Monday, July 21, 2008

Soulful thoughts about Brookline, Massachusetts

A country doctor, practising in the same small town for more than twenty years, blogs about a visit to Brookline and attending Thomas Moore’s summer course on Cape Cod,
"On our early morning dog walks we see residents and medical students hurrying to work with stethoscopes around their necks. There are joggers everywhere. We pass the Lown Cardiovascular Center, named after Dr. Bernard Lown, who pioneered cardioversion for atrial fibrillation. His book The Lost Art of Healing from a dozen years ago is a must-read for doctors, particularly now. My patient and mentor, Clarine, who told me from her sick bed to write, and who gave me Thomas Moore’s Care of the Soul, also gave me a copy of The Lost Art of Healing.

Actually, Thomas Moore himself - a humble man - has said that even titles of books you haven’t read yet can be an inspiration. We attended his seminar on Cape Cod last summer, entitled "Care of the Soul". We missed a day of that course because of our dog’s illness. That was the summer our dog died, and what we learned from her passing paralleled what we learned from the course.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Read carefully with attention to beauty, form

"Benedict’s attention to reading adds another dimension to the contemplative life. In modern life we read mainly for information or entertainment, and writing about books tends to be critical rather than appreciative and exploratory. We have yet to rediscover the monastic practice of contemplative reading which is carried out with care, attention to beauty and form, and a meditative attitude." ─ Thomas Moore
Author Mindy Withrow blogs about Benedict’s Rule and reading, specifically, about Thomas Moore’s preface to the Rule published by Vintage Spiritual Classics (1998). Withrow quotes Moore to suggest his observations about appreciative and exploratory reading may help to guide our approaches to different types of writing.

She writes, "... I think we can apply the "appreciative and exploratory" attitude with "attention to beauty and form" to novels, short stories, and creative non-fiction as well as to poetry, and to diverse content as well as that which is more strictly "devotional." Any topic or form or approach that wedges open our spiritual understanding just a bit more is worth engaging."

Labels: , ,

Thursday, July 03, 2008

A meaningful life at work fulfills creative needs

On Monday 30 June, writing coach and visual artist in eastern Iowa, Suzanne Kelsey blogs about "Why We Want to Create", quoting a passage from Thomas Moore’s column in the 2008 March-April issue of Spirituality and Health:
"C.G. Jung once described creativity as an instinct. If I do something creative in a day, I can sleep well. I’m relaxed. But if the practical world of traveling and family and obligation prevents me from doing something creative – if I can’t make anything – I feel tired and sick and somewhat depressed."
Kelsey then explores our need to create.

On the same day, in Salt Lake City’s Deseret News, Susan Whitney reviews Thomas Moore’s A Life at Work under the headline "Listen to learn true calling, author says". Whitney concludes her review with,
"Does talk of loving your work seem like a luxury? Moore's new book will convince the reader that it is not selfish to seek deep satisfaction. At the very least, you'll come away from this book thinking that being open to new callings can give your life more meaning.

And finally, he advises, "You don't have to look for perfection. Dark shadows from the past may always color what you are doing. ...A life work is more a sensation than a fact, a realization that your work has been meaningful and not that it has finally become complete and flawless."

Labels: , ,