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At the youthful age of nineteen Bieke Vandekerckhove was diagnosed with ALS (a degenerative neurological disease, aka Lou Gehrig's disease). Unexpectedly, three years later her disease went into remission and, even though partially paralyzed, she has lived with ALS now for more than twenty years.
In twenty-seven short chapters, written at various points in her life, the author shares her search for meaning and strength. Much to her own surprise, she found both in the stillness of contemplation, in the richness of silence. The practice of Benedictine spirituality and Zen meditation became, as she says, the two lungs through which she breathes.
Along the way of her painful but illuminating journey, she shares insights learned from artists of all stripes, whether poets, painters, sculptors, or moviemakers, and from great contemplatives and thinkers. The result is a work that offers a deep trove of spiritual wisdom for every reader, whether afflicted with debilitating illness or in perfect health.
This book won the Best Spiritual Book 2011 award in the author's home country of Belgium.
Number of Pages: 124
Vendor: Liturgical Press
Publication Date: 2015
|Dimensions: 8.25 X 5.38 (inches)|
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By force of circumstance she was led to Saint Lioba Convent in Egmond-Binnen. There she learned Benedictine spirituality and to pray the psalms, which influenced her life for good. Three years later she learned that her illness had gone into remission but that it could flare up again at any time. She has been living with ALS for twenty years now. She is married and has two assistants to help her as necessary.
Ten years ago she found the silence of Zen. This encounter also proved decisive. The Taste of Silence reflects what she experienced, saw, and tasted in the stillness of life: "Benedictine spirituality and Zen Buddhism became the two lungs through which I breathe."
Huub Oosterhuis, Dutch theologian, poet, author, liturgist, and ecumenist
Benoît Standaert, Benedictine Monk of Saint Andrew's Abbey in Bruges, Belgium, Author of Sharing Sacred Space: Interreligious Dialogue as Spiritual Encounter
Patrick Henry, On Being blog
Diane Scharper, National Catholic Reporter