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Spiritual Maturity: Stories and Reflections for the Ongoing Journey of the Spirit

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Book Overview

With moving stories and simple suggestions, the author of Living Our Dying reveals how to approach deeper spirituality with a sense of joyous adventure, even when it is most arduous and the temptation... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Exceptionally Brilliant Wisdom for any Spiritual Path

For many of us on a spiritual journey, we can often look back on our path and note benchmarks of wise words that seemed to have advanced and enhanced our progress. Joseph Sharp's incredibly insightful book, "Spiritual Maturity, Stories and Reflections for the Ongoing Journey of the Spirit" promises to endure as a marker and guide for transformation and clarity to any spiritual seeker.Wise beyond his years and certainly our times, Sharp's clear and steady voice is, at once, comforting and illuminating. Throughout the book he engages a remarkable wisdom that asks the reader to honor the truth of the spiritual process. "Remember, we have been given a sacred individuality by God so we might express our inner brilliance within this mortal coil. The message from within is: You can be grand.", he begins. Sharp "promotes a way of courageous self-honesty - especially when social or religious pressures to `keep up appearances' encourage us to pretend otherwise. Sacred individuality asks us to cultivate open-mindedness, tolerance, and a sense of grand permission in our lives and seeking."This book serves as a common-sense guide to spirituality and Sharp creates an "atmosphere of permission" that invites the reader to better understand the wisdom within and among us. He reminds us that "authentic spiritual maturity has much more to do with acceptance, recognition and exploration, and less to do with avoidance, denial and escape" and he encourages us to find our own individual path. "The individualistic imagination of the brilliant soul usually annoys the rather dull, hallowed halls of `The Established Way'", Sharp says. He challenges the reader to always be different, distinct, courageous and outrageously individualistic on the journey.This book endeavors to teach us that our life's lessons are present in every moment. Every encounter, every thought, every experience in each minute of the day is a sacred spiritual act designed to help us discover our truth, our path, and ourselves. With incredible insight and clarity, Sharp asks us to embrace our own dark moments as pathways to spiritual learning and growth. "For the seeker, the question is not whether we can successfully shield our spirituality from life's grit. We can't. The real question is: Do we cultivate a vision that gives us permission to acknowledge and include all our life experiences, especially those darker moments within the boundaries of what is considered appropriate territory for spirituality?", he asks. "When we encounter life's painful and unpleasant experiences, do we pause to consider the possible wisdom beneath the suffering?"Sharp delivers countless brilliant moments throughout the book and exacts points of wisdom from other friends on the path such as Anne Lammot, Rumi, Rainer Maria Rilke, Chogyam Trungpa, Natalie Goldberg and Robert Arpin.In this book, he embraces all religions but encourages us to find our own truth and personal experience outside the confines of any

Grand Permission

Joseph Sharp's new book, Spiritual Maturity, sets his readers on a wide road, "[a] road extending far beyond what we think we see now, far beyond any preconceived ideas of spiritual correctness we could possibly imagine." He recognizes the messiness of life--the impulses to anger, jealousy, fear, the reluctance to forgive ourselves and others--and sees these not as obstacles to spiritual maturity but as part of the road. In a series of lovely and sad stories, taken from his experiences as a chaplain at Parkland Memorial Hospital and his personal relationships with the dying and terminally ill, he suggests that personal and emotional honesty are more important to spiritual maturity than any sort of formulaic positivism. At the same time, his is an inclusive work, referencng the Bible, Buddha, Zen masters, Rilke, Anne Lamott and Martin Luther King, Jr., among others. For Joseph Sharp, exploring spiritual maturity means exploring life in all of its complexities. I strongly recommend this intimate, thoughtful book, full of subtle insights and small blessings.

Courageous wisdom

Joseph Sharp's Spiritual Maturity is an honest and courageous book full of the wisdom that comes from accepting life in all its muddled glory, seeing the beauty in the distances between who we are and who we hope to become. A wonderful read.

Life & Choices

This small book is a must read for anyone seeking or exploring spiritual pathways. It is also a must read for the intellectually curious and for those of us who look at life with a healthy sense of humor. It doesn't attempt to answer the great spiritual questions. But it does manage to point us in directions where we may find our own answers. It also tells us, in a gentle way, that life is indeed all about choices.

Spiritual Maturity

This is a wise, smart book. Through stories (both from the author's life and the lives of people he meets)told with wit and courage, he explores what it means to be a spiritual searcher. It's a zen type of approach; sometimes his questions bring answers and sometimes more questions, and he's okay with this because he sees life as a spiritual journey. Check out a few of his(there are twenty-five) section titles: "sacred individuality, daring to be spitually incorrect, cosmic irony, honoring life's complexity, outrageousness, it's never too late." There is sadness in this book and eloquence and humor. Read it.
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