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Simple Ways Towards the Sacred


reviewed by Kristine Morris

Simple Ways Toward the Sacred

By Gunilla Norris

“God” is only a word that we use, thinking we know what it means, according to Gunilla Norris, a much-esteemed writer, meditation teacher, and psychotherapist in private practice. In words both simple and poetic, she reveals the power in “opening to that which is near,” a practice that can take our undefined longing for something else, somewhere else, or someone else, and bring its energy back where it belongs: to the experience of the sacred in our bodies, in our dwellings, and in our everyday things, making of them a sanctuary where “God is returned to God.”

“My way has been a householder’s way, opening myself as much as possible to that which is near me in order to experience God’s Presence there,” she says. “It is an undramatic, ordinary path, and it is completely available to anyone — even to those who do not believe in God, but who nevertheless have a faithful reverence for life.”

Norris points out that when we are alive to the wonder of the ordinary, we begin to see that everything around us is a gift, and even the simplest things can break us open to love, joy, and gratitude. We then begin to catch glimpses of God all around us and experience our aliveness and our oneness with all that is, with all our senses; we begin to live in an intense intimacy with God, and all of life becomes a prayer.

Norris understands that this way of living and being is not based as much on our feelings, which come and go, as on our choice to be constant and to pay attention, a choice which her gentle wisdom helps us to make daily. This book is one to hold close to your heart. Its gift to us lies in its uncanny ability to help us see and appreciate the simple yet profound blessings on even the most “ordinary” path.


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