Rudolf Steiner (1861 - 1925) was a respected and well-published scientific, literary, and philosophical scholar. He developed innovative approaches to medicine (anthroposophical medicine), education (Waldorf schools), special education (the Camphill movement), agriculture (biodynamics), and the arts (drama, speech, and eurythmy). But not many people know that his greatest talent was as a spiritual researcher, meditator, and meditation teacher. Steiner explored many traditions including Rosicrucian, alchemical, esoteric Christian, Masonic, philosophical, and Theosophical, and came up with his anthroposophy or spiritual science.

The editor of this paperback is Christopher Bamford, editor in chief of Steiner Books and its imprints. A Fellow of the Lindisfarne Association, he has lectured, taught, and written widely on Western spiritual and esoteric traditions and is the author of many books including An Endless Trace: The Passionate Pursuit of Wisdom in the West He has gathered together a fascinating smorgasbord of Steiner wisdom on meditation instructions, meditations, exercises, verses for living a spiritual year, prayers for the dead, and other practices for beginning and experienced practitioners.

Similar to the monks of ancient times, Steiner saw everything as text. The cosmos was a complicated, multidimensional book that was to be read and that included faces, animals, flowers, rocks, and human relationships. Steiner also sees meditation as a key element in the spiritual life. Anyone taking this path has to be able to practice patience, which is a cardinal virtue.

In a provocative chapter on The Way of Reverence and Its Fruits, Bamford explains Steiner's high regard for this fundamental condition for all spiritual development. Reverence, according to this explorer of the inner depths, is "the force — the magnetic power — that raises us to higher spheres of suprasensory life. It is a law of the spiritual world that all who seek the higher life must inscribe with golden letters into their souls, inner development must start from this basic mood of the soul. Without this feeling of reverence, nothing can be achieved."

This path begins with humility, devotion, and respect and involves an opening of our spiritual eyes. Closely connected with reverence are a series of qualities which include control of thoughts, control over actions, equanimity, understanding every being, complete openness to everything new that meets us, and inner harmony. Many other interesting Steiner teachings are laid out in Start Now!