Spiritual Directors International

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Book Reviews

Guest Author: 
Liz Budd Ellmann, MDiv

Catch the Breeze of the Spirit


Winds of change are blowing throughout the world guiding us toward peace. Spirit winds of compassion are pointing us toward right relationship with all creation. Can you feel the soft, inviting wind on your cheeks? Is the wind vane in your heart catching the breeze of the spirit and directing you toward wholeness?

For thousands of years, spiritual companions have helped people notice the winds of the spirit guiding us toward God, toward Ultimate Reality, toward compassion. Two traditional stories illustrate the transformational ah-ha power of wind.  

The first story is a Buddhist teaching about the sixth patriarch of the Zen tradition, Hui Neng:


Every issue of Presence: An International Journal of Spiritual Direction features media reviews, and we never have enough print space for the fabulous new materials that relate to spiritual direction. Thus, bonus reviews are posted to the SDI Web site for your edification! Gain the benefit of our reviewers' perspectives in your search for new resources.

Check out the June 2010, Volume 16.2, bonus book reviews:

Guest Author: 
Margaret Holden, FSP

I am presently using Joyce Rupp's wonderful book resource: Open the Door. In one of the daily reflections in this
book, it was suggested that one stand at a door and knock. The door was to be opened by Christ or some
other divinity.
To my amazement upon knocking on the door, it was opened
by my mother! (My mother died in 1973.)
Upon opening the door, my mother stood in front of me
welcoming me. She was young and gave me her radiant smile. Her hair was dark brown and pulled back as
she often wore it. She was wearing a colorful apron.
She invited me to come in and join her in the kitchen.
On the table was a pie and some tea.
During this experience I was a third party - standing
nearby and observing my mother talk to me. I don't know
what she said but I had a sense that she was affirming
and supporting me in my life.
This experience stayed with me for many days.

Guest Author: 
The Rev. Lyn G. Brakeman

The Shack
by Wm. Paul Young in collaboration with Wayne Jacobsen and Brad Cummings
Windblown Media, 2007
252 pages

When I read The Shack this summer I felt affectionately connected to God—in myself, in creation, in other people, and on high. Not new feelings but renewed feelings.
I’d resisted reading it in part because it was all the rage and I’m cynical about the tastes of the masses, and in part because I’d heard it was evangelical propaganda full of biblical literalism and not for sophisticated progressives who take the bible seriously but not literally, like my image of myself. And in part because a one of my favorite parishioners, an African American who grew up in Sierra Leone wasn't sure about it and asked me to read it. The lovely irony of this will become clear when you read the book.

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