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Sabbath: Finding Rest, Renewal, and Delight in Our Busy Lives

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  2,388 ratings  ·  208 reviews
In today's world, with its relentless emphasis on success and productivity, we have lost the necessary rhythm of life, the balance between work and rest. Constantly striving, we feel exhausted and deprived in the midst of great abundance. We long for time with friends and family, we long for a moment to ourselves.

Millennia ago, the tradition of Sabbath created an oasis of
Paperback, 256 pages
Published September 5th 2000 by Bantam (first published April 6th 1999)
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Average rating 3.98  · 
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 ·  2,388 ratings  ·  208 reviews

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Brad Feld
Apr 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I had Digital Sabbath #3 yesterday. I turned off my phone and computer Friday at sundown and didn't turn them back on until Sunday morning. I'm starting to enjoy the pattern and had a lot of relief yesterday from the complete disconnect. We had dinner at our house with friends Friday night, Amy and I did some stuff in the morning together, I went for a 9 mile run, took a nap in the afternoon, and we had dinner last night with friends and then watched some comedy on tv afterwards. My brain was le ...more
Ryan Jankowski
Oct 20, 2014 rated it did not like it
This book was a gift. I had never heard of the author, but was of the impression that this was a Christian presentation of Sabbath rest. That is not the case. This book most definitely was not written from a Christian perspective. The author is Unitarian. It Mr. Muller's syncretistic effort to unify all traditions of 'rest' and place them neatly under the title of 'sabbath' (linguistic revisionism, but hey, if it sells books).

For Christians, Jesus is the Lord of the Sabbath (Mat 12.8) and he is
Jan 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
One of those life-changing books. I read it 2 years ago and keep coming back to it. It has a simple message: we are not machines, and we cannot thrive in our constantly "on" culture. We have been designed to delight in rhythm and rest. What I love about this book is has Judeo-Christian roots, but is accessible to folks who don't adhere to a particular faith. There are mini essays (3-5 pages) developing a particular facet of Sabbath, followed by 1st person descriptions of a particular Sabbath pra ...more
Mar 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I've returned to this book annually since it was first published, and always go away from it with something new. What worried or chafed before, a few years later, turned out to make sense to me in new circumstances. What seemed most profound, lived out over a few years, seemed everyday common sense. That's the thing about good books of spiritual practice: you meet them in different ways at different times in your life and they still have something to teach you, something to surprise you, somethi ...more
Nov 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book: my first introduction to Wayne Muller. In it, he explores all kinds of elements of our lives today and how we can find greater satisfaction -- delight! -- and greater peace within the madness of the world. What I love is that Wayne is both an incredible writer and has very thoughtful, well-researched chapters, each of which ends with a practical exercise to try in your life. Very helpful combination of reflection and action.
Wayne Muller’s thesis is that Sabbath is good. He explores the fundamental need for rest, its origin in creation and its placement in major world religions. There is a fundamental rhythmicity to nature, Muller contends, and that is no accident. We are created to need rest; therefore Sabbath is created for us. As this is a natural truth, Muller finds much support from other faith traditions, with similar rest practices.

Muller rests heavily on the creation account for his assertion t
Aug 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
This very excellent book about taking time out of your week to rest,commonly referred to as "Sabbath", is worth the money I spent on it. My personality type (ISTJ & Enneagram 1) has hard time slowing down from accomplishing tasks and must be told to STOP! Otherwise I keep on going and eventually burn out. So this book gave me the permission to feel as if stopping to rest is helpful to my physical and emotional well-being.

Some quotes from the book that resonated with me:
~Sabbath is about joy and
Aug 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
"What if we were to expand our definition of wealth to include those things that grow only in time--time to walk in the park, time to take a nap, time to play with children, to read a good book, to dance, to put our hands in the garden, to cook playful meals with friends, to paint, to sing, to meditate, to keep a journal. What if we were to live, for even a few hours without spending money, cultivating time instead as our most precious resource?"

"Medical science has a very specific name to descr
Daniel Joshua
Jul 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Talk about juicy ecumenism. All in all the book itself was a sabbath read for me, and it was great to read it with school and whatnot going on. I disliked his inclusiveness, he was like a more dusty and vague Nouwen. On the whole however it was a much needed book for me to read. The elements of restful rhythm are quite a stern rebuke to American entertainment/consumerism.
Mark Knight
Sep 21, 2018 rated it it was ok
Peaceful book on rest but was not really written from the Christian or Jewish perspective but from the universalist, pluralistic perspective. It made it hard to read for me because while the concepts and stories about resting were peaceful and good, often pluralism was knocking on the door.

If one could chew the meat and spit out the bones, this could be a book to read on resting well.
Michael O'Leary
Oct 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sabbath: Finding Rest, Renewal, and Delight in Our Busy Lives by Wayne Muller is one of the best books I've read on finding spiritual calm, renewal, and peace in our busy lives. His writing and philosophical narratives are very similar to another favorite spiritual author of mine--Henri Nouwen. As Muller reveals in his book, Henri Nouwen was a personal friend and mentor to him. This is a great book to read slowly, savor, and highlight--it has a great many takeaways--with many thoughtful pearls a ...more
Fawn Carriker
May 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
I needed to read this book. I probably need to be regularly bashed about the head and shoulders with it, and read it monthly. My friends know my habit of over-scheduling myself--there are so many things I want to do and believe passionately about that I find myself busy beyond belief with absolutely no room for refreshment.

"Sabbath: Finding Rest, Renewal, and Delight in Our Busy Lives" is a beautiful reminder of the importance of balance and rhythm in our lives. Wayne Muller encourages us to bui
Luke Baker
Oct 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020, favorites
There isn’t a subject I’ve read more about in the past two years than sabbath. After seeing Muller quoted in many of those books, I knew I had to read his take on this lost discipline. And he didn’t disappoint. This is by far my favorite (and I think the best) book on the topic I’ve come across. Muller uses scripture, poetry, personal stories, friendships, practices, and even other religions to help you reclaim the gift of sabbath.

Also, as someone who’s fascinated by the topic of time, this boo
Feb 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Great, gentle reminder(s) from Wayne Muller about the importance of taking a traditional sabbath - preferably one day a week - and what the importance of a Sabbath is and was from a historical and Biblical perspective. In today's modern age, Muller argues that taking a Sabbath -- setting aside intentional time to "unplug" and "destress" from the worries, stresses, and noise of modern society -- is of utmost importance to your physical, spiritual, and emotional health and well being. While we thi ...more
Katie Kelton
Apr 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I’m not one to reread books - but this is one book I could imagine myself reading again, and then flipping back to the first page to read again.
Jul 04, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommended to John by: Olin Knudsen
Rating: C+

Worth the read. Helps me to realize that to "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy." (Exodus 20:8) requires intentionality. The demands of our lives create our forgetfulness. A time and a way of resting from the world and toward our Creator is not only a commandment, but needed for the restoration and renewal of our soul.

"Henri Nouwen was a dear friend of mine, a brother, priest, and mentor. He was also a fiercely asture observer of our worried, overfilled lives. Henri insisted tha
Amy Webb
Feb 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What a great practical read about Sabbath. Not limited to merely a day of rest but much more broad idea. Examples to incorporate rest in your daily life are at the end of each chapter. I would highly recommend this book! I actually bought a copy because this is the first book in my life that I wanted to highlight in!
Aug 18, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Though I'm not religious, the idea of Sabbath really resonates with me. I may not set aside regular time 'off' (not just talking about weekends here), but I certainly enjoy my down time. On one hand, I may feel as if I'm just being lazy--I should be doing 'something', but this book was a lovely reminder that this down time is a necessity. To reboot, relax, unplug, play (with others, music, in nature...), to let it be.

Though the book is written by a minister and discusses spiritual traditions, it
Christy Lindsay
Jul 31, 2018 rated it it was ok
I don't know where I saw this book recommended, but I was expecting it to be a Christian book and I was mistaken. The author references Buddha more than Jesus. There are many new age philosophies and Unitarian views. the author does make some good points about the need for rest, but as a Bible believing christian that's about all I got out of this book. ...more
Mar 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Even reading two pages in this book left me with a deep, still sense of peace. This book so beautifully highlights the need for rest, for time to slow down, for time to appreciate. Nothing in nature is blooming all year round, Muller points out, so we need to take time too to let ourselves rest and become revitalized.
Keep a pencil nearby, because there's a lot to underline!
Antoinette Verdone
Oct 16, 2007 rated it it was amazing
This book really will teach you why and how to rest. At the end of each chapter is a exercise that helps you understand how to practically apply the ideas, which I find very helpful. This book really changed the way I though!
Jan 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reading this book slowly and meditatively is a Sabbath in itself.
Téa Oliver
Jun 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
A breath of fresh air in our current culture of rushing and straining. Muller spoke about the Sabbath both as the day of the week and of the soul, which is a take you don't often see. ...more
Nathan Albright
This book was disappointing.  On the positive side, it is to the author's credit that he views the Sabbath as a liberating practice rather than something that impoverishes and diminishes life.  The author has some insights to make on the need for people to rest and the way that the rise of consumerist culture has led to a decline in the practice of Sabbath observance.  Likewise, the author speaks fondly of Henri Nouwen, and that is not a bad thing either.  On the other hand, though, this book ha ...more
Sep 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
When I first sat down to write my book on the Power of Rest, I hadn't heard of this book on Sabbath. The consistency of observation as to what happens when a habit of rest is observed, therefore, is quite fascinating to me. From that perspective, I thoroughly enjoyed the book. I also appreciated the first-hand accounts of how other individuals observe Sabbath throughout the day and week. Concurrently, I was saddened by the underlying spiritual tone of the book. While the author presents many tea ...more
Jan 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
In a nutshell -- this wonderful book, published 20 years ago, consists of meaningful musings from a modern-day, religious idler and its subject - importance of the Sabbath - is both depressing and inspiring.

It is discouraging to read knowing that the basis of the Sabbath is sadly more needed and relevant now than ever, especially as our society has only become increasingly distracted and disconnected in this media and device-addicted era.

However, Muller's pre-21st-century perspective, means th
Jan 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audio
Writing a review 1.5 years after I listened to this book but would like to do so for the sake of completion. I recall this book was quite influential for me and actually got me to change my lifestyle - I cancelled the regular rides I did on Sunday mornings in lieu of staying at home to rest and relax as the book advised and have been rather careful about my Sundays ever since. So I would say it was life-changing in this way. I have a particular love for books that extoll the virtues of rest and ...more
Mindy Danylak
Jul 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I could love this book more but I'll have to become more of a person first. My depths and my day-to-day are met on nearly every page. I love how I feel when I read it, I love the ideas I'm offered, I love the rest, the reminders toward presence and being awake, I love the sense of companionship with others across traditions, the layout and the size of each page, the scale of the font and the distribution of themes and poetry. This book is a gift and one I've returned to repeatedly as a resource ...more
Jan 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
"The world seduces us with an artificial urgency that requires us to respond without listening to what is most deeply true." This book is full of truth that we need to hear on repeat. The idea of Sabbath is so much richer because it can be woven throughout our life. We all need time to rest and practice the beautiful art of doing nothing well (like the Italians). This book is a gentle and poetic reminder that our work will never be finished but we can choose to just stop. Rest, sing, nap, wander ...more
Sylvia Jeronimo
Mar 28, 2020 rated it liked it
To take delight in the Sabbath as a gift to humanity and to creation, is to recognize the gift Giver as the creator and consecrated of all. Sabbath is not only a neglected gift, it is a forgotten habit. We do not like to acknowledge our limits, earths boundaries or times constraints to the detriment of our health, our relationships and our resources. Muller offers innumerable concepts of Sabbath and as many ideas on how to embrace and observe Sabbath. Sabbath takes discipline and has a cost, but ...more
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32 likes · 15 comments
“When we live without listening to the timing of things, when we live and work in twenty-four-hour shifts without rest – we are on war time, mobilized for battle. Yes, we are strong and capable people, we can work without stopping, faster and faster, electric lights making artificial day so the whole machine can labor without ceasing. But remember: No living thing lives like this. There are greater rhythms, seasons and hormonal cycles and sunsets and moonrises and great movements of seas and stars. We are part of the creation story, subject to all its laws and rhythms.” 23 likes
“Like a path through the forest, Sabbath creates a marker for ourselves so, if we are lost, we can find our way back to our center."
— Wayne Muller (Sabbath: Finding Rest, Renewal, and Delight in Our Busy Lives)”
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