children will love this book.
Jacquie Rhoades MS. Ed. One of my favorite quotes from this beautifully illustrated book sets the tone and the message: Sometimes – Magic will appear in your life, especially if you are looking for it. Such magic has found me and it must be shared because you deserve some magic too. When I began reading, I was looking for a category to place it in the proper place among all other books that I have read. I soon recognized that Maya moved me beyond content to an experience of thinking and feeling.Whether you are looking for a book of meditations, a soft and friendly read, or a page or two to read to your children, Rich Okun’s quotes, poems, and thoughts will take you on a journey well worth traveling.
Aug 21, 2013 Sam Sena Get this book if you love to ponder greater things… Every once in a while, a book comes along that is able to entertain and also help give us food for thought about our life experiences. Rich Okun is like a Dr Seuss for Adults. created by the gifted illustrator and artist Rich Okun. His blog started as a series of beautiful illustrations, accompanied by words of wisdom and gradually built up a large online following, with some of his posts going viral.
Aug 11, 2013 Tevilla Riddell This is a lovely book–it is for parents, children, animals lovers, philosophers, and anyone who would like to be given a chance to examine life from a different angle. The illustrations are STUNNING–and done by the author–this is a talented writer as well as illustrator! The book can be read with children to give parents a talking point into a deeper discussion or just enjoyed. Lovely–and on my list for all gifts to friends, both with kids and without.
Aug 13, 2013 Vibhu Ashok rated it This amazing book by Rich Okun is going to make your heart sing and be in love once again, illustrations contained therein are mesmerizing, when you will open it in night, just before sleep, it will let you experience those days, when as a child you love to leaf through beautiful pictures and words…. must have for every art lover…..
Nina rated it that’s one of a kind book the amount of pure unconditional love and peace you feel with each page is incredible. its made with passion that goes through generations and the amazing relation between the universe and its blessed nature and creature is so wonderful by adorable Maya leading us to pure meanings of life.. its an endless joy !
Alex Cooper rated it I like to think of The Sun, The Moon, The Stars, Maya as a nightstand book. Its not the kind of nightstand book you read in one or two sittings and then put back on your shelf., it deserves and needs to be read every night, but just a little bit. Each page combines beautiful quotes of wisdom and philosophy form literary, spiritual, and philosophical writers with the author’s own unique and inspirational blend of poetry and imagery. The book makes it possible to read a pithy excerpt of great wisdom and really chew it around your mouth and devour its true meaning and message. Mr. Okun helps us to see the wisdom and beauty that each expression represents while adding his own personal insights. His personal touch, warmth and spirituality is everywhere in this book. Each image and each line of his poetry provide perspective and complements the source material. The effect is to make it light, whimsical and accessible to readers of all ages and backgrounds. Well done
SD rated it Absolutely beautiful book! Full of joy and insight, conveyed by both word and imagery. A must-read for anyone interested in spirituality, joy, and inspiration. – Sarina Damen, Spiritual Counsellor, Life Coach and Author.
Stu R rated it It made me think, it made me reflect, on the magic we call life, through introspect. A beautiful book, an easy read, deep thoughts abound, in poetic seed.
Kate Edwards rated it I was extremely fortunate to be bestowed a copy of this book – happy coincidence, serendipity, or spiritual intervention? I cannot be sure, but I am so happy it came into my and my children’s lives. Rich Okun and Maya (“of course”) have created a completely unique, special and life-affirming book which melds text and pictures into the most wonderful book. As an adult, I can appreciate the quotes and references alongside Rich/Maya’s own interpretations and gentle teachings. From the child’s perspective, well my 3-year old can look at the pictures and it allows her to imagine what Maya is experiencing and thereby see the world through Maya’s eyes. The art-work on its own is a delight. It is a distinctive and intriguing form of illustration and, I feel, adds a whole new dimension to the words alongside them. It is a book you can never tire of returning to again and again; it can offer salvation at times of sadness, confusion and indecision as well as affirmation during times of happiness and optimism. Thank you Rich and Maya for this beautiful gift.
Sandy Michaels A very special and thought provoking book with wonderful illustrations. I highly recommend it. Mr. Okun is extremely talented in prose and paint. I am buying more copies to give to friends and family. We should all be so lucky to have a Maya in our households
Inspiration, October 2, 2013 By Kathy T. Dame I have read many books that are said to be inspirational, and many of them are. But be sure to not miss out on this curiously inspirational book. The art work is wonderful as well as the quotes and the thoughts that accompany it. You can get all the “how to” books that you want to lift your spirits. However, make sure this book is on top of the pile of your books. I think once you look at it, you will keep it on top!You will want to read it often. You will come to love Maya. For me, it was love at first sight! It is impossible not to. If you are rushed and don’t have time to read in the a.m., you will find that just a short tidbit from Maya and a glimpse at the art work will give you a good start to your day. This is the first time I have ever written a review, and I’ve read many good books, but if I neglected to review this one,I would feel that I had cheated man/womankind of something special. Don’t miss it. You can read it over and over again and each time, be re-inspired.
Extraordinarily Beautiful, Sweet and Deep!, September 29, 2013 By Kristin Fontana (Ashland,Oregon) Artist and Author Rich Okun has brought his best to this body of work, as he uses color that appears to come to life in his paintings and words that inspire and awaken the Heart and the Soul. Thank you for sharing your special gift to the world! Kristin
Marvelous! Practical Wisdom Amidst Stunning Illustrations!, August 5, 2013 By C. Gurin “summerland3451″ (A featured author on the number one children’s story site on the web, Bedtime-Story.com, Rich Okun first introduced the wise and winsome little Maya to the world in his charming “Maya The Magical Puppy” series.contains some of the most beautiful paintings it has been our pleasure to admire. The passages which accompany those illustrations comprise thoughtful insights, giving each of us the opportunity to pause for a few moments of quiet introspection. I cannot recommend “The Sun, the Moon, the Stars and Maya” highly enough. Buy the book for yourself, buy another as a gift.
The Sun, the moon, the stars, and Maya, September 27, 2013 By Neil Cooper “Neil” I love this book. As a fan of famous quotations, Rich is obviously adept at selecting really entertaining and profound ones. He matches them beautifully with his own commentary and beautiful hand-painted illustrations that make an impactful statement. The work arouses the mind and senses. I retweet his quotations often in reference to my business because the spiritual meaning is also highly practical in a real world sense. I use the book as a source of inspiration and creative thinking. I discuss the contents with friends and everyone is stunned by the wondrous illustrations. I use it to awaken my mind in the morning or just before I go to sleep at night for its calming and peaceful affect. Overall I give the book my high endorsement for the opportunity to learn and for its ability to heighten my aesthetic sensibilities. Good stuff!
Great Book!, September 18, 2013 By MaryAnn “MaryAnn” The incredibly intricate and vivid illustrations in this book are sure to please. It’s a hopeful book of innocent beauty and charm. On every level this book is a treasure: as gorgeous textile art, as sweet children’s literature, as a wonder-filled treatise on the changing days. A delight not only for children but for adults as well. A cute story with beautiful colorful detailed pictures you will not get tired of looking at. It’ll make you smile and brighten your day. This beautifully illustrated book is another classic children’s story from the author. This book really captured the imaginations of our young readers. This book is enchanting! Offers an alternative to the many commercialized, media-linked books that dominate the children’s media market. An old-fashioned delight for new children. This is a wonderful tale!
Opens your heart, mind and soul!, September 5, 2013 By Matthew Taylor The Author truly posses a great gift in his ability to communicate his spiritual connection with the reader. His writing is both prolific and inspiring and I think that he is on track to accomplishing his goal of making the world a better place. His brief meditations evoke serious thought and mysticism that will hopefully allow for the reader to gain a better sense of spirituality and manifest a connection with the world that did not before exist. His illustrations are out of this world, and I can tell how much passion he put into creating each and every stroke.
A Grand Spiritual Classic! By Michael F. Titus on August 29, 2013 This is an intriguing, often mysterious book. Rich Okun uses quotes, followed by deceptively simple verses — accompanied by his gorgeous artwork — which feature his Shih Tzu puppy poet, Maya, to bring the greater truths of the universe (the questions, notion, fears) we often ponder, into a simpler form. By simpler, I do not mean childish, but childlike. The verses given here mark a boundary of what you might think, and all that you can imagine. This is Okun’s great gift. He can reveal great truths with simple words, without being sugary or sentimental.At first glance, you might think this is a lovely book for children. It is. But, if you look deeper, you find yourself encountering the numinous; you begin to understand things you’d forgotten. With his beloved Maya as his muse, Okun opens little doors into your heart. It’s a lovely book, and not one to be missed.
Poetry to Ponder, August 24, 2013 By TZB – Amazon Verified Purchase A must have on everyone’s bookshelf! This book contains chapters that are books themselves. Masterfully illustrated, brilliantly written, this is treasure trove of wisdom, advice and insight that will stir emotional and cerebral response. Whether enjoying through the lens of an adult, young or old, a teen or a child, the quote engages you, the poetry engages you even more and the illustrations further enhance the mental and emotional meanderings inevitable in your journey throughout this collection.
Maya’s Magic, August 21, 2013 By Alfie -a unique and really rather wonderful book for adults and children alike .It is filled with a rich tapestry of sayings, verses and amazingly beautiful illustrations .It is not often I am moved to share a book in the way I am with this one , I want others to look at the pictures , read the words and “feel” the meanings .This book will make a fabulous gift for anyone who wants to sit in total peace and take part in the magic of a world seen through the eyes of Maya , the Shih Tzu puppy poet . Read it with children and watch them learn ,through imagination ,about spiritual and moral subjects which are often overlooked today .”Sometimes – magic will appear in your life , especially if you’re looking for it ” ……. It appears in this book !!
The Sun, the moon, the stars, and Maya is a new classic, August 8, 2013 By Bloke “Bloke” - See all my reviews a beautiful book filled with warmth and imagination, and a rich uncluttered wisdom. It makes no attempt to impart any specific opinion or idea, but creates an atmosphere in which the reader can hear their own heart and mind more clearly. The greatest works of art don’t tell you what to think, but they may help you see yourself more clearly, and in my opinion this work of art achieves this goal.
What a wonderful book!!!!, September 11, 2013 By A.L. Hopkins - This book is truly gorgeous. Inspiring, touching and thought provoking my children and I love reading through the pages (digitally of course. ) and then taking what we have read as a discussion to build on our every day lives and values. I thank Rich for creating such a lovely book that we can enjoy as a family. Beautiful work.
thought provoking eye candy, August 21, 2013 By Neil Steinhardt – Amazon Verified PurchaseThis is a book that I shared with my children (10 and 11 years old) that is unlike any picture book we have shared before. The imagery is simply amazing and a testament to the author’s talent as an artist. The quotes and sayings are varied and inspiring. My daughter asked if she could keep the book (the answer is yes) to share with her class this year. We don’t talk about big things often enough and The Sun, the Moon, the Stars and Maya provided the perfect point of departure for some very interesting conversations about life and, more importantly, about how we feel. I think this will be one of those books, like The Giving Tree by Shel Silversteen, that we can return to now and again to find a different meaning at different stages of our lives.
A daily, thought-provoking tool – all coming from great wisdom and spirit!!, July 17, 2013 By David Malchman Since coming across this book, I have been using this as a daily inspirational reference. Rich Okun’s ability to elaborate in multiple ways on a simple phrase really encourages me to savor this book, rather than devour. I feel Rich’s love for humankind so deep, so loving. The inspirational phrases that he picks out, the insightful analysis that he gathered from his soul and his walks with Maya, and the accompanying pictures of Maya, all provide such a really enjoyable, multi-layered approach to daily inspiration. That is how I use it – to soak up the words, to soak up the intention, to soak up the colors. Truly a work of love and splendor!
The Sun, Moon, Stars & Maya., July 26, 2013 By Sue V Peterson This is one of the most “heart touching” books I’ve ever read. The graphics are so beautiful it makes it such a joy to read. This would make a great Christmas for children and grandchildren and would be a book they could read again and again for inspiration even into adulthood. a keeper and something that keeps giving year after year.
Spectacular Book, July 24, 2013 By Shep – In this spectacular book author Rich Okun and the muse Maya, combine wisdom from the ages, inspiring poetry and lively engaging illustrations that combine illumination, inspiration and fun. Addressing a wide range of subjects from pain, fear and love to the miracle of a flower there is something that reaches an adult to reflect on each day and for every adult to share with a child. It’s a lovely spiritual journey that will grace every home.
Higly recommeded new book by author Rich Okun, August 1, 2013 By Starhenge “Top Choice”Both children and adults will appreciate the joy of life, its wonders and mysteries. Melding quotes, along with colorful illustrations and interpretational poems, complex philosophical concepts are expressed with love, simplicity and understanding. Maya takes the reader on journeys of the heart and mind that condense large ideas into easy to understand language. The wonderful illustrations draw the reader into the scenario, as Maya looks for the way to live a splendid life. Adults will also enjoy this book and its positive messages.
Sparkling, a sheer delight to the senses, July 26, 2013 By Ayleen Tiggy Pilling This book literally SPARKLES, a sheer delight to the senses. Within it’s pages we are transported into a gentle, sparkling, rainbow coloured, caring & spiritual world that inspires us, both child & adult. Through the wonderful artwork, the wise words & quotations Rich & Maya help us to realise what our lives are truly about & we learn to cope with lifes pressures & frolic in our worlds beauty. Rich & Maya have a deep love & understanding of man. To pick up this book daily is a must for me, it never ceases to lift my spirit, a pure joy!
A Magical World in Vivid Color, August 14, 2013 By S. Maines – The watercolor paintings in this book really make Maya’s world come alive. Vivid colors and and creative imagery really capture in detail the feelings of what Okun has written. This children’s book is a perfect gift for that special little person in your life but makes a nice gift for the big kid in all of us.
This book is a WIN!!, August 7, 2013 By art2eat cakes -This book is a WIN!! Our girls love this book, and are now huge Maya Fans. WThe quote inspires while the Maya verse and painting Illustrate the concept into fullness. Many times the pictures will evoke ideas and discussions as we read, discussions that then occur in a gentle, fun, and colorful manner about things that may not always be so. a HUGE Thumbs-Up, and would heartily recommend it to other parents, grandparents or anyone with a child in their lives
the sun, the moon, the stars, and Maya, August 12, 2013 By trudyadams This is a wonderful book, I actually bought two, one for myself, and one for my daughter who was just diagnosed with bipolar. It has helped us both tremendously. I will be buying more of Rich’s books in the future.
What a fun & inspiring book!, July 19, 2013 By Philip Fischman We LOVE this book! Really gorgeous artwork. Even our cats enjoyed this wonderful book. Our complicated world and complex life get so simple when you’re sitting, just petting your dog and breathing. We’re giving a copy to our close friends, to read to their children too.
Very enjoyable reading.A Child Once Again, July 3, 2013 Amazon Verified PurchaseBy Marla M. Seymour “archmms” When I awaken every morning, I do four things. I hit the bathroom, let my dog out, make a cup of coffee, and read my daily selection from “The Sun, the Moon, the Stars and Maya”. I keep the message of my selection in my mind all day long…meditating, applying, analyzing and remembering. The entire volume is charming, insightful, and all that I could want in a daily lesson/meditation.
A delightful read … with lovely illustrations !!, July 2, 2013 By Kathleen Leiter – Curl up into your favorite chair with this sweet book that speaks to the timeless issues that touch heart and soul. Share the reading with loved ones and begin those talks about what matters most to you and those close to you in life. Look forward to taking a “time out” with this little gem over and over again.
Be a child once again, give yourself a precious gift….., July 15, 2013 By Vibhu Ashok This amazing book by Rich Okun is going to make your heart sing and be in love once again, illustrations contained therein are mesmerizing, when you will open it in night, just before sleep, it will let you experience those days, when as a child you love to leaf through beautiful pictures and words…. must have for each art lover…..
Re-expanding my horizons, July 19, 2013 By GoFaster For children AND adults alike. In a world where technology, circumstances and other pressures have often hurt or repressed our psyche and sprint; this book is filled with thought provoking poems that helped me see beyond the surface and perhaps find the truth. It will be treasured and read over and over.
THE LOVE, THE ART, THE INSPIRATION TO LIVE !!, July 11, 2013 By Karla Rai - I am still reading Maya and your book…it has turned somehow, in to mi little bible…i read 2 page in the am…to set my tone and heart for the day. I LOVE this book, if only I could say just How it has touched my life..
Inspiring and thought-provoking, September 1, 2013 By Marlene D. Schwartz “One Smart Blonde” Amazon Verified Purchase I love this book so much. It contains some of the most beautiful thoughts, and the accompanying poems (the musings of Maya) add so much to the quotes themselves. It is a very playful book that belies the importanace it will have in your life. Buy it and enjoy!
Beautiful and inspiring, September 23, 2013 By Debbie The illustrations in this book are incredible and so beautiful. The book uses quotes and expands on them showing what they mean to our every day life. They are inspiring. It would be a great book for a child to use for teaching life lessons but also for an adult going through a difficult time. The illustrations remind us to stop and appreciate all that is around us. It is a book I’ll return to often for inspiration and peace.
Rare, July 19, 2013 By Cameron Chell The talent in the art work is apparent and easy to appreciate as is the spiritual awareness. One cannot help but be at peace and in a state of calm when taking the time to sit and enjoy it. Rich Okun has hit on a new genre or modality as it relates to this book.
A great gift for young and old!, July 31, 2013 By Paul – The wonderful Maya Puppy Poet vignettes inspire intriguing contemplation on life and promote meaningful conversation for both young and old.
Wonderful book !!!, August 11, 2013 By Mica – Original illustrations and writings make this book an incredibly beautiful spiritual journey to take. Every picture makes your imagination fly, each page a loving message.
A perfect book to curl up with yourself, or share with children or teens. I have met Maya and she is beautiful, fun and a great teacher of how to live a life of Love.
Must read!, August 18, 2013 By KK – The quotes in this book are a sum up of what life should and could be . Maya gives us words of wisdom to ease us and quiet the noise around and I will gladly keep it on my night stand. I will share this book with my daughter who is also call Maya It’s must buy, I am happy I did!!!
Nothing Else Like It!, August 18, 2013 By Karen Hegler - What a wonderful book for children, teens and adults! Maya sees things through her eyes, and Rich Okun, the author and Maya’s “dad” makes the stories feel like they were personally written just for you. My advise is if you are looking for a good, wholesome, enlightening book, stop right here! This is it! May your entire family enjoy. ♥
Curl up with Maya, August 27, 2013 By J. M. VanDyke “Loon Lover”The Sun, the Moon, the Stars and Maya is a gem of a book filled with colorful illustrations that pop out at you and stories that fill your mind with wonder and hope. Curling up with “Maya’s messages” can turn a frantic day into a day of tranquility.
Maya inspires me!!! By Alex Quinn on September 16, 2013 The magic of this book is it helps us connect to our inner child and the natural world. Maya reminds us of the things that we knew when we were young and in love with the magic of the world. Either the images or the words will help you connect if you allow the magic of Maya into your heart. I was inspired today as i was jogging on a trail in the woods and heard from 1/4 mile away the screams of a child. As i got closer i could see the 3 year old girl in the arms of her mother with the father at her side, her screaming was not subsiding despite their efforts! I was in the zone and wanted to just run by, and as i grew closer i could see the mortified parents hoping i would! But i realized i should share the beauty of the world with these parents and child, as Rich and Maya do. So I shared with them how the deer cross the stream 10 yards behind them and again 20 yards in front. She stopped crying, I told her to watch carefully as the deer move so fast you might only see their white tails. In less than 30 seconds she was calm and marveling at the magnificent field around her. As i returned back on the trail 15 minutes later i only could hear the sounds of a young girl telling her parents how many things she could see in the woods! All three were beaming with joy as i saw their faces, much as i do as i turn the pages and enjoy Maya’s sharing!
Taking storytelling to the next level, each narrative is present By Anna Windsom
Taking storytelling to the next level, each narrative is presented in a way that expands your attention; taking a kernel of a thought -
embossed in a notable quote – growing to a short-lyrical saying – and richly textured with a relevant illustration featuring
Maya the magical puppy in a representative setting.
The Sun, the Moon, the Stars and Maya, a collection of little sayings about enormous things
- doesn’t try to give the answers, but instead begs the questions through entanglement and involvement.
Simple language imagery is used to allow for a deeper unfoldment of the thought, sometimes poking fun,
sometimes being serious, and using vivid color to excite visually, with a special little puppy creating an atmosphere
that is ripe for the engagement of children of all ages and the awakening of the child within all of us.
Every element is orchestrated with the intentions to invoke a ‘feeling’.
Each story can be used as a basis for a bedtime story-discussion of life’s spiritual and moral issues between
the parent/grandparent and child – adults find these can be used as daily meditations where these ageless
wisdoms are put in a thought provoking and more contemporary setting. They will uplift your spirits. Some will make you laugh,
some will make you think, all will surprise you with their deeper meanings wrapped up and disguised in a unique, pleasing
and easy format.