Roger Walsh is professor of psychiatry, philosophy, and anthropology at the University of California at Irvine. This omnibus work is the capstone of 23 years of research in and practice of the world's spiritual disciplines. The author has studied the monotheistic religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam and the Asian religions of Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism. He uses the words of Jesus, Mohammed, Lao Tsu, Confucius, and Buddha throughout the book to highlight the wisdom held in common by all of these religions.

The seven perennial practices are: (1) transform your motivation: reduce craving and find your soul's desire; (2) cultivate emotional wisdom: heal your heart and learn to love; (3) live ethically: feel good by doing good; (4) concentrate and calm your mind; (5) awaken your spiritual vision: see clearly and recognize the sacred in all things; (6) cultivate spiritual intelligence: develop wisdom and understand life; and (7) express spirit in action: embrace generosity and the joy of service. Throughout the book, Walsh offers exercises for applying these principles to all arenas of life. He concludes that everyday practice is the key to awakening and to essential spirituality.