Residents are encouraged to read Essential Spirituality, by Roger Walsh, as part of the three-year Aware Medicine course. This book draws its ideas from a variety of different belief systems, and it respects that readers may not be affiliated with any of them. It takes common threads from traditions worldwide and offers readers a chance to determine if they are relevant or not. Again, the intent of this course is to facilitate self-exploration, not to promote a particular set of beliefs or perspectives.
“How to achieve this discovery of our true self is the central question of life, and it is here that the great religions offer their greatest gift. Each of them contains a set of practices designed to help us reach this goal…”
“Among the many spiritual practices, there are seven that are common to authentic religions and that we can therefore call perennial practices. These perennial practices were discovered by the religious founders and have been used by millions of men and women around the world…”
“The seven perennial practices are:
- Transform your motivation: reduce craving and find your soul’s desire.
- Cultivate emotional wisdom: heal your heart and learn to love.
- Live ethically: feel good by doing good.
- Concentrate and calm your mind.
- Awaken your spiritual vision: see clearly and recognized the sacred in all things.
- Cultivate spiritual intelligence: develop wisdom and understand life.
- Express spirit in action: embrace generosity and the joy of service.”
-Kenneth Walsh, Essential Spirituality