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Everyday Sacred: A Woman's Journey Home

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  1,055 ratings  ·  76 reviews

Like the vibrant yet simple quilts that led her to live within the Amish community and to write about the experience in her bestselling book 'Plain and Simple', the em
ebook, 176 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published 1995)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,121)
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This book never quite made it for me. I kept waiting for it to develop. But instead it just hung out in the "half-formed" stage throughout the entire book. The author might have something to communicate, but she never quite gets there. She offers what amount to be a whole bunch of starts for what could be enlightening essays--but they are only starts. Sometimes the starts had moments of nice inspiration, but they never went further. Her tone also bothered me: somehow she came across as condescen ...more
A very well written inspiring book.
Karen Floyd
A slender book, but full of wisdom and great stories. I find something new every time I read it. "We ourselves make each day what it is. The fortunate and unfortunate will always be with us, but our responses - maintaining dignity and equilibrium - to whatever befalls us, determines whether the day is good or not."
A collection of short thoughts about life, relaxing, and appreciating the little things in life. Beyond making the mind calm, the content of this book is really not that inspiring.
Good book to start out a new year with. Affirms previous resiliency training.
So when I was reading this book It seemed like a writer just jotting down feelings, thoughts ect... (which in most part it is) But I didnt get it. many short thoughts I felt like I needed the master to help me understand it. it was still a "white painting" that I didnt get. Some of them I understood and could relate and knew I had to apply to my life. It was "enlightening" So I thought about giving it maybe a 3 stars but as I read on and on I understood more. Of course like I previously said the ...more
A dear friend gave me this book years ago, when it was first published. I read it then and remembered liking it. So the other day, desperate for something to read and no car to get to the library, I pulled this off the shelf. Usually this style of writing irritates me--short vignettes that often completely disconnected from the preceding vignette. I often feel like the author is condescending to share insights with me, but I'm too stupid or too slow or too something to get it. But Sue Bender's s ...more
I think the jewel in this book is the idea behind the writing: that monks used to go out into the community everyday with a begging bowl to ask for sustenance. And whatever the monks received was what they were grateful for and what they used for nourishment. Bender's idea (as well as the idea presented behind many philosphies) is that we should see whatever is put in our bowls each day as a gift. While I've heard this idea before, it came as a reminder at the right time.

Beyond that, I felt that
Sue Bender is an author not to be missed. This book is chock full of incredible thoughts, deep ponderings put so beautifully into words. Yes, everyday is sacred, and when you have read this book you will look at the world around you in a different and more wonderful way. A book to be savored, underlined and with a notebook nearby so you can write down your thoughts as they arise. All of her books will inspire you to do the same...they will touch you and make you think of all that is so wonderful ...more
Kit Dunsmore
Lovely book about the search for peace, beauty, and meaning in the midst of our crazy lives. Full of wonderful and thought-provoking stories from Buddhist teaching and from the many people Bender talked to while making this journey. A gentle book full of hope.
This book includes many interesting bits for deeper thought and some of the stories prompted me to do just that. I even passed some of the thoughts along. I have seen the application of these realizations in my own life already. I heartily recommend reading this as long as you are open to change.
I will admit, this book was not what I had expected. I thought it might be more of a story book with a plot. It is a wonderful collection of thoughts and experiences not only is the author but of many people who crossed her path during normal days, challenging days, just "every day". Most of the stories are very brief, but provide wonderful insight into what lies just below the surface of life. I found many of the stories encouraging and thought-provoking.
At first I wasn't sure I'd finish this book. There was a slow, almost sauntering pace to it, and for some reason I was expecting it to wow me with quick insights. Reading it was like taking a walk with someone who moseys and dawdles when you're in a hurry to get somewhere. It was when I was forced to slow down and look around that I realized the book's value to me. Among the many small lessons I learned, the biggest was not to approach a book with expectations. Better to enter it with anticipati ...more
One "why didn't I already know that" moment after another,,,
For people who fight perfectionist tendencies, this book provides a great perspective on finding the perfection in imperfection. Sue Bender meditates on the image of various simple bowls, and the lessons she finds in them are life changing. The pottery bowl that is a little off center, the begging bowl of the monk that accepts what ever is placed in it, along with others provide opportunities for reflection on what really matters in life. This is another book that I re-read periodically when I f ...more
Subtitled "A woman's journey home," Bender uses the image of the begging bowl as she continues her account of her search for "peaceful wisdom and simplicity." Zen monks go out each day with an empty bowl in their hands, gaining nourishment for the day from whatever is put in the bowl. So too, should we approach each day afresh, with our bowls waiting to be filled, and we will find at the end of that day that extraordinary things,some so small we may be tempted to overlook them, have come our way ...more
A good reminder to appreciate the wonders of what's right in front of you, to revel in the ordinary. The author uses the metaphor of a monk's empty "begging bowl" as a metaphor throughout the book. The monk accepts for his sustenance whatever food is placed in the bowl, whatever the offeror is willing to give. Similarly, Sue Bender discovers that seeking the big spiritual revelation may be keeping her from receiving the small, meaningful learnings that surround her. There are some lovely stories ...more
You need to be in a chill mood for a thoughtful book of wisdom. All about embracing our "flaws" and seeing them as parts of ourselves rather than releasing our inner critic. A quick read.
J Uribe
just a great little book of wisdom and deep thoughts.
This book had some interesting ideas, and some stories and quotes that I liked. Overall though, I found this book to be disorganized and hard to follow at times. She would tell a story about one person, then move to another story, and then a few chapters later she'd come back to a previous story. It got kind of confusing at times because I couldn't always remember who each person was and what their purpose was in the book. I don't know if she remembered either.
Lezlee Hays
This kind of worked it's way into my psyche and truly made a little dent in the way I think, observe the world, process things. Her ruminations are lovely. It's a quick read if you want to read it all at once. But it can also be a slow read if you want to savor it in little bits. Now that I've read it I will probably go back and read it again. There are great insights here. Her thinking is circular and tangential. But that's kind of the point.
This was more like a collection of personal thoughts than a book. There are some thoughtful sentiments for appreciating the bounty in our lives but there just wasn't enough of a journey in the story to make it at all satisfying to read.

This was my book club read for this month and the group was in agreement that this book felt like it was phoned in. We weren't sure who the intended audience was but felt that it wasn't us.
Debbie Hoskins
My writing consultant suggested I read this. I'm working on a book about labyrinths and visual journaling that also includes personal stories. I use labyrinths throughout my book. Sue Bender uses the image of the begging bowl in a similar way that I would like to use the labyrinth. Sue Bender has a deceptively simple writing style. She describes the creative process and the friends and teachers she meets along her journey.
I liked this book because it validated a lot of feelings and experiences I have had over the last three years. My "journey to nothingness", I call it, to set aside perfectionist thinking and seek the sacred spirit in my everyday life. It involves slowing down, saying "no", and allowing yourself to find pleasure in the hum-drum. If you haven't already been down this road, this book can help.
I understand her first book is really good, written after she spent a year with the Amish. This one is more Buddhist. It has some wonderful insights and nuggets of wisdom, but my honest reaction to the overall effect was, "It's time to quit finding yourself and get on with life!" Fans of self-realization books will love it, but I just liked it.
Karen DAngelo
Loved this book. Thought of my dear friend Yvonne quite a bit throughout and bought a copy for her.
Great view of life. There's hope for all of us :)
Enjoyed the analogy of having a bowl...what we need to put in the bowl. When is there enough? We are constantly growing and changing.
Sep 06, 2007 Leslie rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone with a cluttered mind
i love sue bender. reading her books is like opening someone's journal and seeing that you aren't the only one who thinks a certain way. this book is gentle, uplifting and kind. may be a little mushy for some folk, but it offers some great little tidbits of perspective.
Some good insights but in attempting to be "deep", her thoughts are often a stretch for me. Very choppy and unedited as well - which actually didn't bother me but it might bug some people. Still enjoyed the book but liked "Plain and Simple" by this author better.
This book found me in a stack as I was checking out. Very personal account of a woman struggling and finding herself through the metaphor of a begging bowl. Some of her musings resonated with me dearly. I hope I run into her some day in a cafe in Berkeley.
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Born in New York City, Sue Bender received her BA from Simmons College and her MA from the Harvard University School of Education. She taught high school in New York and English at the Berlitz School in Switzerland. She later earned a Masters in Social Work from the University of California at Berkeley. During her active years as a family therapist, Bender was founder and Director of CHOICE: The I ...more
More about Sue Bender...
Plain and Simple: A Journey to the Amish Stretching Lessons: The Daring that Starts from Within

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