Foundations in Spiritual Direction
Beverly Lanzetta, author
Foundations in Spiritual Direction visually repeats the process and atmosphere that occurs when deep listening and respectful sharing take place. Through the interplay of text and sacred art images, the book is designed to re-awaken our metaphorical minds and liberate our intuitive knowing. Reading and viewing each chapter meditatively in the time-honored manner of sacred reading, allows words to engage more deeply in our mind and heart.
Theologian and spiritual teacher Lanzetta (The Monk Within) considers the concept of spiritual direction and guidance in this series of meditations and journaling exercises. Lanzetta focuses mostly on mystical religious traditions—such as Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, and Sufi mysticism—and explains that “the primary focus of spiritual direction is on religious experience, not ideas, and how this experience touches the most profound level of the person.” Various prayers and meditation practices are offered alongside Lanzetta’s ruminations on how these exercises are conduits to the divine. Lanzetta’s own artworks, reminiscent of ancient Byzantine art, are intermingled and used to highlight the mystical ideas she covers. The section on Christianity is notably slim—however, Sufism plays a prominent role throughout. Readers with general interest in world religions will appreciate the extensive explanations of the various spiritual leaders of religions and steps to spiritual enlightenment from a number of religious perspectives, while those seeking to further their own spiritual evolution will find Lanzetta’s end-of-chapter journal questions and meditations most useful. Readers wanting to think broadly about mysticism will enjoy this eclectic mix of history and practices. (Self-published.)