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The Smell of Rain on Dust  By  cover art

The Smell of Rain on Dust

By: Martín Prechtel
Narrated by: Martín Prechtel
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Publisher's Summary

Inspiring hope, solace, and courage in living through our losses, author Martín Prechtel, trained in the Tzutujil Maya shamanic tradition, shares profound insights on the relationship between grief and praise in our culture - how the inability that many of us have to grieve and weep properly for the dead is deeply linked with the inability to give praise for living. In modern society, grief is something that we usually experience in private, alone, and without the support of a community. Yet, as Prechtel says, "Grief expressed out loud for someone we have lost, or a country or home we have lost, is in itself the greatest praise we could ever give them. Grief is praise, because it is the natural way love honors what it misses." 

Prechtel explains that the unexpressed grief prevalent in our society today is the reason for many of the social, cultural, and individual maladies that we are currently experiencing. According to Prechtel, "When you have two centuries of people who have not properly grieved the things that they have lost, the grief shows up as ghosts that inhabit their grandchildren." These "ghosts", he says, can also manifest as disease in the form of tumors, which the Maya refer to as "solidified tears", or in the form of behavioral issues and depression. He goes on to show how this collective, unexpressed energy is the long-held grief of our ancestors manifesting itself, and the work that can be done to liberate this energy so we can heal from the trauma of loss, war, and suffering.

At base, this "little book", as the author calls it, can be seen as a companion of encouragement, a little extra light for those deep and noble parts in all of us.

©2015 Martín Prechtel (P)2020 North Atlantic Books

Critic Reviews

"Martin Prechtel's book is beautifully written and wise...he offers stories that are precious and life-sustaining. Read carefully, and listen deeply." (Mary Oliver)

"Here Martín Prechtel sends us an invitation to peace: to personal, village-level, and world peace.... Martín coaxes us through funny and quirky turns of the ordinary and the miraculous to leave us inspired to wake up singing to the beauty of our rising sun and live in praise of this complex and gracious world." (Inge Hindel, MD/PhD, family and integrated medicine doctor at Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center, Oregon) 

"Caring for animals is a sacred responsibility. To truly grieve and to weep deeply is something the animals really do help us with. And O they help us praise too, to accomplish that most marvelous art of turning the grief into praising. Martín tells us, 'Let the world jump up and live again,' and he makes that happen with his delicious sentences. Read this necessary, very beautiful book, and then read it again." (Coleman Barks, author of Rumi: Soul Fury)

What listeners say about The Smell of Rain on Dust

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Grief is Praise and Love

this book, in an incredible reading by the author, gave me beautiful new ways of thinking about grief and grieving. highly recommended for anyone who has suffered a serious loss. every sentence is like poetry. every chapter is wisdom.

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Thank You Martìn for whatever it has taken

I’ve read all Martin’s books as they arrived in the world. Years later, not being able to carry my entire library, I gave everything away to good humans. Fast forward to today, it more will than a fair trade to now be able to hear him narrate his own books. The Smell of Rain on Dust is a fine gift to the world! Thanks Martin.

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  • MW
  • 11-13-22

Thank you Martin

Short but 1000% worth the credit. I take his prescriptions for grief practices as suggestions to show the level of commitment and rigor that now feels permissible/acceptable and even necessary to metabolize the layers of grief in our lineages as well as the ongoing grief inherent to living of this earth.

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Exquisite book.


This is one of the most stunning and profound books I’ve heard on audible. It is so beautifully written and so important in this day in time as we individually and collectively feeling the impact of indigested grief. Thank you Martin for your exquisite writing!!

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Life Changing

A must read for every human. Helped me a lot with my grieving process

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Honey In The Heart

my favorite book of all time, read by the author, now when i read the book or other books by Martin Prechtel i can hear him when i read

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A treasure

Poetry, symphony and ancient story telling. A blessing and gift to my life which will never be the same having read it. Thank you, Martín for turning what must have been enormous grief to such generous and magnificent beauty.

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Fantastic!

What an amazing book! So much is packed in such a short book, but vital knowledge for everyone!

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Great, interesting and funny book!

This book wouldn’t have been the same just reading it. This is a perfect audible book full of inspiration, funny stories and a unique outlook on ways to truly deal with grief. Highly recommended!

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excellent healing balm for the soul!!!

I listened to this over and over again in the hospital during my experience with breast cancer....so healing!!!

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  • Ruth Cava
  • 10-22-20

Brilliant listening.

I find it brilliant to listen to this book in Martín’s voice. It was a life changing book to read on paper and it takes on a new depth to hear it read by the author. Especially the story about Little Wetzak and Big Thunder. Thank you Martín for recording your voice to reach us across the globe at a time when we are unable to travel to your school.

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  • Jessica May
  • 03-30-21

Manna from Heaven

This is a rare precious thing. To have this book is one thing, but to have Martin read it is another. Truly healing, while also being funny.

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  • Sophia E.
  • 01-11-21

The real meaning of soul food

I’ve never read a book and felt so nourished, it was as though I was eating every word and it was the most delicious meal

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-15-21

Life changing

This book completely shifted the way I view my grief. Whether you are dealing with grief or not, everyone should read this.

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  • Charlotte Gush
  • 08-31-21

Beautiful

Beautiful. Beautiful. Beautiful. Thank you for sharing truths such as these. Much needed medicine in the modern world.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-14-22

Thank you Martín

Throughout the listening of this story I sat with a focused attention, absorbing the deep knowledge, seeing in my minds eye the remarkable beauty illustrated by Martín whilst he paints images with his words. My own broken human heart feeling praise with complete abandon.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-18-22

Thank you Martin

Vital stories for helping us heal ourselves and our beautiful planet. A balm for the spirit

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-30-20

smell of rain on dust

Absolutely loved the innate wisdom and storytelling musing upon grief and praise such a worthy read !