Five Practices for a Fully Engaged Life
A 2002 Gallop Poll showed that 41 percent of Americans (about 80 million adults) had undergone a profound “…experience or awakening that changed the direction of [their] life,” and there’s no reason to believe this figure is lower in other countries.
These awakenings, also known as “peak” or “mystical” states, are experiences of expanded awareness—a form of Radical Awareness that empowers us to approach our life in a completely new way.
People are held back from a full and vibrant life by anger and fear, by loneliness and self-criticism, by attitudes and behaviors that undermine their own happiness. But with Radical Awareness, we can experience a peace so strong it cannot be shaken, a love so enveloping every worry, every hurt, every resentment and fear dissolves into stillness. We can feel a comfort so complete no matter how rough life gets, we know that everything is manageable and all will be well.
These experiences are within the reach of everyone. Radical Awareness: Five Practices for a Fully Engaged Life charts the path to making them a reality in every reader’s life.
The book translates the transformational power of these common but extraordinary experiences into five workable practices. Together the Five Practices form a practical system that allows us to fully embrace our present and to navigate our future with freedom and choice. By engaging with life through the prism of the Five Practices, readers can turn all experience into spiritual growth and feel vibrantly alive regardless of the circumstances that surround them.
Grounded in the wisdom of the Christian mystics, Buddhism and Transpersonal Psychology, Radical Awareness describes the psychology that underpins the issues and behavior patterns that hold us back from happiness, the happiness that comes from full engagement with life. The reader will identify themselves in the book’s pages and will recognize their role in shaping their own life circumstances.
But Radical Awareness goes well beyond traditional goal setting and striving for success. It teaches the reader how to utilize their own spiritual nature and experiences so they can approach their life from an entirely different perspective; almost literally, with a new mind. From the vantage point of the Five Practices, spiritual awareness moves beyond theory and technique into the daily practice of spiritual living. Life becomes fuller, easier, more richly textured. If heaven can be described as a fully lived life, readers will have found the way to storm their particular heaven.
The book is sprinkled with stories that illustrate the Five Practices in action. It also contains over forty exercises derived from the author’s almost twenty years of clinical practice as a breathwork therapist. The stories and exercises allow the reader to put the Five Practices that comprise Radical Awareness into action in their own life. And for readers who do not currently have a spiritual practice, the book offers insight and guidance on how to choose a suitable technique such as breathwork, meditation or therapy.
What others are saying:
“Radical Awareness is a clear, useful handbook for dealing with some of the basic issues in living a thoughtful life.”
– Thomas Moore, New York Times bestseller author of Care of the Soul
“In her luminous new book, Radical Awareness: Five Practices for a Fully Engaged Life, Catherine Dowling has much to offer: eloquence, insight, and profound wisdom about living life abundantly. More than that, this book offers what many others of its ilk doesn’t: a series of practices that will help readers experience that same abundance on a daily basis. Dowling is a generous teacher, and with immense patience and compassion, she lays down a map that can help each of us become, as Dowling puts it, a “fully engaged traveler,” no matter our path. We are in capable hands. Journey on!”
– Kelsea Habecker, Author: Hollow Out
“Catherine Dowling’s book Radical Awareness is a compelling read. The combination of wisdom, spiritual awareness and poetic writing engaged me. I found myself gathering up what was offered on the page and absorbing content for its intrinsic values and because I found myself taking so much into my thinking. Lots of books offer spiritual self-help. This book took me past the “me” that goes after self-help and to the “I” that integrates and learns.”
– Charlotte Robin Cook, Former publisher and acquisition editor (KOMENAR Publishing), bookstore partner (Sunrise Bookshop, Berkeley), and current story editor
“This book gives us a tool kit for opening our minds, our eyes and our hearts to the infinite possibilities life offers. Written with compassion, it immediately makes the reader feel they are in safe hands, guided by someone who knows what she’s talking about. Many people write about mysticism but here is a book written in simple language – truly the gift of this author – that brings you to experience and understand the deepest in your own nature. When you’ve read this book you will understand what mysticism and spirituality are, and they will have opened to you as you opened to them through the exercises. Everyone will grow with this book, even the most experienced.”
– Dr. Joy Manne, Publisher, Author: Soul Therapy
“There is much learned and practiced wisdom here! Learn and practice for yourself…”
Fr. Richard Rohr, Center for Action and Contemplation, Albuquerque, New Mexico, Author: Everything Belongs
Radical Awareness: 5 Practices for a Fully Engaged Life is a remarkable book in its capacity to unlock – using specific practices and exercises, the true connections that can and should exist within all of us to the ‘oneness of life’.
– Spirituality Today (read more)