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Contemplative Practices in Action: Spirituality, Meditation, and Health

5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0313382567
ISBN-10: 0313382565
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Editorial Reviews


"Recommended. Lower-level undergraduates and above; general readers." - Choice

"Overall, I highly recommend this book to practitioners and researchers alike. Practitioners will appreciate the details with which the practices are discussed, while researchers will benefit from the endnotes and the brief discussions of the current state of research for each system. This book is also well-written, cohesively integrated, and a rich source of wisdom for those interested in the intersection of contemplative practices and the fostering of personal well-being." - Practical Matters

"Thomas Plante, a psychologist who is deeply invested in exploring these issues as the director of the Spirituality and Health Institute of Santa Clara University, has gathered together a noteworthy group of contributors to this volume. . . . This book serves as a useful introduction to a range of practices and contemplative traditions for both practitioners and researchers. Even those familiar with selected contemplative traditions should find distinctive perspectives and valuable material. . . . It begins to address a notable gap in the contemporary literature on both meditation and spirituality and does so in ways that should be valuable for practitioners or researchers in the area of cancer care, despite that not being an explicit focus of the volume. . . . an invaluable resource for anyone wishing to better understand how the historic traditions of contemplative practice, in the service of cultivating personal growth and well-being." - Psycho-Oncology

"In a time full of sensory and information overload, this is a welcome book." - PsycCRITIQUES

"In an overall assessment it is a wonderful book, and is capable of transforming the life of the reader in making life more meaningful, purposeful and joyful, and herein lies the real worth of the book." - Journal of Psychosocial Research


"In this age of dual-career couples, overscheduled children, and 24-7 living, readers will greet Contemplative Practices in Action with a deep sigh of relief. This volume provides a highly accessible introduction into the remarkable range of contemplative practices that provide a vital corrective to a hyperfrenetic world -- from centering prayer and passage meditation to Sabbath-keeping, pilgrimage, and dance. Thomas Plante has assembled a gifted team of contributors from diverse backgrounds who write with clinical sensitivity, scientific authority, and deep appreciation for the wisdom contained in the world's religious traditions. Readers will emerge enriched personally and professionally by this wonderful collection of chapters." (Kenneth I.. Pargament, Professor of Psychology, Bowling Green State University, Author of The Psychology of Religion and Coping: Theory, Research, Practice and Spiritually Integrated Psychotherapy: Understanding and Addressing the Sacred)

"The genius of this book lies in its ability to mine the depths of both Western and Eastern spiritual traditions, and to integrate those traditions' practices with healing and wholeness." (Margaret Benefiel, PhD, author of Soul at Work and The Soul of a Leader)

"Contemplative Practices in Action resonated immediately with my artist soul, which is well aware of the hard won mindfulness and elusive quiet space necessary for authentic creation. The breadth of Eastern and Western practices explored in this book examine many of the powerful methods people have used to enter into that soulful 'emptiness' where one discovers truth, hope, forgiveness, peace and, ultimately, the God that waits for us in love. This book suggests an alternative to our modern culture abhoring silence. If the words we speak, the battles we wage, the wisdom we offer, and even the prayers we pray are not born out of the silence of contemplation, we tread precariously close to the brink of darkness. As Blaise Paschal wrote, 'All the evil in the world can be traced to our inability to sit still in a room.' This book is a tremendous gift to our modern culture hungering for silence but often unaware of its need." (Dan Schutte, composer of "Here I Am, Lord," and author of Walking the Sacred Path: Spiritual Exercises for Today)

"This is a rare if not precious jewel in the universe of books on spirituality: Rare in focusing on specific spiritual practices with a scientific perspective and precious in offering practices from many religious traditions, all linked in some way to health and well-being. In the 20th century, western cultures in effect abandoned the traditional link of spiritual practices with overall health for a restrictive biomedical model of disease. In doing so the role of positive emotions (e.g., love, faith, hope) in health was greatly hampered. These emotions are proving to be the lifeblood of spirituality. Scratch a spiritual practice and you'll find a positive emotion or two.
Significantly , this book also makes the point that spirituality and religion are not the same thing: spirituality is not theology. The book also dovetails with an expanding view of human experience and consciousness as seen through the lens of neuroscience, ethology and psychology. This book's most significant overall point may be that regular spiritual practices can make substantial differences in how we think, feel and act, especially when we make decisions influencing our relationship with the Divine around and within." (Carl E. Thoresen, Ph.D, Professor Emeritus of Education, Psychology and Psychiatry/Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University)

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 261 pages
  • Publisher: Praeger (July 15, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0313382565
  • ISBN-13: 978-0313382567
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 0.9 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #938,123 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Thomas G. Plante, Ph.D., ABPP is the Augustin Cardinal Bea, S.J. University Professor at Santa Clara University and adjunct clinical professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine. He has served as psychology department chair, acting dean of the school of education, counseling psychology, and pastoral ministries, and director of the spirituality and health institute at Santa Clara University. He recently served as Vice-Chair of the National Review Board for the Protection of Children and Youth for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and is Past-President of the Society for the Psychology of Religion and Spirituality (Division 36) of the American Psychological Association (APA). He was born and raised in Rhode Island and received his ScB degree in psychology from Brown University, his M.A. and PhD degrees in clinical psychology from the University of Kansas, and his clinical internship and postdoctoral fellowship in clinical and health psychology from Yale University. Prior to coming to Santa Clara in 1994, he was a staff psychologist and on the clinical faculty at Stanford University School of Medicine and director of mental health services at the Children's Health Council in Palo Alto, California. He has authored, co-authored, edited, or co-edited 19 books including Abnormal Psychology through the Ages (Vols. I, II, and III, 2013, ABC-CLIO), Religion, Spirituality, and Positive Psychology: Understanding the Psychological Fruits of Faith, (2012, ABC-CLIO), Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church: A Decade of Crisis, 2002-2012 (2011, Greenwood), Sin against the Innocents: Sexual Abuse by Priests and the Role of the Catholic Church (2004, Greenwood), Bless Me Father For I Have Sinned: Perspectives on Sexual Abuse Committed by Roman Catholic Priests (1999, Greenwood), Faith and Health: Psychological Perspectives (2001, Guilford), Do the Right Thing: Living Ethically in an Unethical World (2004, New Harbinger), Contemporary Clinical Psychology (1999, 2005, 2010, Wiley), Mental Disorders of the New Millennium (Vols. I, II, and III, 2006, Greenwood), Spirit, Science and Health: How the Spiritual Mind Fuels Physical Wellness (2007, Greenwood), Spiritual Practices in Psychotherapy: Thirteen Tools for Enhancing Psychological Health (2009, American Psychological Association), and Contemplative Practices in Action: Spirituality, Meditation, and Health (2010, Greenwood) as well as published over 175 scholarly professional journal articles and book chapters. His area of clinical and research interest focuses on stress and coping, the influence of aerobic exercise and perceived fitness on psychological functioning, faith and health outcomes, psychological issues among Catholic clergy and laypersons, and ethical decision making. He has been featured in numerous media outlets including Time Magazine, CNN, NBC Nightly News, the PBS News Hour, New York Times, USA Today, British Broadcasting Company, National Public Radio, among many others. He has evaluated or treated more than 700 priests and applicants to the priesthood and diaconate in the Catholic and Episcopal churches and has served as a consultant for a number of Church dioceses and religious orders. Time Magazine referred to him (April 1, 2002) as one of "three leading (American) Catholics." He maintains a private practice in Menlo Park, CA where he lives with his wife, Lori (also a psychologist) and son, Zachary. His hobbies include running and managing a small home vineyard where he and his family grow syrah grapes for wine making under the TLZ Plante Family Vineyard label.

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By brenda on September 26, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Delivered as promised.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Very interesting book with a lot of great material. the sender got it to me in a reasonable amount of time
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