One reads not for information, but inspiration." --Wayne Teasdale
Brother Wayne Teasdale was a lay monk and interspiritual teacher who believed that we are all baptized in a cosmic sense by our birth, called into being for the purpose of connecting with the Divine. A leading activist and teacher in building common ground between religions, Brother Teasdale passed to the other side in October 2004--before he had a chance to see the publishing of his new book The Mystic Hours. Teasdale believes that we are all mystics, and that books and reading can often serve as a direct path to mystical realization. Drawing upon wisdom from all the great religions, as well as insights from contemporary authors and mystics, The Mystic Hours - A Daybook of Interspiritual Wisdom & Devotion is an interspiritual devotional for every day of the year. Organized into 365 pages, Teasdale takes a brief wisdom quote and then provides illuminating commentary on its meaning and relevance. The devotionals are at once gentle and incisive, designed for meditation and reflection.
Here's an example of one of the interspiritual devotionals from the book:
I don't think that any great issues ever get resolved. Rather, I think we outgrow them. --Jean Houston
"The great matters that divide us, most ironically the world's terrible conflicts over religion, are usually irreconcilable as long as the combatants are so heavily invested in their position. One example of this kind of polarization is the terrible conflict in Northern Ireland between Catholics and Protestants. Neither side of this conflict will likely ever understand the other side's position as long as they cling to the very real injustices they have suffered. Eventually, the two sides will tire of death and hatred and will abandon the old rivalry. That we may outgrow our need for dualism and conflict--that is my prayer."
And another example:
A vital faith is more like an organism or a work of art than it is like a cafeteria tray. --Huston Smith
"Although he is a great proponent of synthesis in the study of religion, Huston Smith, the venerable sage of the religious and spiritual life as well as comparative religion, corroborates D.H. Lawrence's insight but adds that authentic spirituality cannot simply be a grab bag of beliefs and practices. A faith that really means something in a person's life, a faith that nourishes and inspires, that is a source of insight, strength, encouragement, and guidance, needs to be cultivated, protected, never taken for granted. Such a faith doesn't happen without sufficient effort and commitment. In this sense, it is similar to a living being. Insofar as we cultivate our faith and permit it to be the center of our lives and the animating core of our being and value, it becomes, as Smith says, 'a work of art'."
The Mystic Hours is a powerful book that shows the true meaning of interspirituality: that at the core of all our religions and philosophies lies burning mystical wisdom that can bring us together sooner than tear us apart. I find the devotionals therein to be a source of comfort, clarity, and insight--reminding me of what is important in life, as well as the necessary ingredients in achieving personal and spiritual meaning.
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