San Francisco, 1976. The question in the air was, “What does it mean to be human in this age?” A diverse group gathered weekly in the attic of an old Victorian house to explore this question deeply and to apply facets of their personal lives. What was unique about this venture was constructing bridges: between the contemplative traditions of East and West, between psychology and spirituality, between inspiration and daily life.
Facilitating this circle was 45-year-old Tolbert McCarroll, who came to be more commonly known as “Brother Toby” of the Starcross Community. Urged to record some of what he, and they, “heard” from the ancient and contemporary voices they studied and their experiences with the inner world, the outer world, and with each other, he began writing reflections the morning after each meeting. From this grew NOTES FROM THE SONG OF LIFE: A SPIRITUAL COMPANION.
This book did indeed become a spiritual companion for many readers. Some used sections as a daily reflection. It was passed down to the next generation in some families. Obtaining copies became difficult. Requests for reprinting increased. Now the 80-year-old author, with minor editing and a new introduction, brings out the Thirty-fifth Anniversary Edition of what was, and is, for many a milestone on their path of spiritual growth.
NOTES FROM THE SONG OF LIFE remains as Ernesto Cardenal, the poet and spiritual mentor once described it – “Straightforward, yet fresh and new.”