At the dawn of Christianity, holy women went into the deserts of northern Egypt to give themselves totally to lives of prayer. Today, we are gradually discovering more about these desert mothers: they were teachers, they were spiritual guides and sometimes they were leaders of monastic communities. The sayings and stories that come from these sages speak to us compellingly about living the Great Commandment. They never forget that love of God, love of neighbour and love of self are patiently knit together by daily practice. Their advice is down-to-earth, blunt, and savvy. The lives of these desert mothers, while often seeming strange and completely at odds with the lives of women today, challenge and subvert many of the cultural norms that hinder spiritual growth. Here, in this gentle introduction, Mary Earle gives thought-provoking insights into the teachings of the desert mothers and provides a series of creative and practical exercises to enrich and deepen your spiritual life.