Summary of Essential Spirituality

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Essential Spirituality book summary

Editorial Rating



  • Comprehensive
  • Applicable
  • Inspiring


Writing about faith and religion daunts many authors, but Roger Walsh, a professor of psychiatry, philosophy and anthropology, succeeds with this thoughtful guide. Walsh only occasionally mentions God and the world’s major religions, despite his spiritual tone and reliance on these teachings. He deploys common theologies to appeal to the universal desire for a peaceful inner life, awareness, goodness and happiness. His seven practices “to awaken the heart and mind” are simple and effective. You will find nuggets of wisdom plus exercises for finding a quiet place in a busy day or a moment of peace in a storm of stress. getAbstract believes spiritual seekers will enjoy Walsh’s philosophy and recommends his treatise to mid-level managers seeking meaning in their work, to executives facing burnout, and to anyone searching for purpose and peace.

About the Author

Roger Walsh, a psychiatrist, teaches at the University of California at Irvine. He wrote The Spirit of Shamanism and co-wrote Paths Beyond Ego.


A Sense of Spirituality in Daily Life

Despite life’s common difficulties and personal problems, you can experience a joyful, adventurous existence filled with fascinating people, beautiful places and wonderful explorations. Spiritual practices help you handle life’s challenges, discover meaning in its mysteries and reside in its happiness. You don’t have to be religious to embrace guidance from the world’s major faiths that can help you enjoy a happier, calmer, more fulfilling life. These philosophies emphasize personal encounters with the sacred that confer myriad benefits. One of the major benefits is an internal “awakening” – that is, spirituality can help you reach an understanding of yourself and how you relate to the values that are most important to you.

As you proceed in your spiritual practices, other advantages might include diminishing anger, increasing joy, more peace and less jealousy. Modern science supports these age-old assertions, finding those who engage in spiritual practices more relaxed, more creative, more successful academically and more sensitive. They enjoy their marriages more and drink less alcohol. Exercising spirituality lengthens life-...

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