Sermon From the Compost Pile: Seven Steps Toward Creating An Inner Garden

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9780970252708: Sermon From the Compost Pile: Seven Steps Toward Creating An Inner Garden

Discover the Spiritual Laws within Nature's Design.
"Gardening lets you accomplish much more than simply restoring ecological balance to your small patch of ground. Physical gardening also offers us healthy physical exercise, healthy physical food and even healthy psychological food. The peace and order of a garden brings peace and order to the human heart and mind." - Edward F. Sylvia, M.T.S.
In this era of "going green,"author Edward F. Sylvia shows how we can make positive changes in the world and in our personal lives. Learn how the process of creating an eco-friendly garden offers unexpected insights into cultivating our consciousness to become a beautiful "inner" garden whose fruitfulness is rooted in the fertile ground of holistic spiritual principles and love. This is a book for everyone who's ever felt a spiritual connection to the garden and the world of nature.

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About the Author:

Award-winning author Edward F. Sylvia's writing career also includes advertising and screenwriting. His horticultural experience includes volunteering at the Missouri Botanical Garden and 30 years of living sustainably on a ten-acre homestead in southern Illinois. He attended the School of Visual Arts in New York and earned his MTS at Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA.
Sermon from the Compost Pile was his first book, followed by the ground-breaking book, Proving God. His newest book, Swedenborg & Gurdjieff: The Missing Links (Anti-Intuitive Essays for Personal Transformation) was published in June 2012.

Review:

Cultivating one's spiritual inner self An insightful book with a message of hope and refinement for the soul, written especially for garden lovers but filled with wisdom for all who seek to open their inner selves to a higher plane of existence, Sermon From The Compost Pile is recommended as a welcome and appreciated contribution to self-help, self-improvement reading lists, and will have a special affinity for students of spirituality as well as those having a penchant for gardening. --Midwest Book Review

This is one of those timeless books - one that is almost beyond classification.
I first saw a copy at the London Book Fair and was immediately drawn to it in a way that I find difficult to explain. Only later, when a review copy was sent to me did I discover that the ideas the author so charmingly presents, stem in the first place from the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg, whom T. D. Suzuki called "the Buddha of the North."
The aim of the book is to take us on a journey through "the gardens of the spirit," and to see ourselves as caretakers of our own mental and spiritual processes. These the author relates to a wholistically environmental process of "inner gardening," while also giving many useful tips which he has proven in his own gardening life for improving and harmonising our external gardens, however large or small they might be.
While it does not specifically refer to Buddhism or Japan except in one footnote about meditation under trees the book has a very Zen-like feel. This will be obvious to anyone who has experienced the beautiful gardens associated with Buddhist temples. But the whole experience (for this is essentially what the book is about) is firmly rooted in that of gardeners world-wide.
Anyone who has an insight into the spiritual world of the garden will find a resonance with this book. And those who do not have this experience may find that it opens new doorways for them.
--Pure Land Notes - Devon, England

Are you searching for eternal happiness? According to Edward F. Sylvia, you will unearth it in the garden - your "inner garden."
It never occurred to me to compare my spiritual development to the growth that takes place in an actual garden. But Sylvia presents such obvious parallels between the two that, since I read his book, it is impossible for me to labor in my own back yard vegetable patch without remembering his observations.
He separates the quest for a joyous life into seven steps with each one having a designated chapter. Let There Be Light is the first step - permitting new ideas into our thought processes - "provides a catalyst for spiritual development," Sylvia writes, "similar to a plant's need for sunlight to grow." Separating the Waters is the second chapter, in which the reader learns to sort out these new ideas and information and determine what is important. "Water corresponds to knowledge. Knowledge has to be separated out from the less valuable information, just as water is distilled from its impurities... by separating the waters, we can see our way through a situation. Issues become more clear," Sylvia declares.
All the steps collect into a final lesson: a process is required to create happiness. Again, do gardens suddenly appear out of the soil with no effort? Of course they don't and Sylvia does not skip around this definite conclusion. "True success is a magical state in which our energies flow freely to meet the task at hand. It is not the absence of work or the absence of a worthy challenge, but the perfecting of our God-given abilities to unselfishly meet these challenges," he writes. "Living is doing, not getting."
Adding a private touch to the book, he includes pictures of himself and his family working in their garden and enjoying life on their farm. I took pleasure in seeing people smile while performing manual labor. I realized he applies these lessons to his own life.
--© 2002 Annalee Allen, The Dispatch, - Lexington, South Carolina

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