A Home for the Soul by Anthony Lawlor

Resources — Books to Read

A Home for the Soul, by Anthony Lawlor, is a beautiful book revealing ways to dwell in every aspect of our home. Anthony Lawlor is a California based architect who discusses the inner life of many aspects of our home. He explores mindfully living in ways that connect us with a deeper life. A Home for the Soul nicely expands Dwelling.

 

Here are a few encapsulating parts of the book –

 

  • A Home for the Soul begins with “The Journey Homeward.” Concluding this chapter, he says

“This symbolic view of home provides a glimpse of broader and deeper possibilities of living. It kindles imagination and creativity. It allows you to find harmonious relationships… Mundane modes of living can then become richer and more stimulating. By seeing our homes as symbols of the unseen patterns of spirit, daily life can become permeated with purpose and significance.”

 

  • The next chapter, “The Vessel of Soulmaking,” begins with “Home is a container of soul. The roof and walls shelter and nurture the spark of life that animates our modes of dwelling.”
  • In the same chapter – “A home for the soul has character and personality. It contains rich textures and colors that invite the hand and delight the eye. It reflects subtle gradations of light that range from murky shadows to shimmering points of illumination.”
  • And this – discussing creating a home for the soul, he says – “A desk......would not be selected because it was a Craftsman style and harmonized with other furniture in the room. It would be chosen for the ways its color, texture, and shape inspired soul.”
  • A Home for the Soul then reveals ways materials speak to our soul – “weathered oak siding expresses the changing qualities of spirit; coursed stone blocks reflects the soul’s timeless nature; sand-cast brick, made by combining earth, water, and fire, provides depth and richness.”
  • Lawlor explores all aspects of our home – different rooms, actions – all centered on this awareness – “This home urges us to find sacredness in the here and now of daily living. Cooking, eating {the energy each type of food holds}, bathing, and the other specific actions of dwelling become a means for reconnecting mind, body, environment, and spirit to the integrated wholeness of the psyche.”

 

A Home for the Soul is gentle, an act of love. After reading it, I felt more at peace, centered, and open to dwelling. Yes, dwelling takes active engagement, will, and paying attention to the gifts within each action. It’s easy to be forgetful. A home built and furnished with soul speaks to us and pulls us in every moment.

Dwelling deepens and builds on itself. There are useful questions to ask and help us connect to the essential, life-giving, internal images that bring us into relationship with the spaces of our home. As we clarify our hearts and minds, we’re more open to dwell in our home; as we dwell in our home, we’re more at peace.   

 

Please share in the comments below other books we should be looking into and blogging about for the Community!

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