August 18, 2022
The basket where I keep the current books I read and refer to during my meditation time almost overflows. My Bible is a constant, of course, as is my current journal and my prayer cards (See my post on August 9, 2022), but the other books are a potpourri of what I want to study right now, or books by favorite or recommended authors, or daily devotions. The basket is also where I keep new books, browsing and welcoming them to my library, before I decide if I want to read them now or keep till later.
Here’s what is in the basket now.
- Unbinding, The Grace Beyond Self by Kathleen Dowling Singh. I have been reading this book slowly and for quite some time. I don’t pretend to understand everything in this book about some of the foundational teachings in Buddhism, but the ongoing practice of awakening and all that means and involves challenges and inspires me. Singh, who died in 2017 was the author of other books that have had deep influence on my life, The Grace in Dying, The Grace in Living, The Grace in Aging.
- Meditations of the Heart by Howard Thurman. How often I have read a powerful quotation by this spiritual leader (1899-1981), but I have never owned a book by him. It is about time. This book is a collection of meditations and prayers and as in the words of the first meditation is “an island of peace within one’s soul.” That is not to say, however, the book is without exhortation to action, for there is nothing about Thurman’s faith or life in faith that is passive.
- The White Stone, The Art of Letting Go by Esther De Waal. I remember reading her book on Benedictine Spirituality, Seeking God, many years ago and am eager to sit with this slim book. According to the back cover, this book is about the houses she has loved and the process of letting them go and moving into new environments. I have done that many times and am sure De Waal’s experience will deepen my own. I discovered this book recently when we visited the Liturgical Press bookstore on the St John’s University campus in Collegeville, MN.
- Trusting Change, Finding Our Way Through Personal and Global Transformation by Karen Hering. The dedication in this new release is “For all of us sharing this chrysalis time.” I loved Hering’s earlier book, Writing to Wake the Soul : Opening the Conversation Within, and have also enjoyed retreats and classes I’ve taken from her. She is a gifted teacher and writer, and I have no doubt this book will be a gift itself. I am especially intrigued by the chapter, “Practicing Equanimity.”
- Conversation, The Sacred Art, Practicing Presence in an Age of Distraction by Diane M. Millis. I have read sections of this book, including the chapter “Listening to Your Life,” but as I begin preparation for two conversation groups I will offer beginning this fall at my church, now is a good time to read and study this book. As I have with Hering, I have benefited from Millis’ gifted teaching and writing and know this book will be helpful and inspirational. I recommend her Re-Creating A Life, Learning How To Tell Our Most Life-Giving Story.
- The basket also holds one edition of Oneing from the Center of Action and Contemplation and at least one issue of Presence, An International Journal of Spiritual Direction and Companionship. I am always behind reading those journals. Sigh!
With this basket at my side, morning could extend into afternoons and evenings!
Does your devotion/meditation time include reading? I would love to know.