Crossing the Desert

Learning to Let Go, See Clearly, and Live Simply

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Format: Paperback

Publication date: August 1, 2008


Robert J. Wicks, noted psychologist and best-selling author of Riding the Dragon and Everyday Simplicity, offers an insightful guide on how the wisdom of the ancient desert monks can help contemporary readers grow in personal freedom and authenticity. Exploring the early Christian monastic movement of the Desert Fathers and Mothers through a psychological lens, Dr. Wicks uses their wisdom to guide readers towards humility and freedom. In the same way the desert sages never gave answers, but always asked questions, Crossing the Desert presents readers with the Four Desert Questions that will lead them to take Three Steps to Inner Freedom.

Product Details

Pages: 192

Trim size: 5 x 7 inches

ISBN: 9781933495156

Imprint: Sorin Books

  • “An excellent, concise guide.”

    “Wicks (Riding the Dragon) uses his experience as a veteran psychologist to introduce fourth-century desert wisdom to readers of all faiths. According to Wicks, the ancient desert fathers and mothers can “provide proven guidance on how to let go and live with a refreshing sense of freedom in the world.” His book makes for a compelling read when he blends his understanding of the world's wisdom traditions—drawing from a variety of thinkers such as Henri Nouwen, Zen master Joseph Goldstein and Buddhist teacher Sogyal Rinpoche—with his knowledge of human behavior. One of his great strengths is grounding abstract theological concepts in engaging stories, like when he introduces the virtue of gratitude with a tale of the “barefoot brother” he met in India, who had lived through many tragedies yet was so appreciative of Wick's presentation to the Jesuits…. [T]he book is an excellent, concise guide to the wisdom and insight of the early pilgrims who fled to the desert to better hear and live out the word of God.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Much food for thought.”

    “Wicks believes that the art of letting go is very relevant to our modern insecurities and attachments. We agree, and this erudite little work offers much food for thought.” (Read the entire review here.)

    Spirituality & Practice

  • “Robert Wicks at his best.”

    “Only after the desert has done its work in us can an angel come to strengthen us. Crossing the Desert tells us why we need the desert in our lives and what kind of angels only the desert can bring. This is Robert Wicks at his best: wonderfully sane, balanced, accessible, witty, and challenging. Mysticism for those who are frightened of that term.”

    Rev. Ronald Rolheiser, O.M.I.
    Author of The Holy Longing

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Additional Resources

An Interview with Robert Wicks
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