Friday, July 15, 2011

An Altar in the World

An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith
© 2009 Barbara Brown Taylor
240 pages


Barbara Brown Taylor is an Episcopal priest who no longer pastors a church; for although she still finds enriching experiences inside the walls of her parish and its creeds and rituals, her journey has led her to look for ultimate meaning in the living of life itself.  Although she incorporates a great deal of religious language (God, blessings) into Altar, the central theme of mindfulness is one accessible to anyone -- and an antidote to the constant busyness and distractions of today. She finds the sacred in the ordinary -- meaning in simple, universal experiences like labor, walking, and even getting lost. Readers with an interest in Buddhism will notice that Taylor seems to be walking the eight-fold path, particularly in the sections on vocation and labor. I found An Altar in the World a beautiful work and an instant favorite. It should be of great interest to those with interests in simple living, mindfulness, and  inspiration drawn from life instead of old books and extinct civilizations.

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