A spiritual memoir by the author of God Is a Verb.
"This book is a treasure map, but not like any you have seen before. Most people believe that the object of a treasure hunt is to find a chest of gold. The mystical approach, however, is that the search itself is the treasure…. Here is an invitation to begin an exploration of the treasure fields of your own mind…the most exciting and rewarding adventure you will ever take."
—from the Introduction
Here is an insider’s look at a spectrum of mystical traditions—by someone who is remarkably fluent in the language of each. Three Gates to Meditation Practicechronicles more than fifteen years in the spiritual journey of "post-denominational" Rabbi David A. Cooper and his wife Shoshana—years that led the Coopers everywhere from a secluded mountain hut in New Mexico to the Sinai desert, from chanting Sufi dhikr and meditation with Buddhist masters to studying Kabbalah and esoteric Judaism in the Old City of Jerusalem.
The Coopers’ story is an intimate account of what intensive spiritual practice is like, with an ultimate message that is supremely inspiring: The spiritual path is completely within our reach, whoever we are, whatever we do, as long as we are willing to try.
Cooper, the Jewish convert who wrote the bestselling book God Is a Verb, reflects upon more than 20 years of his spiritual journey in this engaging but flawed exploration of interfaith meditation practice. One might expect Cooper to exhibit a convert's zeal and exclusivism by highlighting the shortcomings of Sufism and Buddhism, the other two traditions studied here. Instead, he does a beautiful job of explaining how they dovetail together and complement each other in spiritual practice. Seeing himself as a postdenominational Jew, Cooper has been ordained a rabbi, developing and leading a cohesive Jewish meditation practice that draws upon teachings from other traditions. Cooper's book explores his eclectic spiritual journey in a plausible and respectfully ecumenical fashion, but it is overly self-absorbed. For instance, when on a 40-day retreat in a Sufi community, he is interrupted by a man who rages at him for having an affair with the man's wife. An unapologetic CooperDwho had in fact once conducted the affair as accusedDmoans only about his retreat being wrecked. Readers may tire of Cooper's endless wanderings from one retreat or teacher to another, often spending years in places such as Israel to fulfill his spiritual needs. Such freewheeling lack of responsibility concerning jobs or family makes this book a bit hard for the hoi polloi to relate to.