The visionary architect and thinker Tom Bender is a master of place making. This visually stunning paperback unfurls a blueprint for a craft that is essentially spiritual. Drawing on the wisdom of primal peoples and the aesthetics of earlier generations, Bender lays out ways we can cherish the soul of place by honoring chi, or the life energy; respecting nature; paying tribute to the ancestors; drawing out the integrity of materials; and paying heed to the dynamics of right duration.

With the lyrical style of a poet and a sweep of gorgeous photographs from around the world, the author salutes the spirits of buildings, homes, cities, and gardens. He believes that places, like people, draw nourishment from how they are held in our hearts. Bender critiques the reigning culture of greed, growth, and violence, lamenting "the diseases of spirit" that stem from these drives including crime, addictions, isolation, and depression.

The author makes a good case for the heart of places. He shows us how reverence, austerity, right intention, caring, beauty, and connections can bring about profound changes in architecture, landscape, interior, and urban design. Robert Sardello (Love and the Soul) has challenged us to ensoul the places where we live and work and play. Tom Bender's Silence, Song, and Shadows shows us how.

Try a Spiritual Practice on Nurturing