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  • The Power of Ritual

  • Turning Everyday Activities into Soulful Practices
  • Written by: Casper ter Kuile
  • Narrated by: Casper ter Kuile
  • Length: 5 hrs and 55 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (21 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Casper ter Kuile, a Harvard Divinity School fellow and cohost of the popular Harry Potter and the Sacred Text podcast, explores how we can nourish our souls by transforming common, everyday practices - yoga, reading, walking the dog - into sacred rituals that can heal our crisis of social isolation and struggle to find purpose - a message we need more than ever for our spiritual and emotional well-being in the age of COVID-19.

"After half a decade of research and hundreds of conversations with people around the country, I am convinced we are in the midst of a paradigm shift. That what used to hold us in community no longer works, and that the spiritual offerings of yesteryear no longer help us thrive." (Casper ter Kuile)

What do Soul Cycle, gratitude journals, and tech breaks have in common? For ter Kuile, they offer rituals that create the foundation for our modern spiritual lives.

We are in crisis today. Our modern technological society has left too many of us - no matter our ages - feeling isolated and bereft of purpose. Previous frameworks for building community and finding meaning no longer support us. Yet, ter Kuile reveals a hopeful new message: We might not be religious, but that doesn’t mean we are any less spiritual.

Instead, we are in the midst of a paradigm shift in which we seek belonging and meaning in secular practices. Today, we find connection in:

  • CrossFit and SoulCycle, which offer a sense of belonging rooted in accountability and support much like church groups
  • Harry Potter and other beloved books that offer universal lessons
  • Gratitude journals, which have replaced traditional prayer
  • Tech breaks, which provide mindful moments of calm

In The Power of Ritual, ter Kuile invites us to deepen these ordinary practices as intentional rituals that nurture connection and  well-being. With wisdom and endearing wit, ter Kuile’s call for ritual is ultimately a call to heal our loss of connection to ourselves, to others, and to our spiritual identities.

The Power of Ritual reminds us that what we already do every day matters - and has the potential to become a powerful experience of reflection, sanctuary, and meaning.

©2020 Casper ter Kuile (P)2020 HarperAudio

What listeners say about The Power of Ritual

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

love it

bought this audiobook because I love Harry Potter and the sacred text podcast. listened to it because Casper has been an inspiration to me because of the podcast. stayed because these lessons are helpful to my spiritual life which has been lacking. I'm a queer person in a small isolated town, and being able to listen to somebody who understands that kind of loneliness, and learn that spiritual practices don't need to be religious, or focused around the Christian god is breathing new life in to my once dead spirituality.

I found myself pausing so I could cry, and write notes about all the ways I can incorporate a sense of belonging and a higher power into my very secular life. since being kicked out of my Christian community, and losing my faith, I have had this hole in my heart where those things once lived. I have hope now that I can find meaningful ways to practice self love, self compassion, and make space to love and forgive others, instead of giving up on them (or myself).

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  • K
  • 2020-08-12

Insightful

Loved it. Just what I was looking for and didn't find in the self-improvement world.

1 person found this helpful

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Editing issues?

I found the editing of the audio poorly done. With repeat sentences or doubling of words. But the content and author reading are wonderful. The author is a podcaster and their voice is wonderful full or life and feels like a friend is reading a book to you. Which I loved!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mimi
  • 2020-07-07

Brilliant take on healing a tired soul

Casper's lovely British voice guides listeners through techniques and practices that offer accessible solutions to those feeling overworked, lonely, and out of touch with sources of Joy. It is appropriate for religious and nonreligious. He cites peer reviewed research as well as includes light-hearted personal stories. This book is a well balanced treat.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Dan S.
  • 2020-07-05

A helpful and heartfelt guide

I've been a big fan of Casper and his work on the Harry Potter and the Sacred Text podcast for a while now. With The Power of Ritual, Casper delivers a well-researched guide to spiritual practices, and how they can be adapted to meet your needs and lifestyle. I found it really practical -- I've used it to help me deepen practices I was already doing, such as walking with my dog and reading a book. it's made me more aware of my self in relation to others and the world at large. I loved hearing Casper tell personal stories of spiritual growth. Not only did they complement the practices he described, but they also made the idea of spirituality more accessible. It really felt like a friend giving me pearls of wisdom. I hope I find myself re-reading this book in times when I feel lost or disconnected.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Mecauley Watts
  • 2021-01-12

Would have been better as an article

As the title says, this would have been better as a series of articles on the subject through maybe Vox or The Atlantic. It’s certainly short enough. Although I appreciate that the author made space for secular folks and recognizes the growing number of us “none”’s, there were SO MANY eyeroll moments as he discussed topics like: divinity, transcendence, meditation, prayer, new moon rituals, and one aura massage... Not this atheist’s cup of tea, I guess. There are many many helpful statistics, study findings, and quotes from religious & secular leaders alike. Love the data. However the book is easily half memoir, and though his childhood sounds like an incredible montessori fantasy upbringing, it’s like the ramblings of an old high school friend who begs you to subscribe to their humble-bragging blog and every little memory is just oh so precious and how they struggled to find themselves and they probably like crystals. I find the tone a bit gross too, lots of self help books are doing it now. As if they’re a mentor talking you through something with patronizing phrases like “trust me...”, “I know how this sounds”, and “you never have to do xyz, mmkay?” There are some lessons I’ll probably glean from the first couple of chapters, like how exercise and food can work to bond people together, and how rereading your favorite books (like the Harry Potter series) can help you become a better person. Maybe I’ll be more “intentional” with my self-care routine. To be fair, the performance was excellent, the author seems like a generally likable person, I just don’t have any interest in becoming any kind of spiritual at least not in the ways he’s describing. Everyone else seems to have rated it very highly, so take my words with a grain of salt. This was my book club’s pick for the month and I was initially excited to start reading, hoping maybe to add more mindfulness to my day and find ways to better connect to my community, nature, and self. This is not that. This is a book for your friend who believes in essential oils and that mermaids are real.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2021-01-02

Not for Christians

The mocking tone throughout of the Christian community or other religious communities made it difficult to get any nuggets of wisdom I was looking for out of this book.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2021-08-09

Inspired to create new Rituals!!

Loved the stories and actionable advice on how to make more meaningful rituals in your life!!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2021-01-15

Amazing!

I like Casper’s lyrical storytelling. I love the permission he gives the reader be creative with our own spirituality.
I recommend this book to everyone who is looking for something more, something deeper, something more personal than what you were taught in your grandmother’s church.

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  • canada24
  • 2021-07-22

Excellent book

I found the book informative and lovely! I will be incorporating some of the practices described in the book into my daily life.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 2021-05-25

Wonderful

Light hearted, sincere, and informative. His words have inspired me to lift my face, always!

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  • Diego Téllez Romero
  • 2021-04-20

totalmente recomendado

un excelente contenido que vale la pena invertir tiempo en ello. aprovecha y lealo hoy!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Victoria Forrester
  • 2021-01-21

Rituals aren't Secular

Honestly, he tried to remove spirituality from rituals, and it turns out that just turns life into an assembly line, mechanical and devoid of soul.

1 person found this helpful