A Monk in the World: Cultivating a Spiritual Life

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9781577314370: A Monk in the World: Cultivating a Spiritual Life
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In A Monk in the World, Teasdale explores what Griffiths’ charge has meant for him to live as a monk outside the monastery, to integrate teachings from the world’s religions with his own Catholic training, to combine his vigorous spiritual practice with the necessities of making a living and pursuing a course of social justice in a big American city as well as how readers can find their own spiritual path amidst the rigors of everyday life. Along the way, Teasdale explores the real world topics of friendship; time, work, and money; the problem and opportunity of the homeless; a contemplative understanding of suffering; the struggle to promote personal and social change; as well as the as the role of the church and nature in building spiritual understanding.

Building on the success and insights of his first book, The Mystic Heart, Teasdale gives a compelling glimpse of the unique spiritual path he has followed, and how everyone can find their own internal monastery and bring spiritual practice into their busy lives.

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When Brother Wayne Teasdale took the naked plunge into the sacred Kavery River of India and renounced his possessions and former identity to become a Catholic monk, he expected to remain in the nirvanic atmosphere of the Shantivanam monastery. But hours later his teacher turned to him and said that his mission was not to remain in retreat, but rather to go home to America. "Without a doubt there is great value in spirituality that emphasizes and supports withdrawal from society," writes Teasdale. "But in our time, we require a spirituality of intense involvement and radical engagement with the world." By this he means taking on daily tasks, such as "earning a living, paying bills, saving money, getting along with others, being entertained, enjoying a healthy recreation, and learning how to interact with difficult people." At the same time, the monk must not succumb to "greed, indifference, insensitivity, noise, confusion, pettiness, unease, tension, irreverence." Of course, readers quickly catch on that he's describing the collective mission of humankind. A Monk in the World is the book that contemporary seekers yearn for--solid advice on how to live with spiritual values in a modern world. Teasdale covers the nuts and bolts: how to introduce periods of silence and solitude into daily life, cultivate spiritual friendships, create a spiritual workplace, and how to understand and respond to the world's suffering. Such guidance shows Teasdale at his best, a man committed to building a global "interspiritual" movement--where we all become monks in the world, collectively doing the right thing while honoring the many and diverse paths to God. --Gail Hudson

From Library Journal:

Publishers are responding to an increased demand for books that can help people lead more meditative lives, and these inventive essay collections will please progressive Christian and New Age readers alike. In The Soul's Religion, Moore's companion volume to his 1992 best seller, Care of the Soul, brief essays by the famed therapist and former monk offer perspectives on the soul-deepening potential of coping with failed relationships, natural disaster, and the fools and saints around us. Moore uses a variety of spiritual traditions, including Zen, Taoism, and Christianity, to show readers how they can enhance their spiritual development. In Bringing God Home, a Unitarian minister and son of former senator Frank Church has crafted a poetic autobiography in the form of brief meditations. Lay people will savor Church's originality as well as his insights from childhood with a famous father, and English teachers will find inspiration for their classrooms in his thoughts on the pilgrimage literature of John Bunyan, Thomas Wolfe, and Nathaniel Hawthorne. Teasdale's A Monk in the World gives practical tips for enhancing spirituality and promoting social justice. A Hindu monk with a Catholic upbringing, Teasdale teaches at three colleges in the Chicago area. His gentle reflections are punctuated by reminiscences of personal ordeals as well as poignant character sketches of street people. Teasdale's more ambitious The Mystic Heart: Discovering a Universal Spirituality in the World's Religions has been popular, and his new work should be, too. All three books can be added to larger public libraries, but those that can afford just one should consider purchasing Moore's, which will be in demand owing to the author's widespread popularity. Joyce Smothers, Student, Princeton Theological Seminary, NJ
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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