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Cheryl Driskell
Living the Way of Oneness
The spiritual nature of Living the Way of Oneness is to awaken the reader to self-understanding and enliven them to the remembrance of ONENESS, thereby opening their natural flow of conscious engagement with it. The more we are in remembrance of the Oneness, and feel into it, the greater ease we experience in accessing its supply to share with us 'our' peace, health, happiness and abundance. From how spiritual students can find their center or their way, to how an elephant can help a butterfly, and how aunts and uncles can affect our lives, to how ONENESS is within each of us, this book offers each reader radically transformative teachings to awaken awareness for even deeper surrender to ONENESS.
Sufi counselor Driskell (author of Be in Your Heart) offers a collection of 62 short teaching stories focused on the concept of Oneness that will edify readers ready to explore a Sufi spiritual approach. Many of the stories feature a relatable character named Esmeralda, who progresses in the stories from teen to teacher and beloved Elder, though others focus on a more generalized seeker and an “invisible teacher.” The fifth story, “The Oneness As the SUN”, gives the most explicit explanation of Driskell’s understanding of Oneness. A few of the stories feel more like classic koans or affirmations, but the majority focus on accessible student-teacher advice and wisdom sharing around increasing awareness. Throughout, Driskell offers gentle and kind teachings that always point at human compassion and at reconnection with others and with the universal.

Driskell’s spiritual storytelling is accessible without being overly casual, and she omits most technical spiritual language in favor of easy to understand narrative with a natural conversational tone. Although she offers a variety of framings of the essential concepts, her focus on the primary teaching of living mindfully in the Oneness stays crystal clear throughout. She establishes Esmeralda as a point of view character, but develops her personal story lightly; Driskell seems to suggest but never says that Esmeralda’s experiences ressemble her own, and she emphasizes the teachings rather than her story.

Driskell resists editorializing, letting the stories speak for themselves, but provides an annotation index in the endnotes which explicitly specifies the teaching topics for each tale, helping readers to hook into the meanings through additional research or to easily choose an appropriate story for any particular contemplative moment. Each piece after the first few stands well on its own as a teaching story, so readers can engage the book non-sequentially; however, those who choose to read straight through will find the pieces varied enough that the experience proves fresh and engaging throughout.

Takeaway: An introduction to Sufi spiritual approach, presented in 62 short narratives.

Comparable Titles: Eckhart Tolle’s Oneness with All Life, Nevit O. Ergin’s Tales of a Modern Sufi.

Production grades
Cover: A-
Design and typography: A-
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: A
Marketing copy: A