"We are pilgrims, together on the long Camino of lifelong longings. We find ourselves now on a path walked for centuries by many ancestors, who gladly join us on this journey of and into wonder," writes workshop leader and psychotherapist David Richo, who is now profiled in S&P's Living Spiritual Teacher Project.

We are creatures of yearning, he points out, as he sets the stage for this creative and practical exploration of the far reaches and the intimate nature of this human quality. Others have described it well:

  • "An inner wholeness keeps pressing its still unfulfilled claims upon us."
    — Emma Jung in The Grail Legend
  • "The quest for the Grail is basically nothing else than the quest for the Self . . . It is yourself that you are longing for in everything."
    — Dom Henri Le Saux, Abhishiktananda
  • "Our longing carries us to the tender and compassionate presence that is our awakened nature.— Tara Brach in Radical Acceptance
  • "The more we love, the more we long to love. . . . Our whole life is nothing but longing."
    — Anonymous in The Cloud of Unknowing

Richo maintains that there are five longings which are far-encompassing and laden with deep and rich resources:

  • love
  • meaning
  • freedom
  • happiness
  • growth

In addition, each one has a treasure-trove of spin-off longings. Although we seek these qualities of our higher self in a variety of outside places, they have a spiritual reality within ourselves. With considerable energy and psychological clout, Rico delineates the many ways in which our longings challenge us and are often blocked by our desires and addictions.

After reading this soul-stirring book, you will be convinced that our longings are essential aspects of our humanity and deserve our most diligent care, nurturing, and attention.