Sabbath

  • by Wayne Muller
  • Narrated by Wayne Muller
  • 3 hrs and 24 mins
  • Speech

Publisher's Summary

Thomas Merton, toward the end of his life, warned of a "pervasive form of contemporary violence" that is unique to our times: overwork and overactivity. In his work as a minister and caregiver, Wayne Muller observed the effects of this violence on our communities, our families, and our people. He responds to this escalating "war on our spirits" in this audio guide, and immerses listeners in the sacred tradition of the shabbat - the day of rest - a tradition that is all but forgotten in an age where consumption, speed, and productivity have become the most valued human commodities. He offers practices and exercises that reflect the sabbath as recognized in Christianity, Judaism, and Buddhism. Through his way of nourishment and repose, Muller teaches, we welcome insights and blessings and arise only with stillness and time.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Good as a Critique but as Rx not so much

I'm very conflicted about this lecture. On the one hand, I think Wayne Muller is right on in his critique of the American busy, busy, busy mania. We must be doing, doing, doing. Work, work, work, play, play, play. Business and political people bragging that they are virtually on the job 24/7. Their children shuttled from school to soccer practice to ballet and violin lessons. God forbid a child would have a minute of unstructured time to have fun. Obviously, this is a society that could do well to observe a day of rest, especially now when Thanksgiving is being transformed from a family dinner into a mad shopping spree.

So Muller's criticism of our hyperactive society is valid. It is helpful that as a Christian minister he brings in perspectives from other religions, especially the Sabbath as it has been understood and practiced for thousands of years in Judaism. It's good to reflect that in the creation story God was not a 24/7 kind of guy. Adding in the contemplative, meditative and prayer practices of Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam are also helpful to building Muller's case.

However, in the last hour especially his prescriptions seem to go off on a New Age tangent. Couples stripping naked for a Sabbath bath where they confess the sins of the past week to each other seems like an attempt to meld Hippie sexuality with Catholic guilt. At other points it is hard to tell if Muller is advocating for Holy Communion or a wine and cheese party. There is a sort of whatever works quality to his prescriptions where Sabbath observers can either light a candle, confess their sins and give money to the homeless OR pop a cork on a bottle of champagne, play board games and have sex. Maybe this "whatever floats your boat" approach will work but it sounded too much like Real Housewives of Beverly Hills meets the Sunday sermonette.

Muller's suggestion that we slow down and take a day off to relax once a week was very welcome. But some of the examples of how he and his friends observe the Sabbath felt like Too Much Information.

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- Rich S.

Some good material

There is some good material in this book. Enough for a sermon on the topic. The narration however is slow and quiet and frankly hard to pay attention to for any length of time without falling asleep.
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- Jim

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-17-1999
  • Publisher: Sounds True