I have read a lot of books. This is one that changed my life and continues to challenge me deeply.
I received this book in lieu of pay. Floyd Shaffer had invited me to assist him at a weekend workshop he was leading. I forget what he offered to pay me, but whatever it was I traded it for a couple books. He had recommended this one to me – not that he was trying to get out of paying me, but rather telling me it was a book he thought I would appreciate.
Floyd was right.
This book helped me understand a living mysticism – not as some ethereal ecstasy but experiencing the sacred within the mundane. It helped me understand the contemplative life – not as withdrawal from the world but remaining engaged. It helped me appreciate the need to find my own spiritual disciplines to ground me.
It is this book that moved me understanding of clowning from presenting skits and skills to being present and then helping others be present. It moved me from perfecting what I was about to prepare to seeking to be in the moment as fully as possible.
Above all else, this book located wisdom as an ongoing pursuit. It assured me of a solace to be found walking to my own rhythms, even when they were out of synch with those around me. It comforted my search for spirituality as being in the presence moment rather than escaping from it. Every time I drink water, this book comes into my memory because of Ken’s mindful experience sipping a cool drink. Every ice cube reminds me of awaiting liberation.
Not that I have mastered any of these things.
I have read a lot of books. Few of them call me to read them again – and fewer yet again a third or fifth or tenth time. This is a book I have read – cover to cover – more than 50 times.
I never met Ken Feit. I have met his legacy – through this book, through a few others who knew him. I give thanks for the gifts he shared so generously, and for the inadequate record of his life in this book.