Chris Saade is a co-director of the Olive Branch Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, with his wife, Jessie Thompson. He teaches courses on socially engaged spirituality and the mysticism of personal authenticity and inclusion. He is also the founder of the Institute for Life-Leadership and Coaching, where he has led more than 200 psychological and spiritual retreats for heart-centered living.
In the preface to this ambitious paperback, Saade writes:
"You and I are part of one of the greatest evolutionary leaps of consciousness. We are witnessing love erupting into global action. We are participating in a worldwide movement of engaged spirituality.
"What is required from us is the courage to open our hearts, unleash our love, expand our imagination, and uphold justice in the circles of our life.
"The emerging wave of engaged spirituality that we are witnessing is a grassroots phenomenon. Each one of us is essential to its maturation and realization."
Second Wave Spirituality by Chris Saade is part of The Sacred Activism Series published by North Atlantic Books, which assess compassion, service, and sacred consciousness while addressing the crucial issues of our time. What has precipitated this phenomenon? Saade points to six meta ideas behind the awakening of second wave spirituality:
1. The spread of the idea of living authentically.
2. The commitment to freedom of the heart.
3. The unification of opposites.
4. The affirmation of inclusion.
5. The ideal of spiritual oneness as global solidarity.
6. Love as the pursuit of justice.
Even given the richness and the ripeness of these meta ideas, the author cannot resist adding 14 others which are closely allied with the initial ones. They include a commitment to universal values, grounding in the practice of nonviolence, acknowledging life as a great epic struggle, unconditional protection of all children, caring for animals, and more.
Love in action is the mantra of all those who feel overwhelmed by the staggering weight and danger of the global crises we have created. Saade delivers an impressive seven-page compilation of spiritual thoughts and practices to nurture and impassion our spirit and then shares a treasure-trove of writings and quotations on engaged spirituality and sacred activism from those who have dedicated their lives to service of others and contributed to the healing of the world through their writings. Among them are Beverly Lanzetta, Matthew Fox, Dorothee Soelle, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Sallie McFague, Thich Nhat Hanh, Mother Teresa, Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, Andrew Harvey, and many others.