Sunday, March 23, 2014

Moore's book helps to discern spiritual direction

Photo Credit: Nancy Agneberg
At the end of her blog post, "March's Book: A Religion of One's Own by Thomas Moore", Nancy Agneberg invites readers to respond to:
"What is your definition of religion? How does your personal religion and formal religion intersect and has that changed over the years? I would love to know."
Agneberg provides background to her discussion of Moore’s new book, A Religion of One’s Own, by writing, "The years of being without a church home coincided with a deep spiritual growth in my life. Yearnings I had been feeling for a long time had room and time to expand and gain audience. It was during the Ohio years that I trained to be a spiritual director and had many opportunities to lead retreats and groups. I actively pursued my interest and use of a wide variety of spiritual practices and traditions."

She affirms, "Once again, the right book at the right time appears. A Religion of One's Own: A Guide to Creating a Personal Spirituality in a Secular World by Thomas Moore. Moore's other books, including Care of the Soul, Soul Mates, and Dark Nights of the Soul, all have a permanent place on my bookshelves, and this one will as well." With brief quotes from Moore’s new book, Agneberg highlights significant aspects in her current life.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Radio listener responds to Moore's approach

Danielle Marie Winterton writes "A Spiritual Compass for a Simulated Society" after listening to Thomas Moore talk about his new book, A Religion of One’s Own, on WNYC with Brian Lehrer. Winterton writes, "I draw from pagan, Christian, and Buddhist teachings, literature, and traditions, so I was pleased to hear Moore describe the rich rewards of developing a moral compass that uses aspects of different religions that are personally compelling to each individual. He likewise hit the mark in focusing on spiritual or religious ritual as a kind of liminal space in which one is able to step outside of the simulated field of choice produced by consumerist environments." She also shares:
". . . I found myself wondering as I listened to him how to avoid solipsism and relativism while balancing a need for spiritual and religious personalization, and how to find the right balance of respecting scripture and holy text without idolizing them or taking them out of context and using them to further our own furtive egotistical projections or selfish motives.
My only remedy, however tenuous, is that contact with other people can hold us accountable, prevent us from becoming too slanted and specific in our views, and so it is crucial to seek out these soul-mate relationships in friends, colleagues and family when we cannot find them within the confines of an organized religion."

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Book-signing attendee responds to Moore's view

Diane Kundrat attended Thomas Moore’s book signing for A Religion of One’s Own at Changing Hands Bookstore on 22 January in Tempe, Arizona. She writes about this event and her reactions to Moore’s book on her blog. Kundrat concludes:
Moore "suggests things to do that will enable us to fashion our own religion, like studying the great religions of the world, reading poetry like the works of Emily Dickinson and Jane Hirschfield (two of my favorites), making art, observing art, reading Thoreau and Emerson and of course, spending time in Nature.
When he signed my book I told him how I had been creating my own religion for 40 years and just didn't know it. I told him how I had incorporated so much of what he had talked about art, poetry, literature and that now I realized I could put it all into a personal context. He looked me straight in the eyes and said "Do it!" There was a real connection there which I will always cherish. And I am going to "do it!"