A scholar's experiences inside a contemplative working community in Israel's Negev desert
In this thoughtful and enlightening work, world renowned religion scholar Ariel Glucklich recounts his experiences at Neot Smadar, an ecological and spiritual oasis that has been thriving in the arid Southern Israeli desert for a quarter century. An intentional community originally established by a group of young professionals who abandoned urban life to found a school for the study of the self, Neot Smadar has thrived by putting ancient Buddhist and Hindu ideas into everyday practice as ways of living and working. Glucklich provides a fascinating detailed portrait of a dynamic farming community that runs on principles of spiritual contemplation and mindfulness, thereby creating a working environment that is highly ethical and nurturing. His study serves as a gentle invitation to join the world of mindful work, and to gain a new understanding of a unique form of mystical insight that exists without exoticism.
Ariel Glucklich is professor of theology at Georgetown University, specializing in Hinduism, the psychology of religion, and anthropological approaches to religion. He is the author of eight previous books, including Sacred Pain: Hurting the Body for the Sake of the Soul, which won the American Academy of Religion award for best book (2002) and the award for best book in Philosophy and Religion by the Association of American Publishers (2002).