Catalogue


Grace in the desert : awakening to the gifts of monastic life /
Dennis Patrick Slattery ; foreword by Thomas Moore.
edition
1st ed.
imprint
San Francisco : Jossey-Bass, c2004.
description
xv, 153 p. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0787971049 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
San Francisco : Jossey-Bass, c2004.
isbn
0787971049 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
5147242
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 143-148).
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Dennis Patrick Slattery is a poet and professor in the Mythological Studies Program at Pacifica Graduate Institute in Carpinteria, California. He has written over 200 articles and reviews for books, journals, magazines, and newspapers as well as authored and edited several books
Excerpts
Flap Copy
What does it mean to be alone in silence, in prayer, and in relation to the divine without the distractions that normally attend formal worship? How can our own way of being be affected by living among monks, hermits, and seekers who cultivate a deeper spirituality and a fuller sense of their relation to themselves and others? How can these encounters enhance further reflection, contemplation, and self-expression?In this powerful book, travel along with Dennis Patrick Slattery as he sets off on a three-month pilgrimage during which he struggles with his identity, his role as a father and husband, teacher and believer, as well as the life and death of his father. Throughout his stays at twelve monasteries and retreat centers, Slattery seeks the refuge of the monastic life where silence and solitude open an extraordinary window on the human soul. Against the backdrop of Slattery's personal story, Grace in the Desert offers vivid descriptions of monastic life and practice at Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox, and Buddhist monasteries and retreat centers.Slattery's journey evokes life's most profound questions and his rich Catholic heritage, enriched with wisdom drawn from contemporary and classic spiritual writers like Thomas Merton, Julian of Norwich, and Thich Nhat Hanh. Grace in the Desert clearly shows the subtle and often surprising ways God speaks to us and how to become more spiritually fulfilled by opening to the richness of monastic life. It also shows how a monastic attitude or disposition can be cultivated in moments of retreat during one's busy daily life. Slattery attempts to bring a monastic sense of space to the reader, which one can enter outside the structure of a formal retreat. If you are considering taking your own spiritual retreat, Grace in the Desert includes an appendix with descriptions of nine additional retreat centers, a list of online retreat and monastery directories, and suggested reading to enhance your own contemplative solitude.
Flap Copy
What does it mean to be alone in silence, in prayer, and in relation to the divine without the distractions that normally attend formal worship? How can our own way of being be affected by living among monks, hermits, and seekers who cultivate a deeper spirituality and a fuller sense of their relation to themselves and others? How can these encounters enhance further reflection, contemplation, and self-expression? In this powerful book, travel along with Dennis Patrick Slattery as he sets off on a three-month pilgrimage during which he struggles with his identity, his role as a father and husband, teacher and believer, as well as the life and death of his father. Throughout his stays at twelve monasteries and retreat centers, Slattery seeks the refuge of the monastic life where silence and solitude open an extraordinary window on the human soul. Against the backdrop of Slattery's personal story, Grace in the Desert offers vivid descriptions of monastic life and practice at Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox, and Buddhist monasteries and retreat centers. Slattery's journey evokes life's most profound questions and his rich Catholic heritage, enriched with wisdom drawn from contemporary and classic spiritual writers like Thomas Merton, Julian of Norwich, and Thich Nhat Hanh. Grace in the Desert clearly shows the subtle and often surprising ways God speaks to us and how to become more spiritually fulfilled by opening to the richness of monastic life. It also shows how a monastic attitude or disposition can be cultivated in moments of retreat during one's busy daily life. Slattery attempts to bring a monastic sense of space to the reader, which one can enter outside the structure of a formal retreat. If you are considering taking your own spiritual retreat, Grace in the Desert includes an appendix with descriptions of nine additional retreat centers, a list of online retreat and monastery directories, and suggested reading to enhance your own contemplative solitude.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Library Journal on 2004-05-01:
Slattery (mythological studies, Pacifica Graduate Inst.) has written an account of a three-month, multistage sojourn he made at 12 different religious retreat centers or monasteries, most of them Catholic, across California, Oregon, and Arizona. Through these many brief stays, Slattery writes a number of poems and comes to terms with the death of his father. While the brevity of his exposure to each of these places prevents much depth of understanding of their distinctive qualities, many readers will be moved by Slattery's journey and its spiritual results. For most collections. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 2004-03-08:
In 1998, Slattery, a faculty member of Pacifica Graduate Institute, turned a professional sabbatical into a personal pilgrimage, traveling to 11 monasteries and retreat houses throughout the western United States. He dedicates one chapter to each of his destinations, which are diverse in tradition and style and include a Russian Orthodox monastery, an urban prayer center run by Benedictine sisters and a Zen center. Slattery describes the flavor of each retreat center, but spends the bulk of each chapter recounting the spiritual musings prompted by each place he visited. At times, his account is pointed and compelling, as when he shares his unfolding comprehension that his own life is re-manifesting the patterns, if not the specifics, of his alcoholic father's excessive behavior, or when he observes this personal transformation after weeks of pilgrimage: "I no longer believed in God.... Instead, I felt his presence in every corner of my life." At other times, however, his ruminations tend toward the generalized and hypothetical. Moreover, Slattery's style undermines his effectiveness: he has a fondness for stretching metaphors paper-thin, and his prose is frequently self-conscious, even affected, as when he describes monks arriving in chapel as "silent, sacred specters in white robes that whooshed." Slattery's sensitivity to spiritual matters is clear, but ultimately the book leaves the reader wanting a more satisfying, focused account of what was obviously a powerful pilgrimage journey. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Reviews
Review Quotes
"Dennis Patrick Slattery invites us to journey with him to experience the sacredness of everyday life at the monastic retreat centers he visits as well as on the paths and desert mountain ranges he walks. In this courageous journey of the heart, the author weaves his poetic reflections with the teachings of many writers. A stunning spiritual journey."-Maureen Murdock, author, The Heroine's Journey, Unreliable Truth, and Monday Morning Memoirs"In his memoir, Dennis Patrick Slattery writes of a journey that is simultaneously inward and outward with an almost Augustinian appreciation of the 'sweetness' of things. With a writer's relish and a mystic's sensitivity, he describes . . . making his way from a stay at one monastic community after another." -Christine Downing, author, The Goddess and The Long Journey Home"Those who read Grace in the Desert have an opportunity to travel through the desert of the dark night of the soul to the mountain of the light of divine knowledge, to the cloud of unknowing which wraps us in the radiant darkness of divine love. It is one of the most reflective, richly poetic, and yes, spiritually uplifting 'journals of the soul' I have been privileged to read." -Peter C. Phan, The Ignacio Ellacuria Professor of Catholic Thought, Georgetown University, author, Journeys at Margins"This is a marvelous and inspiring book that serves not only as a practical and historical guide to contemporary monastic retreats in the American West but also a reminder of how much we need to seek out periods of meditative solitude in our lives."-Evans Lansing Smith, author, The Modernist Nekyia and Sacred Mysteries"Dennis reveals himself as a child of God at play in the fields of the Lord. His delight in the spiritual world is palpable, contagious. His decades-long habit of reflection has borne fruit in this compelling record of what continues to be a sacramental journey" -Allen Tate Wood, author, Moonstruck
In 1998, Slattery, a faculty member of Pacifica Graduate Institute, turned a professional sabbatical into a personal pilgrimage, traveling to 11 monasteries and retreat houses throughout the western United States. He dedicates one chapter to each of his destinations, which are diverse in tradition and style and include a Russian Orthodox monastery, an urban prayer center run by Benedictine sisters and a Zen center. Slattery describes the flavor of each retreat center, but spends the bulk of each chapter recounting the spiritual musings prompted by each place he visited. At times, his account is pointed and compelling, as when he shares his unfolding comprehension that his own life is re-manifesting the patterns, if not the specifics, of his alcoholic father's excessive behavior, or when he observes this personal transformation after weeks of pilgrimage: "I no longer believed in God.... Instead, I felt his presence in every corner of my life." At other times, however, his ruminations tend toward the generalized and hypothetical. Moreover, Slattery's style undermines his effectiveness: he has a fondness for stretching metaphors paper-thin, and his prose is frequently self-conscious, even affected, as when he describes monks arriving in chapel as "silent, sacred specters in white robes that whooshed." Slattery's sensitivity to spiritual matters is clear, but ultimately the book leaves the reader wanting a more satisfying, focused account of what was obviously a powerful pilgrimage journey. (Apr.) (Publishers Weekly, March 8, 2004)
"Dennis Patrick Slattery invites us to journey with him to experience the sacredness of everyday life at the monastic retreat centers he visits as well as on the paths and desert mountain ranges he walks. In this courageous journey of the heart, the author weaves his poetic reflections with the teachings of many writers. A stunning spiritual journey."-Maureen Murdock, author, The Heroine's Journey , Unreliable Truth , and Monday Morning Memoirs "In his memoir, Dennis Patrick Slattery writes of a journey that is simultaneously inward and outward with an almost Augustinian appreciation of the 'sweetness' of things. With a writer's relish and a mystic's sensitivity, he describes . . . making his way from a stay at one monastic community after another." -Christine Downing, author, The Goddess and The Long Journey Home "Those who read Grace in the Desert have an opportunity to travel through the desert of the dark night of the soul to the mountain of the light of divine knowledge, to the cloud of unknowing which wraps us in the radiant darkness of divine love. It is one of the most reflective, richly poetic, and yes, spiritually uplifting 'journals of the soul' I have been privileged to read." -Peter C. Phan, The Ignacio Ellacuria Professor of Catholic Thought, Georgetown University, author, Journeys at Margins "This is a marvelous and inspiring book that serves not only as a practical and historical guide to contemporary monastic retreats in the American West but also a reminder of how much we need to seek out periods of meditative solitude in our lives."-Evans Lansing Smith, author, The Modernist Nekyia and Sacred Mysteries "Dennis reveals himself as a child of God at play in the fields of the Lord. His delight in the spiritual world is palpable, contagious. His decades-long habit of reflection has borne fruit in this compelling record of what continues to be a sacramental journey" -Allen Tate Wood, author, Moonstruck
"Dennis Patrick Slattery invites us to journey with him to experience the sacredness of everyday life at the monastic retreat centers he visits as well as on the paths and desert mountain ranges he walks. In this courageous journey of the heart, the author weaves his poetic reflections with the teachings of many writers. A stunning spiritual journey."-Maureen Murdock, author, The Heroine's Journey, Unreliable Truth, and Monday Morning Memoirs "In his memoir, Dennis Patrick Slattery writes of a journey that is simultaneously inward and outward with an almost Augustinian appreciation of the 'sweetness' of things. With a writer's relish and a mystic's sensitivity, he describes . . . making his way from a stay at one monastic community after another." -Christine Downing, author, The Goddess and The Long Journey Home "Those who read Grace in the Desert have an opportunity to travel through the desert of the dark night of the soul to the mountain of the light of divine knowledge, to the cloud of unknowing which wraps us in the radiant darkness of divine love. It is one of the most reflective, richly poetic, and yes, spiritually uplifting 'journals of the soul' I have been privileged to read." -Peter C. Phan, The Ignacio Ellacuria Professor of Catholic Thought, Georgetown University, author, Journeys at Margins "This is a marvelous and inspiring book that serves not only as a practical and historical guide to contemporary monastic retreats in the American West but also a reminder of how much we need to seek out periods of meditative solitude in our lives."-Evans Lansing Smith, author, The Modernist Nekyia and Sacred Mysteries "Dennis reveals himself as a child of God at play in the fields of the Lord. His delight in the spiritual world is palpable, contagious. His decades-long habit of reflection has borne fruit in this compelling record of what continues to be a sacramental journey" -Allen Tate Wood, author, Moonstruck
This item was reviewed in:
Publishers Weekly, March 2004
Booklist, April 2004
Library Journal, May 2004
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
Written for anyone seeking to deepen their spiritual life, this book chronicles a three month pilgrimage made by the author in several monasteries & retreat centres across America. It explores spiritual practices, including intentional solitude. meditation, the Benedictine Rule, & formal liturgy.
Unpaid Annotation
A gentle and reflective introduction to the monastic life for anyone considering a spiritual retreat " Dennis Patrick Slattery invites us to journey with him to experience the sacredness of everyday life at the monastic retreat centers he visits as well as on the paths and desert mountain ranges he walks. In this courageous journey of the heart, the author weaves his poetic reflections with the teachings of many writers. A stunning spiritual journey." - maureen murdock, author, The Heroine' s Journey, Unreliable Truth, and Monday Morning Memoirs " In his memoir, Dennis Patrick Slattery writes of a journey that is simultaneously inward and outward with an almost Augustinian appreciation of the ‘ sweetness' of things. With a writer' s relish and a mystic' s sensitivity, he describes . . . making his way from a stay at one monastic community after another." - christine downing, author, The Goddess and The Long Journey Home " Those w,read Grace in the Desert have an opportunity to travel through the desert of the dark night of the soul to the mountain of the light of divine knowledge, to the cloud of unknowing which wraps us in the radiant darkness of divine love. It is one of the most reflective, richly poetic, and yes, spiritually uplifting ‘ journals of the soul' I have been privileged to read." - peter c. phan, The Ignacio Ellacuria Professor of Catholic Thought, Georgetown University; author, Journeys at Margins " This is a marvelous and inspiring book that serves not only as a practical and historical guide to contemporary monastic retreats in the American West but also as areminder of how much we need to seek out periods of meditative solitude in our lives." - evans lansing smith, author, The Modernist Nekyia and Sacred Mysteries " Dennis reveals himself as a child of G
Main Description
In this powerful book, travel along with Dennis Patrick Slattery as he sets off on a three-month pilgrimage, during which he struggles with his identity; his role as a father and husband, teacher and believer; as well as the life and death of his father. Throughout his stays at twelve monasteries and retreat centers, Slattery seeks the refuge of the monastic life where silence and solitude open an extraordinary window on the human soul. Against the backdrop of Slattery's personal story, Grace in the Desert offers vivid descriptions of monastic life and practice at Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox, and Buddhist monasteries and retreat centers.
Back Cover Copy
A gentle and reflective introduction to the monastic life for anyone considering a spiritual retreat "Dennis Patrick Slattery invites us to journey with him to experience the sacredness of everyday life at the monastic retreat centers he visits as well as on the paths and desert mountain ranges he walks. In this courageous journey of the heart, the author weaves his poetic reflections with the teachings of many writers. A stunning spiritual journey." -maureen murdock, author, The Heroine's Journey, Unreliable Truth, and Monday Morning Memoirs "In his memoir, Dennis Patrick Slattery writes of a journey that is simultaneously inward and outward with an almost Augustinian appreciation of the ‘sweetness' of things. With a writer's relish and a mystic's sensitivity, he describes . . . making his way from a stay at one monastic community after another." -christine downing, author, The Goddess and The Long Journey Home "Those who read Grace in the Desert have an opportunity to travel through the desert of the dark night of the soul to the mountain of the light of divine knowledge, to the cloud of unknowing which wraps us in the radiant darkness of divine love. It is one of the most reflective, richly poetic, and yes, spiritually uplifting ‘journals of the soul' I have been privileged to read." -peter c. phan, The Ignacio Ellacuria Professor of Catholic Thought, Georgetown University; author, Journeys at Margins "This is a marvelous and inspiring book that serves not only as a practical and historical guide to contemporary monastic retreats in the American West but also as a reminder of how much we need to seek out periods of meditative solitude in our lives." -evans lansing smith, author, The Modernist Nekyia and Sacred Mysteries "Dennis reveals himself as a child of God at play in the fields of the Lord. His delight in the spiritual world is palpable, contagious. His decades-long habit of reflection has borne fruit in this compelling record of what continues to be a sacramental journey." -allen tate wood, author, Moonstruck
Back Cover Copy
A gentle and reflective introduction to the monastic life for anyone considering a spiritual retreat"Dennis Patrick Slattery invites us to journey with him to experience the sacredness of everyday life at the monastic retreat centers he visits as well as on the paths and desert mountain ranges he walks. In this courageous journey of the heart, the author weaves his poetic reflections with the teachings of many writers. A stunning spiritual journey." -maureen murdock, author, The Heroine's Journey, Unreliable Truth, and Monday Morning Memoirs"In his memoir, Dennis Patrick Slattery writes of a journey that is simultaneously inward and outward with an almost Augustinian appreciation of the ‘sweetness' of things. With a writer's relish and a mystic's sensitivity, he describes . . . making his way from a stay at one monastic community after another." -christine downing, author, The Goddess and The Long Journey Home"Those who read Grace in the Desert have an opportunity to travel through the desert of the dark night of the soul to the mountain of the light of divine knowledge, to the cloud of unknowing which wraps us in the radiant darkness of divine love. It is one of the most reflective, richly poetic, and yes, spiritually uplifting ‘journals of the soul' I have been privileged to read." -peter c. phan, The Ignacio Ellacuria Professor of Catholic Thought, Georgetown University; author, Journeys at Margins"This is a marvelous and inspiring book that serves not only as a practical and historical guide to contemporary monastic retreats in the American West but also as a reminder of how much we need to seek out periods of meditative solitude in our lives." -evans lansing smith, author, The Modernist Nekyia and Sacred Mysteries"Dennis reveals himself as a child of God at play in the fields of the Lord. His delight in the spiritual world is palpable, contagious. His decades-long habit of reflection has borne fruit in this compelling record of what continues to be a sacramental journey." -allen tate wood, author, Moonstruck
Long Description
A gentle and reflective introduction to the monastic life for anyone considering a spiritual retreat "Dennis Patrick Slattery invites us to journey with him to experience the sacredness of everyday life at the monastic retreat centers he visits as well as on the paths and desert mountain ranges he walks. In this courageous journey of the heart, the author weaves his poetic reflections with the teachings of many writers. A stunning spiritual journey." -maureen murdock, author, The Heroine's Journey, Unreliable Truth, and Monday Morning Memoirs "In his memoir, Dennis Patrick Slattery writes of a journey that is simultaneously inward and outward with an almost Augustinian appreciation of the 'sweetness' of things. With a writer's relish and a mystic's sensitivity, he describes . . . making his way from a stay at one monastic community after another." -christine downing, author, The Goddess and The Long Journey Home "Those who read Grace in the Desert have an opportunity to travel through the desert of the dark night of the soul to the mountain of the light of divine knowledge, to the cloud of unknowing which wraps us in the radiant darkness of divine love. It is one of the most reflective, richly poetic, and yes, spiritually uplifting 'journals of the soul' I have been privileged to read." -peter c. phan, The Ignacio Ellacuria Professor of Catholic Thought, Georgetown University; author, Journeys at Margins "This is a marvelous and inspiring book that serves not only as a practical and historical guide to contemporary monastic retreats in the American West but also as a reminder of how much we need to seek out periods of meditative solitude in our lives." -evans lansing smith, author, The Modernist Nekyia and Sacred Mysteries "Dennis reveals himself as a child of God at play in the fields of the Lord. His delight in the spiritual world is palpable, contagious. His decades-long habit of reflection has borne fruit in this compelling record of what continues to be a sacramental journey." -allen tate wood, author, Moonstruck
Table of Contents
Forewordp. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xv
A Need to Reconnect: Preparing for the Pilgrimagep. 1
The Road on No Map: New Camaldoli Hermitage, Big Sur, Californiap. 9
An Isolato Dogged by Divinity: The Carmelite House of Prayer, Oakville, Californiap. 22
Meditations out of Time: Sonoma Mountain Zen Center, Santa Rosa, Californiap. 33
Loneliness Does Not Retreat: Monastery of Mount Tabor, Redwood Valley, Californiap. 47
Nature's Mystical Muse: Our Lady of Guadalupe Trappist Abbey, Lafayette, Oregonp. 60
Sisters Who Make Much of Time: Shalom Prayer Center, Queen of Angels Monastery, Mount Angel, Oregonp. 71
St. Francis and a Spider's Web: Franciscan Renewal Center, Portland, Oregonp. 83
Lowing Cows and Abandoned Heifers: Our Lady of Trinity Trappist Monastery, Huntsville, Utahp. 96
Breathless in the Darkness of God: Nada Hermitage, Crestone, Coloradop. 108
A Hermit in the Fridge: Dominican Retreat House, Albuquerque, New Mexicop. 121
Christ and the Hohokam People: Picture Rocks Retreat Center, Tucson, Arizonap. 129
Other Monastic Staysp. 137
St. Andrew's Priory, Valyermo, California
Serra Retreat Center, Malibu, California
Mt. Calvary Monastery and Retreat Center, Santa Barbara, California
La Casa de Maria, Santa Barbara, California
Our Lady of Peace Retreat Center, Beaverton, Oregon
Ghost Ranch, Abiquiu, New Mexico
Holy Trinity Monastery, St. David, Arizona
St. Anthony's Greek Orthodox Monastery, Florence, Arizona
Monastery of Christ in the Desert, Abiquiu, New Mexico
Websites Offering Directories of Retreat Centers and Monasteriesp. 141
Notesp. 143
Further Readingp. 149
About the Authorp. 153
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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