We’re starting our summer book study next week at The Sophia Center with a book called Fully Awake and Truly Alive. Each time I try to tell someone the title of the book I have to find either the book itself or the flyer announcing the topic. It’s not that complicated but I’m always concerned about remembering it correctly. “Is it Truly Awake and Fully Alive or does Fully come before Truly,” I ask myself. And then there’s Awake and Alive to deal with. Is it possible to be awake before you’re alive or is it all a question of those demanding modifiers?
Regardless of whether I ever get it right, the book is a great summer read. It offers a new look at prayer and spiritual practices in a way that gives credence to the value of everyday activities like gardening, hiking and rest. Who thinks of resting as a spiritual practice? And yet the concept of Sabbath is foundational to much of religious tradition. Pair rest with conscious breathing and silence and the foundation grows even stronger. In other words, simple is beautiful. For those of us who are driven by work and the necessity of achievement, these are good reminders. Actually, even for those less inclined to feverish activity, the reminder to stop for a moment to breathe in the day may be an inestimable gift.