In The Only Mind Worth Having, Fiona Gardner takes Thomas Merton's belief that the child mind is ""the only mind worth having"" and explores it in the context of Jesus' challenging, paradoxical, and enigmatic command to become like small children. She demonstrates how Merton's belief and Jesus's command can be understood as part of contemporary spirituality and spiritual practice. To follow Christ's command requires a great leap of the imagination. Gardner examines what it might mean to make this leap when one is an adult without it becoming sentimental and mawkish, or regressive and pathological. Using both psychological and spiritual insights, and drawing on the experiences of Thomas Merton and others, Gardner suggests that in some mysterious and paradoxical way recovering a sense of childhood spirituality is the path toward spiritual maturity. The move from childhood spirituality to adulthood and on to a spiritual maturity through the child mind is a move from innocence to experience to organized innocence, or from dependence to independence to a state of being in-dependence with God. ""In this insightful, profoundly helpful, compelling book, Fiona Gardner draws upon her skills as a psychotherapist and theologian to explore Jesus' invitation to become as little children. This innovative book, so helpfully exemplified at every turn by reference to the story and writings of Thomas Merton, puts before us the vital necessity of finding again the spirit of the child--the child mind--as the path of spiritual maturity is pursued."" --John Moses, Dean Emeritus of St Paul's Cathedral, London ""In this age dominated by utilitarian and technological reason, where the spiritual lives of children and adults are too often stunted by neglect and trauma, The Only Mind Worth Having is a beautiful summons to the way of greater freedom, creativity, spontaneity, and love. With sophistication, balance, and gentle insight, Gardner uncovers the spirit of the child who hides in each of us, the 'infant at the heart of Christianity.'"" --Chris Pramuk, Associate Professor of Theology, Xavier University ""The Only Mind Worth Having presents an eloquent and comprehensive exploration of the concept of the child mind in the life and thought of Thomas Merton . . . Gardner's excellent study brings fresh insight to Merton's concept of the true and false self."" --Paul M. Pearson, Director, Thomas Merton Center ""In this beautifully written, richly textured, and carefully nuanced study, Fiona Gardner plumbs the meaning of an important, yet long-neglected, theme in Thomas Merton's writings: the child mind. . . . This book will enrich your understanding of Merton, deepen your appreciation of the spiritual traditions that helped form him, and, perhaps, even cause the child mind within you to awaken."" --Christine M. Bochen, Professor of Religious Studies, William H. Shannon Chair in Catholic Studies, Nazareth College Fiona Gardner is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist, spiritual director, and writer living in the UK. She is the author of Journeying Home (2004), The Four Steps of Love (2007), and Precious Thoughts (2011) as well as psychoanalytic books and articles. Formerly chair of the Thomas Merton Society of Great Britain and Ireland (2004-8) and coeditor of The Merton Journal (2008-14), she is on the board of the International Thomas Merton Society and was awarded a ""Louie"" in 2015 at the ITMS Centenary Conference.
Fiona Gardner is a trained psychotherapist and spiritual director. She was chair of the Thomas Merton Society of GB and Ireland (2004-2008). She is co-editor of the Merton Journal and the UK advisor to the International Thomas Merton Society, as well as author of several books including Journeying Home (DLT 2004) and The Four Steps of Love (DLT 2007).
Rowan Williams is Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge. The former Archbishop of Canterbury, Williams is the author of numerous books, including Meeting God in Mark: Reflections for the Season of Lent and Tokens of Trust: An Introduction to Christian Belief, published by Westminster John Knox Press.