The Engaged Spiritual Life: A Buddhist Approach to Transforming Ourselves and the World

The Engaged Spiritual Life: A Buddhist Approach to Transforming Ourselves and the World

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by Donald Rothberg
     
 

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By the time Donald Rothberg was in his early twenties, he knew he had two vocations. He wanted to dedicate himself to justice and social change, and he wanted to commit himself to exploring the depths of human consciousness-to an awakening of our deeper spiritual nature. It has been his life's work, as an activist, organizer, writer, and teacher, to bring these two

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Overview

By the time Donald Rothberg was in his early twenties, he knew he had two vocations. He wanted to dedicate himself to justice and social change, and he wanted to commit himself to exploring the depths of human consciousness-to an awakening of our deeper spiritual nature. It has been his life's work, as an activist, organizer, writer, and teacher, to bring these two paths together and to reveal how deeply they require one another.

The Engaged Spiritual Life is the fruit of this work. Skillfully weaving together basic spiritual teachings, real-life examples, social context, and exercises, Rothberg provides a clear, thorough, and compelling guide for those interested in connecting inner and outer transformation. At the core of the book are ten spiritual principles and associated practices that will enable readers to engage all the parts of their lives-whether personal, interpersonal, or political-into a seamless whole.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Few have poured their lives into the contemporary movement that is dedicated to recovering Buddhism's social outreach with as much dedication and effectiveness as Donald Rothberg.—Huston Smith, author of The World's Religions

"Donald Rothberg is a remarkably talented teacher whose writing, like his teaching style, is interesting, engaging, upbeat, and—most importantly—hopeful. This is the authoritative map describing the connection between wisdom and social action, and it does so clearly, simply, nonacademically, and entertainingly. The specific practices it offers inspire confidence that transforming ourselves and the world is a possibility-which is the best message in the world in times like these."
—Sylvia Boorstein, author of It's Easier Than You Think: The Buddhist Way to Happiness

"At a moment when our world desperately needs an integration of spiritual wisdom and social action, Donald Rothberg points the way to a new synthesis—of great interest to people in all faith communities and to many who have previously distanced themselves from spiritual life in order to pursue social change."—Rabbi Michael Lerner, author of The Left Hand of God: Taking Back our Country from the Religious Right

"I know of no one who better combines scholarship in this field with teaching experience and ontheground activism. Rothberg's words ring with an unmistakable authenticity." —Joanna Macy, author of Coming Back to Life: Practices to Reconnect Our Lives, Our World

Library Journal
Rothberg (director, Socially Engaged Spirituality program, Saybrook Graduate Sch., San Francisco), a meditation teacher, explores the interconnections of social activism and individual spiritual transformation and argues that they are symbiotic. Without spiritual awareness, he posits, social activism often re-creates what it attempts to change, and social engagement keeps spiritual practice from becoming overly self-centered. Rothberg believes in an ethical commitment to help ourselves and others and to do no harm. His perspective is that social injustice exists and that economic and social equality and peaceful conclusions to conflict are worthy goals. Though his personal practice is Theravada Buddhism, his philosophy is broad enough to be valuable in other spiritual traditions. He outlines ten guiding principles, among them mindfulness, intention, compassion, and interdependence. These serve to connect the spiritual and the social and demonstrate how they can be applied in individual, group, and systemwide perspectives. Numerous exercises clarify the principles and help readers develop awareness of the interdependence of social engagement and spiritual growth. This book has a definite political and social perspective, which might alienate some readers. Recommended for public collections. Jerry Shuttle, East Tennessee State Univ. Lib., Johnson City Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780807077252
Publisher:
Beacon
Publication date:
10/15/2006
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
736,844
Product dimensions:
6.01(w) x 8.98(h) x 0.72(d)

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