The Interior Silence: My Encounters with Calm, Joy and Passion at 10 Monasteries Around the World

Sarah Sands. Chronicle Prism, $26.95 (256p) ISBN 978-1-79721-045-2
In this insightful debut, journalist and self-described “spiritual tourist” Sands visits 10 monastic communities in search of wisdom and tools she can incorporate into her chaotic “5G life.” Traveling to Japan, France, Egypt, Catalonia, Bhutan, and Austria, Sands stays at Benedictine, Buddhist, Carmelite, Celtic, Cistercian, Coptic, Franciscan, and Tibetan monasteries. (She provides an overview of each community’s history and literature, and interviews contemporary practitioners.) Sands is frank about her struggles with her “constant ticker tape of anxieties,” and her amusing accounts of trying to feel monastic peace while quarreling with her daughter in a Buddhist temple, being ravaged by mosquitos in Egypt, and discovering that she has her husband’s phone in a Cistercian monastery will win over readers. After the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown disrupts her travel plans, Sands’s visits to Marham Abbey in Norfolk, U.K., lead to nuanced reflections on the parallels between monasticism and enforced isolation. This physical and spiritual travelogue both piques and inspires. (Nov.)
Reviewed on : 09/07/2021
Release date: 11/01/2021
Genre: Religion
Book - 978-1-7972-1046-9
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