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The Monk Within: Embracing a Sacred Way of Life

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9780984061655: The Monk Within: Embracing a Sacred Way of Life
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THE MONK WITHIN is written for the person seeking a deeper, contemplative orientation to daily life. Yearning for inner realization of divine wisdom, this “new monk” draws on four interlocking themes: embodied spirituality grounded in the sacred web of life; the mystical path of the feminine, inspired by women’s monastic communities; the archetype of the monk that is the deep truth of every person; and the interdependence of the world’s wisdom traditions, expressed through interfaith, interspiritual dialogue.

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About the Author:

Beverly Lanzetta is a theologian, contemplative scholar and teacher, and the author of many groundbreaking books on emerging universal spirituality and new monasticism, including Radical Wisdom: A Feminist Mystical Theology, Emerging Heart: Global Spirituality And the Sacred,  Nine Jewels of Night: One Soul's Journey into God and most recently, The Monk Within: Embracing a Sacred Way of Life and Foundations in Spiritual Direction: Sharing the Sacred Across Traditions. Dedicated to a vision of theological openness and spiritual nonviolence, her work has won praise for its wisdom, eloquence, and mystical insight and is considered to be a major contribution to what theologian Ursula King called "a feminine mystical way for the 21st century."

Dr. Lanzetta is also a vowed monk of peace living in the world and an interfaith chaplain. She has formed a community of new monks--single, married, partnered, celibate, etc.--dedicated to the universal mystical heart and to the spirituality of nonviolence. She has devoted much of her life to mentoring people who seek a deeper contemplative commitment and who wish to take personal monastic vows. She has taught theology at Villanova University, Prescott College, and Grinnell College.

Review:

"Written by one of America's most impressive spiritual figures and writers, this book yields something meaningful for persons of virtually every faith tradition....An insightful, inspiring, and moving book!" 
--Lewis V. Baldwin, Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies, Vanderbilt University and author of Never to Leave Us Alone: The Prayer Life of Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Words fail to describe the profound impact of this beautiful book. Beverly Lanzetta's The Monk Within addresses the original essence of monkhood within each person that is longing for inner confirmation of transcendent wisdom....There is nothing like it available today." 
--Bernadette Flanagan, Chair, Spirituality Institute for Research & Education and author ofEmbracing Solitude: Women and New Monasticism

"Beverly Lanzetta, employing a mystical, feminine mode of discernment, looks behind andbeneath the inherited ascetical ideal to illuminate a deeper and more extensive longing for solitude and divine intimacy, an archetypal hunger at the heart of every spiritual quest. Her pursuit is a contemplative awakening that is transcendent yet deeply embodied, sacred yet not confined to any one religion. The end result is an impressive, inspiring synthesis, an indispensable resource for all who wish to explore the expanding horizons of contemporary spirituality." --Diarmuid O'Murchu MSC, specialist in Adult Faith Development

"This is a book I have been longing for!...Here is a spiritual vision for women and men who long for the divine and yet live in the world. Here is a 'new monasticism' that will inspirea generation of seekers and lovers of God, humanity, and the world."--Wendy Farley, Professor of Christian Spirituality, San Francisco Theological Seminary and author of Tragic Vision and Divine Compassion: A Contemporary Theodicy

"Lanzetta (Nine Jewels of Night), former professor of theology at Villanova University, delivers a stimulating and encouraging vision for new monastic movements in this fine book. Adapting ancient monastic tenets, Lanzetta details how these long-known practices can help to integrate "all aspects of contemporary life--work, family, friendship, and sexuality--into the sacred dimension of being." Lanzetta's most useful advice is on how to cast aside worldly distractions to concentrate on "the permanence of silence, love, and truth." While she provides some practical meditation tips, her wide-ranging volume's most lively sections are her introductions to the spiritual journeys of devoted ascetics St. Augustine, Gandhi, and Thomas Merton. Through their examples, Lanzetta urges those who wish to embark on a life of spiritual solitude to commit themselves to gratitude, obedience, and poverty (which is not just giving away money, but includes divesting oneself of "superiority" and "willfulness"). Finally, she recommends readers take vows of advocacy for current movements toward nonviolence and social justice. Written in an engaging tone and sprinkled with relatable parables, Lanzetta's book of wonder, contemplation, and selflessness will be indispensable for readers interested in monastic spiritual practices." (BookLife - Publisher's Weekly)

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