Brown Taylor divides the book into 12 chapters of twelve ordinary and everyday practices, practices for which, she says, we do not need special equipment. Some of the chapters draw on common Christian practices, such as prayer, sabbath, blessing, pilgrimage, but look at them in a new way. Back in Lent the most intriguing of the chapters to me was: "The Practice of Getting Lost/Wilderness." I remember reading the chapter on "The Practice of Feeling Pain/Breakthrough" in an academic way and then have a long argument in my head with her while I suffered with a migraine that did not respond to medication. And finally, I found the chapter "The Practice of Wearing Skin/Incarnation" poignant as my conflicting feelings about my own body.
Here are her chapter headings:
1 The Practice of Waking Up to God/Vision
2 The Practice of Paying Attention/Reverence
3 The Practice of Wearing Skin/Incarnation
4 The Practice of Walking the Earth/Groundedness
5 The Practice of Getting Lost/Wilderness
6 The Practice of Encountering Others/Community
7 The Practice of Living with Purpose/Vocation
8 The Practice of Saying No/Sabbath
9 The Practice of Carrying Water/Physical Labor
10 The Practice of Feeling Pain/Breakthrough
11 The Practice of Being Present to God/Prayer
12 The Practice of Pronouncing Blessings/Benediction
A few questions/things to ponder or discuss:
1. Which of the practices draws you the most? Which seems least compelling?
2. In what ordinary activities do you most encounter God?
3. It seems to me that she is often talking about the practice of mindfulness. What contributes to mindful living for you, and what detracts from it?
4. She writes as a Christian, from her own faith tradition, but this is not a book exclusively for Christians. It is a book for those desiring More, The Divine, etc. Does this appeal to you or was it off-putting?
5. If you were to write your own chapter, "The Practice of....." what would you write about?
Looking forward to the conversation! Please feel free to add and share your own most thoughtful quotations.