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The Losses of Our Lives


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments Prologue 1 The Human Tapestry Spiritual Practice: Breath Prayer Exploring Deeper 2 Birth Pangs and Passages Spiritual Practice: Walking Meditation Exploring Deeper 3 Awakening: Patterns of Gift and Loss Spiritual Practice: Examen Exploring Deeper 4 Things and Places Spiritual Practice: Sand Mandala Exploring Deeper 5 The Ebb and Flow of Relationships Spiritual Practice: Labyrinth Exploring Deeper 6 Relationships That Unravel and Tear Apart Spiritual Practice: Accompaniment Exploring Deeper 7 When Foundations Shake and Crumble Spiritual Practice: Lectio Divina Exploring Deeper 8 The Passing of Time: Our Final Loss ... and Gift Spiritual Practice: Guided Meditation Exploring Deeper Epilogue Notes Suggestions for Further Reading

About the Author

Dr. Nancy Copeland-Payton is a spiritual director and ordained clergywoman in the Presbyterian Church (USA). A pastor, hospital chaplain, and physician who practiced medicine for twenty years, she now leads retreats at church centres, monasteries, and with church groups to help people explore their experiences of loss.


"Capture[s] beautifully the paradox that the losses of our lives can become our gains. By weaving story, experience and faith ... shows how our deepest hurts may be the soil that nurtures the seeds of our transformation." -Sr. Clarissa Goeckner, prioress, Monastery of St. Gertrude, Cottonwood, Idaho "An extraordinary and wise guide in the treacherous terrain of loss." -Rabbi Dayle A. Friedman, author, Jewish Visions for Aging: A Professional Guide for Fostering Wholeness "Walks us step by step through the stages of life ... helping us delve deeper into the meaning of gift and loss-inconsequential or catastrophic-when they are considered together." -Terry Taylor, author, A Spirituality for Brokenness: Discovering Your Deepest Self in Difficult Times "Offers a way to reflect on loss that is integrative and practical. Invites the reader on a journey of depth and care." -Mary C. Earle, author, Days of Grace: Meditations and Practices for Living with Illness "An extraordinarily wise, practical guide ... on how to develop a deep spirituality grounded in the matrix between the wounds of everyday life from birth to death and the longing for God as the sacred ground discovered in the everyday gifts of life." -Dr. Tyron Inbody, professor emeritus of theology, United Theological Seminary, Dayton, Ohio; author, The Transforming God: An Interpretation of Suffering and Evil "[This] beautifully written and deeply pastoral book touched my soul as [the] stories melded with my stories to explore ever more deeply the fabric of gift and loss in our lives. To everyone who deals with losses-and that's all of us-I highly recommend it." -Rev. Clifton Kirkpatrick, president, World Alliance of Reformed Churches; visiting professor of ecumenical studies and global ministries, Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary

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