Tales of Wonder: Adventures Chasing the Divine, an Autobiographyby Huston Smith
Huston Smith, the man who brought the world's religions to the West, was born almost a century ago to missionary parents in China during the perilous rise of the Communist Party. Smith's lifelong spiritual journey brought him face-to-face with many of the people who shaped the twentieth century. His extraordinary travels around the globe have taken him to the… See more details below
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Huston Smith, the man who brought the world's religions to the West, was born almost a century ago to missionary parents in China during the perilous rise of the Communist Party. Smith's lifelong spiritual journey brought him face-to-face with many of the people who shaped the twentieth century. His extraordinary travels around the globe have taken him to the world's holiest places, where he has practiced religion with many of the great spiritual leaders of our time.
Smith's life is a story of uncanny synchronicity. He was there for pivotal moments in human history such as the founding of the United Nations and the student uprising at Tiananmen Square. As he traveled the world he encountered thinkers who shaped the twentieth century. He interviewed Eleanor Roosevelt on the radio; invited Martin Luther King Jr. to speak at an all-white university before the March on Washington; shared ideas with Thomas Merton on his last plane ride before Merton's death in Bangkok; and was rescued while lost in the Serengeti by Masai warriors who took him to the compound of world-renowned anthropologists Louis and Mary Leaky.
In search of intellectual and spiritual treasures, Smith traveled to India to meet with Mother Teresa and befriended the Dalai Lama; he studied Zen at the most challenging monastery in Japan; and he hitchhiked through the desert to meet Aldous Huxley, dropped acid with Timothy Leary, and took peyote with a Native American shaman. He climbed Mount Athos, traipsed through the Holy Land, and was the first to study multiphonic chanting by monks in Tibet, which he recorded with Mickey Hart of the Grateful Dead. Most important, he shared the world's religions withthe West—writing two bestselling books and serving as the focus of a five-part PBS television series by Bill Moyers.
Huston Smith is a national treasure. His life is an extraordinary adventure, and in his amazing Tales of Wonder, he invites you to come along to explore your own vistas of heart, mind, and soul.
The Washington Post
Nearing 90, the author of the classic The World's Religions: Our Great Wisdom Traditions has at last written a memoir. Remarkably brief and humbly written for a man of Smith's fame and accomplishment, Tales deals simply with his life and his encounters with the great and the good (Eleanor Roosevelt, D.T. Suzuki, and Frithjof Schuon, to name a few). Essential for students of religion and highly recommended for others as well.
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Meet the Author
Huston Smith is internationally known and revered as the premier teacher of world religions. He is the focus of a five-part PBS television series with Bill Moyers and has taught at Washington University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Syracuse University, and the University of California at Berkeley. The recipient of twelve honorary degrees, Smith's fifteen books include his bestselling The World's Religions, Why Religion Matters, and his autobiography, Tales of Wonder.
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This is a great book. After reading three of his other books, he does tend to repeat himself here and there. I expected this book to be full of emotion, and it wasn't. It was very "matter of fact: this is my life-no judgements". Which, only shows that he actually follows what he teaches. The basics of every religion.
Huston Smith shares his spiritual journey in these pages, and what a journey it is. Always grounded in his Christian faith, Smith also practices Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam. His life and teaching intertwine and we are privileged to get a glimpse into the broad mind and deep heart of this remarkable person. If you have read other books by Smith, this one will give you deeper insight into the person behind and within those books. If you have not, this would be a wonderful introduction.
Shoulda, woulda, coulda been sooo much better.
This autobiography of Huston Smith truly tells his "adventures chasing the divine." Not only does the reader get a good understanding of the world religions that Huston immersed himself in, but also the joys and sorrows of a life fully lived. It offers direction for those beginning young adulthood, inspiration for all those living into their tenth decade, and hope for those on the path in between.