Finding Spiritual Wisdom in Pen and Ink


By Robin Pierson, Special to the Independent

Roger Housden
Roger Housden

In his latest book, “Keeping the Faith Without a Religion,” spiritual guide and culture observer Roger Housden encourages readers to peel back layers of doctrine to perhaps uncover truths that resonate more with their personal experience.

Author of the best-selling “Ten Poems to Change Your Life,” Housden has

traveled the world exploring spiritual teachings of both the East and the West,

describing the extraordinary access people today have to different faiths

as a “spiritual supermarket.”  At a time when more and more people self-identify

as “spiritual but not religious,” Housden’s new book offers a cure for “spiritual

homesickness” without resorting to dogmatic beliefs or nihilistic scientism.

“The era of absolute truth is over,” Housden writes, asking readers to

listen to “the promptings they hear in their hearts,” personal truths that “light an inner fire.” Releasing the desire for pat answers, Housden says, opens the potential for “falling in love with this wild, mysterious business of living.”

In this, his 21st book, Housden, offers ways to keep one’s faith even in the face of pain and suffering. And he describes death as “the defect that can spur us to taste fully the moment we are living now.”

Housden will be discussing and signing his guidebook for free-thinking seekers at Laguna Beach Books on Friday, April 11, at 6 p.m. On Saturday, April 12, Housden will lead a workshop, “Your Authentic Life. Finding Your True Taste.” Open to both writers and non-writers, Housden will use writing prompts and lines of poetry to help attendees gain clarity about their life’s purpose and direction, “a gift to discover rather than a task to fulfill.”

“Writing is a clarifying process,” said Housden from his home in northern California. “When you write about something close to you, you are externalizing it from your own inner landscape to the page, where you can have more access. And you can look at what you wrote and ask, ‘Is that true?’” he said. “If not quite, you look again, about how you have not got to the heart of the experience and go deeper.”

During the workshop, Housden will pose questions designed to open the doors leading to authentic, honest expressions and possibly greater self-awareness. The workshop will be from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and costs $125. For more information contact Mary McManus at 949.376.1786 or 949.933.1783.

Author Reveals the Bartender’s Secrets

Amy Stewart
Amy Stewart

The Laguna Beach Garden Club hosts best-selling author Amy Stewart, who will discuss her new book, “The Drunken Botanist” at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, April 11, at Laguna Presbyterian Church, Tankersley Hall, 415 Forest Ave.

Her latest book tells of the odd, unusual, and surprisingly common plants that have produced the world’s greatest spirits. Drink recipes are included.

Tickets are $10 for non-members. RSVP required at A meet and greet reception takes place Thursday April 10 from 5-6:30 p.m. at Three Arch Bay Clubhouse. Separate tickets for this event are also available on line.

Library Summons Poets of All Ages

Laguna Beach poets of all ages can enter up to three poems in the library’s 16th annual poetry contest, La Vida Poetica. Submissions due by April 30 can be made, with entry form for each poem, at the library or via w-mail as a word attachment or PDF to [email protected].

Include name, address, phone number and grade level. Adult submissions are also welcome.

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