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Sabbath: Restoring the Sacred Rhythm of Rest Hardcover – April 6, 1999

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; Later prt. edition (April 6, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553106724
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553106725
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.9 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (111 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #328,265 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

It's sad that we need a book to remind us of the importance of scheduling time to rest and worship. But because we can work, shop, achieve, and otherwise stay busy every hour of every day of the week, we do. The statement, "I am so busy" has become a frighteningly common lament, according to author Wayne Muller. Our perpetual state of busyness represents a war on our natural rhythms that demand quiet and renewal in order to be emotionally, spiritually, and creatively fertile.

Honoring the Sabbath need not be a commitment to a specific day of the week, explains Muller. In fact, it can be a yearlong retreat or a morning walk--"anything that preserves a visceral experience of life-giving nourishment and rest."

Far more than an interesting concept, this is a good read. Each chapter is provocative and fluid, with topics such as "Fear of Rest," "Dormancy," and "The Way of Enough." At the end of his chapters, Muller offers stories, poems, or practices that speak to the themes of the Sabbath. --Gail Hudson

From Publishers Weekly

Taking the Jewish Sabbath tradition as his starting point, Muller (How, Then, Shall We Live?) uncovers the basic pattern of all living things to follow a rhythm of exertion and rest. Human beings are not exempt from the physical need for rest, and it is the author's contention that we have a deep spiritual need to regularly experience joy and to rest from our labors. Although he explicates from the Sabbath, Muller, an ordained minister, is not Jewish; he is merely appreciative of the Jewish tradition. In treating his subject, he touches on the ways in which many faithsAincluding Christianity, Islam and BuddhismAalso encourage a rhythm of work and rest. Muller does not limit Sabbath practice to a seven-day pattern but encourages his readers to create their own uniquely suitable Sabbath practicesAdaily, weekly or according to some other pattern. Each chapter ends with a couple of brief tales that exemplify an aspect of sacred rest, followed by practical suggestions for integrating a Sabbath spirit into daily life. Muller's insights are applicable within a broad spectrum of faiths and will appeal to a wide range of readers, from the eclectically spiritual to those practicing Judaism or professing Christianity.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

This was a great book, well written and to the point.
Georgia B. Cloer
This is not just for spiritual religious people - it is a great way to integrate the practice of being present into your daily life.
danielle guetta
You find yourself reading his books, nodding your head, thinking, "Yes, yes!
Bevina del Rey

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

61 of 62 people found the following review helpful By John S. on November 29, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Wayne Muller once again in Sabbath takes the mystery out of bringing spiritual practice to a busy, complicated life. How often do someone's writings actually help change one's thinking or actions? Muller has that gift. In Sabbath he provides a simple, profound series of suggestions on how to practice mindful rest in a hectic life or in relationships full of other priorities. My wife and I now literally schedule quiet dates for quiet time with each other. By drawing from the rich Judeo-Christian and Eastern traditions of spiritual replenishment, Wayne Muller makes a telling case for the practice of Sabbath. But most importantly, he closes chapters with simple suggestions on how to bring this practice into your life. It is both a moving spiritual lesson and a how-to guide. It is certainly a terrific gift for your too busy friends.
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42 of 44 people found the following review helpful By on September 26, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This is one of the best books I've read in a long time. It sinks into your soul and permeates the fibers of work, rush and chaos to calm, quiet and challenge how we live. My book club has read it, and loved it as much as I did. As one of the woman said, "I couldn't get past the first six pages. I would read it out loud to anyone who would listen to me". Each person has ordered at least 3 copies of it to give to friends and relatives. No other book has spoken to me in so many ways. As a youth minister I have read quotations to my kids to hopefully get them to understand the idea of Sabbath before they get to my age and have their life patterns set. I could never come up with enough adjectives to describe this wonderful book.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 16, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book has helped change my life and my focus from workaholicism back to joy of living and family, from exhaustion and fatigue to faith in restoring the Sacred Rhythm of Rest. As other reviewers have mentioned, Wayne Muller's writing also stirred my soul and restarted the sacred rhythm set within. I have read many parts of this books aloud to my family, and have given copies to family and friends. All have received it with enthusiam. Some parts brought tears to my eyes as Muller's words flow gently on target in each chapter, and I felt the grief and relief that comes from knowing the truth (and it does set you free). This book is well written, easy to read, and should appeal to people of many faiths. It is a simple, but yet profound book. Made so, because the author is a skilled writer in reaching across the diverse realm of the manmade world to point out the conflicts modern men and women have created at many levels; conflicts which block out or otherwise have many of us unaware of the true value of Sabbath and the sacred rhythms established by the Creator at all levels in all living things. This book will engage you with well chosen quotes, poems, and well written thoughts on the Sabbath. This is a must read!
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 21, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book is a exploration into the concept of "Sabbath" and its importance in world religions. Muller describes Sabbath rituals in the Jewish faith and discusses scriptural references to the Sabbath (from Christian and Buddhist, as well as Jewish texts), especially those concerning why it is celebrated at all. He argues that we all need time set aside as a Sabbath for rest, happiness, and consecration. He embellishes the text with poems and stories about the Sabbath practices of friends. Many of the chapters close with a "Practice" section, in which Muller describes actions you can take to put the ideas from the chapter into practice.

In an early chapter, Muller declares that all religions have some form of Sabbath. This didn't quite sound correct to me-while Muslims often gather in a mosque together for Friday noon prayers, the day is otherwise unlike a Judeo-Christian Sabbath, since there is no feeling that worshipers should refrain from work or commerce on that day. And Buddhists and Hindus certainly don't have a regular day set aside each week for religious observance and rest. But Muller goes on to explain that he is taking the term "Sabbath" to mean a time set aside from ordinary worldly pursuits, and that in a more general sense "Sabbath" need not refer to an entire day, but could be just a few minutes in which the mind is engaged in meditation, prayer or devotion. By this measure, the five daily Muslim prayers, Buddhist meditation, and Hindu pujas would all qualify as Sabbath time. Muller argues that such time is necessary to appreciate fully our capabilities as caring people.

Reading this book has opened my eyes to new ways of celebrating the Sabbath.
Read more ›
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Dave Kinnear on September 27, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Finding rest renewal and delight in our busy lives. This is a wonderful little volume that now starts my day off in a very peaceful and contemplative way.
I took my time with this book. I savored each morning as I read only one of the "meditations" to start my day and then tried to remember and think about the meditation during the day some time. The Sabbath practices are doable in our every day lives and picking one or two will definitely add a new dimension to your day. And in light of the recent tragedies on our country, we could all use a little peace and Sabbath in our lives.
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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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