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Ordinary Magic: Everyday Life as a Spiritual Path Paperback – 16 Oct 1992

2.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Shambhala Publications Inc (16 Oct. 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0877735972
  • ISBN-13: 978-0877735977
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 210,255 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


" Well conceived and well written . . . an amazing compilation of answers." — "Spiritual Frontiers"

"Well conceived and well written . . . an amazing compilation of answers."— "Spiritual Frontiers "

"Well conceived and well written . . . an amazing compilation of answers." "Spiritual Frontiers ""

Customer Reviews

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Format: Paperback
This is a collection of essays and articles written by some of the greatest names in the fields of spirituality, mindfulness, buddhism, etc. I wanted to love this book, indeed I have an affinity to quite a few of the contributors : Charlotte Joko Beck, Thich Nhat Hanh, Pema Chodron and Jack Kornfield to name but a few, I really wanted to love this book.

It started well, after the introduction by John Wellwood we get straight down to business with part one " Everyday meditation " most of the heavy hitters are wheeled out for this round and although not as thought provoking as one might have wished for, it certainly was no disaster. Until part two was tackled, the ironically titled " Creativity, Work, and fresh perception ". Mmmmmh none of that to be found here ! Part three " Healing and well being " now if you get this far you will need healing for well being will have surely deserted you. The final part " Community " maybe a more apt title would be community service for thats what reading this felt like. Even though the final chapter is called " Facing death " I read it with an amount of glee for I knew that at the end of this chapter would be a release.......... from sheer boredom and apathy.

I was hoping for inspiration from these pages to help cope with the daily struggle of this thing we call life but instead I found a collection of articles that would test the concentration of even the most eager of buddhism students, this would be the ultimate test for the duracell bunny ! Too much filler and no substance I'm afraid.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Nice book and good quality even this book was written while ago
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars 12 reviews
51 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordindarily Enligntening! 14 Jun. 2000
By Marion - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
"Spirituality is completely ordinary. Though we might speak of it as extraordinary, it is the most ordinary thing of all.
Spirituality is simply a means of arousing one's spirit, of developing a kind of spiritedness. Through that we begin to have greater contact with reality.
If we open our eyes, if we open our minds, if we open our hearts, we will find that this world is a magical place. It is magical not because it tricks us or changes unexpectedly into something else, but because it can *be* so vividly and brilliantly." ---Chogyam Trungpa
Everyday life is something that we are all mired in, yet few of us appreciate. When was the last time you heard the birds singing outside your window or were aware of the raindrops as they fell from the sky? Have you ever bathed in the moonlight of a warm summer night? Are you ever aware of the miraculous act of breathing?
This book is a joy to read. It has gently led me to the wonders of awareness---"So many of us are leading half-lives, half-heartedly with only half of our minds actively engaged in making contact with the universe around us." Page 148. Each chapter is written by a different person. Some of my favorites are: Natalie Goldberg on writing fearlessly; Allen Ginsberg on meditation and poetics; Ram Dass on the listening mind; Thich Nhat Hanh on sunshine and green leaves.
I very highly recommend this book to anyone who considers themself a seeker in this journey we call life. It will brighten your path and illuminate the way and best of all, open your eyes to the recognition that there is absolutely positively NOTHING ordinary about your daily life!
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars making room for your life 7 Sept. 2009
By Peggy M. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
It has been over ten years since I first read this book, and I just rediscovered it last night. Now more than ever, I need this book...and I would suggest that the rest of the world needs its invitation to be fully present to our ordinary everyday life as well.

These days when we are pulled by the ding of our blackberry as we eating our lunch while rushing down the highway to run to our next meeting, and as multi-tasking has become the medal we display proudly on our chest, it seems almost counter intuitive to just stop. To fully particpate in being completely where we are, when we are.

Each chapter in this book is a jewel. An invitation from the stillness to relax, to fully inhabit the moment you are living in. And each chapter offers a perspective from a different author, each steeped in Presence, whose invitation reminds you what being fully present is like...when you are eating or dancing or drawing or dying or in relationship or at war or at work.

I just read Frderick Franck's chapter on drawing as a way of seeing. He distinguishes between "looking" (a quick observation which leads to instant appraisals and choices according to its usefulness to the small "me.") and "seeing", when "...suddenly I am all eyes, I forget this Me, am liberated from it and dive into the reality of what confronts me, become part of it, participate in it." (p.80)

The writers are people like Thich Nhat Hahn, Ram Dass, Natalie Goldberg, Steven Levine, Deena Metzger, John Welwood (also the editor), and their chapters are written in clear, almost prose style. This is not an academic treatise, but a series of short well written chapters that take you right to the place each describes.

Thanks you John Welwood and all contributors for this vacation from all of the distractions. Ah, relief!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another awesome book by Welwood 4 July 2010
By G. Dombiak - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I took my time to read this book since there is so much wisdom in it. I loved this book just like I did with his other books. This is a compilation of chapters from different authors but his selection was right on and their message very clear. I highly recommend this book.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very cool book 10 Dec. 2012
By Amanda L - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After reading this book, I will say that half of the chapters resonate with me and half of them don't. . .but I've found something beautiful and lovely in each chapter, as each author has a unique outlook on life. I've considered purchasing this book for a few friends, in fact.
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful prose. 27 Aug. 2016
By James L. Bailey - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Welwood is one of the clearest thinkers today. On a par with Thomas Moore. Beautiful prose.
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