Profound appreciation

Pioneering psychologist William James is best known for his book, The Varieties of Religious Experience, where he wrote, “The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.”  Is this true for you? I read that line when I was seeking new inspiration on the perennial theme of encouragement. Thinking about it for […]

Sustaining our peace

In this short, encouraging video Stephanie Dowrick speaks about sustaining a sense of peace and inner confidence even in the face of difficult events. Combining practical support and rare inspiration, she draws on the teachings of Sufi master Hazrat Inayat Khan, Deuteronomy (“Choose life!”) and also reflects on the Four Noble Truths about the nature […]

It’s a beautiful day!

Many years ago I remember listening to a singing group called “It’s a beautiful day”. Even then I had at least some realisation that it’s our inner attitude that lets us experience our days as beautiful and precious: each one of them.  When it’s “just another day”, my outlook and energy levels lift dramatically when […]

Seeking the Sacred – reviews

Good books don’t get old. Or stale. Trivia does curdle. Or goes right off. But some of the books that I treasure most and refer to most often seem as fresh as dew and were literally written two or three thousand years ago. I don’t want to be asked what I am writing next when […]

Sustaining our compassion

From the Interfaith in Sydney service, 20 March 2011, this is most of a talk given by Stephanie Dowrick on how we can keep our hearts open and sustain our compassion in the face of so many public tragedies. Stephanie’s talk followed the disasters in New Zealand, Japan and elsewhere, and brings home to us the […]

Love is…

These beautiful images come from a shared project I created a few years ago with Sydney writer, photographer and “urban farmer” Jessica Perini who not only took the photos (more images follow) but grew the plants and waited – with loving patience – for the “moment” that illustrated our theme of the constant renewal of […]

A very ugly swan

In the face of earthquakes, floods and fire, and the agonizing injustices and repression being played out in Libya and elsewhere as I write this, why would I care about a movie? Well I do, not least because this movie normalizes violence under a veneer of beauty and art. And I feel so strongly that […]

Choose life!

“When do you write? Do you make a time every morning…?” I was asked a couple of nights ago at a wonderful event at Shearer’s Bookshop in Leichhardt, Sydney. (The picture above shows me there with fellow writer Walter Mason.) It was a loaded question and I answered with a joke: “Morning, noon and night!” […]

Peace from the inside out

These words from Zen poet and teacher Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh have been the greatest support to me and countless others for many years. Let’s imagine the world we would live in if each day, several times a day, we paused just long enough to say the following four lines: Breathing in I calm my […]

Stella Cornelius: a tribute

(What follows is Quaker and development activist  Jane Sloane’s January 2011 eulogy at the memorial service for peace activist, Peace Prize winner, and conflict resolution writer and teacher, Stella Cornelius, founder of the Conflict Resolution Network and loved by so many. Stella died, still engaged with the activities of peace-making, aged 91.) Stella, beloved: Appropriately, […]

Religious bigotry: a global challenge

There are few expressions of human ignorance and misery worse than religious bigotry. Bigotry of any kind harms those who express it as well as those who are its targets. Religious bigotry, though, generally  comes heavily tainted with self-righteousness. At its worst, it’s sustained by the noxious belief that it expresses “God’s” will, or that […]

Readers’ responses to Seeking

The following responses from readers mean much more to me than simple praise and encouragement – as vital as encouragement always is. If you have read Seeking the Sacred – or any of my other books but especially Seeking and In the Company of Rilke – you will know how mindful I am of the […]

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