"When you walk into the church or up to the altar, bow or kneel or cross yourself, light a candle, offer peace to another, put money in the plate, kiss an icon, receive bread and wine don't pull away inside. Don't separate and see yourself doing something. Just be fully present 'in the middle' of the gesture, with nothing left over," writes Tilden Edwards, an Episcopal priest who has served for 20 years as executive director of the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation in Bethesda, Maryland.
In this revised and updated version of his 1977 volume he calls simplicity "the unifying thread of spiritual life." Using the foundation of the Christian contemplative path, Edwards examines the rhythms of the day including waking, praying, relating, serving, eating, playing, aching, and sleeping. They all offer opportunities for us to practice the presence of God and to cultivate Spirit in the midst of everyday life. Edwards gives the most substantive treatment to the section on prayer, which he defines as "opening to love."