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How Then, Shall We Live?: Four Simple Questions That Reveal the Beauty and Meaning of Our Lives [Kindle Edition]

Wayne Muller
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $17.00
Kindle Price: $10.99
You Save: $6.01 (35%)
Sold by: Random House LLC


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Book Description

We all long to experience a sense of inner wholeness and guidance, but today's notions of healing and recovery too often keep us focused on our brokenness, on our deficiencies rather than our strengths. Wayne Muller's luminous new book gently guides us to the place where we are already perfect, already blessed with the wisdom we need to live a life of meaning, purpose and grace.

He starts, as do so many spiritual teachers, with simple questions: Who am I? What do I love? How shall I live, knowing I will die? What is my gift to the family of the earth? He then takes us deeper, exploring each question through transformative true stories. We meet men and women--Wayne's neighbors, friends, patients--who have discovered love, courage, and kindness even in the midst of sorrow and loss. And through them we glimpse that relentless spark of spiritual magic that burns within each of us.

Woven throughout are contemplations, daily practices, poems, and teachings from the great wisdom teachings. Page by page, we become more awake to the joy and mystery of this precious human life, and to the unique gifts every one of us has to offer the world.

Editorial Reviews Review

One of the hazards of a reflective life is to grope for answers before you've asked the right questions. Wayne Muller, a minister, therapist and bestselling author has taken a stab at asking the big questions: Who am I? What do I love? How shall I live, knowing I will die? What is my gift to the family of the Earth? Following each of these questions are some of the most tender and luminous discussions one could hope to ponder. More than a monastery for the armchair seeker, this has potential to be a mind-altering book with permanent impact.


Four questions are central to examining and revealing the beauty and meaning of daily lives: here Muller focuses on hidden strengths rather than weaknesses requiring healing, providing a spiritual exploration of life's meaning through a series of true stories. From a young woman abused as a child to a man depleted by cancer, this uses real life stories and tests as a method for analyzing meaning. -- Midwest Book Review

Product Details

  • File Size: 1551 KB
  • Print Length: 306 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0553375059
  • Publisher: Bantam (September 11, 2013)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #162,780 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
43 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, Poetic, Wise April 20, 2000
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Wayne Muller has a deeply caring soul and in this book evidences a lyrical pen.
While no book can conclusively answer the question "How, Then, Shall We Live?" this book is a wonderfully readable and gentle, compassionate and evocative, exploration of some of life's ultimate issues.
Much of the book gains its power from stories of people facing death in heartbreaking yet courageous and liberating ways.
This book is good for your soul (however "soul" may be defined or experienced).
In addition to the author's own thoughts, he includes helpful exercises, and cites many inspiring and thoughtful passages from others.
This is not an analytic work that delves into complicated philosophical concepts. Instead, it touches on the simple, yet most profound, questions of life and death in the deceptive plainness of the most wise. It is food for the heart, and it rings deeply true. And, while the author seems to be a deeply spiritual man, there is nothing of a dogmatic sense about any of the writing.
Read this book; your best self will thank you!
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37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read March 13, 2007
Wayne Muller is an ordained minister, psychotherapist and best-selling author. A graduate of Harvard Divinity School, he has spent the last twenty-five years working closely with some of the most disadvantaged members of society. He founded Bread for the Journey, a national, nonprofit charity serving the poor and underprivileged. Muller's meditation on four simple questions takes him far afield into revealing much of himself, the struggles and victories of the many he helps and into beautiful, illustrative literature and stories from world religions. At the end of each section he has inventive exercises that help the reader find her answer to these immortal questions. The questions:

Who am I? The way we feel about ourselves, the way we live our lives depends upon how we answer this question. Am I the sum of my symptoms? Am I the roles I play, my job titles, what others think of me? Have I shrunk to the circumference of a label others placed upon me? Or is there a hidden wholeness within that I must strive to connect with each day? Jesus answered the question in saying "You are the light of the world?" He did not say you are the light of the world if you grew up in a rich or famous family, or if you are svelte and good looking, if you have never been abused or a child of a broken home. "No, regardless of the shape of the sorrow or victory or grief or ecstasy we have been given, there is a potent inner luminosity that is never extinguished and is alive in us this instant." (17). We come into the world with a true self that lets us know when we have gone astray from our nature as children of God. Ask yourself throughout the day, "Who am I?" Pay attention to the breadth of your answers. Which reflect your deepest nature?

What do I love?
Read more ›
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars this book is a song for the mind, body and spirit.... January 5, 1999
Format:Audio Cassette
i read this book at a time of my life when i had lost a dear is truly inspiring with a purpose of legacy......and celebration of spirit that is within all of us.....grace and gratitude.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars life changing February 13, 2011
By MissP
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a beautiful book that offers a new perspective on life. It is intelligently written and spiritual without being preachy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars spirituality November 7, 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Wayne Muller never disappoints. His words are graceful, profound and help one get in touch with the real issues of life. He does this through the sharing of real stories from real people that one can relate to. Very worth the money.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Book January 6, 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Wonderful book filled with great inspirational anecdotes. It will renew your faith in the human race. Wayne is a great writer with beautiful insight. Highly recommend this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the Best December 3, 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is by far the most important book that i have ever read. The writings of Wayne Muller are so real and comforting to me. You won't go wrong getting this book, or any of Muller's for that matter.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended April 18, 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have purchased this book over and over, for the valued and trusted people of my life. Muller has brought together so gracefully, the truths of the ages and the possibilities we each have for finding That Essence which is the Overcomer within. Take the time to find the Timeless and Indestructible...the Savior... as you read Wayne Muller's humble work.

Thank you, Wayne Muller!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!
Wisdom of the ages and of the moment from the author gleaned from his extensive background studies and his broad experience in supporting the growth and well being of a multitude. Read more
Published 19 days ago by rare
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book
Very well written, easy style, sensitive. Exactly what I wanted when I ordered it. I loved it and highly recommend it.
Published 2 months ago by Cynthia Essary
5.0 out of 5 stars Speaks to My Soul
Speaks to my soul. Thought provoking, a combination of spiritual common sense and psychological ideas and thoughts . These ideas generate a new and thoughtful perspective on life
Published 3 months ago by Susan Hartnett
5.0 out of 5 stars this is pretty much a manual for peace of mind
... such a great book / ... each section is amazing / ... the wisdom is simple and sometimes obvious, but when put in the context of personal stories it is compelling / ... Read more
Published 3 months ago by FLAPJACK43
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic Reprieve
I had read this book before but had forgotten how fundamentally healing and positive the advice and case studies are to read. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Inez
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this book
I've bought so many of these books over the years I've lost count, because I often give it as gifts to friends. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Linda Lander
5.0 out of 5 stars Helpful in times of pain and grief
Wayne Muller's insights and stories, told in his own voice on the audio cassette tape version, were very helpful to me at a time when I was dealing with the recent death of my... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Richard Seeley
5.0 out of 5 stars How Then, Shall We Live?
Purchased for a religion class. Arrived promptly and in great shape. Very insightful. Would recommend this book to other people in seach of self
Published 16 months ago by C. Toth
5.0 out of 5 stars A joy to read
How Then Shall We Live? written by Wayne Muller
This book is written in a most accessible style using stories, shared beliefs from many religious philosophies and suggestions... Read more
Published on February 24, 2011 by sayre
4.0 out of 5 stars how then shall we live?
The book was in an excellent condition. I was very pleased that I have found this book through the internet and not had to pay much higher price at a school book store.
Published on September 26, 2010 by kate solomon
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More About the Author

Wayne Muller has been a therapist, minister, community advocate, consultant, public speaker, and bestselling author of Legacy of the Heart and Sabbath, among others. A graduate of Harvard Divinity School, Wayne spent the last thirty-five years serving thee abused, bereft, sick, and oppressed. He founded Bread for the Journey, a network of ordinary people who volunteer in neighborhood philanthropy. Wayne listens primarily for what is beautiful, strong, and true within us, to learn to find nourishment as our lives unfold in new, unexpected directions. He was Senior Scholar at the Fetzer Institute, Extended Faculty at the Institute for Noetic Sciences, and has received several awards for his work with those in need.

He currently works with select individuals as a private spiritual director and mentor.

You can contact Wayne at

"Wayne Muller gently moved me beyond the questions of Why? and Why me?, helped me step over the barriers of guilt and shame and encouraged me to look through my wounds as through a window that opens to a new view of who I am and where I am called to go." - Henri Nouwen, "The Wounded Healer"

"Wayne Muller gives us the license, the encouragement to take that single, mindful breath which puts our busy lives in perspective and helps restore our souls." - Fred Rogers, of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood

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