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Life at First Sight: Finding the Divine in the Details Paperback – May, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Baha'i Pub; 1 Original edition (May 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1931847673
  • ISBN-13: 978-1931847674
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,491,802 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

"Life at First Sight captures the web of meaning that unites and sustains all of human life. These sparkling essays remind us that the spiritual side of life is not a luxury or an optional nicety, but utterly crucial.  At this moment in history, no message is more vital."
                                     Larry Dossey, M.D., author of The Power of Premonitions and                                                  The Extraordinary Healing Power of Ordinary Things


" These essays are a treasure, especially as they pursue the journey of the human spirit through the perils - and joys - of "the road not taken". This is the sort of book that will warm, celebrate and console the reader on a sour day. This book is lovingly written and beautifully conceived, and dares to approach the practical reality of the spiritual life."
                                     Dolores Kendrick, Poet Laureate, District of Columbia, author of Now Is the Thing to Praise and The Women of Plums: Poems in the Voices of Slave Women.




Phyllis Ring writes with a deep sense of soul.  Her work carries the essence of a personal touch for each reader. As a former high school English teacher, I imagined the delight with which my students would have responded to Ring's prose/poetic blending of sensitive and emotional sharings. Would that every student could have audience with Phyllis Ring's gift of a full life, expressed in such rich language.  As with any extraordinary discovery, I will read and re-read Ring's work.
                            Lyonel B. Tracy, Ed.D., Commissioner of Education, State of New Hampshire

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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I loved Phyllis's stories.
Corinne Driscoll
"Cultivating the ability and the desire to perceive these in the everyday may be one of the most life-sustaining and liberating things we'll ever do."
Druzelle Cederquist
It is the type of book that can be re-read starting anywhere and will leave you feeling happier for having done so.
Kathy Gilman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Druzelle Cederquist on October 1, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What I find irresistible about Phyllis Ring's collection of personal essays (previously published columns) in Life at First Sight is that each one is really a story, told in the warm and intimate voice of a good friend - the kind of easy companion you might invite for a walk or sit with over coffee. Yet the stories she shares about family, people she meets, or something further afield, have none of the flavor of the gossip so ubiquitous these days. Far from it.

These stories draw the reader along a different kind of path, where, with a practiced eye, Phyllis guides us to look through the mundane to find the unexpected beauty, the deeper meaning, that might have otherwise eluded us. And when you think you have come to the end of a particular story, she leads you one step further - which is one reason why these essays are not simply filed away in the mind, but become companions of the heart.

Phyllis Ring writes from a spiritual orientation that she conveys with a light touch. "First sight" is a term she uses for looking at life with spiritual eyes. In the book's introduction Phyllis identifies three kinds of "sight" - physical, intellectual, and spiritual. "We acquire a more complete picture of human reality - body, mind, and soul," writes Phyllis, "by gradually learning to use all three kinds of seeing to the best of our abilities and discovereng how they are designed to work together."

"Like love at first sight, using our spiritual vision involves an immediate `recognition' and irresistible attraction, a sense of something mysteriously familiar," says Phyllis. "It is that feeling of coming into contact with what is of God. And how do we know, feel, and recognize what is of God?" she asks.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Eric Mondschein on May 13, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Life is not easy. We all know that, and Phyllis Edgerly Ring has, through essays about life and her experineces, thrown us a needed life line to help us get through each day. Filled with pearls and gems of wisdom that touch your heart and soul, the author shares her trials and tribulations of being a voyager in this life with the rest of us. Sharing what enables her to not only make it through the day, but to yearn and look forward to the next. It is so well written and thus a joy to read. As Ms. Ring is a Baha'i, it is written from that religious view, but it has meaning for members of any Faith or denomination, or for those still searching. I highly recommend this book to anyone who cherishes life and wants to see the good in things, or to just feel good in being alive and realizing that there is so much more out there to explore, to learn, and to experience.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Gayle M. Hoover on December 24, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Phyllis Ring has always been an extremely thoughtful observer of life. Her thoughts run deep and clear. Anyone who reads her words cannot help but feel uplifted and inspired to look at the events life presents to all of us in a more positive light. Succinctly put, exposing oneself to Phyllis' take on life cannot help but experience their take on life as expanded and filled with new energy. In short: Phyllis'positivity is contagious.! Enjoy!!!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By suzbird on December 24, 2010
Format: Paperback
Phyllis writes about intimate events from her life and how she chooses to be with them-seeing them through a bigger, kinder lens leaving the reader gently touched, gently reminded of the choices we can make in our own life.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Michael Winger on November 24, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Phylis captivates one's attention with a style that is at once disarmingly soft in its tone and demandingly powerful in its effect. A journey through personal stories that reflect the deep issues that confront us at an individual level and that stir our imagination of what is possible on a collective level. This was a delightfully easy read that left me hungry for more. What about it, Phylis? When do we get more?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Margaret Tash on December 2, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Reading these stories from Life at First Sight is a gentle, spiritual nudge to think so deeply about each action we take. Thank you for sharing such deep thoughts that tug at our hearts.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Roya L. Foroughi on July 24, 2009
Format: Paperback
Tthis book contains poignant memories that although are not ones own, causes you to stop and reflect. It's the brief glimpses into spirituality that are a part of our everyday life and are often overlooked. I'm the type of girl who picks up a book and hopes that when she opens to page one she'll be carried through to the end with no hesitation. For my conscience forces me to finish what I start and even if I find something tragic and ill-written, I still have to finish it; otherwise it'll be sitting next to my bed for years weighing on my mind. Luckily this book didn't cause any troubles. I picked it up and read with no qualms as I was taken into the memories of Mrs. Phyllis Ring and the principles of our shared Faith. Each chapter begins with a quote from one of the central figures of the Bahá'í Faith and the stories that follow pull out the wisdom of these words and applies it to situations both normal and unusual. Contrary to my normal way of reading, which is rushing to the end, I'd often have to pause and reflect on the insights presented. I admit, I cried a few times in the reading from the sweetness of the stories and the purity in which life can be viewed. And of even greater importance, I appreciate how Mrs. Ring took one special story from her life to illustrate a fundamental spiritual principal of God's love and assistance being "near, astonishingly near" and then later in the book used the same story to illustrate how our lives are so intertwined and how her story of relying on God turned into a child's story of Faith and the power of prayer. It's a fact we overlook quite often. How organic our lives are and the spiritual values inside us all.

I've probably written too much now, but this book was touching, at some points more than others, but that could just be due to my own experiences and what I can relate too. I'd recommend it as an aid to conscious thinking of the spiritual in the day-to-day.
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