Contemplative Practices in Action: Spirituality, Meditation, and Health

By Thomas G. Plante | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 14
Contemplative Practices
in Action: Now What?

Thomas G. Plante and Adi Raz

This book has attempted to bring together many different and thoughtful voices among professionals who specialize in the integration of spiritual and religious contemplative practices and apply these practices to the development of a higher quality life by enhancing well-being, stress management, wholeness, and healing of body, mind, and spirit. They come from Eastern and Western traditions as well as the integration of the two. They represent Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Hindi, Buddhist, Zen, and other approaches. To our knowledge, no other book has offered this integrative and multitradition approach to applied contemplative practices in both a scholarly and practical way.

The various religious and spiritual traditions all have something important to offer us in terms of contemplative practices. While there are only so many voices that can be heard in one volume, it is clear that there are several unified factors or commonalities present among the traditions. Oman well articulated four similar functions that are elemental in many of the contemplative systems discussed in this book. Most approaches involve setting aside time for practices that reshape and train attention; most also include strategies for centering oneself throughout the day, cultivating personal character strengths, and drawing inspiration and guidance from spiritual exemplars or models. Many of these contemplative practices are more similar than different in terms of their approach and outcomes, while language, culture,

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