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Touchstones: A Book Of Daily Meditations For Men Paperback – July 1, 1986

4.8 out of 5 stars 96 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

David Spohn is the Senior Art Director of the Hazelden Foundation's Information and Educational Services Division. Over the past two decades, he has designed and illustrated hundreds of books, from children's books to adult daily meditation books.He has also written (as well as illustrated) several children's picture books, including Nate's Treasure, Winter Wood, Starry Night, and Home Field, (Lothrop, Lee & Shepard/William Morrow.) Nate's Treasure was a Golden Kite Award finalist in 1992. As these books are set at the farm where he lived, and the characters in the books are his two sons, he often tells people 'My books are stories from home.' He has visited dozens of schools throughout the Midwest talking to children about art and writing, and sharing his stories. He has also served as judge for the Minnesota Book Awards annual competition (design category.)David's newest book, Life on the Edge, though not a children's book, is also a story from home. It is a book about parenting a child with AD/HD. Offering information, hope and joy, Life on the Edge reflects the education received in raising a severely emotionally disabled child. He has shared his message with radio audiences from coast to coast, and Canada, and served as a panelist at the Minnesota's Children's Mental Health annual conference.David Spohn lives with his wife, two sons, a dog and two cats, near Lindstrom, Minnesota.

David Spohn is the Senior Art Director of the Hazelden Foundation's Information and Educational Services Division. Over the past two decades, he has designed and illustrated hundreds of books, from children's books to adult daily meditation books.He has also written (as well as illustrated) several children's picture books, including Nate's Treasure, Winter Wood, Starry Night, and Home Field, (Lothrop, Lee & Shepard/William Morrow.) Nate's Treasure was a Golden Kite Award finalist in 1992. As these books are set at the farm where he lived, and the characters in the books are his two sons, he often tells people 'My books are stories from home.' He has visited dozens of schools throughout the Midwest talking to children about art and writing, and sharing his stories. He has also served as judge for the Minnesota Book Awards annual competition (design category.)David's newest book, Life on the Edge, though not a children's book, is also a story from home. It is a book about parenting a child with AD/HD. Offering information, hope and joy, Life on the Edge reflects the education received in raising a severely emotionally disabled child. He has shared his message with radio audiences from coast to coast, and Canada, and served as a panelist at the Minnesota's Children's Mental Health annual conference.David Spohn lives with his wife, two sons, a dog and two cats, near Lindstrom, Minnesota.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

January 1

He who is outside the door has already a good part of his journey behind him.
—Dutch Proverb

When we see how far we strayed from the kind of men we wanted to be, we are overwhelmed by how far we have to go to get back on the track. Perhaps we see clearly for the first time how unfair we were or how much we hurt those we love. Maybe we see how pervasive our compulsions are in our lives and how much we missed.

That is when we are most ready to do the work of recovery and become most spiritual. It is helpful at those times to remember that this program is a journey. Although at times the distance seems overwhelming, all of us are on the path. As long as we live, we never reach a point where we can stop growing. The important thing is we are on the path, we have a good part of our journey behind us. Once begun, outside the door, we are progressing like all our brothers and sisters in the program.

Today, I will remember it is the reward of the journey itself, not the destination, that I seek.


January 2

When you can't stand criticism you learn to be a perfectionist.
—Anonymous

It's human to make mistakes and to feel incomplete. Perhaps if we were all smooth plastic printouts we could expect perfection of ourselves. Each man is actually a process. We are not things, but events--happenings, and the events are still unfolding. These are our creative spiritual adventures.

We have somehow learned that openness to criticism is dangerous. Perhaps we thought someone would not like us if we were wrong, or that we would get hurt or belittled. When we live with a relationship to our Higher Power, we can stand up for ourselves. A man has a right to make some mistakes! We grow more if we allow ourselves the leeway of simply being in process.

I will not ask to have the power of perfection. I will only ask that I not be alone in the process of living my life.


January 3

Love doesn't just sit there, like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new
—Ursula K. Le Guin

Our relationships are alive. We don't control them and neither do the other people involved. We certainly influence our relationships--and if we are aware, we see they also have their own yeast. Whether we are talking of a love relationship with our spouses, lovers, children, friends, or parents, it is a very fluid and dynamic affair. If we are actively involved with the other person and give time and nourishment to the relationship, it will grow. But if we are passive and only waiting, the relationship will grow stale.

God speaks to us through other people. Our relationship with our Higher Power influences our relationships with all the people in our lives. Today we can nurture our relationships with time, tolerance, and honesty. In turn, we will be nourished.

May this day be one in which I give attention to those I love.

©2008. All rights reserved. Reprinted from Touchstones. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the written permission of the publisher. Publisher: Hazelden Publishing, PO Box 176 , Center City, MN  55012-0176.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Hazelden; Reissue edition (July 1, 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0894863940
  • ISBN-13: 978-0894863943
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 4 x 6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (96 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,848 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on November 21, 1996
Format: Paperback
I use this book to try to make sense out of life stresses. It's a small
pocket book, nicely printed. There's one page corresponding to each
day of the year. Each page starts with a quote from diverse folks:
Einstein, Twain, Thoreau, Shakespeare, Woody Allen, etc. Then there's
a small essay about a way to approach the day. In some ways,
it's a supplement or even a substitute father, making
gentle suggestions about the ways
that the world works, and good ways to encounter and
appreciate it.
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By A Customer on May 20, 2004
Format: Paperback
I stumbled across this awesome book while desperately seeking solace and advice following the (unwanted) end of my 19-year marriage. While not an alcoholic, I've seen how the 12-step program can change people's lives, so I wasn't put-off by the references to it in the text. In any case, the focus on 12-step principles is low-key, and the book uses a number of other sources of wisdom to help the reader become more self-aware, calm and centered during the storms, large and small, of life. My well-worn copy is now in its sixth year of use. It's been so helpful that now just the act of picking up the book starts to calm me down!
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This book is the cornerstone of recovery for men and used by men as an aide in recovering from addictions, co-dependency. While not conference approved literature it parallels much of it in its focus.
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I first came across this book at my brother-in-law's house. I picked it up and dipped in briefly, liked the thought I read and then put it down. Ever since leaving his place that day, the little book has regularly come to my mind, and the simply truth I read on the page that day. I feel an affinity with the book, partly because it is understated and never showy. It is serious, without being melancholy; it is deep, without becoming stereotypical. Reading it is like having an intimate conversation with a trusted friend, except the dialogue is inside, and silent. It makes me feel good knowing its there, for me to open and dip in again, to feel what I felt the first time I picked it up all those years ago: this is true.
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Format: Paperback
I was given this book 20 years ago and have just recently gotten into the habit of reading it every morning. There are some days when the reading really hits me but even more when it doesn't. My main complaint is that there are many readings specifically directed towards men when only a few of those really have to be. It didn't get 5 stars because I have other daily reading books that speak to me much more often and others that I don't bother with or really hate. See my other reviews if you want to know which ones. This one is certainly worth buying.
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My husband has used this book for about ten years and has found it tremendously helpful. It lives next to his chair in the den, and he spends about 30 minutes with it in the morning while I'm still asleep. He reads the daily entry and meditates on the suggestions and affirmations on each page. He's commented that it provides comfort without being sugary, and he values the thoughtfulness of each entry, the low-key approach, and the wide range of sources quoted. I've browsed in and believe that it would be helpful to anyone, regardless of one's spiritual orientation... or lack of same.

He recently bought a new copy to send to a friend who is having serious problems in his life, and we hope that its calm wisdom will help him as well.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am on again off again insane. When I pick this little gem up and read a passage it get's me out of my own head and starting to listen to something other than the deranged musings of the insane(me). It seems to work as long as I make the decision to use it. Just like taking the things your Dr. tells you are necessary this can help get you out of that most dangerous of places; your own mind!
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Format: Paperback
I have used this gem of a book personally and in the wilderness program, Galena Ridge, I operate for at-risk teens. The beauty of the book is encapsulated in the April 1st reading....every experience we have, every choice we make, is a "medicine wheel" telling us much more about ourselves than it tells us about others or the world around us. The reflections in this book take on new meaning with each reading, helping us learn about ourselves as we embrace our courage to grow and change.
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