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The Spirituality Of Imperfection

Storytelling and the Journey to Wholeness
By: ,
Contributor Role: 
By (author)
Contributor Sequence Number: 
2
Contributor name: 
Paperback Book
Publisher: 
Bantam
 | 
December, 1993
ISBN:
9780553371321
In stock now: 
2
$26.00 CAD
Banyen's Description: 

In the past, people told stories as a way of exploring the fundamental mysteries: Who are we? Why are we? How are we to live? Without stories, humanity has no collective memory—and those who lack memory also lack hope. These authors bring together stories from many spiritual and philosophical paths,  exploring the common threads that enable readers to fashion their own spirituality for today.

This book retells over one hundred stories. These stories—the stories that tell spirituality’s story—came to us first by hearing. Some stories we first heard in school, or in church; some were told by a loved grandparent or a favorite aunt or uncle; and others, as we grow older, were shared by friends or acquaintances....

Some readers, with different memories, will recall different renderings of some of these stories; there are many favorite tellings of any tale. But, in truth there are no new stories. Stories become “new” to us when something in our own experience makes us ready to hear them. Story-listening requires a childlike wisdom that combines innocence and experience....

One spiritual teacher cautions: “If you respect your listeners enough to tell the story, respect them enough to let them draw their own conclusions.” And another master began one of his books with a story that consoles anyone who must confront the impossibility of “explaining” story:

A disciple once complained, “You tell us stories, but you never reveal their meaning to us.”

Said the master, “How would you like it if someone offered you fruit and chewed it up before giving it to you?”

There is much here about learning to accept our imperfection with humour, to stop striving for personal perfection and start living. It is about learning to see the gift of our own lives, and nurturing a spirituality of storytelling, community, and healing.

An old Jewish woman was dying of rectal cancer. Her husband sat at her bedside, holding her hand, talking to her, crying with her.

A nurse came into the room. “Excuse me, sir,” she said, gently touching his shoulder. “It’s time to change the bandages. If you’d leave the room, I’ll be done in just a few minutes.”

“Excuse me,” the man replied with a gentle but determined smile, “but I’ll stay right here. This tush and I have had a lot of good times together. I’m not going to turn my back on it now.”

Much of this book has been inspired by the spirituality of Alcoholics Anonymous—”The spiritual life is not a theory. We have to live it.” Jack Kornfield, author of A Path with Heart, writes, “This book is a heartfelt understanding of our humanity that awakens and heals.”

And so, through the humor that signals not the hiding but the embrace of pain, we circle back to humility and our common humanity. If we can accept the reality of our imperfection, the fact that we are put together funny, that we are, by our very nature, limited and thus do not have absolute control over our lives, we are taking the tentative steps that are all that we can take on the pilgrimage that is spirituality.

Publisher’s Description: 

I Am Not Perfect is a simplestatement of profound truth, the first step towardunderstanding the human condition, for to denyyour essential imperfection is to deny yourself andyour own humanity. The spirituality ofimperfection, steeped in the rich traditions of the Hebrewprophets and Greek thinkers, Buddhist sages andChristian disciples, is a message as timeless as it istimely. This insightful work draws on the wisdomstories of the ages to provide an extraordinarywellspring of hope and inspiration to anyonethirsting for spiritual growth and guidance in thesetroubled times.



Who are we? Why sowe so often fall short of our goals for ourselvesand others? By seeking to understand ourlimitations and accept the inevitably of failure and pain,we being to ease the hurt and move toward agreater sense of serenity and self-awareness.The Spirituality Of Imperfection bringstogether stories from many spiritual andphilosophical paths, weaving past traditions into aspirituality and a new way of thinking and living thatworks today. It speaks so anyone who yearns to findmeaning within suffering. Beyond theory andtechnique, inside this remarkable book you will find anew way of thinking, a way of living that enablesa truly human existence.I Am Not Perfectis a simplestatement of profound truth, the first step towardunderstanding the human condition, for to denyyour essential imperfection is to deny yourself andyour own humanity. The spirituality ofimperfection, steeped in the rich traditions of the Hebrewprophets and Greek thinkers, Buddhist sages andChristian disciples, is a message as timeless as it istimely. This insightful work draws on the wisdomstories of the ages to provide an extraordinarywellspring of hope and inspiration to anyonethirsting for spiritual growth and guidance in thesetroubled times. Who are we? Why sowe so often fall short of our goals for ourselvesand others? By seeking to understand ourlimitations and accept the inevitably of failure and pain,we being to ease the hurt and move toward agreater sense of serenity and self-awareness.The Spirituality Of Imperfectionbringstogether stories from many spiritual andphilosophical paths, weaving past traditions into aspirituality and a new way of thinking and living thatworks today. It speaks so anyone who yearns to findmeaning within suffering. Beyond theory andtechnique, inside this remarkable book you will find anew way of thinking, a way of living that enablesa truly human existence.

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