This small, spirited book, a collection of reflections contributed primarily by the participants of a retreat and edited by its sponsor, an authority on spirituality, examines the role of the human body in the Christian spiritual life. It asks us to recover a conviction of the goodness of our bodies and how God created us so that we can reclaim a positive, healthy attitude toward our individual bodies, toward the social body, the community around us, including the Church, the "earthbody," the body of the natural world, and become spiritually whole. Fr. Thomas Ryan, as editor and contributor, leads with an introduction, reflections on the positive aspects of the human body, and the modalities of body expression in the Christian and non-Christian-Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, Eastern Orthodox-traditions: meditation, prayer, yoga, exercise and rest, sex, fasting and feasting, silence and solitude, and acts of corporal mercy. He is followed by James Wiseman, James Dickerson, Casey Rock, and James Hall with a short overview of historical Christian attitudes toward the body, the benefits of yoga and Kripalu philosophy for Christians, and the ways of integrating personal spiritual practices with political, social, and environmental justice, through mission groups, Manna Inc., L'Arche, and wilderness groups. Devotees as well as newcomers to health, fitness, especially yoga, nature, and spirituality rooted in the body, are sure to be receptive of its positive message.
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