Hachette Book Group (AU)
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Finding Sanctuary: Monastic steps for Everyday Life Kindle Edition
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From the Publisher
- ASIN : B002U94SCA
- Publisher : Weidenfeld & Nicolson; New Ed edition (18 September 2008)
- Language : English
- File size : 1433 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 193 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: 399,721 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from other countries
Seeking it, Christopher Jamison, Benedictine monk, and author of this enlightening book would say, in all the wrong places. In a gentle but firm way and informed by the life of the spirit he sets us back on the right path.
In the process he dismantles the myths and misunderstandings that have attached themselves to our understanding of what it really means to be 'spiritual' in our approach to life.
What it very much does not mean is taking a pick and mix approach to teachings and practices. Mushing the ones that suit us up into a sort of philosophical baby food and pushing the gristle to the edge of our plate.
Jamison argues that we can only truly find sanctuary by giving ourselves to God. A big ask and something even monks struggle to manage, the point though is to keep on trying, failing, and trying again in the hope of failing better next time.
Along the way we will have to embrace difficult concepts such as obedience and humility. Modern life with its ceaseless rush and self-obsession does its best to keep us from doing this, creating instead an endless feedback loop of instant gratification that ultimately fails to, ahem, gratify our deepest needs.
If all this sounds austere then do not lose heart. Although he is a man of deep faith Jamison isn't the sort of believer who uses it as a club to bash people over the head. He has a realistic understanding of his failings and ours, more importantly so does the God he wants to lead us towards.
In a crowded market of self-help books, the content of which he cogently deconstructs, Jamison provides an alternative and achievable route to a better life
Firstly, Christopher Jamieson passionately argues that for many reasons we need a connection to something other than the endless striving of consumerism. He is clearly, despite his years in Worth Abbey, VERY in touch with the outside world. There's a real understanding of, for example, the trades union movement as something which provided something quite powerful in terms of creating a sense of community.
I've always had a sense of my own need for periods of silence and reflection. What I particularly found interesting in Jamieson's book was the earthy practicality of Benedictine 'Rule', with a strong emphasis on how each person relates to every other in their community. This is a very humane approach to spirit, not attempting to force feed the reader into Bendictine or even Christian supremacy, but a clear and compassionate discourse for thoughtful, heartful and listening connection between individuals and as a foundation for society. An egalitarian, not a competitive approach.
Secondly comes the floor, which is "silence", followed by the walls which are "contemplation" - a bit like meditation, but more like prayer in response to hearing the voice of God in the silence or by lectio divina . The roof is "obedience", understood in its original etymological sense as listening to someone else. The windows are "community", protecting from the elements but enabling to see outside.
The furnishings are "spirituality", but understood not in its fuzzy contemporary sense apart from organised religion. The pick-and-mix, shopping for religion approach simply becomes part of the consumerism engulfing us in the first place. "At some point, one has to choose either a whole religion or no religion. Constructing one's own spirituality is a possible outcome [...] but it does not deal with the fundamental challenge of the wayward desires of the heart."
At the end of each chapter there is also a website and a recommended further reading text. A relatively brief book which deserves to be read slowly and repeatedly, and acted upon.
You dont have to be a Christian, you don't have to be 'religious'. Just open minded.
Best thing I have read for a long time!! It's taking ages to read, not because its 'difficult to read' [far from it] but because I want to digest, to contemplate, what I am reading.
Wonderful book. Thank you, Christopher Jamison,