Bread and Stone

How do you recognize an authentic spiritual teacher? By honestly facing up to this age-old question, philosopher Jacob Needleman and his students discover an unexpected truth.

Jacob Needleman

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That Evening Under the Full Moon © Nguyen Thi HopIT IS THE MIDDLE OF December, the last day of classes. Outside, the sky is darkening and the wind is rattling the windows. I am meeting with students in a course called "The Nature of Religious Experience." We have been reading from the Upanishads, the Life of the Buddha, the Zen Buddhist Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch, the Tao Te Ching, the books of Job, Isaiah, Matthew, the sermons of Meister Eckhart, and the poetry of two great masters of Islamic spirituality, Rumi and Hafiz. We have been speaking about religious experience—we have not been trying to have religious experience.

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