Stephanie Dowrick is an internationally bestselling author with years of experience in many psychotherapeutic approaches. She was ordained as an interfaith minister by the New Seminary in New York. Dowrick is the author of Forgiveness & Other Acts of Love and Choosing Happiness. She begins this robust and wide-ranging book with this statement:
"Our search for the sacred may be as individual as our fingerprints. Yet it connects us effortlessly to all living beings. It lets us discover what is most treasured and transformative in human existence. It lets us see existence itself as entirely precious. What we regard as precious, we will naturally protect."
Dowrick sees the search for the sacred as part of the human adventure as we put ourselves on a quest for meaning, a melding of the personal and the planetary, and a connection with all sentient beings. "Whatever else the sacred is, it points to this: we are members of a single human family, marvelous and terrifying in its diversity."
Along with her own voice and sharing of her own experiences are those of a group of people she interviewed for this book. In a chapter on "Reverence," she refers to Huston Smith's definition of this spiritual practice as catching "chinks of a world beyond." All of us have known those magical moments when we have felt in total communion with nature, another human being, or an animal. Feelings of connection, unity, and gratitude overtake us and we sense that reverence is a gift to us.
Another dimension of the search for the sacred is "Identity." Here Dowrick looks at the stories that shape us, the explorations which expand our horizons, and the fellowship with others which broadens our beliefs. In a chapter on "Love" the author hits the ground running as she circles around the many meanings and mysteries of this spiritual practice.
But the best section in Seeking the Sacred is the one on "Do No Harm." Here Dowrick looks at war, revenge, violence, racism, and religious prejudice. Despite these dark clouds, she believes that we must strive to do no harm on our little slice of the planet. The closing chapter takes in its embrace the blessings of the spiritual practice of transformation and signals the allure of being open to the "mystery and abundance of life."