Religion and Spiritual Practice
The "New York Times" bestselling author and trusted spiritual adviser offers a follow-up to his classic "Care of the Soul."
Something essential is missing from modern life. Many who ve turned away from religious institutions and others who have lived wholly without religion hunger for more than what contemporary secular life has to offer but are reluctant to follow organized religion s strict and often inflexible path to spirituality. In "A Religion of One s Own," bestselling author and former monk Thomas Moore explores the myriad possibilities of creating a personal spiritual style, either inside or outside formal religion.
Two decades ago, Moore s "Care of the Soul" touched a chord with millions of readers yearning to integrate spirituality into their everyday lives. In "A Religion of One s Own," Moore expands on the topics he first explored shortly after leaving the monastery. He recounts the benefits of contemplative living that he learned during his twelve years as a monk but also the more original and imaginative spirituality that he later developed and embraced in his secular life. Here, he shares stories of others who are creating their own path: a former football player now on a spiritual quest with the Pueblo Indians, a friend who makes a meditative practice of floral arrangements, and a well-known classical pianist whose audiences sometimes describe having a mystical experience while listening to her performances. Moore weaves their experiences with the wisdom of philosophers, writers, and artists who have rejected materialism and infused their secular lives with transcendence.
At a time when so many feel disillusioned with or detached from organized religion yet long for a way to move beyond an exclusively materialistic, rational lifestyle, "A Religion of One s Own" points the way to creating an amplified inner life and a world of greater purpose, meaning, and reflection."
This collection of reflective essays explores spirituality and its changing relationship to culture, individual identity, and society in our increasingly globalized, postmodern world. Born out of a doctoral seminar at Pacifica Graduate Institute entitled The God Complex, the essays provide a personal understanding of diverse and conflicting worldviews and attitudes about religion, secularity, nature, and the purpose of human existence. With a rich range of perspectives, each offering provides a powerful testament to the interdisciplinary study of myth, religion, and depth psychology as a means for revisioning one understands of the divine.
Praise for Evolving God-Images
A deeply moving example of what can happen in the classroom when, almost magically, the professor's wisdom and enthusiasm, the archetypal power of the subject matter itself, and the openness of the students converge.
Dr. Christine Downing, author of The Goddess: Mythological Images of the Feminine and Gods in Our Midst: Mythological Images of the Masculine
A marvelous and unique collection of essays devoted to re-visioning conceptions of divinity.
Dr. Evans Lansing Smith, author of Sacred Mysteries: Myths About Couples in Quest
Thirty-five years after its original publication, Mystical Dimensions of Islam still stands as the most valuable introduction to Sufism, the main form of Islamic mysticism. This edition brings to a new generation of readers Annemarie Schimmel's historical treatment of the transnational phenomenon of Sufism, from its beginnings through the nineteenth century.
Schimmel's sensitivity and deep understanding of Sufism--its origins, development, and historical context--as well as her erudite examination of Sufism as reflected in Islamic poetry, draw readers into the mood, the vision, and the way of the Sufi. In the foreword, distinguished Islam scholar Carl W. Ernst comments on the continuing vitality of Schimmel's book and the advances in the study of Sufism that have occurred since the work first appeared.
"Richards writes skillfully and soulfully about the most pressing issues of our times, and the deeper crisis out of which they have emerged. Drawing from a vast trove of knowledge about the world's religious, mystical, and philosophical traditions, he extracts the most valuable gems, polishes them with the revolutionary insights of modern science, and forges a radiant, new cosmosophy - a universal wisdom that honors the wisdom of the universe. The beauty of this mythos is that it, like the cosmos, is not static but dynamic, inviting our active participation and imaginative engagement. "This book succeeds in instilling reverence for a living universe and hope for a dying planet. May Cosmosophia blossom and flourish in the hearts of all beings!" -Darrin Drda, author of The Four Global Truths
Major in political science. Graduate with honors. Fail to find a job. Go surfing in the Middle
Rogue journalist and self-admitted California wave junky Jesse Aizenstat couldn't find a real job after college. But his two passions, Middle East politics and surfing, seemed like a good fit for a freelance gig. What the hell? Why not surf from Israel to Lebanon?
His Jewish background may have earned him a free flight to Israel, but it wouldn't give him a pass to surf in Hezbollah-controlled South Lebanon. Even navigating the tangled towns and streets of his ancestral homeland wouldn't be a cakewalk. But then again, this dyslexic writer with a maddening lust for annoying truths wasn't looking for easy, he was looking for real.
From Day One, the signs of violent conflict are everywhere: rocket craters, barbed wire, tear-gassed protesters, gunfire, and night patrols. But finding a shoreline touched by the best swell in the Med proves a welcoming counterpoint to the tension. Trouble is, peace, like riding a perfect wave, never lasts long. Turns out you can't just surf from Israel to Lebanon. You gotta take an air/land route. Over an inland desert. Through freaking Syria.
Other than hatred, the same surf report, and the desire to blow each other to smithereens, Israel and Lebanon seem to share little else. Like Aizenstat, they are political, cultural, and generational misfits in search of control over their identities and destinies. The author calls 'em like he sees 'em, and goes along for the ride. It gets a little deviant, a little insane, a little frightening, but in the end is fully satisfying. You couldn't ask for a better ride.
This book of poems and stark, vivid illustrations is rooted in the female soul of indigenous Mexico. The Tzotzil women of the Chiapas Highlands are the poets and the artists. Ambar Past, who collected the poems and drawings, includes a moving essay about their poetics, beliefs, and history.
In the 1970s, living among the Maya, Past watched the people endure as an epidemic swept through a village. No help came. Many children died. One mother offered her dead child a last sip of Coca-Cola and uttered a prayer:
Take this sweet dew from the earth, take this honey. It will help you on your way. It will give you strength on your path.
Incantations like this—poems about birth, love, hate, sex, despair, and death—coupled with primitive illustrations, provide a compelling insight into the psychology of these Mayan women poets. The Cinco Puntos edition of Incantations is a facsimile of the original handmade edition produced by the Taller Leñateros. It was reviewed in The New York Times.
At the age of twenty-three, Ambar Past left the United States for Mexico. She lived among the Mayan people, teaching the techniques of native dyes and learning to speak Tzotzil. She is the creator of the graphic arts collective Taller Leñateros in Chiapas and was a founding member of Sna Jolobil, a weaving cooperative for Mayan artisans.
Bringing the energy of true presence into our lives really does change things for the better and all it takes is a little training. This treasury of 365 gems of daily wisdom from one of the most beloved Buddhist teachers of our age is a help and support for anyone who wants to train to meet every moment of life with 100 percent attention. Thich Nhat Hanh shows how practicing mindfulness can transform every area of our lives and how its benefits radiate beyond us to affect others and the whole, larger world."
Experience the Transformational Power of Buddhism’s Psychology of the Heart with Bestselling Author Jack Kornfield
You have within you unlimited capacities for extraordinary love, for joy, for communion with life, and for unshakable freedom—and here is how to awaken them. In The Wise Heart, celebrated author and psychologist Jack Kornfield offers the most accessible, comprehensive, and illuminating guide to Buddhist psychology ever published in the West. For meditators and mental health professionals, Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike, here is a vision of radiant human dignity, a journey to the highest expression of human possibility—and a practical path for realizing it in our own lives.
The beautiful practicality of her teaching has made Pema Chödrön one of the most beloved of contemporary American spiritual authors among Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike. A collection of talks she gave between 1987 and 1994, the book is a treasury of wisdom for going on living when we are overcome by pain and difficulties. Chödrön discusses:
• Using painful emotions to cultivate wisdom, compassion, and courage
• Communicating so as to encourage others to open up rather than shut down
• Practices for reversing habitual patterns
• Methods for working with chaotic situations
• Ways for creating effective social action
One of the most popular Asian classics for roughly two thousand years, the Vimalakirti Sutra stands out among the sacred texts of Mahayana Buddhism for its conciseness, its vivid and humorous episodes, its dramatic narratives, and its eloquent exposition of the key doctrine of emptiness or nondualism. Unlike most sutras, its central figure is not a Buddha but a wealthy townsman, who, in his mastery of doctrine and religious practice, epitomizes the ideal lay believer. For this reason, the sutra has held particular significance for men and women of the laity in Buddhist countries of Asia, assuring them that they can reach levels of spiritual attainment fully comparable to those accessible to monks and nuns of the monastic order.
Esteemed translator Burton Watson has rendered a beautiful English translation from the popular Chinese version produced in 406 C.E. by the Central Asian scholar-monk Kumarajiva, which is widely acknowledged to be the most felicitous of the various Chinese translations of the sutra (the Sanskrit original of which was lost long ago) and is the form in which it has had the greatest influence in China, Japan, and other countries of East Asia. Watson's illuminating introduction discusses the background of the sutra, its place in the development of Buddhist thought, and the profundities of its principal doctrine: emptiness.
In this classic scripture of Tibetan Buddhism traditionally read aloud to the dying to help them attain liberation death and rebirth are seen as a process that provides an opportunity to recognize the true nature of mind. This translation of "The Tibetan Book of the Dead " emphasizes the practical advice that the book offers to the living. The insightful commentary by Chogyam Trungpa, written in clear, concise language, explains what the text teaches us about human psychology. This book will be of interest to people concerned with death and dying, as well as those who seek greater spiritual understanding in everyday life."
Astrology is one of the traditional arts and sciences of Tibet, where it is known as "the science of calculation," used by monks and lamas in the study of the rhythms and cycles of time, for divination, for choosing auspicious times for rituals and life-cycle events such as marriages and funerals, and as an adjunct to the practice of traditional medicine.
This comprehensive introduction to the topic includes:
- Historical roots and influences from China and India as well as the Buddhist Kalachakra teachings and the ancient BOn religion of Tibet
- The two main branches of Tibetan astrology: Nagtsi, or "black astrology," based on the Chinese system, and Kartsi, or "white astrology," derived from Indian astrology
- The twelve- and sixty-year cycles and the twelve animals and five elements associated with them
- The "mewa, " or magical squares, which are numerological factors used to calculate the auspiciousness of days or years
- The "parkha, "or eight trigrams of the "I Ching, "representing the elements, directions, seasons, and fundamental universal forces
- How to analyze the character of hours, days, months, and years, so as to determine auspicious times for various activities
- How to cast and interpret a Tibetan horoscope
Also included are numerous diagrams and charts that are indispensable to the practice of Tibetan astrology, including tables for converting Western dates to dates on the Tibetan calendar.
Thinking Outside the Church examines 100 ways people connect with their spirituality. It does not seek to supplant the religious feeling many people experience inside a church, but seeks instead to supplement that experience by suggesting a more expansive view of spirituality. In this view, the world and our activities outside the church are also seen as the sites and rites of worship and spiritual practice, as ways of connecting with our personal vision or version of the sacred.From art, nature, and dreams to dancing, traveling, and parenting, Jennifer Leigh Selig points readers toward the potential and the power present in diverse pathways that may not traditionally be seen as religious or spiritual. In addition to her own thoughtful introductions, Selig collects quotes that span cultures, time periods, religions, and wisdom traditions, each testifying to the universality of seeking the spiritual by Thinking Outside the Church.
"God is mystery," writes Norvene Vest in the Introduction to Tending the Holy, "and every form of religion is an effort to respond faithfully to the mystery of God by whatever name. The Divine breaks through into human experience in many ways, and humans respond variously to the awesome experience of God." And those various responses are what the contributors to Tending the Holy document. In this provocative and cutting-edge collection readers are given the opportunity to see what spiritual direction looks like--and what questions are asked--through a variety of lenses. From an examination of the spiritual direction relationship in the Evangelical Christian tradition, to Buddhism and Hindu ones, to the better-known ones of the Benedictines, Carmelites, and Ignatians, and finally, to the contemporary lenses of feminism, Generation X, the institutional perspective, and even one based on the natural world and the spirituality of St. Francis, this collection explores unexplored territory. Tending the Holy is an important resource for spiritual directors and pastoral counselors.
Contributors include: Shaykha Fariha al-Jerrahi (New York); Ven. Tejadhammo Bhikku (Sangha Lodge Buddhist Monastery, Australia); Chrisopher Key Chapple (Loyola Marymount University); Rabbi Zari Weiss (Seattle, Washington); Sr. Marian Cowan, CSJ (Sisters of St Joseph of Carondelet, St. Louis, Missouri); Lisa Myers (La Canada, California); Dr. Michael Plattig (University of the Capuchins, Germany); Sister Katherine Howard, OSB (St. Benedict's Convent, St. Joseph, Minnesota); John H. Mostyn, CBC (Rome); The Rev. Dr. John Mabry ( San Francisco); Norvene Vest (Altadena, California), and The Rev. Dr. H. Paul Santmire (Watertown, Massachusetts).
The Spiritual Directors International Series This book is part of a special series produced by Morehouse Publishing in cooperation with Spiritual Directors International (SDI), a global network of some 6,000 spiritual directors and members."
"The Tao te Ching of Lao Tzu "is one of the most widely read and deeply cherished books in the world, a work many consider the wisest book ever written. In his introduction, translator Brian Browne Walker says, "It is less a book than a living, breathing angel."
In his new translation, Walker stays close to the direct literal accuracy of the Chinese characters while producing a modern, exceptionally clear version that has the ring and voice of Lao Tzu, a man who may or may not have been a single individual. "I have come to think of Lao Tzu less as a man who once lived," Walker writes, "and more as a song that plays, eternal and abiding."
Interest in the practice of spiritual direction has grown in recent years. With the increased number of people seeking direction have come a number of new issues confronting spiritual directors. This volume of essays by seasoned spiritual directors from a variety of faith traditions addresses issues of concern to directors today such as direction with: abused persons, the poor, church drop-outs, and gays and lesbians. Other essays look at spiritual direction in new contexts, such as the congregational setting, the corporate arena, spiritual direction and generational issues, and direction at the turn of the century. The final section of the book addresses some specific circumstances: working with the addicted, with those who are dying, using art in spiritual direction, and direction and social justice.
Contributors include: Joseph D. Driskill (Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley, CA); Juan Reed (Chicago, IL); Rich Rossiter (Oak Park, IL); Sandra Lommason (Davis, CA); Howard Rice (Santa Rosa, CA); Tom Cashman (Federal Way, WA); Steven Charleston, Episcopal Divinity School; Barry Woodbridge (Rancho Cucamonga, CA); Margaret Guenther (Washington, D.C.); Betsy Caprio Hedburg (Culver City, CA) and Kenneth Leech, (London), Janet Ruffing, and Norvene Vest. The Spiritual Directors International Series This book is part of a special series produced by Morehouse Publishing in cooperation with Spiritual Directors International (SDI), a global network of some 6,000 spiritual directors and members."
Essays by Ernesto Buonaiuti, Friedrich Dessauer, C. G. Jung, Werner Kaegi, C. Kerenyi, Paul Masson-Oursel, Fritz Meier, Adolf Portmann, Max Pulver, Hugo Rahner, Erwin Schrodinger, and Walter Wili."
Anyone interested in the feminine face of God throughout the ages will find Sophia an illuminating experience. Caitlin Matthews' scholarship connects us to past, present, and future in the very depths of our femininity. ----Marion Woodman, Jungian analyst and author of "Bone: Dying into Life." Sophia, or "wisdom" in Greek, has been revered in many forms throughout history--from the Dark Goddess of ancient Anatolia; to her Egyptian, Greek, Celtic, and Cabalistic manifestations; to her current forms as Mary and the orthodox St. Sophia. In the "Gnostic Gospel of Thomas," Sophia sits with God until the creation. Then she falls into matter and becomes manifest in every atom, permeating all things "like the sparks that run through charcoal," as Matthews says. While God is "out there," the Goddess is "in here"-- the mother-wit of practical inspiration and compassion at the heart's core. This definitive work comprehensively establishes a realistic Goddess theology for Westerners in the twenty-first century: grounding spirituality in daily life and the natural world; learning to work playfully and play seriously; ending the gender war to enjoy sacred marriage.
The resurgent interest in the wisdom of the Goddess and ancient matriarchal religions makes "Sophia" a timely read! Schaup explains that the Divine Feminine has been with us all along, hidden in ancient Christian scripture, and has taken many different forms and names in Eastern and Western culture. She is Sophia, or Divine Wisdom. Dr. Schaup heralds a paradigm shift in our concept of God with this provocative chronicle of the manifestation of the Divine Feminine throughout history and in the world's diverse cultures. With this beautifully written book, Dr. Schaup teaches us to recognize Sophia and Her relevance to our time so that we can restore Her to Her rightful place in our hearts and minds, alongside the "Fathergod", and gain a new sense of wholeness.
A highly original and scholarly work on spirituality by noted historian Mircea Eliade
In The Sacred and the Profane, Mircea Eliade observes that while contemporary people believe their world is entirely profane, or secular, they still at times find themselves connected unconsciously to the memory of something sacred. It's this premise that both drives Eliade's exhaustive exploration of the sacred—as it has manifested in space, time, nature and the cosmos, and life itself—and buttresses his expansive view of the human experience.
Ritual masking is an important institution in many traditional societies and has attracted much attention from Western scholars. In 'Ritual Masks', Pernet provides a thorough survey of masks and masking traditions in Africa, Oceania, and the Americas, based on a close analysis of the literature in several languages.
Pernet's approach provides him with an opportunity to examine issues of importance to the history of religion and anthropology. These include the influence of theory on the interpretation of prehistoric documents; androcentrism in anthropology and the history of religions; and Western scholarship's recurrent problems in interpreting preliterate or traditional societies.
Traditional concepts of God are no longer tenable for many people who nevertheless experience a strong sense of the sacred in their lives. The Religious Function of the Psyche offers a psychological model for the understanding of such experience, using the language and interpretive methods of depth psychology, particularly those of C.G. Jung and psychoanalytic self psychology. The problems of evil and suffering, and the notion of human development as an incarnation of spirit are dealt with by means of a religious approach to the psyche that can be brought easily into psychotherapeutic practice and applied by the individual in everyday life.
The book offers an alternative approach to spirituality as well as providing an introduction to Jung and religion.