Hope Leans Forward: Braving Your Way Toward Simplicity, Awakening, and Peace

Broadleaf. Nov. 2022. 275p. ISBN 9781506478371. $24.99. SPIRITUALITY
One of the most arresting moments in this book comes in the introduction, where Buddhist-Quaker Dharma teacher Brown (The Mindful School Leader) gives the reader a glimpse into her journey over the past few years. This is a work of spiritual guidance, written in the thick of the heavy blows of life: death, divorce, a natural disaster, and the pandemic. There is no gap between those events and this book, no before-and-after where the spiritual guru finds the key to fixing everything and putting all those problems in the past. Instead, Brown gently gives direction by being open about the challenges she has encountered and wandering along the path of her wide-ranging search for wisdom in many faith traditions, especially the Buddhist and Quaker understandings that root her experience. This recent and lived quality gives a realism to her insights that keeps them from becoming a string of platitudes or spirituality clichés.
VERDICT Each beautiful chapter develops a topic drawn from Buddhist thought, followed by a section born from interviews with contemporary practitioners and activists, a mindfulness exercise, and a concluding set of reflective queries in the Quaker style. Perfect for those who want to progress on their spiritual journey.
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