Elizabeth Lesser, cofounder of the Omega Institute, speaks to America's cross-pollination of religious, psychological, metaphysical, and ancient traditions that have flowered into contemporary spirituality. Like many seekers, Lesser has discovered a deeply personal religious path--one that wandered through Zen Buddhist monasteries, meandered through Christian churches, dabbled in African and Native American traditions, and expanded into the teachings of the Great Mother. Using her own journey as the road map, Lesser discusses why so many Americans are coming to a deeply personal form of religion--one that does not prescribe to a specific doctrine or definition of God.
Although she expertly performs the role of memoirist and observer, Lesser has stretched this book into a useful tool for all seekers. She offers numerous suggestions, such as how to listen to your body, increase your spiritual bank account, "live the questions" rather than "seek the answers," and create a supportive community. This is a moving workbook for anyone who's hoping to find, claim, or simply maintain their spiritual truths. --Gail Hudson
From Publishers Weekly
"If spirituality is not religion or cynicism or sentimentality or narcissism, then what is it?... we can confidently say... that spirituality is fearlessness. It is a way of looking boldly at this life we have been given, here, now, on earth, as this human being." Lesser, cofounder of the Omega Institute, a pioneering holistic learning community in upstate New York, blends autobiography with broader observation to offer readers a compelling, commonsense guide to a new American style of spiritual search that she has watched coalesce over the past decades. Tracing her own path from idealistic Barnard student to young wife, mother and ardent communard follower of Sufi teacher Pir Vilayat, Lesser describes how she (and a generation of seekers) have gradually expanded the Puritan ideal of personal spiritual transformation to include deep psychological, physical and creative work. Only as we learn to accept and cherish ourselves as we really are, Lesser shows, can we tap our innate wisdom. Drawing inspiration from teachers and teachings from many traditions, infusing each chapter with her own stories and experience, Lesser reveals how illuminating it can be to turn the light of awareness and acceptance on ourselves. Several times, she offers this quote by the great Sufi poet Rumi: "When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy."With honesty, warmth and seasoned judgment, Lesser leads readers to the water. Even the publisher's unfortunate decision to include blurbs praising the book from teachers and authors mentioned in its pages does not undermine a modest integrity and intelligence that is the best advertisement for the new American spirituality. (June)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.