A Religion of One’s Own: A Guide to Creating a Personal Spirituality in a Secular World

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The New York Times bestselling author and trusted spiritual adviser offers a follow-up to his classic Care of the Soul.
Something essential is missing from modern life. Many who’ve turned away from religious institutionsand others who have lived wholly without religionhunger for more than what contemporary secular life has to offer but are reluctant to follow organized religion’s strict and often inflexible path to spirituality. In A Religion of One’s Own, bestselling author and former monk Thomas Moore explores the myriad possibilities of creating a personal spiritual style, either inside or outside formal religion.

Two decades ago, Moore’s Care of the Soul touched a chord with millions of readers yearning to integrate spirituality into their everyday lives. In A Religion of One’s Own, Moore expands on the topics he first explored shortly after leaving the monastery. He recounts the benefits of contemplative living that he learned during his twelve years as a monk but also the more original and imaginative spirituality that he later developed and embraced in his secular life. Here, he shares stories of others who are creating their own path: a former football player now on a spiritual quest with the Pueblo Indians, a friend who makes a meditative practice of floral arrangements, and a well-known classical pianist whose audiences sometimes describe having a mystical experience while listening to her performances. Moore weaves their experiences with the wisdom of philosophers, writers, and artists who have rejected materialism and infused their secular lives with transcendence.

At a time when so many feel disillusioned with or detached from organized religion yet long for a way to move beyond an exclusively materialistic, rational lifestyle, A Religion of One’s Own points the way to creating an amplified inner life and a world of greater purpose, meaning, and reflection.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Avery; 1st Edition, 1st Printing edition (January 9, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159240829X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592408290
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds

Customer Reviews

When you are tired of being a sheep but still seek greener pastures

31 people found this helpful.
 on June 29, 2014
By Anti-Climaticus
Perhaps you are one of an increasing number of people who feel drawn to that something Other – but how does one respond to this `aching’ within when the secular world is not satisfying and the world of formalised religion has become vapid, unhelpful, fanatical or just plain dangerous (p. 252). The purpose of this book is to provide guidance to those who seek such a path – a path that for Moore involves a return to a sacred environment and a sacred self of self. Moore might refer to us as seekers (13) – people who are wakening up to and finding portals to wonder and transcendence (12). Central to Moore’s argument is the need to explore within oneself what it is that awakens your soul? Where in life do you find your spirit? And much of the book is then taken up with exploring ways in which one connects, in small steps and then in larger ones, with becoming sensitised to that which awakens you, the ways in which you find and meld into the Other, what one may have once called God. I am reminded of this scene from that Mozart film (Amadeus) when his rival composer Salieri reflects on Mozart’s use of oboe and clarinet (Mozart Serenade No 10 In B Flat Major K 361 III Adagio) in such a manner that the former composer immediately finds himself thrust into deep, personal, mystical union with God.


69 people found this helpful.
 on January 11, 2014
By Amazon Customer
A timeless GUIDE so desperately needed for our times. With eloquence, wit, thoughtfulness and confidence, Thomas Moore offers us the tools to take on our own personal search for a meaningful everyday existence that connects each of us to all of life and to each other. I see the need for this book in my everyday work as a psychologist for the past 30 years who has listened to the challenges that people are faced with today –the search for meaning and true selves and connectedness. I recommend this book wholeheartedly to them and everyone. Moore’s willingness to openly share his journey brings clarity as to how one can go about taking immeasurable wisdom passed down for thousands of years into one’s own journey of discovering, living and embracing a religion of one’s own. I highly recommend taking a look –it will speak to your soul and engage you in new irresistible ways. I believe you will discover like I did, that this is one of those books you will want to keep close by –for your own reading over and over again — and one that you will, too, feel compelled to strongly encourage others to read.

This book has power to help both individuals and our society as a whole.

17 people found this helpful.
 on December 16, 2014
By G. Cooper
I have been reading Thomas Moore for many years, and his insights on “Care of the Soul” (an earlier book) and similar topics (“Soul Mates”) have been helpful and on target for me. He touches a good deal on secular concerns and advocates not setting the secular and spiritual too far apart.

Opening our hearts to life

16 people found this helpful.
 on February 11, 2014
By Julianne Davidow
In this timely and beautifully written book Thomas Moore shares insights from his many years of study, contemplation, and experience as a psychotherapist. And in his compassionate and poetic voice, he blends imagery, memoir, story, and example on finding the numinous quality in every day life, and on being nurtured by all the great spiritual traditions of the world.

an affirmation and framework for an intuitive process

4 people found this helpful.
 on August 17, 2015
By Megan Kirchhoff
This is a gentle and thoughtful work of art that encourages, gives suggestions and options for ones own spiritual practice. It’s full of ideas for bringing spirituality into your everyday routine, drawing on the rich traditions of all religions. I’m recommend this book highly for those seeking to deepen their spiritual practice without dogma and judgement.

the more I loved, This book requires you to think and see …

3 people found this helpful.
 on January 6, 2016
By Tyrone Martinez
At first I thought the title an unfortunate choice of words. Then being a Thomas Moore fan, I thought, well, I can at least read it. I read the negative reviews first. Usually I try to take in everyone’s opinion, however, the more I read, the more I loved, This book requires you to think and see in a new way. Sorry if you can’t appreciate it. I feel Moore is a deeply intuitive and sensitive soul that has a lot to say in a world where I’ve seen too many spiritual casualties. In a religious atmosphere where we can’t resist playing God with one another. And where being RIGHT is more important than the people ‘s hearts and minds who are truly searching, this book is like fresh air coming out of a stifling hot room. Of course it’s basically for the free, the daring, the imaginitive, and the sensitive.

a fine book

6 people found this helpful.
 on February 17, 2014
By Randolph Severson
This is a fine book. Moore writes, as always, with a graceful and welcoming style. Spirituality and Religion do not equate. Like the Angels ascending and descending, spirituality can either rise or fall into Religion: it rises through the humble embrace of the doctrine and practices of one the world’s great Traditional Religions; it falls as the practice of religion ceases to be an animating and emboldening inspiration in everything we do. But spirituality itself is also at risk of losing it’s soul — it’s humor, it’s earthiness, its human- all too human quality, it’s quickening images and fantasies. This is what this book, as with all of Moore’s other books, succeeds so well at. It leaves the Religious question open — or, at least, open enough, so that the book can be of real value to people of Faith –, while describing and encouraging daily spiritual awareness and practices that remain infused with soul. Recommended.

Certainly Thought Provoking

10 people found this helpful.
 on February 16, 2014
By bmont
I gave this book a four star rating because it is better than his “Care of the Soul” and it was very popular. Plus, I personally enjoyed it more than his other book and I don’t know of an author that has tempted people with a title like that.

Light Your Own Path

2 people found this helpful.
 on January 16, 2016
By Frank
It is so time for this book. Thomas Moore writes well and offers a lot of excellent research and personal story telling that always keeps my interest. It is said that 25% of the country identify themselves as unchurched but spiritual. This book helps to move into one’s own psyche to take a look at just what kind of spirituality appeals to your inner soul and how you can build on it to your personal satisfaction. I think one can find a spiritual experience that neither has to be preached or defended. It’s just right for you.

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