Sunday, July 23, 2006

Edmonton Journal reviews Seeking the Sacred

Sasha Roeder Mah, a freelance book reviewer, looks at Seeking the Sacred: Leading a Spiritual Life in a Secular World for the Edmonton Journal on July 22, 2006. Mah gives the background for the book which is based on a 2004-2005 speakers’ series organized by Mary Joseph, a United Church minister and lawyer in Toronto. The reviewer mistakenly says, "Seeking the Sacred boasts a roster of internationally renowned deep thinkers, all of whom call Canada home," however, Thomas Moore may be considered an honorary Canadian, because he received his Master of Arts from, and taught at, the University of Windsor and he has offered public presentations in Canada's major cities, Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal.

According to Mah, "Thomas Moore, bestselling author of Care of the Soul, begins with the story of his ongoing quest for depth of spirit. Although he has a historical attachment to religious institutions, having at one point studied to be a priest and also having spent several years in a monastery, Moore now finds spiritual sustenance outside the rigid structures of church. For him, true spirituality flows from a Zen-like state of non-attachment, particularly to figures of authority. Non-attachment asks that we release impulses to control and judge, and move into a deeper connection with all of humanity."

The review also touches on contributions in the book by Romeo Dallaire and Stephen Lewis.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Knowing nature is the revelation of divinity

"The monk’s relationship with nature is essential to life, but this relationship is not sentimental. It is not basically aesthetic, not environmental, not naturalist, not agricultural. The monk knows that without a constant and intimate relationship with nature, divinity is not fully revealed."
The Norman Transcript in Norman, Okla., published an article by Rosemary Somers Ford, July 20, 2006, about knowing nature through intimate relationship. She found the above quote in Thomas Moore’s small book, Meditations: On the Monk Who Dwells in Daily Life.

Ford writes, "Moore, beginning at age 13, spent the next 12 years of his life in the Servite Order training for the Catholic priesthood and left only months before he was to be ordained. He has since managed to translate his early experiences into a way of being "in the world, but not of the world" for those who like me, stumble upon his writings. I eagerly welcomed his way of thinking and have tried to incorporate it into my life. I am constantly aware these days that our poor planet is under attack by interests unwilling to acknowledge their methods of "progress" are polluting our air and water and killing off innocent wildlife."

She urges, "If you are an outdoor person it is essential to seek out candidates of like mind when it comes time to make a choice at your local polling place. A good place to begin is with someone who acknowledges there is global warming and that, sadly, our water supply is limited. Without those who care about nature being elected as our representatives, we only will see more pollution and natural beauty, now slowly slipping away from our world, will be under heightened attack."

Ford closes with another quote by Moore,
"Without knowing nature we cannot know who we are or what we are to do. Nature shapes us as much as we shape nature, and in that mutual engagement is the fulfillment of both."
She suggests that without a constant and intimate relationship with nature, divinity (and life) is not fully revealed.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Hanley and partner open yoga and art studio

Thomas Moore's wife, Joan Hanley opened Kundalini Yoga Studio and Art Gallery on Main Street in Wilton, New Hampshire earlier this year with business partner, Susan Quaglia Brown. Class schedules are available on Hanley's site In The Bulletin of the Main Street Association, Hanley said "Susan and I are both artists and art just has to be part of anything we do. The two activities share the space easily. We have a lighted mini-art exhibit in the windows 24/7. Twice a year, we will install a big showing." The partners planned a large showing for the Summer Solstice.

According to the Bulletin, the downtown location serves to bring yoga to the mainstream. Hanley observed, "I am happy to say also having the studio downtown, we have more men in yoga class - one of my classes is half men. I think this diverse involvement comes from being in a downtown setting."

The newsletter announced "the studio features works of art by Joan, Susan and other local artists and will have open art studio times."

Joan Hanley and Susan Quaglia Brown