©​ Mara Berendt Friedman


A sample list of books and tools that have found their way to my meditation room.
Come back and visit sometime as this page will change.  It’s all about adding possibilities as we create our own rhapsody.  

Joanna Crespo


SEM The Nature of Mind, by Gelek Rimpoche and Amy Hertz
Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, by Shunryu Suzuki
River of Fire, River of Water: An Introduction to the Pure Land Tradition of Shin Buddhism, by Taitetsu Unno


Sara, Book 1: Sara Learns the Secret about the Law of Attraction, by Esther Hicks and Jerry Hicks
Sara, Book 2: Solomon’s fine Featherless Friends, by Esther Hicks and Jerry Hicks
Sara, Book 3: A Talking Owl Is Worth a Thousand Words!, by Esther Hicks and Jerry Hicks
Tiger-Tiger, Is It True?: Four Questions to Make You Smile Again, by Byron Katie and Hans Wilhelm


The Meaning of Mary Magdalene: Discovering the Woman at the heart of Christianity, by Cynthia Bourgeault
The Wisdom Jesus: Transforming Heart and Mind, by Cynthia Bourgeault
The Gospel of Mary Magdalene, by Jean-Yves Leloup


Crystal Journey, Travel Guide for the New Shaman, by JaneAnn Dow
The Crystal Bible, by Judy Hall
Love is in the Earth, by Melody
Crystal Trilogy, by Katrina Raphaell


Esoteric Healing (Works of Alice A. Bailey), by Alan Hopking
All twenty-four books by Alice A. Bailey (1880-1949)
A Planetary Awakening, by Kathy Newburn


Eastern Body, Western Mind: Psychology and the Chakra System As a Path to the Self, by Anodea Judith
Wheels of Life: A User’s Guide to the Chakra System, by Anodea Judith
The Web That Has No Weaver: Understanding Chinese Medicine, by Ted. J. Kaptchuk, O.M.D.


I Need Your Love – Is That True: How to Stop Seeking Love, Approval, and Broken Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life, by Byron Katie and Stephen Mitchell
The Seeker’s Guide, by Elizabeth Lesser


"All Is Forgiven" by Ashana
Mantra Songs by Deva Premal
Mantra Songs by Snatam Kaur
Mantra Songs by Mirabai Ceiba
Reiki music by Deuter
Reiki music by Steven Halpern
Reiki music by Merlin's Magic
Reiki music by Terry Oldfield
Gospel music with Hildergard von Bingen


The Man From Autumn—A Psychological Novel, by Mario E. Martinez
The Sai Prophecy, by Barbara Gardner


My Voice Will Go With You, The Teaching Tails of Milton H. Erickson, edited by Sidney Rosen
A Shinning Affliction: A Story of Harm and Healing in Psychotherapy, by Annie G. Rogers, PHD
The Unsayable: The Hidden Language of Trauma, by Annie G. Rogers, PHD
Messengers of Healing: The Family Constellation of Bert Hellinger Through the Eyes of a New Generation Practitioners, by J. Edward Lynch and Suzi Tucker


A Modern Reiki Method for Healing, by Hiroshi Doi
Reiki And The Seven Chakras, by Richard Ellis
Reiki: Hawayo Takata’s Story, by Helen J. Haberly
Reiki—The Legacy of Dr. Usui, by Frank Arjava Petter
Reiki Fire: New Information about the Origins of the Reiki Power, by Frank Arjava Petter
The Spirit of Reiki, by Walter Lubeck, Frank Arjava Petter, and William Lee Rand
The Reiki Sourcebook, by Bronwen Stiene
Your Reiki Treatment: How to get the most out of it, by Bronwen Stiene and Frans Stiene
Light on the Origins of Reiki: A Handbook for the Practicing the Original Reiki of Usui and Hayashi, by Tadao Yamaguchi


The Ethics of Touch: the Hands-on Practitioner’s Guide to Creating a Professional, Safe and Enduring Practice, by Cherie M. Sohnen-Moe, Ben E. Benjamin


Fingerprints of God: What Science is Learning About the Brain and Spiritual Experience, by Barbara Bradley Hagerty
You Are Psychic!, by Pete A. Sanders
Power vs. Force: The Hidden Determinants of Human Behavior, by David r. Hawkins
The Eye of the I: From Which Nothing is Hidden, by David R. Hawkins


The Four-Fold Way: Walking the Paths of the Warrior, Teacher, Healer, and Visionary, by Angeles Arrien
The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom, A Toltec Wisdom Book, by Miguel Ruiz
Soul Retrieval: Mending the Fragmented Self, by Sandra Ingerman
Awakening to the Spirit World: The Shamanic Path of Direct Revelation, by Sandra Ingerman and Hank Wesselman
Dreamways of the Iroquois: Honoring the Secret Wishes of the Soul, by Robert Moss
Dancing the Dream: The Seven Sacred Paths of Human Transformation, by Jamie Sams
The 13 Original Clan Mothers, by Jamie Sams


Climbing Jacob’s Ladder: One Man’s Journey to Rediscover a Jewish Spiritual Tradition, by Alan Morinis
The Black Butterfly: An Invitation to Radical Aliveness, by Richard Moss
God Is A Verb: Kabbalah and the Practice of Mystical Judaism, by David A. Cooper
The Divine Feminine in Biblical Wisdom Literature, translated and annotation by Rabbi Rami Shapiro
Kabbalistic Healing: A Path to an Awakened Soul, by Jason Shulman
Let Nothing Disturb You, by Theresa of Avila
The Interior Castle, by Teresa of Avila and translated by Mirabai Starr


“I would say, “You think you’re mind is blown and your heart has burst open after Reiki 2….just wait!”  It’s all the same message, over and over, love love love, take care of yourself and create a safe and sacred space in which to walk through life…. yet the depth of understating of that simple message is what amazes and awakens you in Reiki 3 in a way so powerful it knocks your socks off!  It is as if your Soul understands a new lesson, a new way….and as a human here on Earth, when your Soul awakens (or remembers) these deep and profound truths, it is the greatest high of your whole entire life.  This is what I received in Reiki 3, and I will never be the same.  The gratitude I feel for discovering Reiki, the open center, and most of all Joanna Crespo has not even been invented yet!”

– Chris H. (2017)

“Joanna's Reiki program at the Open Center is a fantastic experience!  The program is unique in its width and depth, and how it combines both deeper essence and the practical side, possibly because Joanna herself is both a healer and in corporate.  Best parts include the almost sacred high energy "reiki space"; the deep experiential learning in well structured modules; a very comprehensive curriculum including the essence of reiki, wide variety of techniques, history, philosophy, legalities; the emphasis on self development; a well crafted outside practicum that starts you off in taking your reiki journey into the world; then of course Joanna who is warm and supportive with a sense of fun which belies the lot of effort she puts in, and the Open Center which is a lovely space.  Come with a free mind, open heart, curiosity and wonder.  Life force always transforms in the direction of your true self which is infinite possibilities and unconditional bliss. Rumi said - "The wine of divine grace is limitless. Limits come only from the faults of your cup."  Come and let reiki show you how to become limitless.” 

– Jaya T.  (2016)

"The Reiki program Joanna teaches at the NY Open Center more than meets expectations – it redefines them.  Usually when you sign up for a course to learn a skill you assume the teacher will be presenting information – most of which you’ll either absorb or not – depending on how focused you are and how much it resonates with you.  Reiki is different.  Joanna is different.  The Reiki system of natural healing is a journey through – and to – the self.  I am an avid traveler, and I can honestly say I have never traveled like this before.  Joanna invites you on the journey, but you as the learner hold the map. She and Reiki are your guides, but only as “information centers” along the way.  You determine the depth, the breadth and the destination – if you ever choose to arrive at one.  This class helps you heal and let go of what you don’t need to make space for a life that is rich and abundant and teaches you how to create those opportunities for others. I can’t recommend The Reiki System of Natural Healing enough – it has truly changed my life."

– Kristen S. (2014)

“This program far exceeded my expectations in so many ways.  I can’t even begin to explain how grateful I am for this experience.  I discovered that Reiki was far more than I had originally anticipated.  I learned so many things about myself and the ways I am living my life and seeking to fulfill my purpose.  The things I learned in this class helped me to understand a lot about myself and validated things I had already known.  I felt like many things inside my heart and soul really “clicked” and connected, after going through this process.  I honestly have to say that I enjoyed each and every module and felt like I grew with each experience.  I really enjoyed different elements of each Module and can’t pick a favorite. 

So, I would say to the new REIKI 2 students… “if you are here… trust you are here for a reason and if you listen to your soul and let it guide you, you will have a beautiful experience.  I want to say that I am so very thankful for having such an amazing teacher and mentor.  I think Joanna Crespo is truly unique and special and we are blessed to have shared this space with her.  I had taken Reiki 1 elsewhere and had a great experience and a great teacher.  But, to experience Joanna as a teacher is a completely different experience.  It is like she IS Reiki… she lives and breathes it and it is such a part of her.  It flows from her in conversation, in Constellation work, in everything she does.  She is so caring and wise, that I cherished every moment in her classroom.  She doesn’t just talk the talk, she walks the walk… authentic every step of the way.”

– Vicky S. (2017)

"This program far exceeded my expectations! My previous Reiki classes were not with Joanna, and Joanna's classes were a completely different experience -- I can't believe how much I learned in her classes.  She presents the material in many different ways and formats that involves everyone in class, and challenges students to move beyond their comfort level in order to really open themselves to their own healing, to then be able to provide a more healing space for others.  Reiki 3 takes you much deeper in to your Reiki practice.  It is a whole different level than Reiki 1 or 2.  I would suggest putting some time between the Levels, and I would tell people that whenever they feel called to take Reiki 3 is the right time.  It is challenging and nudges you gently down your own path of healing, so that you are more equipped to offer a healing space for others.  Reiki 3 has been mind-blowing in many ways.  Joanna is an amazing, amazing guide and her classes are an experience not to be missed for anyone on the path to healing through Reiki."

– Mary C. (2014)

“I am so thankful to have chosen Joanna's Reiki classes at the Open Center in NYC. From the minute I entered her classroom, I felt an intense energy of Truth and Integrity. I feel I am a good judge of character and I just knew immediately that Joanna was the real deal. She teaches with such clarity and thoroughness that, once I left my last Reiki 3 class, I felt empowered with knowledge to embark upon my own practice. Reiki has changed my life - no doubt! It has been through my own commitment to practice plus learning from a true Master Teacher/Mentor like Joanna that Reiki leads everything in my Life now. Because of the investment and commitment I made in and to myself to take the Reiki courses with Joanna Crespo, I am now experiencing my Life the way I know I was meant to experience it. I realize this has only to do with what my daily practice has become, but through Joanna's teaching and guidance, I feel I truly know what it is to become Reiki and to give to others. The materials she provides for our classes plus the recommended book lists are invaluable tools to which I refer on a daily basis! Joanna is an open, honest, welcoming and very discerning Master Teacher. It is my hope that many people have the opportunity to learn from her as I have.”

– Mary B. (2012)