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Friday, January 31, 2014

Let beauty and wisdom guide our spirituality now

The Penguin USA blog shares Thomas Moore's own reflections on his new book A Religion of One’s Own. In this post for the publisher, Moore's musings include:
"From the beginning of this fated journey, I never liked religious behavior that was too pious or moralistic. I seem to have been born with an appreciation of secular life interweaving with a spiritual vision so that neither dominate. In this regard, I think of the interlinking chains and spirals I see all over Ireland, my adopted second home, or the familiar Taoist symbol of yin and yang melting into each other.

 Just as Care of the Soul sprang out of me at the particular point where my ideas and my experience as a therapist matured, now I feel that my worldly way of being religious is emerging at just the right time in our cultural evolution to go public with it. Thus, my new book A Religion of One’s Own. We are now at a point where it’s time to let go of a narrow view of religion. I suggest that we don’t abandon it, even if many sophisticated modern people think it’s superfluous or prefer “spirituality”. Worldly life without a deep form of religion would be secularism, and that is a dangerous, soulless option. Just listen to the way many scientists are talking these days, reducing the richness of human experience to brain studies, for example, and you get a taste of what secularism would be like. As human beings we’d shrivel up.

The new book puts together an array of ideas I’ve been working on for years that together form a personal spiritual practice that I call a religion of one’s own. At the top of my list are the beauty and wisdom of the world’s religious and spiritual traditions. I don’t want to get rid of the established religions but use them now as resources for a personal religious vision. They are priceless for what they have to offer, but the emphasis on belief, authority, empty ritual and moralism has weakened them to the point that they must re-imagine themselves radically. You can be a member of a religion and still have a religion of your own, or you can go off on your own, becoming a seeker or even an atheist, and use the traditions as resources."
Moore invites readers to join him "in welcoming a significant evolution in the human spirit."

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Moore talks about Pope Francis in interview

Reading Group interviews Thomas Moore about his new book, A Religion of One's Own for Author Talk: Januay 2014. During this Q&A exchange, Moore is asked: "The Catholic Church is perhaps the most prominent example of a religious institution that no longer meets the needs of ordinary people. Do you think the new Pope can turn the tide?" His response:
Thomas Moore: "The new pope can turn the tide toward a different and more vital kind of Catholic spirituality. He started doing this from the first moments of his papacy. I find his approach full of hope for the whole world, not just for Catholics. I’ve been saying for years that people throughout the world are looking for a spirituality suited to our times. They don’t know what that means, but they’ll know it when they see it. Meanwhile, many established churches seem to be afraid to adapt to a changing culture. They have been declining, while the average person is frustrated in his search. It would take very little to turn this situation around. I do my best, but I don’t have an official position. I’m a lone voice. I’m hopeful that the new pope will inaugurate a new spiritual movement among all the people of the world. In fact, I’d like to see his language become so radically fresh that he would speak to all the people and not just to Catholics. We’re all Catholic, Buddhist, Muslim, Jewish and atheist, to a degree and in a certain sense." 
Moore is also asked, "You write beautifully about the lessons you’ve learned from Freud and Jung. Would you say that psychotherapy is a religion of sorts in that it helps us to comprehend the incomprehensible?" His response includes:
Thomas Moore: "I passed up opportunities to become a Jungian analyst because I find that people who get stuck on Jung enter an orthodoxy just as rigid as the Catholicism I knew as a young person. But I study Jung almost every day today and can’t imagine my life without his wisdom and example. Everyone should read Memories, Dreams, Reflections, his memoir about his inner life. I have to add a third name in this context: James Hillman. He was my friend and colleague for thirty-eight years. I think he is one of the greatest thinkers ever to have lived. I owe everything to him, to his writings and to his loving friendship. I couldn’t begin to describe his work here in a few words, but I can say that it shows how to read all the great writers, including Freud and Jung, and how to live with imagination."
The site offers twelve discussion questions that also may be downloaded as a PDF reading guide.

Faith, belief may contribute to daily happiness

Beliefnet features "Nine Ways Faith Can Make You Happier", a slideshow describing the values of faith and belief based on Thomas Moore's new book, A Religion of One's Own. Accompanied by a photo gallery, captions and excerpts touch on depression, purposelessness, spirituality, creativity, anxiety, and other issues:
"Coming to terms with your fears and longings
Faith can also be a therapeutic way for you to confront and explore your fears, desires, past, and relationships with others. “Getting to know your deep soul may prevent you from venting raw emotions, acting-out and being depressed and vindictive,” writes Moore in A Religion of One’s Own. “It can clear the way for a spiritual life not sullied by psychological matters left unattended.” Faith can help you acknowledge your emotional issues and realize that you don’t have to go it alone."

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Talk with Moore at Toadstool Bookshop, Feb. 1

This Saturday the Toadstool Bookshop in Peterborough, New Hampshire hosts Thomas Moore for discussion and book signing of A Religion of One's Own starting at 11:00 a.m. Books will be available for purchase at this free event.

 Toadstool Bookshop
12 Depot Square
Peterborough, NH

Barque coverage
7 Jan 2014 "Local newspaper interviews Moore about launch" 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Reading Group offers free two-page book guide

Reading Group offers the new two-page guide for Thomas Moore's latest book, A Religion of One's Own. The guide asks twelve questions for you to discuss with your book club.

This download includes the Library Journal view, "[Moore's] counsel is consistently sensible and affirming. This book should appeal to many of the unchurched, as well as the faithful across traditions."

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Contribute by living your life with honesty, beauty

This week Ray Hemachandra shares notes from an interview he conducted with Thomas Moore approximately 15 years ago, "Thomas Moore on Sex, Mystery, Shadow, and Living a Life of the Soul", when Moore was promoting his book The Soul of Sex. Some of Hemachandra's notes may be of interest as Moore promotes his new book, A Religion of One's Own. He quotes Moore:
“Everywhere I go people give me books and say, ‘You need to read this.’ I don’t need to read anything. And I don’t want to do that to anybody, ‘You need to read this.’ You don’t. If you have a choice between reading any book published in the 20th century and reading Shakespeare, there’s no choice. Go back to Shakespeare. Or Emerson. Emerson’s one of my favorite people of all time. Such beautiful sentences and thoughts, it’s unbelievable. Read Emerson.”

Friday, January 24, 2014

The Rothko Chapel may be a model for every town

With ideas in his new book, A Religion of One's Own, Thomas Moore shares "A Chapel of One's Own" as his January-February 2014 column for Spirituality & Health magazine. Moore suggests the Rothko Chapel in Houston, Texas may be a template for other communities:
"In a quiet neighborhood in Houston, Texas, the Rothko Chapel sits on a small open space with a quiet pond and a piece of sculpture. On most days, the chapel is a place of reflection in an active city. The architecture, furnishings, and, of course, the large dark paintings of Mark Rothko create a special atmosphere for reflection. If you look at the schedule of events and the books that are available in the library, you’ll see that every spiritual tradition imaginable is represented."
During his current book tour Moore is asked, "What about community?" He answers in this column:
"I’ve called this new approach “a religion of one’s own,” but as you pursue your own religion, immediately you begin to see connections with the whole of life and with community, defined both in the most local of ways and with all beings in the cosmos, including those we have yet to meet up with. This religion need not be narcissistic and limited."

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Jung Platform hosts Moore's audio lecture Feb. 4

On Tuesday 4 February 2014 Jung Platform offers the teleconference A Religion of One's Own with Thomas Moore (6:00 p.m. PST) based on his new book. The call will be approximately 90 minutes long (including a Question and Answer segment).

Cost: $24.75 for the live teleconference and its audio recording.
 Register before 31 January 2014 for 10% discount.
Includes 1 CE.
"Steeped in Jung, [Moore] sees religion as the result of an individual movement toward depth and an awareness of the mysterious and the beyond-ego elements in ordinary living.
Still, the book is not about a self-centered quest or personal psychology. It suggests a re-visioning and deliteralizing of community, so that the newly imagined religious person finds fellowship with all beings on the planet, and beyond. The book spells out various ways, inspired and guided by the spiritual traditions, but far-ranging, we can make our lives thoroughly religious, avoiding the creeping secularism of the age. It is for everyone — church-goers, seekers, agnostics and even atheists. Instead of a vague spirituality, it recommends a freshly re-invented notion of religion suited to the 21st century."

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Regular walks in nature may be your prayer

Today Joe Donahue interviews Thomas Moore on The Roundtable with WAMC, Northeast Public Radio. Moore talks about preferring the word religion in his new book’s title A Religion of One's Own, activities that may constitute prayer, how pleasure is a feature of religion, and borrowing from different traditions.


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Religion embraces the secular and ordinary

Pythia Peay
Psychology Today publishes the third and final part, ”At the Intersection of Psychology and Spirituality” of Pythia Peay’s interview with Thomas Moore about his new book, A Religion of One’s Own: A Guide To Creating a Personal Spirituality in a Secular World. In this interview segment, Moore talks about guilt, emotional problems, dreams and deepening our view of the sacred. Near the end of their exchange:
Peay: One of the ideas that resonated with me from your book is the idea that we all have spiritually gifted people in our lives. For example, you write about your Uncle Tom, a farmer. I’ve known people with similar depths of wisdom, such as the farmers I grew up around, or caregivers, and wonder if you could say more about how we can learn from these “ordinary mystics” outside of organized religion.  
Moore: If you really appreciate what my book is saying, its message is pretty radical. What I’m trying to suggest is that we give up this narrow conception of what religion is, and what’s sacred and holy ...  
The Catholic Church may have a wafer of bread — but the farmer’s got the wheat."


Monday, January 20, 2014

Moore stresses value of pleasure with religion

Mickey Huff and Peter Phillips talk with Thomas Moore on their radio program Project Censored, Pacifica Radio Network on Friday 17 January 2014. This 45-minute broadcast ”A Conversation with Thomas Moore” is available now. Moore talks about his new book A Religion of One’s Own: A Guide to Creating a Personal Spirituality in a Secular World with his two hosts.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Meet Thomas Moore in Albuquerque this Tuesday

Thomas Moore speaks in Albuquerque, New Mexico on Tuesday 21 January 2014 at the Center for Spiritual Living. Sanctuary doors open at 6:00 p.m. for a 7:00 p.m. start followed by a book signing. Reverend Andrew Groves of the Center for Spiritual Living introduces Moore at this free event to launch Moore's new book, A Religion of One's Own: A Guide to Creating a Personal Spirituality in a Secular World. Backlist titles will also be available for sale. Some of the proceeds are donated to the Center for Spiritual Living.

Ernest Holmes, founder of Centers for Spiritual Living, was born 21 January 1887.

21 January 2014 7:00 p.m.
Center for Spiritual Living
2801 Louisiana Blvd NE
Albuquerque, New Mexico

Barque coverage
20 Dec 2013 "Moore offers free book launch in Albuquerque"
15 Dec 2013 "Thomas Moore in Albuquerque, January 21"

Friday, January 17, 2014

Enjoy today's spiritual evening with Thomas Moore

The St. Helena Star announces Thomas Moore's appearance tonight, Friday January 17 beginning at 7:00 p.m. at the Napa Valley Performing Arts Center, Lincoln Theater in Yountville, California: "A Spiritual Evening with Thomas Moore" as Moore continues his book tour for A Religion of Ones Own: A Guide to Creating a Personal Spirituality in a Secular World.
"Two decades ago, Care of the Soul touched a chord with millions of readers yearning to integrate spirituality into their everyday lives. In his latest book, Moore expands on the topics he first explored shortly after leaving the monastery, such as the myriad possibilities in creating a personal spirituality, either inside or outside formal religion."
Ticket prices:
$20 general admission;
$40 includes a copy of A Religion of One's Own; or
$50 includes a signed book, pre-show wine reception and preferred seating. VIP author reception at 6 p.m.

For tickets call 707 944-9900, go to or visit the Lincoln Theater Box Office, 100 California Drive, Yountville.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Let's practice simple acts of spiritual depth

Pythia Peay
Part Two of Pythia Peay's interview with Thomas Moore about A Religion of One's Own for Psychology Today is available: "Simple Acts of Spiritual Depth: Creating Your Own Religion".

When asked about monastic traditions, Moore responds:
Thomas Moore: "Historically, one of the most important things monasteries did was collect great libraries. In studying and translating books, the monks helped to keep civilization intact by preserving and passing along knowledge. That tradition is something we can take from in cultivating our own practice. Following the monks’ example, we can begin building our own library, whether physical books or e-books. As a writer, I surround myself with timeless books that feed my work. Just having them near me is inspiring and creates a monastic environment — it isn't just a matter of information as much as the ambience of thought and reflection."
Moore shares some book titles in his library:
Ralph Waldo Emerson Essays;
Carl G. Jung Collected Works and Memories, Dreams, Reflections;
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin The Divine Milieu;
Emily Dickinson Letters;
Edgar Wind Pagan Mysteries in the Renaissance;
Translations of the Tao Te Ching;
Samuel Beckett Waiting for Godot;
Shunryu Suzuki Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind;
James Hillman Re-Visioning Psychology;
The Gospels in Greek;
Oscar Wilde De Profundis.

Part One: "The Religion with No Name"
Pythia Peay, Psychology Today
10 January 2014

Barque coverage
10 Jan 2014 "Peay asks Moore about religion with no name"


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Moore answers questions about his new book

Miami WLRN's Joseph Cooper and Bonnie Berman with Topical Currents interview Thomas Moore for 32 minutes about A Religion of One's Own during their call-in radio program.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Spirituality does not replace religion's role today

For today's issue of Real Clear Religion Thomas Moore writes "Your Own Personal Religion" based on his new book, A Religion of One's Own. When asked about community, Moore's response includes:

"I foresee a deeper kind of communal sense developing hand in hand with more intense personal involvement. Since the less significant trappings of institutional religion are no longer in the way, we can have a keen feeling for the planet and the beings that exist on it. Community now can be hugely inclusive: other types of belief, other ethnicities, animals, vegetative forms and even manufactured things will be part of it."

Moore also writes that there is value in traditional religions:
"Still a Catholic in my own mind, I have three outstanding rabbis I can contact for counsel at any time. I am friendly with several sisters and priests who have been on the frontier of this new religiousness for years. My buddy in teaching spirituality and making it accessible is a Baptist minister, who is a master of the old theology and yet far ahead in re-forming religion for the future. These admirable people are variously close to or remote from the official old-style churches. Once you leave spiritual regimentation behind, you discover multiple ways of being genuinely and solidly religious."
He concludes, "The habit of preferring 'spirituality' over 'religion' is also passing. It's time to be more open, firm and courageous in countering the soulless, ego-centered philosophies of the modern era and embrace a new sacred. It's time not to abandon religion but to re-imagine it."

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Thomas Moore gives public talk in Garrison, N.Y.

To kick off his retreat at the Garrison Institute in Garrison, N.Y. Thomas Moore offers a public talk on Monday 31 March 2014 from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. based on his new book, A Religion of One's Own on sale during the evening.
Cost: $15 Register online now.

Early Bird rate for the full retreat has been extended.
The Early Bird program fee is $217.00 if you register by midnight on 14 February 2014. The program fee increases to $297.00 on 15 February 2014. Register for the full three-day April Fool's retreat.

Barque coverage
3 Nov 2013 "Be with Moore and others, April Fool's Day 2014"

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Moore's Spirituality & Practice course, Feb. 3

Spirtuality & Practice shares resources for Thomas Moore's new book, A Religion of One's Own: A Guide to Creating a Personal Spirituality in a Secular World that is now available. Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat review Moore's book while sharing their support for his approaches and sources. They also offer an excerpt about Meaning from the book.

S&P hosts an online course with Moore starting 3 February 2014: "Crafting Your Own Religion with Thomas Moore." This course runs from Monday 3 February to Friday 28 February for $49.95.
Register online.

Through emails sent Monday, Wednesday, and Friday each week, Moore explores:
• Religion's way of engaging the mysteries.
• Experiences of ordinary mysticism.
• Sanctifying daily life by borrowing from the monastic traditions.
• Dream practice.
• Art as an essential in our own religion.
• Revelation, epiphany, and intuition.
• Integrating the sensual and the spiritual.
• Connecting with the world community and your neighbors.
"Your own religion may mean staying with your long-held tradition and rediscovering its value, arranging its components into a personal "rule" of life. Seekers may draw from many traditions and from nature to formulate a way of life and a practice that is not secular but is not religious in the usual sense. Atheists and agnostics may engage the eternal questions of meaning and create a religion suited to them." 
These emails give practical suggestions and tasks. In the online Practice Circle we will talk about this process, swap ideas, and share inspiring resources. Moore participates in the Practice Circle to answer questions and make other suggestions. In late February, we'll be able to connect with him during a one-hour teleconference. Register now. 4 CEHs for chaplains are available.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Peay asks Moore about religion with no name

Pythia Peay
Pythia Peay interviews Thomas Moore about his new book, A Religion of One's Own for Psychology Today. This first part of the three-part interview discusses contributions of American Transcendentalists, and the impact of science on religion. Moore shares:
"Emerson practiced as a minister at a church in Boston, but left after some arguments around the role of communion in the services. He began traveling and giving talks in lecture halls, addressing the problems with institutional religion.
But when Emerson left the ministry he didn’t abandon religion altogether — he just made his own religion.Through his lectures and writing he created his own way, drawing on sources such as the Neoplatonists going back to ancient Greece, Eastern teachings from India, and Sufi writings from poets like Hafiz, then putting all those together."
Contribute to the reader discussion on the PT site or visit Moore's public Facebook page to respond.


Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Local newspaper interviews Moore about launch

For today's Monadnock Ledger-Transcript print edition Dave Anderson writes "The ‘do-it-yourself’ religion", profiling Thomas Moore and his new book, A Religion of One's Own. Anderson quotes Moore:
“I love religions very much, but I recommend a lighter way of dealing with them,” he says. “You can be a religious person without surrendering to the secular world, but you don’t have to give everything to the religious authorities either.”
According to Anderson's profile:
“On the outside, you’d think I didn’t give religion a thought, but inside it’s the main thing,” Moore says. “People are trying out different traditions. I’m trying to suggest that this is a valid way of being religious. You can do it all by yourself.”
Moore’s book defines religion as a creative and concrete response to the mysteries people confront regularly: sickness, love, meaning, death, purpose, values. It begins in the individual who may well go through a period of seeking. He recommends shifting attention from the formal religions as traditions to learn and memberships to join and instead studying them closely and using them for inspiration, guidance, information and practices."
Moore discusses A Religion of One’s Own at the Toadstool Bookshop in Peterborough, NH on Saturday 1 February at 11:00 a.m.

Toadstool Bookshop
12 Depot Sq.,
Peterborough, New Hampshire

Telephone: 603-924-3543

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Moore visits California next week to launch book

A Great Good Place for Books in Montclair Village and Montclair Presbyterian Church host Thomas Moore's launch of A Religion of One's Own on Monday 13 January 2014 starting at 7:00 p.m. at Montclair Presbyterian Church in Oakland, California.

Montclair Presbyterian Church
5701 Thornhill Drive
Oakland, California 94611
Telephone: 510-339-1131

Barque coverage
25 Nov 2013 "Moore talks about his new book in Oakland"

Thomas Moore in Exeter, NH, 28 January 2014

Water Street Bookstore and We the People present Thomas Moore in conversation with Katrina Kenison on Tuesday 28 January 2014 at 7:00 p.m. at Christ Church in Exeter, New Hampshire: Cultivating Soul in Everyday Life.
"At a time when so many feel disillusioned with or detached from organized religion yet long for a way to move beyond an exclusively materialistic, rational lifestyle, A Religion of One's Own points the way to creating an amplified inner life and a world of greater purpose, meaning, and reflection."
We the People is a lecture/film series organized by the Congregational Church of Exeter, Christ Church, First Unitarian Universalist Society of Exeter, Phillips Exeter Academy, and Water Street Bookstore. The series "seeks to explore issues at the intersection of faith and life."

Christ Church
43 Pine Street
Exeter, NH 03833
(603) 772-3332

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Book trailer shows Moore talking about religion

Watch Thomas Moore's book trailer for A Religion of One's Own: A Guide to Creating a Personal Spirituality in a Secular World. This 1 minute 40 seconds video features Moore talking about religion's changing role for us. Moore's book will be released a week from today. Order now.