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Silence, Simplicity & Solitude: A Complete Guide to Spiritual Retreat [Paperback]

Rabbi David A. Cooper
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

March 1, 1999 1893361047 978-1893361041
From the best-selling author of God Is a Verb, the classic spiritual retreat guide that enables anyone to create their own self-guided spiritual retreat at home.

The ancient mystics looked to spiritual retreat as a way of cleansing the body and healing the soul. In Silence, Simplicity & Solitude, David A. Cooper traces the path of the mystics and the practice of spiritual retreat in all the major faith traditions, sharing the common techniques and practices of the retreat experience for beginner and advanced meditators alike.

Cooper shows the way to the self-discovery and discipline of the spiritual retreat experience and clearly instructs how to create an effective, self-guided spiritual retreat in your own home.

Silence, Simplicity & Solitude teaches that not only is silence a great healer, but that inner spiritual retreat can provide life-changing insight into deeper spiritual truths.

Editorial Reviews


"David Cooper's concrete, practical and balanced advice grows out of personal experience and gives us perennial wisdom instead of faddish spiritual froth. His openness to Eastern practices complements the Christian path but does not minimize it." -- Mother Tessa Bielecki, The Spiritual Life Institute

About the Author

David A. Cooper has studied mysticism for mote than thirty years. His main practice has been spiritual retreats and meditation in a number of traditions, including Sufi, Vipassana, Kabbalah, Dzogchen, and Zen. Cooper is the award-winning author of many books, including The Handbook of Jewish Meditation Practices: A Guide for Enriching the Sabbath and Other Days of Your Life; Silence, Simplicity and Solitude: A Complete Guide to Spiritual Retreat at Home; and Three Gates to Meditation Practice: A Personal Journey in Sufism, Buddhism, and Judaism.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 309 pages
  • Publisher: SkyLight Paths (March 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1893361047
  • ISBN-13: 978-1893361041
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #663,932 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Silence, Simplicity, and Solitude: A Guide for Spiritual Retreat offers a balanced and practical perspective for those seeking refuge and renewal. The author, David A. Cooper, first discusses traditions associated with such retreats for the world's main religions.
That perspective is then applied to the practical aspects of conducting a retreat. Mr. Cooper is not advocating strident adherence to tradition, instead suggesting "The individual retreatant must decide which of his or her particular needs are important." Throughout this section, he draws from the wisdom and practices of the various religions, weaving common threads and ideas.
A third main section of the book addresses various spiritual practices and notes how these might fit within the scope of a retreat. Again, drawing from the text, Mr. Cooper asks "how is it that each of us has an affinity with some practices and not others?" He addresses that question by providing overviews and observations of 13 spiritual practices.
Mr. Cooper also emphasizes the practical by providing a number of sample schedules tailored for various types of retreats and a recommended reading list. His steadfast focus on the inner and outer aspects of staging a retreat addresses the needs of both the spirit seeking solace or enlightenment and the mind arranging the details and schedules.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Profound July 22, 2003
By Ralph
Brilliantly written, consice and as spiritual as any holy book around. The best compliment that I can give to Mr. Cooper's writing(s) is that when I read them I feel calm inside. His "Heart of Stillness" and this book both seem to have been written from the heart and resonate among other things a deep sense of honesty and simplicity. Read both these books... they return the time you invest in them in ways that can only be experienced and not be expressed using words.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Retreat Resource February 25, 2006
This book provides great information about the nature and history of retreat. It also gives a very clear picture of types of retreats and the practices that can be used to heighten the retreat experience. It's an easy read with great information, very inspiring. Glad to have purchased it!

Sonya, A Spirit of Serenity, Women's Enrichment Resources
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars no title February 5, 2006
All about retreats - in different religions, in different practices, in different cultures. Shows the similiarity of all religions. Quite an informative book. Points out the need to develop spirituality in ourselves, so lacking in our times, or at least in America today. There was one instance written about which I cannot forget. A famous psychiatrist went to a New York state (I think) Buddhist retreat house, for six weeeks, where he could not speak, look up from the floor, where there were no radios, television, newspapers, magazines, reading material of any kind, nothing to distract him from his inner self. And he said that he learned more there about the workings of the human mind, than he had ever learned in all the years of his practice. And returned a few times more, as did his wife.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Generic July 8, 2009
By Stinki
Generic, all religous practices jumbled together, most common comments and practices from each. A summery overview of various religious traditions: simple, interesting, but but a little too generic for anyone committed to any one path or established world religion.
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