8 Habits of Love
"By living these transformative habits of love, we can free ourselves from fear-based living and we can turn the human race into the human family."
The publication date for Ed Bacon's book, 8 Habits of Love, was September 11, 2012. For more information call 626.583.2788 or email email@example.com.
Visit the 8 Habits of Love Website.
—8 Habits of Love (July 2012 Saints Alive Cover by Ed Bacon)
8 Habits of Love (from the cover of the July 2012 Saints Alive)
by Ed Bacon
Somewhat to my surprise, I have written a book. The title is 8 Habits of Love, and in one way or another, you are all in it. Although the material for this book has come from many experiences on my life’s journey, I know that the final product would not have its scope and depth without my having spent more than 17 years at All Saints Church, living, working and growing with all of you.
It started in the fall of 2008 when Oprah Winfrey needed to interview a person “of the cloth.” She had hosted Eckhart Tolle for a teaching series from his book A New Earth on her radio show, “Oprah’s Soul Series.” A number of people had challenged her that the material was too New Age and somehow un-Christian. I accepted an invitation from her office to talk this through with her in Chicago on a radio show. Later in the year as I participated on a three-person panel on her national television program, Ms. Winfrey pointed out that I was the only one of the three who hadn’t written a book. In a matter of months I had engaged a literary agent and a book coach and had a book contract.
The All Saints community has been the crucible in which the concept for this book has evolved. Long interested in the dynamics of love and fear, I have noted that the most frequent injunction in scripture is, “Do not fear” and that Jesus said, “Perfect love casts out fear.” My sermons on living in the House of Love versus the House of Fear have generated the most response over the course of my preaching. I know the impact of love and fear on one’s brain, body, relationships, and systems. I know that all of us have our fears but when we become our fears life becomes distorted, we are less than who God created us to be, and we cannot become our authentic selves. So I’ve written a book about eight habits we can practice to keep fear from taking over the driver’s seat of our lives. On many levels, 8 Habits of Love is a description of the kind of life that invigorates our worship, work, affection, and play at All Saints.
Exploring the eight habits of love takes us on an adventure of self-discovery. Writing about them has also been quite an adventure. With expert help from my agent and later my book coach I wrote the proposal for the book and then the book itself over the course of two years, including the sabbatical All Saints gave me last summer. Upon returning to All Saints last Homecoming Sunday, I turned the book over to a very gifted editor who gave the book its final shape. I have experienced these necessary ingredients for fruitful writing—a passionately held idea; a team of people who, with commitment and care, work and pray for a compelling product; time and solitude to plumb important depths of one’s own soul and relationships; editors, editors, and more editors, doing more and more editing; and, for me, a sympathetic life partner who both believes in the project and suffers no bull. The most potent ingredient in the recipe has been all the people who worship, support, and cheer the adventure called All Saints, Pasadena.
Appropriately we will launch the book at All Saints on Sunday, September 9, prior to the publication in New York on September 11. Between now and then I will be on summer break, reading and preparing sermons for next year and having a family vacation. I will return a week early from my time away to preach that Sunday and to thank you all for making possible this wonderful adventure of producing a book, using all that I’ve learned from all of you and our journey together.
Here are some early reviews:
Archbishop Desmond Tutu:
"Ed Bacon's book has left me tingling with excitement. Living the habits of love he describes seems difficult at first, but then he offers real life examples of people doing just that, and what seemed far too idealistic begins to seem doable even by the likes of me."
Marcus Borg, author of bestselling The Heart of Christianity:
"This very wise book is a powerful, personal and practical invitation to move beyond the fear-based life that marks so much of contemporary culture into a life grounded in the habits of love."
Gregory Boyle, Author of Tattoos of the Heart, Founder/Director--Homeboy Industries:
"Ed Bacon's singularly helpful book moves the dial for all those seeking a more 'affluent spirituality.' They say 'practice makes perfect'-- but the embrace of Bacon's "8 Habits of Love" pivots the reader from a life driven by fear to one anchored in the very spaciousness of God. Ed Bacon leads where we all long to go."
The Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson, Episcopal Bishop of New Hampshire:
"Any preacher worth his salt will preach "love your neighbor," but only a few can tell his listeners what that really looks like or how to achieve it. Ed Bacon, in 8 Habits of Love, not only puts meat onto the bones of what it means to love one's neighbor, but does so in plain, understandable language, spiced with inspiring examples from his own life and those with whom he has ministered. This is a must-read book for people of any faith who want to know the "how" of loving, helpfully broken into eight "habits" that offer real guidance, insight, and inspiration. I could not recommend it more highly."
"Rector of All Saints church in Pasadena, Calif., Bacon discusses 21st-century spirituality and the critical role of love as a liberating, joy-filled and guiding force; he has “an unshakeable certainty that within each and every human being there lives a core of love and goodness.” He offers eight simple habits—play, forgiveness, stillness, truth, candor, compassion, community, generosity—to change the way we think and behave. The habit of generosity opens hearts so one may give and receive. Practicing the habit of candor deepens relationships, and the stillness habit restores a calm confidence. The habit of truth causes us to challenge our assumptions about ourselves and others and leads to growth. Along with personal anecdotes, memories, and stories of soul survivors, Bacon interpolates the thoughts of poets, sages, scholars, and writers, such as the Dalai Lama, Thomas Merton, and Alice Walker. Readers who find a life-giving energy pulsing in these pages will pass this book on to those they love."
James Carroll, Author of Constantine’s Sword, Columnist for The Boston Globe:
"A book of stillness, full of wisdom and practical holiness. Its stories are moving and hopeful. A profound extension of Ed Bacon's exemplary ministry."
Elizabeth Lesser, Cofounder Omega Institute, Author of Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow:
"Ed Bacon's handbook for loving and living offers us practical ways of moving past the kind of fear-based thinking and destructive choices that cloud our hearts and keep us trapped in half-lived lives. Ed's exuberance and experience resound on every page, calling us joyfully to live the habits of love."
Kim Rosen, author of Saved by a Poem: The Transformative Power of Words:
"Even after having read 8 Habits of Love cover to cover, I return to its pages everyday as I would to the company of a dear friend. With disarming transparency, Reverend Ed offers us stories, insight and practical guidance to create a contagion of love, a revolution of the heart."