Download The Understory by Lore Ferguson Wilbert (.ePUB)

The Understory: An Invitation to Rootedness and Resilience from the Forest Floor by Lore Ferguson Wilbert
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Overview: “Walk in the woods with me.”
That’s the invitation award-winning author Lore Ferguson Wilbert extends to readers in The Understory.
On this journey, Wilbert shares her story of alienation and disorientation after years of religious and political unrest in the evangelical church. In doing so, she looks to an unlikely place–the forest–to learn how to live and even thrive when everything seems to be falling apart. What can we learn from eroding soil, the decomposition process, the time it takes to grow lichen, the beauty of fiddlehead ferns, the regeneration of self-sowing seeds, and walking through the mud? Here, among the understory of the forest, Wilbert discovers rich metaphors for living a rooted and flourishing life within the complex ecosystems of our world. Her tenderness and honesty will help readers grieve, remember, hope, and press on with resilience.
Genre: Non-Fiction > Faith, Beliefs & Philosophy > Religion & Spirituality

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Download The Black Practice of Disbelief by Anthony B. Pinn (.ePUB)

The Black Practice of Disbelief: An Introduction to the Principles, History, and Communities of Black Nonbelievers by Anthony B. Pinn
Requirements: .ePUB reader, 0.8 Mb
Overview: A short introduction to Black Humanism: its history, its present, and the rich cultural sensibilities that infuse it
In the United States, to be a Black American is to be a Black Christian. And there’s something to this assumption in that the vast majority of African Americans are Christian. However, in recent years a growing number of African Americans have said they claim no particular religious affiliation—they are Black "nones." And of these Black "nones," the most public and vocal are those who claim to be humanists.
What does it mean to be a Black humanist? What do Black humanist believe, and what do they do? This slim volume answers these questions. Animated by six central principles, and discussed in terms of its history, practices, formations, and community rituals, this book argues that Black humanism can be understood as a religious movement. Pinn makes a distinction between theism and religion—which is simply a tool for examining, naming, and finding the meaning in human experience. Black humanism, based on this definition isn’t theistic but it is a religious system used to explore human experience and foster life meaning. It infuses humanism with rich cultural sensibilities drawn from Black experience. As shown in these pages, thinking about Black humanism this way frees readers from making unfounded assumptions and enables them to better appreciate the secular “beliefs,” ritual structures, and community formation constituted by Black humanists.
Genre: Non-Fiction > Faith, Beliefs & Philosophy > Philosophy

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Download A Dakini’s Counsel by Sera Khandro Dewai Dorje (.ePUB)

A Dakini’s Counsel: Sera Khandro’s Spiritual Advice and Dzogchen Instructions by Sera Khandro Dewai Dorje
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Overview: Translated here for the first time, a collection of heartfelt and intimate advice for Buddhist practice from the modern female Buddhist teacher Sera Khandro Dewai Dorje (1892–1940), revealing her firsthand experiences as a mother, wife, consort, and spiritual teacher of the Dzogchen tradition of Tibetan Buddhism.
Sera Khandro Dewai Dorje was a rare example of a well-known Tibetan woman renowned as a teacher in the modern era. While there are many notable female figures in Tibetan Buddhist history, very few left a collection of poetic, autobiographical, and devotional writings as extensive as Dewai Dorje. Both biographical and instructional, this is a collection of advice, prayers, dreams, prophecies, and treasures (terma) from within the Tibetan Buddhist tradition of Dzogchen, a Buddhist practice on resting in the nature of mind. Typically seen as high level practices, these Dzogchen and other instructions are presented in Dewai Dorje’s highly personal and accessible voice.
This collection of practice instructions is a window into the inner experience of a beautiful woman in love who single-pointedly pursued a life of Dharma. Born to a wealthy and powerful father in Lhasa, she left home and became a dedicated Dharma practitioner living as an unaccompanied female in the wilds of eastern Tibet in the early 1900s. She became a wife, mother, and then consort and wrote of both highly spiritual and highly personal experiences, from spiritual realization to grief.
Genre: Non-Fiction > Faith, Beliefs & Philosophy

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Download Queering Contemplation by Cassidy Hall (.ePUB)

Queering Contemplation: Finding Queerness in the Roots and Future of Contemplative Spirituality by Cassidy Hall
Requirements: .ePUB reader, 1.3 Mb
Overview: What would it mean to queer contemplation? To disentangle contemplative spirituality from heteronormativity, patriarchy, and Eurocentricity, and instead engage with openness, curiosity, and a little weirdness?
The world of contemplative Christianity has yielded to the same voices for far too long, many of whom are from centuries before our time, with lives unlike our own, and often from experiences disconnected from marginalization, oppression, and what it feels like to be an outsider.
Cassidy Hall, an LGBTQIA+ Christian contemplative scholar and podcast host, takes us on a journey to queer the contemplative tradition.For Hall, queering is not solely about identifying as queer or applying queer theory; it is about what is gained by seeing things differently. “Queer,” she says, “is the way I tilt my head to look at the world.”
As queerness reawakened her own contemplative life, Hall discovered that queering and questioning the tradition allowed her to listen more closely to voices that are queer, marginalized, and oppressed–voices that have long existed but have often been overlooked or silenced. For Hall, that also meant moving differently into contemplation, into silence, into liminality and ritual. In showing us the way, she helps us envision what contemplative faith can look like, what spiritual spaces we can reclaim for welcome–and how queering contemplation, and lifting up queer contemplative voices, frees us to seek the infinite possibility of our own identity and engage our spiritual lives with open hearts and open hands. 
Whether you’re queer or want to queer your own perspectives, or whether you want to uncover the queerness and queer voices in the contemplative tradition–Hall throws open the doors of contemplative spirituality for all, bringing us to contemplation in very new, sometimes old, but always queer ways.
Genre: Non-Fiction > Educational > New Age

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Download In My Time of Dying by Sebastian Junger (.ePUB)

In My Time of Dying: How I Came Face to Face with the Idea of an Afterlife by Sebastian Junger
Requirements: .ePUB reader, 4.7 Mb
Overview: A near-fatal health emergency leads to this powerful reflection on death—and what might follow—by the bestselling author of Tribe and The Perfect Storm.
For years as an award-winning war reporter, Sebastian Junger traveled to many front lines and frequently put his life at risk. And yet the closest he ever came to death was the summer of 2020 while spending a quiet afternoon at the New England home he shared with his wife and two young children. Crippled by abdominal pain, Junger was rushed to the hospital by ambulance. Once there, he began slipping away. As blackness encroached, he was visited by his dead father, inviting Junger to join him. “It’s okay,” his father said. “There’s nothing to be scared of. I’ll take care of you.” That was the last thing Junger remembered until he came to the next day when he was told he had suffered a ruptured aneurysm that he should not have survived.
This experience spurred Junger—a confirmed atheist raised by his physicist father to respect the empirical—to undertake a scientific, philosophical, and deeply personal examination of mortality and what happens after we die. How do we begin to process the brutal fact that any of us might perish unexpectedly on what begins as an ordinary day? How do we grapple with phenomena that science may be unable to explain? And what happens to a person, emotionally and spiritually, when forced to reckon with such existential questions?
In My Time of Dying is part medical drama, part searing autobiography, and part rational inquiry into the ultimate unknowable mystery.
Genre: Non-Fiction > Faith, Beliefs & Philosophy

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