Press: Fearless Books (February 27, 2008)
Author Name:Miller, D. Patrick
Is faith meant only for churchgoers? This concise and eloquent volume offers a vision of a "practical faith" that will benefit anyone regardless of their religious (or irreligious) beliefs.
In four lucid steps -- Releasing Guilt, Gathering Trust, Practicing Patience, and Learning Transcendence -- author D.
Patrick Miller reveals a path to greater peace, perseverance, and dedication in the midst of everyday life.
Selected for inclusion in the Reader's Catalog (2nd edition) as one of the best spiritual books in print.
"Offers a gentle, discipllned approach to growth..." -- J.
Ruth Gendler, author of The Book of Qualities
From the Publisher
Selected for inclusion in READER'S CATALOG (2nd edition) as one of the best books in print
About the Author
Patrick Miller is a widely-published writer in the "journalism of consciousness," specializing in psychological and spiritual subject matter.
He served as a contributing editor of Yoga Journal for ten years and also wrote for such periodicals as Natural Health, Utne Reader, The Sun: A Magazine of Ideas, Gnosis, the Columbia Journalism Review and many others.
After selling several titles to major publishers, Miller founded his own press, Fearless Books, in 1997.
He is also the author of Understanding A Course in Miracles, published by Celestial Arts.
He lives in northern California.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Faith is a more practical way to deal with everyday life than cynicism, toughness, or defensiveness.
Faith can be sensible and savvy, and practicing it daily increases its usefulness and reliability.
Yet faith is also tinged with mystery, for it is the connection to our unknown potential and the power of creation itself.
Faith is the way out of misery, the way into self-knowledge, and the way toward a more fulfilling and effective life...
As an addiction or some other pattern of guilt begins to disintegrate, one may feel a distinct sense of loss.
I've confronted this feeling a number of times: "Without this familiar habit, worry, or guilt, who will I be from now on?" As something fixed, heavy, and negative within the self dissolves, an unfamiliar sensation of openness, light, and permeability fills in.
Such a change may bring about a feeling of queasiness, but that passes as one's sense of self eventually restabilizes -- with a little more energy, optimism, and flexibility than before.
It is possible to have mistaken expectations, but it is impossible to be "too trusting." Real trust is deepened and informed by disappointment, just as spiritual vision is refined by disillusionment.
Trust prepares us for the best by teaching us to prepare for a future far better than what we may merely be hoping for.
Patience is deciding in favor of attention rather than tension.
Attending to the inner part of ourselves that knows timelessness, we can wait in the world of time and balance our hurried sense of self-interest with the timeless knowledge that all will be well -- even when the "all" swallows us, as it inevitably will.
Patience, then, is also humility, a surrender to the transcendent.
Patience is the rhythm of faith.
Have you ever gazed at a clear sky long enough to realize that you are not looking at a huge blue screen but peering into the infinite? Have you ever watched a large old tree long enough to sense a bit of its incomprehensible might and balance, as it holds up its lengthy limbs toward the warmth of a vastly distant burning star? Have you ever gazed at your hand until it seemed a total mystery? In these and countless other transcendental, easily accessible experiences lies the practical heart of mysticism....
To admit that we are surrounded by mystery is to recognize ourselves.
To learn transcendence is to unlearn the miserable notion that we are alone.
When we know there is nothing missing within ourselves, we are truly at home in a world that may have felt like a strange and hostile territory before.
It is a practical faith that delivers us to this sense of being at home -- and it is a practical faith that can help us carry that home within us no matter what happens, and regardless of wherever we are led to serve during our stay on earth.
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