Hugh Prather lives with his wife Gayle in Tucson, Arizona, where for many years they were resident ministers at St. Francis in the Foothills United Methodist Church. He is now the host of a show on Wisdom Radio. Since his bestselling Notes to Myself, Prather has written 17 other books. His style is very philosophical and introspective. Call him an inner space traveler, and you won't be too off the mark. He has seen many sights on his journeys over the years and tutored readers on the process of self-discovery. This paperback is an updated and revised version of a volume first published in 1972.
Prather is astonished at how our mind games shut us off from others and take us away from what right lies directly in front of us. He notes: "As long as I am thinking, I am not fully present." Then there is the danger of impatience: "It makes no sense to hurry up and so mess up what I am doing now in order to get started on what I plan to do next." Prather follows the advice of many spiritual traditions when he counsels us not to make comparisons: "There are no 'best ways.' There are only alternatives."
And just to keep us alert, he throws a few fast balls: "What would I discover about the cottonwoods if when I walked to the mailbox I listened to them instead of looked at them? What would I find out about the rain if I didn't run inside? And is it possible that a sunrise would refresh me more than sleep?" The last one is right in sync with many practitioners of prayer who rise at dawn and are energized by their devotions. Sometimes Prather's eagle eye captures something precious: "There were seventy-five people in the lobby and only a seven-year-old girl was finding out what it felt like to sit on the marble floor." That's the spiritual practice of wonder ever and always refreshing.