In Seasons, Brother Toby uses the experience of the Starcross Monastic Community as a background for a month-by-month contemplative journey through the year. For a broader perspective, he adds excerpts from the 1874 Shaker Journal of Elder Otis Sawyer of Sabbathday Lake, Maine. In the manner of his popular A Winter Walk, Brother Toby again speaks to the inner monk of people leading everyday lives. His emphasis on each person’s unfolding spiritual experience, rather than ideology or dogma, becomes more important as an increasing number of people have concerns about many religious institutions but continue to value the rich heritage of the transcendent traditions that have nourished our world and our lives.
“I so enjoyed going through the seasons in Brother Toby’s new book, and followed with rapt attention his descriptions of all the months of the year. SEASONS is a very touching and heartfelt reading experience … I will keep this book on the small table next to my bed, so that I may read it before I go to sleep, better than any pills, a kind of prayer for the living.”Jonah Raskin: Chair, Communication Studies Sonoma State U. Author of Field Days: A Year of Farming, Eating and Drinking Wine in California; American Scream: Allen Ginsberg’s Howl; and For the Hell of It: The Life and Times of Abbie Hoffman.
“Every once in a while a book comes along which becomes a friend – a comfortable familiar person you check in with whenever you want to remind yourself who you are and where you’ve been. SEASONS is such a book. I found it offered me inspiration, refreshment and the companionship of a wise and witty fellow traveler.”Anita Delph: Occupational Therapist, Theater Arts Musician, Senior CareAdvocate.
“Once again Brother Toby has created a rich tapestry of the ordinary and the sacred. In SEASONS, he weaves early memories and reflections of his contemporary monastic life with excerpts from a 19th century Shaker community journal – all of this juxtaposed with images from our diverse, complex and vibrant world of nature. Sensitive, thought-provoking and earnest, SEASONS celebrates birth, death and renewal.”Sharon Bard: Editor of Steeped in the World of Tea; Former Public Affairs Producer of NPR affiliate’s “On the Edge and Centered.”