gail straub

Award-winning author of The Ashokan Way and Circle of Compassion 

Gail Straub is the author of six books including the best-selling Empowerment translated into over fourteen languages, the critically acclaimed The Rhythm of Compassion and the award-winning The Ashokan Way: Landscape’s Path into Consciousness. An activist and pioneer in the field of empowerment, she co-directs the Empowerment Institute where for over three decades she has offered her work to tens of thousands of people worldwide. She co-founded IMAGINE: A Global Initiative for the Empowerment of Women currently in Africa, Afghanistan, India, and the Middle East. Gail Straub lives in the Hudson River Valley in New York.

Visit her at www.empowermentinstitute.net 


The Ashokan Way, Landscape’s Path into Consciousness  

Paperback | Size: 5.5 x 8.5 | Length: 200 pgs |  | List Price: 16.95

Winner, Foreword Review Book Awards

Winner, Silver Medal, Nautilus Book Awards



Available in Paperback and ebook.
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the book

The natural world has the power to awaken, restore, and transform us, and nowhere are these capacities more evident than in the thirty-six luminous essays that make up The Ashokan Way. Written in the form of journal entries that take place over the course of a year, the essays explore both the outer landscapes of the awe-inspiring Ashokan Reservoir, a vast open space surrounded by the ancient bluestone peaks of the Catskill Mountain Watershed, and the equally awe-inspiring inner landscapes of our own most personal terrains.

Each of the book’s evocative entries describes a walk along the ever-changing reservoir, illuminating the natural world as a portal to self-understanding, restoration, and meaning. Some walks take us deep inside to trek the hills and valleys of our aspirations and sorrows, our joys and confusions. Others offer a profound antidote to an interior landscape that has become crowded with distraction and overstimulation. Still others seem to seem usher us into the realm of the mystical.

As surely as we would perish without the water and air that the earth provides, we are at risk of perishing without the spiritual sustenance that the natural world provides through its ability to stir and astonish us. In a world that is ever faster, noisier, and busier, The Ashokan Way is a balm, an inspiration, and an invitation to discover greater intimacy with inner and outer landscapes alike.

“Walk with Gail Straub in her beloved mountains. Let her take you through the change of seasons, let her show you the altering light and shadow, the dark. You will see all that is visible and all that is not–the mystery that can only be sensed, the kind of beauty that can stun the viewer, or move her to tears. Gail Straub, a part of nature herself, has learned how to lose the static and friction of modern day life, finding a way to live at peace and in balance with nature, accepting the opposites of life and death as part of the Ashokan Way. This is a beautiful and profound book. ”

Abigail Thomas, Bestselling author of A Three Dog Life

“ In this beautiful, elegant, and important book, Gail Straub takes us on a year of walks in the landscape she calls home. But she’s really describing a walk we all can take no matter where we live–the walk that bridges all the landscapes of our being: our connection to place, to each other, to our inner sense of self and outer sense of responsibility to the earth and its peoples. Quoting the ancient I Ching, she writes about “coming to rest in motion.” She should know: a world traveler and social activist, Gail brings the steady calm she finds in the mountains to her work at peacemaking in a troubled world. ”

Elizabeth Lesser, NY Times bestselling author of Broken Open

just released

Circle of Compassion

Paperback | Size: 5 x 7 | Length: 140pgs | List Price: $16.95

Based on Gail Straub’s critically acclaimed book The Rhythm of Compassion: Caring for Self, Connecting with Society, these short meditations are designed to help you learn to find and follow your own unique rhythm of compassion. Circle of Compassion uses the powerful metaphor of the rhythmic nature of breathing to show you how to help yourself while helping others. The series of meditations is an ongoing exercise for getting to the root of healing, developing compassion, and putting compassion into action—to heal ourselves, others, and the world around us.


Available in Paperback and ebook.
*Receive 20% off when you purchase in our store
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“It is a wonderful achievement of the book to disclose so many of the secret bridges between the inner hemisphere of the soul and the out world of action. The balance Straub recommends will be crucial in our new millennium.”

—John O’Donohue, author of Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom

“This is a book of great authenticity, practicality, and heart.”

—Sharon Salzberg, author of Loving Kindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness 

Deep as the ocean, penetrating as the wind, purifying as fire, practical as earth. Gail Straub’s book is a gift of spirit. A simple and thorough guide to digging back through the layers of life, it helps deliver the reader to the deep well of compassion that dwells within every human heart. What is found within can then be given back to the larger circle of life as love and service.”

—Joan Borysenko, author of Seven Paths to God: The Ways of the Mystic

“May the message of this graceful book take hold in self and society now–in the present generation–and at this great turning of the millennial wheel.”

— Matthew Fox, author of Original Blessing 

“Gail Straub’s clear-eyed compassion is grounded in years of both spiritual practice and social action. Defying our tendency to separate the soul’s longings for self-growth and social justice, Gail poignantly demonstrates the truth the heart has always known: that true self-care takes us deeper into the world and caring for the world takes us deeper into the essential self.”

— Oriah Mountain Dreamer, author of The Invitation

“Reading this inspiring text encourages one to let go of stress.”

—Alternative Medicine Magazine