The Power of Ritual: Turning Everyday Activities into Soulful Practices

The Power of Ritual: Turning Everyday Activities into Soulful Practices

by Casper ter Kuile

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Overview

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  wellbeing. 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.


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062882066
Publisher: HarperOne
Publication date: 06/23/2020
Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 65,466
File size: 692 KB

About the Author

CASPER TER KUILE is the co-host of the award-winning podcast Harry Potter and the Sacred Text, a Ministry Innovation Fellow at Harvard Divinity School, co-founder of startup Sacred Design Lab, and former Director of Possibility at the On Being Impact Lab. His work has been featured in the New York Times, Boston Globe, Vice, The Atlantic, and the Washington Post and on PBS. He is the co-author of seminal paper, “How We Gather,” and has presented his research at venues like the Aspen Ideas Festival, Institute for the Future, and Cannes Lions Festival.

Table of Contents

Preface Dacher Keltner ix

Introduction: The Paradigm Shift 1

1 Connecting with Self 31

2 Connecting with Others 81

3 Connecting with Nature 113

4 Connecting with Transcendence 151

5 Already Connected 185

Acknowledgments 201

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