Marsha Sinetar, a corporate advisor and author of many books including The Mentor's Spirit, believes that a casual contemplative life can be cultivated outside a monastery. When she uses the word "casual" she means "relaxed and trusting," "spontaneously intuitive." By contemplative, she means "praying in the Spirit."
How is it possible for us to find spiritual comfort in the fast lane of contemporary life? One of the first things to do is to slow down. The second is to shift from the appearance-driven mind to seeking the Mind of God. Or, as one of Sinetar's favorite spiritual teachers, French monk Abhishiktananda, put it: "There is no part of our life in which we can escape the mystery of God . . . to lead a contemplative life is nothing else than to live in the actual presence of God."
The contemplative life is nourished by the development of hearing ears and seeing eyes, reflecting upon the Divine Oneness, untangling our affairs, not wavering in our loyalty to our values, and praying in the Spirit daily. As a casual contemplative, Sinetar has found a variety of spiritual practices helpful including Hindu mantras, the Buddhist tactic of following the breath, and the Christian process of lectio divina.
Sinetar's goal here is to convince readers to customize their devotional life as noncloistered explorers. This salutary work concludes with an annotated book list of the author's favorite spiritual works.