Barbara Schmitz

Path of Lightning: A Seeker's Jagged Journey

Author and poet Barbara Schmitz offers a heartfull, funny, and deeply moving "spiritual autobiography" that brings the reader along on each stage of her fervent inner quest for mystical experience. Beginning with a Catholic girlhood in Nebraska, she graduates to an unlikely apprenticeship with Allen Ginsberg at the Naropa Institute; a dedicated transcendental meditation practice; and finally to thirty years of joys and struggles with a Sufi teacher (Shahabuddin Less with whom she travels to Bali, Turkey, India, Kashmir, and the Holy Land.
Incisive as lightning-the meaning of her Sufi name, Vajra-her questions and yearnings are our own, and she doesn't let God, her teacher, or herself off the hook.

"In Path of Lightning, this captivating writer shares the story of her spiritual journey from a Catholic girlhood to various forms of illumination. Her path is filled with both yearning and acceptance, drama and banality. Along the way, she meets a vast array of spiritual seekers from Sufi leaders to Allen Ginsberg. She does this while living in the small, remote town of Norfolk, Nebraska. Barbara is both ordinary and extraordinary. She is one of those wonderful people who can hear the music of the moon. In this book, she shares the music with us."
--Mary Pipher, author of Reviving Ophelia

Selected Works

Poetry
A deep drink of human joy and sorrow. Songs of Living Aware, richly.
"By the end of this chapbook, Bob has become as real as your crazy uncle.
--Phil Wagner
“Barbara Schmitz is the Lucinda Williams of the poetry world.”
--Paul Zarzyski
“. . . chillingly honest. Schmitz is a courageous poet. She tells us the truth.”
--Greg Kuzma
Intense narrative poems about poet’s pilgrimage to Israel
Memoir
"Schmitz endeavors to understand 'the mystery and beauty of being alive.' I name her the Queen of Constancy for her devotion to meditation and never letting up of giving up on her spiritual journey. Enjoy the rich trip."
-- Natalie Goldberg, author of Writing Down the Bones

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