To the Mountain

One Mormon Woman's Search for Spirit

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Imprint: Quest Books
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"In her lovely, deeply personal account of her very uncommon spiritual journey, Phyllis Barber gives hope to all who would claim the promise: Ask and it shall be given, seek and you shall find. She is a genuine pilgrim on the way. May her journey be blessed, as she has blessed."
--Scott Cairns, author of Slow Pilgrim
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Book Details

Pages

312 Pages

Size

6 x 9

Format

Trade Paperback

Pub. Date

06/10/2014

ISBN

978-0-8356-0924-1

Publisher

Quest Books

Authors

  • Author Phyllis Barber

    Phyllis Barber holds an MFA in Writing from Vermont College and is an award-winning author of both fiction and creative nonfiction. She is the author of seven books and many essays. Her memoir How I Got Cultured won the AWP Prize for Creative Nonfiction in 1991. Barber taught in the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA in Writing Program in Montpelier, Vermont for nineteen years, was a visiting writer at the University of Missouri/Columbia, and also taught for Lighthouse Writers in Denver and other community education programs throughout the West. She is a cofounder of the Writers at Work Conference in Park City, Utah; an editor and manuscript consultant; and a 2005 inductee into the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame.

Written by an award-winning writer, this spiritual memoir is distinguished by the author’s Mormonism and literary prose. In a series of thought-provoking, personal essays, Phyllis Barber provides an engaging account of how she left her original Mormon faith and eventually returned to it decades later. Her journey begins in the 1990s. In search of spiritual healing and a deeper understanding of the divine, she travels widely and participates with people of many different persuasions, including Southern Baptists; Tibetan Buddhist monks in Tibet and North India; shamans in Peru and Ecuador; goddess worshipers in the Yucatan; and members of mega-church congregations, an Islamic society, and Gurdjieff study groups. Her 20-year hiatus from Mormonism transforms her in powerful ways. A much different human being when she decides to return to her original religion, her clarity and unflinching honesty will encourage others to continue with their own personal odysseys.
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"In her lovely, deeply personal account of her very uncommon spiritual journey, Phyllis Barber gives hope to all who would claim the promise: Ask and it shall be given, seek and you shall find. She is a genuine pilgrim on the way. May her journey be blessed, as she has blessed." --Scott Cairns, author of Slow Pilgrim "I read To the Mountain with fascination and delight. It's a book of passionate thinking and feeling about the nature of reality and the place of human beings in this complex reality. Phyllis Barber looks through the lens of her own experience to discern higher truths. 'Who knows the boundaries between lives?' she wonders, in many different ways, exploring the shimmering intuitions that have come to her through travel, relationships, and her own long spiritual questing. This is a book that will lift, console, and challenge readers from many spiritual traditions, and it's never less than stimulating."--Jay Parini, author of The Last Station "Phyllis Barber is both a gifted essayist and an open-hearted guide to the places of the spirit in the wide world and within ourselves. To read her essays is to experience vividly, through her voice, the adventures and discoveries that are revealed most deeply through reflective travel." --Lawrence Sutin, author of The Shifting Realities of Philip K. Dick "To travel the spirited world with Phyllis Barber in To the Mountain is to dance and sing and play Chopin with the abandon born of a radiance as real as a lithe body and inquisitive mind. Her arrivals and exchanges make the personal universal, a skill reserved for the most competent storyteller. To travel with her is to fall in love with life in its most wrenching, soaring, basic offerings." --Emma Lou Thayne, author of The Place of Knowing "If you keep the Sabbath going to church, smuggle this book into the pew with you. If you keep it staying home, let Phyllis Barber be your guide. These plaintive essays stride and soar, spanning continents and realms of consciousness with honesty, humility, and humor. Barber reminds us that an aching spiritual curiosity drew seekers to Mormonism in the first place, and that the same aching curiosity may drive each of us onward still. I am grateful for this wise fellow traveler and the gift of her luminous prose."--Joanna Brooks, author of The Book of Mormon Girl: A Memoir of an American Faith