I am always thrilled when the wonderful folks at Spirituality and Practice review my books. I am a big fan of the work they do, so much in alignment with what the Abbey offers. (I am very honored to be one of their Living Spiritual Teachers and I have an e-course offered through them on Wisdom of the Desert Fathers and Mothers)
In an adventuresome opening chapter, the author takes us on an exhilarating spiritual ride with reflections on beauty, the art of beholding, the heart as the source of vision, the third eye, and Thomas Merton as photographer. These musings set the course for Paintner’s commentary on contemplative photography not as taking pictures but receiving images as a gift.
Bruce Epperly at Living a Holy Adventure says:
Christine Valters Paintner’s Eyes of the Heart is an invitation to experience a spirituality of beauty. Often the mystical tradition has been other-worldly in focus, seeing the body as a prison house and impediment to experiencing God and counseling seekers to turn away from sense experience in the quest for the unfathomable, insensate God. A photographer who revels in the diverse hues and shapes of the physical world, Paintner takes another path to divinity. While she recognizes the apophatic truth that God is always more than we can imagine and recognizes the importance of iconoclastic spirituality, Eyes of the Heart is profoundly kataphatic, inviting us to love God in the world of the flesh. God is revealed in all of our senses – in fact the world is sensational for those who awaken to the many revelations of God strewn throughout each day.
Elizabeth Nordquist at A Musing Amma writes:
Here is a welcome addition to the books that teach us how to avail ourselves of the Beauty of Holiness through art forms. Christine Valters Paintner, a prolific writer in the arena of spirituality, takes the time and the care to model and to teach a practice of “receiving an image” rather than taking a picture, as a way to deepen one’ s journey of Spirit. In this brief book, designed to shape a spiritual practice over a period of time, she grounds the practice of using a camera as one walks and moves, particularly outdoors, in the quest to pay attention to the way that God is present and communicating with us always and everywhere.