Friday, April 21, 2017

Married people urged to rekindle their love flame

In his Patheos blog, Wake Up Call, Tom Rapsas writes "Marriage Advice from an Unlikely Source: Jesus" based on Thomas Moore's translation of The Book of Mark in his GOSPEL series of translations with commentary. Rapsas shares:
"... I was thrilled when Care of the Soul author Thomas Moore began putting out a series of books on the four Gospels. There may be no better guide to the intricacies of Jesus’s teachings than Moore, a former monk who lived in a Catholic religious order for 12 years, and who went on to become a psychotherapist and perhaps the greatest spiritual writer of our time.
In his latest release, Gospel – the Book of Mark, Moore has translated the original text into very understandable English, reinterpreting some passages while providing a running commentary that illuminates the meaning of Jesus’s words and actions. In the introduction to the book, Moore reminds us that Jesus did not set out to create a religion or church."
Regarding Mark 10, Rapsas concludes, "It goes without saying, that when in an abusive relationship divorce may be the only viable solution. But when one enters a marriage in love, and the love seems to dim, there are always ways to rekindle the flame."

Monday, April 03, 2017

Include simple weekend relaxation to relieve stress

Longevity Magazine shares Marina Wildt's piece "Unschedule Your Weekend For Stress Relief" that quotes Thomas Moore about our tendency to be always crazy busy. Under Wildt's second point "Find Time This Weekend To…" – "Realise the World Continues to Operate When You’re Not Working," she writes:
"Thomas Moore, author of Care of the Soul, says, 'We seem to have a complex about busyness in our culture. Most of us do have time in our days that we could devote to simple relaxation. But we convince ourselves that we don’t. It seems there is always something that needs doing. Always someone who needs our attention.'”

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Soul's pleasures are natural and to be satisfied

In September 2005 Thomas Moore presented The New Epicurians at The Great ReThinking Conference in Bath, England. During this nine-minute video segment of his presentation he talks about "The Soul's Relationship to Desire".  Moore shares that during a pilgrimage to the Capitoline Museums to pay homage to Venue he is captivated by Eros and Psyche.  He also talks about the importance of friendship.

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

American health care needs spiritual component

Last month The Deseret News published "Why depression recovery rarely happens with a single solution" that includes:
"According to the most recent available government statistics, 1 in 10 Americans over the age of 12 have taken an antidepressant in the past year, a rate that rises in certain subgroups. Nearly one-quarter of women in the 40s and 50s take antidepressants, and 1 in 6 seniors do, despite a recent report that the drugs can double the risk of hip fractures in older people."
This article quotes Thomas Moore in its treatment of depression:
"For adults, if antidepressants don't work, one reason could be that they're not addressing the problem, which could be spiritual in nature, said Thomas Moore, a former monk and the author of Dark Nights of the Soul and other books on spirituality. 
Moore, who lives in New Hampshire and often speaks to medical providers about the need for a spiritual component in health care, likens a clinical depression to a black mood, while a 'dark night' — the sort of spiritual travail experienced by Mother Teresa or St. John of the Cross — is more gray. 
'It's the sense that the meaning of life has gone away, and there's no sense of purpose. If it touches the meaning of your life, you need a more spiritual response,' he said."
The Deseret News in Salt Lake City, Utah is owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

How do we bolster soul nourishment at this time?

Jim Walsh recommends Care of the Soul by Thomas Moore in "Escape from Trump Island" for Southwest Journal:
"As the Muslim ban and everything that came before it and after proves, Trump is the worst of us: a fake thug, capitalist pig and tool of evil with no discernible inner life or spirituality. To distance myself from the ape, I cracked Krista Tippet’s Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living and Thomas Moore’s Care Of The Soul, both of which provide guidance for going deep and navigating the shallow world.  More than anything, I’ve found gold in nightly readings of 1992’s The Way To Love: The Last Meditations of Anthony de Mello ..."
For visual escapism, Walsh describes La La Land: "Finally, 2017’s most popular box office draw, La La Land, is a much-needed reminder that all is not lost. Pure Hollywood escapism to be sure, but it’s also proof positive that sheer beauty can burst forth even in times of stultifying ugliness. The mere idea of falling in love, or of people going after their artistic dreams, is the sort of soul nourishment that’s eroding under Trump, much like the new regime’s coming cuts to the National Endowment for the Arts and forthcoming war on net neutrality puts a chill on imagination itself."

Moore repeatedly emphasizes artistic expression and appreciation in his books as connected to soul making. Let's strengthen thee connections now.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Let's express intimacy, inclusion and appreciation

At the end of February 2017 Skylight Paths Publishing releases the second book in Thomas Moore's translation series GOSPEL  ― The Book of Mark: A New Translation with Commentary, Jesus Spirituality for Everyone. While waiting for this, read a response by Benjamin Wood to Moore's earlier book Writing in the Sand: Jesus and the Soul of the Gospels (2009). At the time of writing Wood was "a Research Associate at the Lincoln Theological Institute, University of Manchester."

Wood writes "Jesus the Epicurean: or Why the Personal really is Political" , 13 November 2014 for Political Theology Today. His comments seem particularly poignant at this time in American politics:
"Thus, the Gospel, like the rest of society, tends to be caught in the trap of obscurity and generality; stripped of the intimacy so many crave. What is the solution? Seeing Jesus through Epicurean eyes suggests to us that the Church desperately needs to return to the kind of home-spun patterns of inclusion exemplified by the early Christians and the ancient Epicureans, if its politics is going to be transmitted and sustained in the midst of the crowd. Perhaps, the most radical thing the Church can do is to re-discover the integrity of the agape-meal as a ‘meal’, and not just an archaic ritual. In summarising the effect of an Epicurean vision of Jesus on our lives, Moore puts it this way: ‘That Jesus was an Epicurean contrasts with the tendency of some of his later followers to be only ascetic or puritan, denying the value of pleasure and desire. Indeed, the above description of walking in the shoes of this Jesus could transform the way people understand every word of the Gospel.’ [Writing in the Sand page 43]

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Our wisdom includes foolishness and ignorance

In today's Patheos blog post "Zen & the Bodhisattva Way: A Meditation on the Three Pure Precepts", James Ford mentions Thomas Moore when he discusses the path of not knowing after quoting the English poet John Keats:
"And it is here that a new kind of wisdom begins to appear. It is something other than the weighing of various factors, the first not knowing wisdom found in hesitation. But it is this wisdom, this not knowing that is the real gold, the path of depth, the Buddha way.

Commenting on Keat’s perspective which is the relentless letting go that takes us to this place, the contemporary spiritual psychologist Thomas Moore, who also has some insight into our Zen way, writes how 'Knowledge is not always the adding on of information and skill; sometimes it involves the loss of both. (This) knowledge (that is wisdom) is not always a matter of becoming smart and intelligent; it could be the discovery of one’s foolishness and ignorance.'"

Friday, December 02, 2016

You participate in Christmas in Moore's new book

Two Patheos bloggers write about Thomas Moore's new book The Soul of Christmas, featured in its Book Club. Patheos also hosts a Q&A with Moore and offers an excerpt.

"Finding Your Soul in The Soul of Christmas"
by Debra Engle, Everyday Miracles
21 November 2016

"Into the Light of Christmas: From Ordinary to Extraordinary, from Facts to Meanings"
by Kyle Roberts, Unsystematic Theology
2 December 2016 

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Create a personal religious practice in community

The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Santa Clarita Valley in California hosts a three-part religious discussion based on Thomas Moore's book, A Religion of One's Own. Martha Garcia describes the sessions under the headline "Asking Deeper Spiritual Questions" for The Signal.
"Marilyn Logan attended both of the recent sessions and described herself as a spiritual seeker looking to craft her own religious spiritual practice.'One of my biggest takeaways is the difference between soul and spirit,' said Logan. 'Spirit is more of an interior thing, the divine that is within.” The session also touched on the importance of completing psychological work as a complement to cultivate the practice. Other topics will include, sensuality, using art in a spiritual practice, using dreams and self guidance.'"
Rev. Peter Farriday, leader of the UU of SCV congregation "explains while many people turn to one of the many religious traditions, for others that may not be the path for them. It can be beneficial to use what they’ve learned from other religious traditions and create a more personal practice. 'There is power in investing in that pursuit, it can offer a sense of community with others on similar paths and a larger sense of connection to the soul,' he said."

Monday, November 21, 2016

Gardens may help to refresh and restore us now

Rhonda Nowak quotes Thomas Moore at the beginning and end of her recent article, "Literary Gardener: Post-election garden planning for healing and enchantment" for the Mail Tribune in Medford, Oregon.
"In the aftermath of a presidential election rife with mud-slinging and angst, I’ve decided to devote this week’s column to sharing my plans for a healing garden. My vision for this garden is to create a space that embodies the motto “Keep Calm” and is filled with sensory-pleasing food crops that will cleanse and nourish my body and soul."
She ends with "In The Re-Enchantment of Everyday Life (1996), Thomas Moore reminds us that nature, including our garden, offers daily wonderments if only we will take the time to notice them. He continues, 'Enchantment can provide a solid base for an ethical response to the world we live in; for morality doesn’t come out of nowhere.'"

Nowak is "a member of the Jackson County Master Gardener Association and teaches writing at Rogue Community College."

Friday, November 18, 2016

Now is the time to prepare for a soulful Christmas

West Lafayette United Methodist Church in West Lafayette, Ohio offers a four-week Advent study program based on Thomas Moore's new book, The Soul of Christmas.

"It is hard to believe that the holidays are right around the corner. Advent, the season of preparation for Christmas, is always a time to deepen our faith and find greater ways to honor the Babe born in the manger. To help with this Rev. Bill will be offering a Wednesday evening Advent Study. He will be using the book The Soul of Christmas by Thomas Moore. This class will be at 7:30 p.m. in the Oak Street Room on Wednesday, November 30, December 7, 14, and 21. Let this Advent be a time of spiritual growth for you."

West Lafayette United Methodist Church
120 West Union Avenue
West Lafayette, OH 43845
Call the office for details: 740 545-6368

Rev. Dr. William E. Buckeye, Pastor

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Blogger describes connections with Moore's work

Thomas Moore was at Copper Beech Institute in West Hartford, Connecticut last weekend to lead the retreat: Tapping Into the Soul’s Depths: Finding Personal Strength, Inner Guidance and Purpose Through Soulful Living. When Moore was at the Institute in 2014 at this same time of year, Tim Cole attended his retreat A Sacred Way Of Life In A Secular World: Living A Soulful Life. Cole writes about his connections with Moore's work and his retreat experience in this two-part posting hosted by the Institute:

De profundis Part Iby Tim Cole
De profundis Part II by Tim Cole

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Secularism would be "a dangerous, soulless option"

For the Penguin Books blog, Staff Picks — The Books We Can't Put Down, Thomas Moore shares reflections about his book A Religion of One's Own: A Guide to Creating a Personal Spirituality in a Secular World. In his post he writes,
"Just as Care of the Soul sprang out of me at the particular point where my ideas and my experience as a therapist matured, now I feel that my worldly way of being religious is emerging at just the right time in our cultural evolution to go public with it. Thus, my new book A Religion of One’s Own. We are now at a point where it’s time to let go of a narrow view of religion. I suggest that we don’t abandon it, even if many sophisticated modern people think it’s superfluous or prefer “spirituality”. Worldly life without a deep form of religion would be secularism, and that is a dangerous, soulless option.  Just listen to the way many scientists are talking these days, reducing the richness of human experience to brain studies, for example, and you get a taste of what secularism would be like. As human beings we’d shrivel up.

The new book puts together an array of ideas I’ve been working on for years that together form a personal spiritual practice that I call a religion of one’s own. At the top of my list are the beauty and wisdom of the world’s religious and spiritual traditions. I don’t want to get rid of the established religions but use them now as resources for a personal religious vision. They are priceless for what they have to offer, but the emphasis on belief, authority, empty ritual and moralism has weakened them to the point that they must re-imagine themselves radically.  You can be a member of a religion and still have a religion of your own, or you can go off on your own, becoming a seeker or even an atheist, and use the traditions as resources."
As in many recent online writings, Moore advocates an evolution of the human spirit.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Tom Rapsas shares favourite passages in Matthew

For his Wake Up Call blog on Thursday, Tom Rapsas shares his nine favourite passages from Thomas Moore's GOSPEL The Book of Matthew: A New Translation with Commentary, Jesus Spirituality for Everyone: "Rewriting Jesus: A New Take on the Gospel of Matthew".

The introduction to his selection includes:
"Moore was more than up to the task. He has Masters degrees in both religion and philosophy. And while he may be best known for his beautiful series of books on the soul (and his recent classic on creating our own spiritual path [A Religion of One's Own]), for 13 years he served as a member of a Roman Catholic lay order, leaving just months before becoming an ordained priest.

Thomas Moore has a unique take on Jesus, who he sees as 'a spiritual poet' who uses narrative and imagery to get his ideas across. He sees him as more than just a teacher of wisdom but 'a social mystic, like a shaman who can heal, and lead people to appreciate multiple layers of reality'."
Click through Rapsas' top nine while contemplating the accompanying images.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Our nightmares connect to planetary destruction

In May this year Jungian psychotherapist Douglas Thomas writes "Eco-sadism: Why are we Torturing the Planet?" using Thomas Moore's book Dark Eros: The Imagination of Sadism (1990) to explore global destruction of our home.
"As I contemplate the relationship we humans have negotiated with the planet, this shadowy aspect of our collective sadism seems quite apparent. Certainly the images of strip mining, slashing the rain forests, dumping barges filled with garbage into the oceans all seem readily available for sadeian commentary.

Perhaps we are at our most sadistic when we are at our most unconscious, denying the perverse and repugnant cruelty of our collective actions against the planet. First denial, and then rationalization, two common defense mechanisms that regularly appear in the therapy room, also serve as the preferred mechanisms to permit and justify the torture and corruption of the planet. If we re-imagine the Earth as one of de Sade’s literary protagonists, the victimized damsel Justine for example, the libertine zeal of our collective insistence to strip, cut, penetrate, immobilize, neutralize, slash, burn, seize, corrupt and devastate quickly comes into focus."
Thomas concludes, "Once we become conscious of the psychological connection between the devastation of the planet and the torturous sadeian images of our own nightmares, an opportunity becomes available to engage the imagination in a contemplative exploration of how the root images of eco-sadism might transform through tending them as living images rather than literally enacting them."

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Study the Gospel of Matthew at Old Ship Church

If you live near Hingham, Massachusetts, you have an opportunity to attend a course about Thomas Moore's translation of GOSPEL The Book of Matthew at Old Ship Church (First Parish) with the minister Kenneth Read-Brown. The congregation is Unitarian Universalist and is a Welcoming Congregation.

A New Look at the Gospel of Matthew – three sessions on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.:
November 30, December 7, December 14
"These gatherings for conversation will be based on Thomas Moore’s fresh new translation of Matthew.  The class will follow the weekly 6:30 vespers services that are a December tradition at Old Ship. For more information, contact Ken."
Office telephone: 781-749-1679;
Office email:
Fee: "We ask participants to contribute $35 for the first course they attend each year (sliding scale according to need). There is no fee for the drop-in ongoing groups, or if otherwise noted."

Friday, August 26, 2016

Portrayal of Jesus is "artful, layered and intelligent"

In his blog post "A new way of translating Matthew: 5:13-16", Bill Tammeus writes about Thomas Moore's new book GOSPEL The Book of Matthew: A New Translation with Commentary, Jesus Spirituality for Everyone.
"One of Moore's translation choices that I found challenging and, at first, off-putting, was to use "Sky Father" for God. I thought it played into the annoying practice of some of the more aggressive atheists these days to dismiss God as an imaginary "Sky Daddy," as they sometimes write.
But Moore says he prefers 'to use the word 'sky' instead of 'heaven' because it is a concrete image. I do not mean a literal father in the clouds but rather the sky as an image for spirit... Our usual anthropomorphic human-like language is only an approximation of the sublime mystery of this father.'
Still, most readers, I'm guessing, will find it strange, if not difficult, to begin Matthew's version of the Lord's Prayer in chapter 6 the way Moore translates it: 'Our father in the sky...'
Moore notes that Matthew's portrayal of Jesus is 'artful, layered and intelligent,' but, he says, "you have to think in layers and metaphors and cannot be simplistic when you read him.' Exactly right."
Tammeus also comments on Moore's associations with resurrection. He writes:
"In a footnote, Moore quotes Donald Spoto's book, The Hidden Jesus: A New Life, as saying that "When we say Jesus has risen from the dead, we do not mean that his corpse was resuscitated and that he came back to the same kind of life as we know it; that, after all, would be only a return to impermanence and an orientation to death. ... Jesus has entered into a new and permanent manner of existence immortal, deathless, no longer limited by our categories of space and time."

Read more here:
... Then Moore expands that thinking by adding this: 'We are all resurrected when we 'get up' from the darkness and stupor of our unconsciousness and acting-out. We live an entirely new kind of existence.' Which, while not disputing the resurrection of Jesus, tends to diminish the eternal nature of resurrection that many people have in mind when they refer to the term."
Timmeaus has no argument when Moore points out "Jesus describes God as 'not the God of the dead, but of the living.'"

Earlier this month for The Presbyterian Outlook, Roy Howard's review of GOSPEL The Book of Matthew: A New Translation with Commentary, Jesus Spirituality for Everyone includes:
"In this book [Moore] declares, 'My intention is to release the Gospels from their narrow confinements and show how valuable they are today to anyone at all looking for insight into how to live deeply and lovingly.
... That intention – 'to help people live deeply and lovingly' – guides Moore’s translation at several points including his use of the phrase 'tragic mistake' for 'sin.' There are other choices that may offend some readers and lead others to dismiss him altogether. Yet, for those who are not threatened by a fresh conversation with Matthew and Moore about what it means to be a follower of Jesus in our time, this is a book worth pondering."
Howard concludes, "One does not have to agree with Moore at every point to gather the fruit of his new effort."

Barque coverage
15 May 2016 "Translation and commentary may be challenging"

Monday, July 18, 2016

Move away from being a follower to being a creator

Celia Hales reviews Thomas Moore's A Religion of One's Own: A Guide to Creating aPersonal Spirituality in a Secular World under the headline "Developing a Religion", relating it to A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love.

Hales writes, "I suspect that Moore has read A Course in Miracles, as have most religious leaders of today, but he does not lean on its philosophy to any real extent. The similarities to ACIM and A Course of Love are, instead, perennial wisdom with Moore’s particular take on today’s plight. The thesis of A Religion of One’s Own is that we have been living too much of a secular life, a life that has failed us, and it is mandatory that we overturn this tendency by sampling the rich heritage in religion, mythology, psychology that is available to us. Throughout this book, he gives hints of how to incorporate this heritage into our modern day life."

She concludes, "A Religion of One’s Own is an important book, fully promising an enthusiastic following in line with Moore’s earlier Care of the Soul. A wholehearted recommendation."

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Translation and commentary may be challenging

Bill Tammeus, author and former Faith columnist for The Kansas City Star, writes "A new way of translating Matthew", referencing Thomas Moore's GOSPEL The Book of Matthew: A New Translation with Commentary, Jesus Spirituality for Everyone. Tammeus includes, "It's an engaging work, made more so by the various ways in which the translation choices surprised and at times even bothered me. But here's a pretty good rule: If a new translation of the Bible doesn't in some way challenge your thinking, it's probably not worth the effort."

Tammeus also states, "What Moore brings to the effort that is different is his commentary, done in the form of footnotes that appear one page to the left of the text. It seems an odd way to offer footnotes, but if my experience is typical, the reader pretty quickly gets used to it and eventually finds that having the footnotes directly across from the text instead of below it is an advantage."

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Transformed spirituality enhances better politics

In yesterday's Huffington Post interview, Rick Heller talks with author Mark Satin about "The New Age 40 Years Later". Satin posits in his book New Age Politics (1976) that "the best political change is inspired by a transformed consciousness." The book is "re-released and updated in a 40th anniversary edition". In their email exchange, Satin shares:
 "... I suspect most Americans now have a personal interpretation of God. It may be informed by the Bible, by what we hear at church, and so on, but it’s also informed by our own life experiences, by revelations we may have had, by our encounters with other faiths and with healers and teachers whose faiths may not be easily classifiable. And that was the essence of New Age spirituality, was it not — to take responsibility for our own pathway to the divine? The religious writer Thomas Moore captures the spirit of what I’m saying in the title of one of his recent books, A Religion of One’s Own: A Guide to Creating a Personal Spirituality in a Secular World."
 Satin includes, "Without dominant mediating institutions, our relationship to God is more personal than it’s ever been, and we are more vulnerable and naked before God. Hopefully that will help us make more inspired political choices."

Saturday, April 23, 2016

A stately chestnut tree reminds of family gatherings

Lucy Thomas, Montezuma Historical Society member and wife of Bill who is one of the many cousins Thomas Moore visited during childhood trips to the area, writes "Author, Thomas Moore, family roots remain here in Montezuma" on 11 April 2016 to commemorate Moore's appearance at Willard Memorial Chapel in Auburn, New York on 15 April, 2016.

In her piece, Lucy Thomas includes, "Thomas’ great-grandfather, William Nugent and wife, Catherine, emigrated to America in the mid 1850’s and settled in Auburn, NY, with four sons and one daughter. Their son, William married Mary O’Brien and built a farm on land they purchased on Fuller Road in Montezuma. They raised eight children: five sons and three daughters. Daughter, Agnes Nugent-Owens, is Thomas’ grandmother. The farm is where Thomas spent many of his childhood summers, arriving with his parents Mary and Ben, brother Jim, his grandparents, aunts and uncles from Detroit, Michigan. The rest of the family would return to Detroit, but Thomas chose to stay on the farm the rest of the summer spending time with his three great-uncles, Joseph, Thomas and John. His Uncle Tom became his mentor while working in the fields, caring for a team of horses and other daily farm chores."

Echoing Moore's own focus on natural, soulful locations, Thomas writes, "Thomas returned each summer until his entry to the Seminary and studying in Ireland. Today, the farm house and barns are long gone with only one majestic Chestnut tree remaining as the sacred marker of special family times."

Friday, March 18, 2016

Artist finds practical wisdom in Moore's classic

Because the Martha's Vineyard Times is interested in creativity, under the headline "We asked artists: What books are you reading?" it says:
"This week, The MV Times Calendar section continues prying into the lives of local artists and writers. We think you can learn a lot about creative types by knowing what kind of art they like — especially which books they read. So we asked: "Who are you reading this winter? What’s kept you up late so you could finish? What books are stacked on your night table?" 
Nancy Aronie's response includes "I’m rereading Thomas Moore’s Care of the Soul (so much practical wisdom) and also rereading my Bible..."

Friday, March 11, 2016

Let's explore the presence of soul in all of the arts

On 17 February 2016 Tom Rapsas writes "Thomas Moore, Aretha Franklin and the Meaning of Soul" for his Patheos blog Wake Up Call: Insights & Musings to Stir Your Soul.

He includes, "No one has written about the soul more ably or poetically than Thomas Moore. Starting with Care of the Soul: A Guide for Cultivating Depth and Sacredness in Everyday Life, he has written close to a dozen books on various aspects of the soul, including the soul at work, the soul and sex and the soul in medicine."

Rapsas then writes about soul music and includes a short 2015 video clip of Aretha Franklin.

The 25th edition of Care of the Soul is now available.

Friday, March 04, 2016

10 suggestions for soul care from Moore's work

Terri Gerber, a New York State licensed clinical social worker (LCSW-R), offers a 2-page guide for care of the soul based on Thomas Moore's writings. She stresses observance and ritual as features of soul work.

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Monadnock resident praises Moore's soul choices

For the Monadnock Ledger-Transcript, under the headline "Honoring the spirit in nature", Camilla Sanderson writes about moving to the Monadnock region of New Hampshire:
"A couple of years ago, after we moved to this area full time, I attended a talk at the Milford Unitarian Universalist church by local author Thomas Moore, who wrote the New York Times bestseller Care of the Soul, which has just been republished in its 25th anniversary edition. In that talk, Moore discussed two essential elements in caring for the soul. One was home. Are you living in the right country, the right region, the right neighborhood, the right community, the right home? I love the idea of making sure your soul feels at home.
And I was tickled to hear him say that the second most important element in caring for our souls is food. How are you nourishing yourself with love? What foods are meaningful for you? He talked about how chopping vegetables is such a meditative practice. And the deep pleasure of sharing food with loved ones."
She describes the restorative nature of the area.

Saturday, February 06, 2016

New Hampshire author Tom Paine reads Moore

New Hampshire Public Radio's The Bookshelf talks with "Portsmouth Author Tom Paine on Fiction, Teaching Creative Writing, and Nature". His new collection of short stories, A Boy’s Book of Nervous Breakdowns, features people on the verge of losing their minds ..." "Paine teaches in the MFA program of the University of New Hampshire and his stories have appeared in the New Yorker, Harper’s, Glimmer Train, and other publications." Thomas Moore tops Paine's recommendation of 5 books on his bookshelf.
"1. Care of the Soul by Thomas Moore. 'There are some books one keeps by the bedside table, and this is one of them. Finding an author who speaks to you is as hard as finding a good friend. But Moore finds the soul in everyday life. He made it okay to be an everyday mystic, jaw agape, and allowed me to think I am okay as I am in this hustling, chilly, mercantile world. He's a genius.'"
Listen to Paine's conversation with Peter Biello, or read the transcript.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Gospel: The Book of Matthew is a fresh view of life

In "Religion Publishing Preview: 2016 " for Publishers Weekly Lynn Garrett writes, " At the beginning of 2016, PW asked a range of publishers in the segment about ongoing issues, evolving points of view, and the big books they expect to affect the business this year. One topic for many is dealing with the rising number of Americans (especially young Americans) who have no religious affiliation and are wary of organized religion. Many publishers in the category have made reaching out to the disconnected and disenchanted a priority."

In her coverage of publishers "focusing on connecting with readers who have no religious affiliation," Garrett quotes Stuart Matlins of Jewish Lights/ SkyLight Paths:

"In this 25th anniversary year of Jewish Lights, we’ll be continuing our focus on the relevance of religious traditions to everyday life and on reaching out to the growing number of ‘spiritual-but-not-religious’ readers'. Thomas Moore’s Gospel: The Book of Matthew, A New Translation with Commentary, the first in a four-book series, 'strips the Gospels of their theological agendas and reclaims them as a radically new way of imagining human life,' Matlins says."

Spirituality & Practice shares this view of Moore's approach, evident in his Lent 2016 e-course: "This is a spiritual vision in and about the world," [Moore] notes. "It's a spirituality that does not have to be tied to a particular tradition and is accessible to anyone — people lovingly involved in the Christian tradition, lovingly involved in another tradition, not interested in religion, or somewhere in the gray areas of this spectrum."

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Faith in life's spirit, hope for earth's community

Unitarian Universalist minister Rev. Josh Pawelek shares his sermon "When Seeing isn't Believing" that focuses on the depth of living rather than the strength of believing. He writes:
"I’ve been forming some new ideas about what religious living means. It started when I decided to teach a course on Thomas Moore’s 2014 book A Religion of One’s Own. Thomas Moore is a former Catholic monk, a psychotherapist, and a popular spiritual writer, perhaps most famous for his 1992 book, Care of the Soul. It took me a while to decide to teach this book, mainly because, as a parish minister who wants people to participate in the life of the congregation, promoting the idea that one doesn’t need organized religion to be religious, that one can simply have a religion of and on one’s own, well, that doesn’t seem consistent with growing a congregation. But Moore doesn’t devalue church, synagogue, mosque, temple or sangha."
Pawelek shares examples of soulful living from his own experiences and suggests how the distinctions between spirit and soul may help others.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

List of 2015 top books includes Moore's offering

For The Irish Catholic Ron Rolheiser describes his "Top books of 2015": "These are the books that most touched me this past year." His list of six non-fiction titles includes Thomas Moore's A Religion of One’s Own: A Guide to Creating a Personal Spirituality in a Secular World.

Rolheiser comments, "This book will upset a lot of people for its rather existential concept of community and ecclesiology, but Thomas Moore writes, as always, with a freshness, insight, and depth that brings a healthy challenge to everyone."

Thursday, November 26, 2015

What leads to eudaimonia (human flourishing)?

Philosophy Now shares Philip Cafaro's "The Virtues of Self-Help" from its March-April 2004 issue. The article examines five self-help bestsellers for "virtue ethics," including Thomas Moore's Care of the Soul. The other selections are Wayne Dyer, Your Erroneous Zones (1976); Robert Ringer, Looking Out for #1 (1977); Leo Buscaglia, Love (1972); M. Scott Peck, The Road Less Travelled (1978).

Cafaro suggests, "[A] benefit of looking at the self-help literature is that it focuses our attention on popular, current conceptions of human excellence and flourishing. Early in the virtue ethics revival, many proponents called for an increased empiricism in ethics, but more recently this goal seems to have been forgotten. In his Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle considers popular conceptions of eudaimonia, or human flourishing, partly because such popular beliefs are likely to contain some truth and because they are necessarily in competition with any doctrines that philosophers may propound."

Cafaro states, "Of the five authors surveyed here, only one, Thomas Moore, consistently uses the word ‘virtue’ to denote those character traits or personal qualities he praises. ‘Virtue’ is my word for such qualities. Interestingly, these authors get by without any single general term for the traits they are praising, but those of us who want to analyze and compare their views need such a term and ‘virtue’ is the natural and traditional choice."

He includes a chart sharing each author's list of desirable virtues with selected quotes from their books. For Care of the Soul, Cafaro shows: "Imagination, attentiveness, intelligence, self-knowledge, ‘capacity to be affected’, devotion, intensity (passion), creativity, forcefulness, individuality, courage, strength, depth, insight, self-acceptance, wisdom, reverence."

His quotes from Moore's Introduction are:
“We know intuitively that soul has to do with genuineness and depth … it is tied to life in all its particulars – good food, satisfying conversation, genuine friends, and experiences that stay in the memory and touch the heart. Soul is revealed in attachment, love, and community, as well as in retreat on behalf of inner communing and intimacy.” (pp.xi-xii)

“Fulfilling work, rewarding relationships, personal power, and relief from symptoms are all gifts of the soul.” (p.xiii)

“The goal is a richly elaborated life, connected to society and nature, woven into the culture of family, nation, and globe.” (p.xviii)

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Columnist vows to try harder to live in the moment

". . . And he told me he thought people who sought ways to see their own religious traditions with fresh eyes and new perspective were doing a good work. 'But it does take imagination,' he said, handing my book to me." 
Owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Deseret News publishes Jerry Earl Johnston's piece about attending Thomas Moore's book signing for A Religion of One's Own, "A man for all seasons of the heart".

Johnston writes: "I heard him speak about the book in a West Coast bookstore not long ago. I liked what he had to say that night. I also liked the way he said it. Moore has mastered the art of living in the present moment. His mind doesn’t race ahead or drift off. He listens attentively, monitors his emotions and remains open to any and all spontaneous impressions that come his way. That ability, often associated with Buddhism, is the polar opposite of a performance. A performance is canned, prepackaged. Living in the moment is about being aware."

After receiving his signed book, Johnston concludes, "In that moment, I vowed to try harder to live in the moment. In fact, in my moment with Thomas Moore, it seemed like the only way to live."

Monday, November 09, 2015

Christ Church opens inclusive center in Houston

The Houston Chronicle publishes "Church will offer options for 'spiritual, not religious' generation" by Kyrie O'Connor who describes a new center that will "focus on community over doctrine."
"In January, The Bishop John E. Hines Center for Spirituality and Prayer will open in a repurposed printing plant at 500 Fannin, just across the street from Christ Church. The new space — harnessing a countervailing force in spirituality that has taken root nationwide — will incorporate elements from Eastern religions and emphasize community over doctrine, offering yoga classes and a labyrinth where visitors can walk and meditate."
"A recent Pew Research Center Study showed that 35 percent of millennials list their religious affiliation as "none" — but that doesn't mean they're all atheists. The Hines Center hopes to reconnect to those millennials who fall into the category of "spiritual, not religious," [Rev. Barkley] Thompson said." 
The article quotes Thomas Moore, author of A Religion of One's Own:
"I travel quite a bit, and I hear this all over," he said.  Young people's needs are often not being met.
"They are not fed by traditional Christian and Jewish religion. They want something, but they can't go back." While he sees plenty of people who are soothed and strengthened by tradition, it's not for everyone.
"It's a tougher world, and you have to think for yourself more," Moore said."

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

May we bring depth to our everyday experiences

“A soulful personality is complicated, multifaceted, and shaped by both pain and pleasure, success and failure. Life lived soulfully is not without its moments of darkness and periods of foolishness.” — Thomas Moore
Registered Nurse and Spiritual Director Kathleen Morrissey Irr writes "Soul-Making" at the beginning of October while referring to Thomas Moore's book Care of the Soul. In her following "weekly reflections" she continues with quotations from Moore's book and responds with her own ideas and thoughts.

Oct 05 "Soul-Making"
Oct 12 "Make Wider the Path to the Soul"
Oct 19 "Beauty and Brokenness"
Oct 26 "Soul-Making Begins in the Family"

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Soulful marriage: friendship, sexuality, intimacy

In Fr René Camilleri's piece, "Soul of marriage" for The Times of Malta, he states, "Marriage takes place in the realm of the soul and it is only there that we can come to a deep and meaningful understanding of what marriage is about." He includes:
"The Second Vatican Council more than 50 years ago affirmed that it is the intimate partnership of life and love that constitutes the essence of marriage. This is far from the perception and understanding of marriage as a contract that still underpins the way the Church’s tribunals themselves operate. Perhaps this is why this way of working things out is becoming gradually outdated even in the Church itself, thanks to the reforms under way with Pope Francis and hopefully in the upcoming synod of bishops in Rome.

It is no small thing in marriage to struggle for its soul, transforming old and raw frustrations and emotional blocks until it is free of interference. Writer Thomas Moore, in his book The Soul of Sex, writes that this is the nature of the deep alchemy by which we rough and primitive individuals become people of refined sensibility capable of union with other humans." 
While contemplating relationships, Camilleri writes, "Jesus’s call is not simply a call to go back to some doctrine or law. It is a call to uncover the depths we all carry inside us, to explore deep down what Pascal had named the reasons of the heart."

Readings: Genesis 2, 18-24; Hebrews 2, 9-11; Mark 10, 2-16.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Food, family, friends — meals as soulful devotions

For the Jewish Journal Robert Eshman writes "The Backyard Pilgrim" about building this year's sukkah to celebrate the pilgrimage festival: "Sukkot is the holiday in which we recall those booths — earthly or heavenly — by building huts of our own and eating our meals in them. Only a small fraction of Jews actually do this, which is a shame. 'He who has never seen the joy of Sukkot has never in his life seen joy,' the rabbis said in the Mishnah."

In this reflection he quotes Thomas Moore's Care of the Soul:
"Soulfulness, Thomas Moore writes in Care of the Soul, 'is tied to life in all its particulars — good food, satisfying conversation, genuine friends, and experiences that stay in the memory and touch the heart.'

For people of all faiths — and even the faithless — meals remain our primary and most satisfying form of devotion. When we make good food, sit with friends or even eat mindfully alone, the walk from our kitchen to our table is our pilgrimage. " 
Eshman concludes, "People wander the world to seek out shrines for cures, holy places that will center them, paths that will set them straight. After a week of walking between my kitchen and our rickety cloud of a sukkah, I can tell you: Don’t underestimate the holiness of that overlooked pilgrimage, a journey that will bring you some of the deepest blessings life has to offer, and that you can undertake each and every day. "

Friday, September 04, 2015

What desires bring students to your classroom?

Because many in the northern hemisphere are starting the school year, we share "Encouraging Students To Be More Interactive In Class" by Lesley D. Harman, Faculty Associate, Teaching Support Centre at Western University, London, Ontario. Harman talks about Thomas Moore's presentation in Toronto at the Holistic Learning conference in 2001 during which Moore showed his "calm and stubborn idealism."

 Harman's points are valuable now as new student-teacher relationships develop: "To return to the basic question which guides Moore's analysis, "What does the soul need?", Moore quotes Jung when he says the goal should be "to dream the dream onward". For Moore this means not to do anything to stop it, because the soul will stop too. A "stopped soul" in the classroom is one that will not engage. Every student has something to say."

Monday, July 13, 2015

Blogger underlines quotes in Care of the Soul

Joanna DeVoe, self-described witch, shares some personal favourite quotes from Thomas Moore's classic book, "Care Of The Soul, for example, is practically built on one kickass quote after another, so it was quite the challenge choosing a smallish selection to share with you here today."

DeVoe writes, "Thomas Moore's thing is archetypal psychology with a side of mythology, so he is expert at both navigating and explaining the psycho-spiritual terrain we witches long to explore" at the beginning of her post, "Book Nerd : Kickass Quotes from Care Of The Soul".

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Be sensitive to moments when soul is present

Leadership coach Dan Oestreich writes the blog post, "Unfolding Leadership" about soul experiences in our lives: "As someone whose life work is devoted to helping others in leadership roles, the very idea that there are such moments of awakening insight is an indelible part of my coaching and consulting practice. Without such moments when our soul comes forward, not just in our work, but in our lives, too, we lose personal meaning. . . . But this concept also raises questions, 'What is my soul?' after all and, indeed, 'When have I felt it come forward?'" Oestreich continues:
"Only you can answer these questions, of course. And if you are really intrigued with them, I’d say find a copy of Thomas Moore’s powerful book, Care of the Soul. Moore, a therapist, gracefully tracks the notion that our lives are filled with sacred moments when the soul is especially present, even when we might not notice — or might not want to notice — what is going on. Soul doesn’t show up only in peak moments of release and positive inspiration, but also in moments of conflict, even despair. The soul isn’t only an optimist, helping us charge ahead with our unique passions. It can also bring us up short, teach us something about compassion, humility, tolerance and the other deeper virtues. "
Oestreich then describes a client's concern about abruptness and impatience in his technical role and looks at the soul perspective.