Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Finding God in the Body: A Spiritual Path for the Modern West Paperback – January 16, 2017
|New from||Used from|
See the Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
In Finding God in the Body, Ben Riggs shows us the possibility of experiencing God as an intimate, intensely personal, and deeply affecting presence. Within our bodily awareness, in the immediacy of the present moment, we can behold God's mind, His love, and His glory throughout the universe. And in doing so we can experience true salvation and find our own place within the infinity of divine reality. This is a most remarkable, unusual, profound book that is certain to transform the spiritual lives of all who read it. --Dr. Reginald Ray, author of Touching Enlightenment: Finding Realization in the Body, Indestructible Truth, and director of the Dharma Ocean Foundation
In Finding God in the Body Ben Riggs delivers a heartfelt and deeply experiential message of engaged faith. He outlines some pragmatic methodologies of contemplative and progressive Christianity, drawing on personal experience and practice of Buddhist and Christian meditation. He offers relevant and meaningful analysis of scripture along with the words of mystics and philosophers from diverse traditions. Riggs invites exploration through self analysis, study, prayer and meditation. He gently coaxes, guides and rekindles our connection to God in a way that profoundly speaks to modern Western sensibilities. --Rev. Roger Wolsey, author of Kissing Fish: Christianity for People Who Don t Like Christianity
Finding God in the Body recasts the teachings of Jesus in a contemplative light, outlining a path for Western Buddhists to do the work that Thich Nhat Hanh has implored us to do; that of reconciling with our root tradition. Drawing lines between bodhicitta and prayer, meditation and contemplation, Mr. Riggs reminds us that Christian spirituality does indeed provide a practice-based approach to the God within each of us. He does us all a great service in showing us that there is no place like home. --Andrew Furst, author of Western Lights a Collection of Essays on Buddhism & Clouds Tell Us: Poetry at the Intersection of Nature and Our Humanity
"In Finding God in the Body, Benjamin Riggs takes the reader on an autobiographical journey, starting with his initial introduction to meditation via Tibetan Buddhism , through using suffering as a vehicle of transformation to realizing the God that lives within all of us. The journey contains many twists, turns and road maps, including several exercises to help the reader move along the path. Yet, it is a journey without an end; a spiritual pathway that only leads to deeper levels of self-awareness and understanding. You will meet several writers and thinkers along the way; open yourself to the challenges these voices offer. In short, take the journey offered in this remarkable text and be prepared for a spiritual adventure." -- Dr. David Otto, author of The Miracles of Jesus and Professor of Religious Studies at Centenary College
About the Author
Benjamin Riggs is a meditation teacher, author, essayist, and columnist. He has studied and practiced in both Buddhist and Christian monasteries in India and the United States. Currently, he lives in Shreveport, LA where he serves as the director of the Refuge Meditation Group.
If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle edition for only $0.99 (Save 80%). Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.
For thousands of qualifying books, your past, present, and future print-edition purchases now lets you buy the Kindle edition for $2.99 or less. (Textbooks available for $9.99 or less.)
Browse award-winning titles. See more
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
If Heaven is a state of mind, then spiritual curiosity seekers can skip the rotational grazing that tends to happen when exploring other religions. This books helps strip away the smells and bells and show not only some fundamentals these religions have in common but that you don't have to abandon one for the other in your quest for spiritual balance.
Finding God in the Body by Benjamin Riggs offers “A Spiritual Path for the Modern West.” For those of us with Western sensibilities but an affinity toward the practices of Buddhism or other Eastern religions, Riggs offers a path that looks with fresh eyes at the Judeo-Christian texts and combines their spiritual teachings with practices, such as meditation, of the East.
“The spiritual path is the mind’s return to the naked awareness of the body…. It is about dropping the narrative, relaxing the tension, and taking refuge in our True Life.”
Author Benjamin Riggs spent years studying the contemplative core of Christianity where he found a mythos of God within, more concerned with daily life than the hereafter. He explains the Bible and Judeo-Christian writings in a very enlightening way, following the Jewish tradition of storytelling to understand the Bible’s message in today’s world.
The author references the most important teachings of Jewish, Christian and Buddhist teachers such as Dr. Reginald Ray, Thomas Merton, Joseph Campbell, Fr. Thomas Keating, Thomas Aquinas, Rabbi David Cooper and M. Scott Peck, who wrote: “If you desire wisdom greater than your own, you can find it inside of you…. To put it plainly, our unconscious is God. God within us…”
Finding God in the Body offers instruction in a spiritual practice that helps embody the mystery of God that lives within our body… both through contemplative prayer to bring us into the body, the God of the body, and through meditation to discover the underlying emptiness of the mind.
In the end, Riggs offers a way to develop a personal relationship with God, living in the Will of God: “Undoubtedly this will have a great effect on our quality of life, how we treat others, and the world in which we live. It will transform the world.”
What more could the spiritual seeker ask?
Books on spirituality, particularly from the contemplative sphere, seem to be all the rage right now. Everyone seems to be jumping onto the new spiritual formation bandwagon, often overlooking that this deep work is quite ancient and not easily apprehended by a quick fix culture. Through years of studying with contemplative spiritual teachers, I have read many, many books designed to help the restless modern mind. I was not expecting much different from this one. However, with sagacious thought and clever (if rambling) prose, Ben Riggs aptly describes many of the more difficult and ineffable concepts of the contemplative spiritual path with clarity and singular perception. It reads as part memoir, part philosophy primer and part wise mystical guide. It is a deep labyrinth of richness.
“The point of life is to live,” says Riggs. He addresses the very real problem that we in the west have exchanged the freedom of being truly present and alive for an illusion-filled hustle in which we are always grasping for the next elusive, grand end. We are trapped, Riggs says, in “hundreds of thoughts away from the present moment.” To this he offers a way back to sanity, that is, to our truest self in and through which we encounter the Holy.
Riggs presents a very astute understanding of the development and function of the problem of the false self, a concept that is familiar to contemplatives. He also offers one of the clearest descriptions of the problem of the thinking mind, the mind that is our “default mode of consciousness” in which we create our own disembodied reality, where we spin and fret and plot and judge. It is the mind that draws lines between you and me, us and them. This mind creates an entirely false self from which we attempt to live. He says we “substitute the lived experienced of life for what we think about life. It’s like eating a cookbook for dinner.”
The title is “Finding God in the Body” which led me to believe there would be much more focus on the spirituality of the body and body oriented practices. However, the point that Riggs is making is that the body is our truth teller. The body exists in the here and now, and responds without ego to the present moment. It is our disembodied thoughts that spin false narratives of comparisons and what ifs, that then create the milieu of anxiety in which we swim. Riggs says, “A disembodied mind has no life. It has no world so it has to create one. It has to think a new world into existence…Initially the relationship with mind and body was only fractured, now it is restructured. Reality is now under the dominion of the thinking mind, which means our point of view is no longer shaped by reality, but instead by the previous thought. This is insanity.”
He connects the wisdom of the contemplative teachings of the disembodied mind to the healing teachings of Jesus. “Jesus taught that freedom comes from renewing your mind, not rearranging the world. He taught that freedom from anger is contingent upon forgiveness, not revenge, that peace and contentment are found in faith, not self propulsion, that humility and self emptying are the path to true Power, not money and clout.” The way of Jonah, this path of death and resurrection to the True Self, is what Jesus taught and modeled all along.
His book is rich with practices both ancient and new that take us out of the spinning, calculating mind to grounded, bodily awareness and presence. He begins with a practice of self analysis to help us begin to “tether the mind to reality”. This creates a foundation for humility and authenticity. He emphasizes practices of deep personal honesty, and making amends, like those of the modern AA model. There’s a natural progression to more ancient practices such as centering prayer, meditation, Tonglen and body based practices as well.
I’d recommend this book for those who have set both feet firmly onto the path of contemplative spirituality. It could be a real stretch for anyone who expects familiar Christian lingo or dogma. However, he includes a thoughtful study on the value of our deep mythic traditions that have shaped our psyches and our souls. Riggs had left Christianity for Buddhism for a while, but that segue brought him to see the deeper truth and meaning in his own tradition. As a result, he brings to light the deeply transformative aspects of the Christian faith to us all.
Riggs, B. (2016). Finding God in the Body: A Spiritual Path for the Modern West. 205 pages.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My understanding specifically of "kenosis", self-emptying or no-self has deepened...Read more