Grain of Truth: The Ancient Lessons of Craft

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9780802776389: Grain of Truth: The Ancient Lessons of Craft

On the surface, Grain of Truth is a brief, simple book in which the author makes objects out of wood – a hand plane for himself, a marimba for his children, a box to hold the cremated remains of his grandmother-in-law. It's not a how-to book, not a description of technique so much as an exploration of craft as a contemplative and spiritual practice. It shows how one's hands can serve as guides in the unfolding of awareness.The book is organized into eight chapters, based on the essential symbols of ancient Taoism (wind, earth, thunder, deep water, mountain, shallows, fire, and the unfathomable). Each chapter deals with a particular craft project – its inspiration, the materials it requires, the rewards it offers. Using sharp tools and a delicate touch, Laird uses the creative process to discover his essence.Grain of Truth is lyrical and mesmerizing. Like Eugen Herrigel's Zen in the Art of Archery, it explores physical discipline as a path to spiritual awakening. Like Thoreau's Walden, it places the unadorned self in nature, simple experience opening a door to unforeseen depths. Like Annie Dillard's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, it evokes the mystical through keen observation of the natural world. It's a book to cherish.

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From the Back Cover:

“Gorgeous…here is a book teeming with insight and inspiration.”
Globe and Mail

“Give yourself an evening in a quiet place and read this little book with attention. It could change your life. Laird writes about wood with the voice of a poet and the eye of an artist. He can now step up and take his place beside Sharon Butala and Eugen Herrigel.”
Hamilton Spectator

“An elegant, calming pleasure to read.”
Kirkus Reviews

“I am so impressed with Grain of Truth, with its beauty and its intense thoughtfulness, and with the way Laird's mind works so that his musings extend far and wide and then return to their subject with a deepened understanding. This is a first book of rare quality.”
–Sharon Butala

“A beautiful and evocative meditation. A spiritual quest and a celebration of the discipline of craftsmanship are the tongue and groove of this remarkable book.”
–David Macfarlane

About the Author:

Ross Laird holds an M.A. in Psychology and a Ph.D. in Creative Process. A poet and craftsman , he currently teaches creativity, counseling and psychology. He lives in Vancouver, British Columbia. Grain of Truth is his first book.

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