Spiritual Precepts (Contemplative Series Book 4)

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As Pope Francis stated clearly in Laudato Si' , "The ecological conversion needed to bring about lasting change is also a community conversion. Finally, the process of communicating with other individuals and communities to call for patterns of living that are more caring and responsive to God's intent written in creation is precisely the ecological preaching essential to the survival and wellbeing of our common home. Contemplation, study, community and preaching expressed in praise, being a blessing in the ways we live and care for creation and preaching with word and with our lives in today's world — this is one possible approach to deepening ecological spirituality during this Season of Creation.

Whatever spiritual tradition we draw on to nourish a deeper ecological conversion in the weeks ahead, it will be fruitful to the degree that it expands our loving awareness of God in creation, deepens our response of gratitude and care, and nurtures our awareness of interdependence and communion with every other creature in the truly awesome mystery of creation.

James E. Hug serves as sacramental minister for the Adrian Dominican Sisters and writes on spirituality for social transformation. Send your thoughts and reactions to Letters to the Editor. Learn more here. Join now.


Blog Eco Catholic. Nurturing our ecological spirituality in the Season of Creation. Sep 12, This article appears in the Eco Catholic feature series. View the full series.

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In the chronicle, the king is saddened with the loss of life after a war, but comforted by a Buddhist monk, who states that nearly everyone who was killed did not uphold the precepts anyway. It's nice to know a bit more about someone if you are considering taking their advice This is a small book but it packs a punch. You will be amazed Individual Class.

Related: Native forests threatened by genetically engineered trees The foundational pillars of daily contemplation and study feed appreciation, love and praise. A happy, blessed and spirit-expanding Season of Creation! In This Series Biblical plain talk about climate change Dec 3, Carbon tax revisited Jul 6, Join the Conversation Send your thoughts and reactions to Letters to the Editor.

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If I had a nickel for every time someone asked such a question, ThoughtCo would no longer have to pay me, because I'd be independently wealthy. Instead, I spend hours every month explaining something that, to earlier generations of Christians and not just Catholics , would have been self-evident. For many of us who are parents, the answer is still self-evident. When we were teenagers—unless we were already well on the way to sainthood —we chafed sometimes when our parents told us to do something that we thought we shouldn't have to do or that we simply didn't want to do.

It only made our frustration worse when we asked "Why? And yet, if I took a poll of readers of this site who are parents, I have a feeling that the overwhelming majority would admit that they have found themselves using that line with their children at least once.

Because we know what is best for our children. We may not want to put it that bluntly all of the time, or even some of the time, but that is really what lies at the heart of being a parent. And, yes, when our parents said, "Because I said so," they almost always knew what was best, too, and looking back today—if we have grown up sufficiently—we can admit it.

But what does any of this have to do with "a bunch of celibate old men wearing dresses at the Vatican"? They're not parents; we're not children. What right do they have to tell us what to do? But until a few generations ago, such an approach would have made little sense to most Christians, and not just Catholics. I postulate that while they may be nice as part of a calendar, if you want to have any kind of spiritual awakening, you need to pick a spiritual path and stay with it like you would a good friend, and get to know its depths. While I was so-so on some of the quotes and his commentary about them, I had a great deal of trouble with several of the religious precepts I perused.

If you are going to use religious quotes and precepts, then know them. OR, tell your readers you are a dabbler and going loosey-goosey on everyone, throwing your shallow interpretation on the wall to see if it sticks. OR, say you like this quote, saw it as graffiti on a bathroom wall, what it means to you, and that you've not spent much time on it. OR, don't interpret a quote at all and just write what you want to say. A quote doesn't validate you, but to a reader, it might make them think you know what you are talking about. I was gifted with the book.

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It is poorly written. While it is true, everyone has the right to take a word and reinterpret it anyway one likes, language and culture are based on the dialogue between the differences and similarities of thought. And it may be true that I know more than your average bear about a lot of religious ideas, going deeply into four of them.

Still, Nepo has taken many precepts, religious quotes, and has not bothered to really understand them. He has given a platitude version of a quote for the ages. While this may have helped someone, somewhere, I have a problem with what the man robs a reader of the opportunity for, and that he holds himself out as a meditation instructor who is guiding you to a deeper and more awakened life, when it is really a Hallmark day-book.

I postulate he wastes your time for 15 minutes over days roughly 90 hours when in that same time you might get to some sort of awakening by picking up a Buddhist, Jewish, Shamanic, Catholic -- insert your faith here -- book and going deeply into the pages, thinking about what they mean with a really good highlighter! Oooh, there's a good quote for my own daily book!

Granted I didn't read the whole book -- I read from the back this is a weird thing I do unless it is a book of fiction and was unimpressed. Then this morning, I went to page one, Jan 1, and decided to give this a chance. I read, "Precious Human Birth. Of all things that exist, we breath and wake and turn it into song.

Okay, it is a good thing to contemplate what he said -- to marvel at how great it is to be human and give thanks to be able to reflect and be conscious and he implies other forms of life do not do this -- BUT BUT BUT, this is not the precept.

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There is so much more to it. The precept of "Precious Human Birth" is not just about being grateful for the gift of a human body, it is also to contemplate that you have a gift in that you have heard good teachings, truths that you can use toward consciousness, compassion, openheartedness. It is a contemplation you do at the beginning of every Buddhist prayer -- in any branch of Buddhism -- so understand that it is core to a mind-set toward all the practices and meditation, from the most difficult or elaborate to the simple act of zazen. You contemplate four thoughts: 1 having this precious moment free of tyranny or fear, perhaps; 2 of the fact that you can die at any time; 3 of karma, what you do -- thinking too, if we are honest -- whether virtuous or nat, traps you into cause and effect; 4 and of the suffering of others.

The last one eventually leads many on to the Bodhisattva vow, to not rest until all are released from suffering Reader's Digest explanation. These are four preliminaries are words, and in the beginning of my path I thought them a bit mundane and boring. Then I wondered, "Why do they all yak on and on about these obvious things? I committed to my practice and went deeply with them, discovering in the gratitude beyond the wonder of blue sky, into the synchronicity of my precious life and its more painful moments as well.

And to look for the consciousness in all things. When Nepo reduces this to more than the statement of "contemplate your Precious Human Birth," and begins to reduce it to you meditating on how you are different than the rock and the bench, he takes your practice away from you. He leads you into a sense of false security that you are pretty hot stuff, and your life is pretty damn good.

Then during the day you may wonder why that feeling doesn't last. Real practice, any real practice although I think there are better practices and worst practices if you want to awaken , will not just make you feel good for a few minutes, or make you think you have 4, friends. It will make you feel the discomfort you have, and offer a way to seriously cope and grow through the discomfort, just as an awake person may enjoy their FaceBook friends but also know that most are not "real" friends but acquaintances or less, and in that number there are a few good friends who must be tended, spoken to, cried for, cared about, shared with, and celebrated.

Mar 13, Sherry rated it really liked it Shelves: religion-spirituality , read-in I may pick it up at another time as the writing was lovely, but for now, and likely for a long time to come, this is being shelved as read. I had been using it as something to reflect on for my meditation and perspective and had read a good portion of it but having experienced a significant shift in both those areas the book is no longer engaging me.

May 21, Elizabeth rated it it was amazing. This harks back to but the call to slow down, pay attention, and get past ego I feel is more important than ever. I listened to the author read this and I am ordering a copy for myself to have at hand for always. It contains a parable and a meditation presented for each day of the year. There is so much meaty wisdom here, I cannot wait to delve into it over and over again. Dec 27, Writing rated it it was amazing.

I read this book year after year and learn something new each time!! I definitely recommend anything by Mark Nepo. May 19, Nia Ferrell rated it it was amazing. I am doing a project for my sophomore English class in which we were to find a topic that we were passionate about, and do research as well as impact the community. There were not very many guidelines for this project, what we call the passion project, however one of the things required was we were to find a book related to our topic. My topic is appreciation, and I actually had a very difficult time coming across a book that showed appreciation the way I want to display it-- in a positive light I am doing a project for my sophomore English class in which we were to find a topic that we were passionate about, and do research as well as impact the community.

My topic is appreciation, and I actually had a very difficult time coming across a book that showed appreciation the way I want to display it-- in a positive light. I was not disappointed at all in this book, and all in all it really opened my eyes a lot to my topic. It allowed me to relate to my topic more as I followed Nepo's tips and tricks in order to live a positive life. I truly enjoyed this book, and if anyone is ever in a tough spot in their life, I truly recommend reading this.

Not only will it open your eyes, but it will also allow you to see all the good things in life us as humans tend to miss out on. Aug 12, Robin rated it really liked it. For someone like me who struggles with acknowledging and exploring my feelings, I appreciate how Nepo concentrates on mindfulness and self-awareness.

I was curious about him and looked into his life. It's nice to know a bit more about someone if you are considering taking their advice Nepo and his former wife were diagnosed with cancer around the same time in midlife. It seems this was a catalyst for them to diverge from one another eventually. Nepo is now marri For someone like me who struggles with acknowledging and exploring my feelings, I appreciate how Nepo concentrates on mindfulness and self-awareness.

Nepo is now married to a potter and sculptor.

Knowing that emotional upheaval was involved in the genesis of his words makes them more accessible to me. I find some of the exercises helpful as they help me to develop my "meditation muscle" and remind me to slooooow down. Feb 02, Rita rated it it was amazing Shelves: read-again. Set up to coincide with the calendar.

I think I will move on to something else this year and come back to it next year. Really liked this one. Neop pulls quotes from wellj-known and not so wellj-known authors as well as his own thoughts and expands on one each day to help the reader gain a better knowledge of themselves. Spiritual, insightful, full of good things to give you a different perspective on people, life and the world.

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Jan 18, Lisa Brummit rated it really liked it. I start every morning with an inspiration from this book. I take the time I need to reflect on the daily passage and have found it to be a way of learning about the real person I am. I have been searching for inner peace for so long , this book has helped me to meditate on the important things to make my life and my inner self more complete and at peace.

Lesson 1 – The Inward for the Outward

Spiritual Precepts (Contemplative Series Book 4) - Kindle edition by Peter Damian, Bro. Smith SGS. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC . Spiritual Precepts Contemplative Series Book 4, Writing Yourself into the Book of Life Bridges to Contemplative Living 6 Bridges to Contemplative Living with.

I love this book and want to give everyone I know a copy. Apr 17, Paige P rated it it was amazing Shelves: non-fiction , self-help , favorites , psychology-nonfiction-text.

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I have listened to this book on Audio, but also own it in paperback because one cannot have too many copies of this book. It is designed to be savored slowly, day by day. Reading the daily excerpts is like opening a little gift of peaceful, mindful reflection that quietly balances your mind. I wish the whole world could have this book - it is that wonderful and special. Apr 05, Janet rated it it was amazing Shelves: read , ongoing-reads , all-time-favorites. This is a master piece of living life insights--not so much of a self help book, but one of just think about this concept or ponder on this way of looking at a particular aspect of life.

You will especiallt like this if you are a lover of the natural wold and see and experice in the natural order of things. Jan 29, Elizabeth Olson rated it really liked it Shelves: spiritual , read Poet Nepo's book of daily readings has definite Buddhist leanings, but doesn't exclusively follow that or any other tradition. Its inspiration is a mix of faith writings from various times and traditions, plus poetry from Nepo and others, and his own introspintrospections on life, love, loss and growth.

There is much beauty here, and plenty of wisdom. Apr 15, Bradley rated it really liked it Shelves: year , books-i-should-own.