In 1992, Ernest Kurtz and Katherine Ketcham put together 100 stories from Zen, Hindu, early Christian, classical Greek, and Hasidic sources. The Spirituality of Imperfection contained a unique amalgam of ancient and modern wisdom for those who cherish the link between human, humor, and humility. In this sequel to that paperback, Kurtz and Ketcham prove that they haven't lost their mojo: this book is filled with soul-shaking, wonder-inducing, and thought-provoking stories.
The material is organized into thematic modules: experience, wonder, community, dark, listening, forgiveness, humor, gray grey, memory, virtue, sin, prayer, confusion, recovery and wisdom. Spirituality in these stories — many of them from the Hasidic tradition — is down-to-earth and concerned with the here-and-now. Here are a few examples:
• "I recently heard a story of someone asking a monk, 'What is your life like as a monk?' The monk replied, 'We walk, we fall down, someone helps us up. We walk some more, someone else falls down. We help them up. That's pretty much what we do.' "
• An old man would sit motionless for hours on end in church. One day a priest asked him what God talked to him about. 'God doesn't talk. He just listens,' was his reply. 'Well, then, what do you talk to him about?' 'I don't talk either. I just listen.' "
• "During a presentation on spirituality a woman rose and said: 'I have no need of these practices. I feel spiritual all the time without doing anything.' Reb Yerachmiel looked at her for a moment and said: 'The next time you have an urge to be spiritual, take a cold shower. Then dry off and do something kind for someone else.' "