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Essential Spirituality

The Seven Central Practices to Awaken Heart and Mind
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Paperback Book
September, 2000
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$23.95 CAD
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“The single best book on the great wisdom traditions, stressing that, at their core, they are spiritual and contemplative sciences” (says Ken Wilber), Essential Spirituality’s power is rooted not only in psychiatrist and meditator Roger Walsh’s intellectual capacity to effectively deal with a vast body of religious literature, but in his own deep spiritual practice in a multitude of disciplines over many years. It is the first book that identifies and brings together the “perennial practices” found in the world’s religions—showing how we can apply them in our daily lives. It actually integrates the spiritual principles of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and Taoism into a way of life in which kindness, love, joy, peace, vision, wisdom, and generosity become an ever-growing part of everything we do.


The power of practice depends in part on why it is done. This is why practicing for the well-being and awakening of everyone, including ourselves, is more potent than practicing for ourselves alone....

Over time it becomes increasingly obvious that the happiness of others is our own and that to practice for the benefit of all is not a sacrifice but rather a delight. Our spiritual work not only helps us but is, according to Ramana Maharshi, “the best help you can possibly render to others.” Our task is simply to do our practice as fully as we can. In this way we gradually learn to awaken ourselves, to love and serve life in all its infinite forms, to see the sacred in all things, and to care for our troubled world.

The seven central practices are:

F         Transform Your Motivation: Reduce Craving and Find Your Soul’s Desire

F         Cultivate Emotional Wisdom: Heal Your Heart and Learn to Love

F         Live Ethically: Feel Good by Doing Good

F         Concentrate and Calm Your Mind

F         Awaken Your Spiritual Vision: See Clearly and Recognize the Sacred in All Things

F         Cultivate Spiritual Intelligence: Develop Wisdom and Understand Life

F         Express Spirit in Action: Embrace Generosity and the Joy of Service.

Filled with stories, exercises, meditations, myths, case histories, prayers, and precious practical advice, Essential Spirituality is “thoroughly grounded in actual spiritual practices, without which any writing on spiritual topics remains anemic and untrustworthy.” —Ken Wilber

Among Roger Walsh’s other books are Paths Beyond Ego and Gifts from A Course in Miracles (both with Frances Vaughan).

Publisher’s Description: 

"Essential Spirituality beautifully articulates the benefits of spiritual living in the material world."-Dan Millman, author, Everyday Enlightenment and The Way of the Peaceful Warrior"Deceptively simple. Its power is rooted not only in Dr. Walsh's formidable intellectual capacity to deal effectively with a vast body of religious literature but in his own deep spiritual practices in a multitude of disciplines over many years. An important contribution."-Ram Dass, author, Be Here Now "An absolute masterpiece . . . Essential Spirituality is helpful to both the unseasoned and seasoned seeker. The writing is deep, simple, and clear yet at the same time poetic and musical. A must read."-GERALD G. JAMPOLSKY, M.D. author, Love Is Letting Go of Fear

"Energetic, engaged, and occasionally electrifying. . . . The field of spiritual books has been looking for its own Lewis Thomas or Carl Sagan, and I believe Roger Walsh may be that one."-KEN WILBeR, author, One Taste and A Brief History of Everything

Based on over twenty years of research and spiritual practice, this is a groundbreaking and life-changing book. In his decades of study, Dr. Roger Walsh has discovered that each of the great spiritual traditions has both a common goal and seven common practices to reach that goal: recognizing the sacred and divine that exist both within and around us. Filled with stories, exercises, meditations, myths, prayers, and practical advice, Essential Spirituality shows how you can integrate these seven principles into one truly rewarding way of life in which kindness, love, joy, peace, vision, wisdom, and generosity become an ever-growing part of everything you do.

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