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on 7 May 2006
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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on 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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on 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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on 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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on 7 June 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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on 13 January 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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on 27 September 2011
This is an excellent introduction to Benedictine monasticism, and how those of us who are not, and can't be, monastics can benefit from the Rule of St Benedict in our lives. In contains wonderful insights and also down-to-earth practical advice. After a short section of how "busyness" damages our lives, Abbot Jamison discusses, in seperate chapters, the key monastics steps which can help us - Silence, Contemplation, Obedience, Humility, Community, Spirituality, and Hope. There is also a short example of Lectio Divina, and a helpful bibliography. At the end of each chapter are suggestions for further investigation - both on-line and in book form. I read it through in one sitting, and have since gone back and read it again.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 5 November 2010
As someone who has a connection to something other than the world of matter being all there is, but has no affiliation to any organised religious doctrine at all, I found this an interesting and thoughtful read on the Benedictine journey of faith.

Firstly, Christopher Jamieson passionately argues that for many reasons we need a connection to something other than the endless striving of consumerism. He is clearly, despite his years in Worth Abbey, VERY in touch with the outside world. There's a real understanding of, for example, the trades union movement as something which provided something quite powerful in terms of creating a sense of community.

I've always had a sense of my own need for periods of silence and reflection. What I particularly found interesting in Jamieson's book was the earthy practicality of Benedictine 'Rule', with a strong emphasis on how each person relates to every other in their community. This is a very humane approach to spirit, not attempting to force feed the reader into Bendictine or even Christian supremacy, but a clear and compassionate discourse for thoughtful, heartful and listening connection between individuals and as a foundation for society. An egalitarian, not a competitive approach.
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on 8 October 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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on 2 December 2010
This is a perfect gem of a little book even if you're not a Christian. I always feel I have drunk at some wonderful spring when I come into contact with the Abbot of Worth Christopher Jamison and can't do him justice in a review. The book is soothing and challenging (my selfishness) This paperback was bought as a gift for someone as I already have a copy. I will probably buy more in future. My suggestion is to buy the hardback as you will come back to it again and again.
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