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Awakening the Contemplative Spirit: Writing, Gardening, and the Inner Life (New)

by Versluis, Arthur

Publisher: New Grail Publishing

Binding: Paperback

Book ID: 9780965048811, 0965048810

Price: $21.95


In Awakening the Contemplative Spirit, Arthur Versluis explores the ways that writing and the contemplative life intertwine with one another, for in his view, writing is both preparation for and a natural expression of the contemplative life. In Awakening the Contemplative Spirit, we explore the contemplative life that can be found anywhere that there is a contemplative spirit that thrives in solitude and in the beauty of nature.

Versluis writes that ultimately “the contemplative life and the writing life are one. Both are ways of coming to realize a vital inner life. Both are deeply akin to the gardening life, too: one must remain diligent, alert, disciplined, laboring always to cut away weeds and to nourish the tender new life we have planted, to bring it to fruition. What the gardener does for the garden, the writer does by writing, and the contemplative does in inner life: bring them to spiritual harvest.” This book points us toward awakening the contemplative spirit and toward this spiritual harvest.

Awakening the Contemplative Spirit is a beautifully composed study of contemplation by Arthur Versluis, one of America’s wisest and most knowledgeable commentators on spiritual and religious matters. Versluis holds, quite rightly, that the contemplative life is the true path to peace and goodness and the only sure antidote to the turmoil and violence of modern life. This life, he reports, can be cultivated through a variety of daily activities, from gardening to writing to solitary walks. Along the way, we can’t do better than to join in what he terms the “convivium of ideas,” that is, the great chorus of thoughts and visions of contemplatives of the past, and one of the joys of this book is discovering anew the inner dimension of familiar voices – Emerson, Thoreau – and encountering for the first time some remarkable but unknown figures, such as the 17th-century English visionary, John Pordage. Versluis believes that contemplation can transform not only the individual but the larger society; if so, this big-hearted book is a strong first step.” -- Philip Zaleski, Smith College; editor of The Best Spiritual Writing series; author of The Recollected Heart and Gifts of the Spirit.

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