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Gifts of the Spirit


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About the Author

Philip Zaleski is senior editor of Parabola magazine and author of The Recollected Heart. Paul Kaufman, coauthor of The Creative Spirit, shares a George Foster Peabody award with Bill Moyers for his work on Public Mind.


For many people, the frenetic pace of everyday life leaves no space or time for contemplation or the refreshment and renewal of the spirit. While most of us feel that we have to set aside a time to "be spiritual," to contemplate or to meditate, Zaleski (The Recollected Heart: A Monastic Retreat) and Kaufman (coauthor of The Creative Spirit) convincingly demonstrate that contemplation can be woven into the fabric of our daily lives. Part One of the book focuses on ways that contemplation and mindfulness can be folded into various moments of the day, from waking and eating to going to sleep. Part Two examines spiritual practices that encourage mindfulness through the stages of life from birth to death. Each chapter is divided into three sections: the opening section meditates on and introduces the chapter's subject; the middle section, a "Contemplative Close-up," provides a deeper examination of one aspect of the chapter's subject; and the final section, "Contemplative Harvest," provides illuminations of the subject through an "array of practices" from a variety of spiritual traditions. For example, the chapter on "Being with Others" opens with a discussion of companionship and friendship; the "contemplative close-up" focuses on hospitality; and the "contemplative harvest" features insights on generosity from Judaism, Buddhism and Jainism, advice on the practice of lovingkindness from Sharon Salzburg, co-founder of the Insight Meditation Center in Barre, Mass., and gems of reflection on friendship from Emerson and Black Elk. The authors' crisp prose and their cunning selection of insights from the world's religious traditions make this a perfect companion for anyone seeking to fold spiritual wisdom into everyday life. (Nov.)

'If you crave a taste of the rituals and practices of spiritual traditions other than your own, this book is a good place to start... .You may find spiritual enrichment in places you never expected.' USA Today 'A perfect companion for anyone seeking to fold spiritual wisdom into everyday life.' Publishers Weekly

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