This little book offers an encounter between Celtic Christian spirituality and three religions born in the East: Hinduism (chapter 2), Buddhism (chapter 3), and Taoism (chapter 4). The author is a U.S.-based Protestant pastor by profession, but an interspiritual scholar and seeker by vocation.

His book opens with a beautiful quotation from the English writer, Eden Phillpotts: “The universe is full of magical things, patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.” This spirit informs all that follows. This is a book for wandering, for awe and beauty, and for exploring the unfamiliar.

McIntosh explains why he chose Oak and Lotus for his title: They are apt symbols of Celtic and Eastern wisdom traditions. He writes: “My life is fuller and richer with the strength of both the oak (Celtic spirituality) and the lotus (Eastern wisdom). I resonate with a friend who says, 'Christ is my heart guru.' And I understand my Christian faith better in the light of both Asian and Celtic understanding.”

The rest of the opening chapter helpfully introduces the process and insights of interspirituality. McIntosh explains how the term was introduced by Brother Wayne Teasdale more than twenty years ago, and how teachers as diverse as H.H. the Dalai Lama, Gandhi, and Richard Rohr fit the profile of interspiritual practitioners.

The gem of Celtic spirituality’s encounter with Hinduism is called “Seeing God in Everything.” The Celtic encounter with Buddhism is summarized as “Paths to Peace.” And the result of Celtic spirituality facing Taoism is a discovery of “Going with the Flow.”

There’s a healthy mix between deduction and inductive communication in the lessons of the book. Each chapter concludes with sections of discussion questions and spiritual practice suggestions. (See the excerpt accompanying this review for a short sample, regarding attachments and happiness, from chapter 3.) A thorough notes section at the back, plus an index, helps the reader follow more paths on their own.