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Finding Sanctuary: Monastic steps for Everyday Life [Hardcover]

Father Christopher Jamison OSB
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)

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Book Description

27 April 2006

Have you ever wondered why everybody these days seems so busy? In 'Finding Sanctuary', Father Christopher Jamison, the Abbot from BBC TV's 'The Monastery', offers practical wisdom from the monastic tradition on how to build sanctuary into your life. In 'The Monastery', the Abbot guided five modern men (and three million viewers) into a new approach to life and this book now offers the reader a similar opportunity.

No matter how hard you work, being too busy is not inevitable. Silence and contemplation are not just for monks and nuns, they are natural parts of life. Yet to keep hold of this truth in the rush of modern living you need the support of other people and sensible advice from wise guides. By learning to listen in new ways, people's lives can change and the abbot offers some monastic steps that help this transition to a more spiritual life.

In the face of many easy assumptions about the irrelevance of religion today, Father Christopher makes religion accessible for those in search of life's meaning and offers a vision of the world's religions working together as a unique source of hope for the 21st century.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: W&N; 1st Edition edition (27 April 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0297851322
  • ISBN-13: 978-0297851325
  • Product Dimensions: 14.4 x 20.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 299,001 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Abbot Christopher Jamison is the Abbot of the Benedictine Monastery, Worth Abbey, which featured in the BBC documentary series 'The Monastery' (3 million viewers).

Product Description


¿Abbot Christopher Jamison, who became known to viewers when his Benedictine order featured in the BBC TV series The Monastery, has written a guide to finding sanctuary. I will certainly read it because he's fascinating with seeking peace and spirituality in everyday life... very charismatic¿ generous with his insights, but never self-righteous, smug or preachy... his guidance is spot on. Heaven knows, most of us need all the peace we can get. (RICHARD & JUDY DAILY EXPRESS)

¿Anyone who enjoyed the surprise hit television series The Monastery should be delighted with Christopher Jamison¿s book¿. by the end I was left with the definite impression that the author himself is a sincere and honorable man who sees, in the best aspects of the Rule of Benedict, a genuine solution to the abominable problems of modern living.¿ (SUNDAY TELEGRAPH)

lucid and insightful book... Its gentle, understanding but uncompromising stance should encourage many to revise their estimate of the need for what is her termed "classic religion" and, ultimately, for God. (THE TABLET)

A thoughtful, comforting and eminently practical book. (GOOD BOOK GUIDE)

Book Description

In the spirit of Alain de Botton's 'Consolations of Philosophy', the Abbot Christopher Jamison, from BBC2's The Monastery suggests ways in which the teachings of St Benedict can be helpful in everyday life - for those who are religious but also those who are searching for spiritual guidance.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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'Why did you become a monk?' Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
196 of 198 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Spiritual Life Saver! 7 May 2006
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
As a Roman Catholic who has often wandered far from his spiritual roots whilst searching for some meaning to life, I looked forward to receiving my copy of this book, having seen the Worth Abbey documentary - The Monastery. Invariably a slow reader, I nevertheless finished reading this fine work in two short afternoons. If ever there was a book to make us take a good look at ourselves, this is it! Although, there is so much positive religious spirituality bursting out of every page, it's still, on every level a very practical book and not at all dry or boring - which I confess I thought it might be. Christopher Jamison is to be highly commended for putting pen to paper and coming up with this work. For a monk, he certainly keeps in touch with the world in which we live today and if anyone buying this publication imagines the author to be stereotypically religious, be prepared to have your ideas changed! I commend this book to anyone of any faith who seeks to get nearer to the Creator.
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111 of 114 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Accessible and helpful 2 May 2006
Christopher Jamison has achieved his aim of writing an accessible and extremely useful book for those who want to develop spiritually. This is a relatively easy read and, at 180 pages, can be finished in quite a short space of time.

Drawing extensively upon the Rule of St Benedict, Mr Jamison promotes spiritual disciplines which offer an attractive and practical antidote to the unrelenting busy-ness of everyday life in the western world. Chapter by chapter, he extols the benefits of silence, contemplation, obedience, humility, community, spirituality and hope and does so in ways which are informative, stimulating and helpful to those of us who want to grow continually closer to God. Christopher occasionally refers back to 'The Monastery' TV series for illustrative purposes, but such references are relatively few and anyone who missed the programmes will not be at any great disadvantage.

The one reservation I had when reading this book was the apparent, underlying notion of 'many different paths lead to the same God' - something to which I personally don't subscribe. Having said that, I would heartily recommend 'Finding Sanctuary' to Christians and non-Christians alike.
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78 of 82 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sacred spaces 26 April 2006
Having heard Abbot Jamison read the chapter on obiedience to a group of young people on retreat at Worth abbey in march 2006 I was looking forward to reading the whole of the book and the chapter on obiedience in context.
I was not dissapointed, being quite interested in Benedictine spirituality already i found this book to be a very good practical guide to creating sanctuary in your life. I am also very impressed with the way in which Abbot Jamison takes into account people of differing faith traditions and those with no faith tradition at all. I found that the caring, understanding, and intelligent person of the abbot transfers into his writings, creating an informative and pleasant read.
The only criticism I have is that if you haven't seen the monastry TV series then references to some of the participants may be a little out of joint with the rest of the book.
At any rate this is well worth buying......
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finding Santuary 13 July 2007
One of the best self help books out there. Finding Sanctuary is about finding peace. Written by those who know, monks who are practiced in separating themselves from the world of worry and stress, with a few hundred years of tradition to back them.
Not really a religious book, I believe only one of its chapters concentrates on belief, it covers all areas and also questions how the reader can find happiness in the modern materialistic world.
Finding Sanctuary is very simple, very accessible and very effective. And you don't need the building to make it work for you.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent work 7 Jun 2007
Many thanks to Abbot Jamison for this wonderful and practical book. Highly recommended reading for anyone wishing to explore prayer in a busy world.
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43 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Solution to most issues in Life 13 Jan 2007
Abbott Christopher has written a beautiful book, and read beautifully and calmly for its audio book equivalent! This book inherently addresses the root cause aspects of most issues that interest individuals and society at this time, with only a little direct mention of such usefulness. It is a calming, easy, and pleasant read. It ought to be a stable text for everyone, and available in schools, hospitals, healing areas, many related such places, and generally everywhere, for easy access. I does not require a particular religious belief or other background from the reader, though undoubtedly is written employing Christian undertsandings and The Guidelines of St. Benedict. This text cannot be recommended more highly for everyone, within the remit of its content! The information contained therein is, however, to be acted upon in one's life, else it would become just another book one reads and forgets. The insights and helpful content are far more important than that, on all scales in our lives. Happy and inherently restful/pleasant/calming reading. Enjoy, and integrate at your leisure into your life (for the benefit of many, yourself and well beyond...)
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finding Sactuary 8 Oct 2007
I found this book to be very insightful, practical and very 'does what it says on the tin'. An excellent guide in making space for God in your life.

Each chapter includes a list of suggested websites and books that are relevant to the subject of each section. I for one will be doing lots of book shopping with these suggestions in mind.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A book to base your life on
This book is a fascinating critique of modern society which helps you re-evaluate where you are, how you got there, where you are going, and how to structure your life to find... Read more
Published 13 days ago by Bylandium
4.0 out of 5 stars Reflection
Wise words for reflection.
Published 1 month ago by HMB
5.0 out of 5 stars The impact of this book grows bigger as time goes by.
Whilst a lot of "self-help" books offer quick fixes which prove hollow after a while, this is more of a slow fix which gradually rings true in more and more areas of my life as the... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Meg22
5.0 out of 5 stars Grand little book
Grand little book, came promptly in excellent condition.a lovely perceptive and thought provoking read written in very clear easy English -not a bit like you would imagine a monk... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Simmo
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book
I am not generally one for this type of book - but I was engrossed with it. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
Published 4 months ago by Malc of Hants
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible.
Jamison writes in a down to earth, practical and understanding way. I can't recommend this book enough. Buy it now!
Published 5 months ago by Kerry C.
4.0 out of 5 stars Abbot's view
The need to pause and reflect, get truly out of the rat race and have some meaning in life - that's the bottom line for Abbot Jamison whose abbey was used for the TV programme... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Mr. Philip R. Hyne
5.0 out of 5 stars An introduction to meditation
I just loved it and found it very helpful - a very good introduction to meditation thoughtful and wide ranging
Published 7 months ago by ann ferguson
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read
A great guide for relaxation and living. If we could only do half of what he tells us we would all be so much better off
Published 7 months ago by Alan
5.0 out of 5 stars Sensitively written with a deep understanding of spiritual needs in...
This is an important book for anyone trying to find a solution to the modern day treadmill pace of life, helping to find time and space for reflection and prayer.
Published 8 months ago by Lynda Watson
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