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Sustaining Heaven on Earth: Keys Forged By and For Love

This book suggests four keys to sustain the experience of heaven on earth, each forged by and for a love that first re-awakened me to heaven on earth and then challenged me to remain awake to its presence. Part I overviews the twofold context within which the keys were forged: an adventure of love and my understanding of heaven on earth. The adventure of love on which I found myself was first and foremost the driving force behind forging the keys. It was through that adventure that heaven on earth became concrete for me, something beyond anything I’d imagined I’d ever experience, something to be sustained.

Part II devotes a chapter to each key starting with a discussion of my understanding of that key as it was forged through my adventure and followed by a scripturally based reflection associated with that understanding. A brief overview of selected practices that I found supportive of the key is also included along with a section titled Book Providence, which identifies significant books from which I drew information and inspiration related to the key. Each aspect—discussion, scriptural reflection, practices, and Book Providence—provides one piece of the whole from which, or perhaps through which, the keys emerged. Additionally, Appendix II provides questions for exploring each key in more depth.

Part III, After Thoughts, encompasses several reflections on living a heaven on earth sustained. These reflections, outgrowths of the four keys, remain unfinished, as do the understandings that have given them birth. They provide only hints of what will draw me next as my adventure of love continues.


Unwrapping Beloved’s Gift, Co-Creating Soul’s Song: Way Stations on the Path to Awakening Deep Love, Hope and Faith  

“I think the best way you could describe this text is, as put it in the Introduction, ‘a meditative map.’ I know for certain that I did not grasp everything and also that I could return to it over the years and read it again and again, always finding something new, or something that had before remained unseen due to my own place in my own unique spiritual journey” (Lauren Sapala, writer, blogger, and coach).

 “One day, unexpected and unhoped for, the world we had thought irretrievably lost may be returned to us” (I. Zaleski 2006).

It began with reading John O’Donohue’s Anam Cara. I remembered I had once known such a friend and reached out to reconnect. Love opened the door, hope kept it open, and faith gave me the courage to walk through. These words summarized my subsequent spiritual journey as I awakened to deep friendship with a human beloved as well as with Divine Beloved.

This book has two purposes: to describe an inner spiritual journey inspired by deep friendship and to offer that description as a meditative map for others. Isaura Barrera identifies five way stations that trace the path carved out by the song of love, hope, and faith evoked by her renewed friendship. Each station is presented descriptively rather than prescriptively as an invitation to others on similar journeys. Reflections at each station are linked to scriptural passages, highlighting connections between deep friendship with a human beloved and deep friendship with Divine Beloved.


Skilled Dialogue: Authentic Communication and Collaboration Across Diverse Perspectives

Ever needed to communicate or even collaborate with someone who just didn’t agree with you or see things as you did? Think there’s only two options: your way or my way? Barrera and Kramer present an approach that offers a third option. Readers will learn how to:

  • build mutually complementary relationships that honor difference
  • access and mine the strengths of differences
  • explore multiple ways of creating mutually satisfying options without the need for compromise
    • apply the six Skilled Dialogue strategies in ways that generate respect (i.e., honor identity), reciprocity (i.e., honor voice) and responsiveness (i.e., honor connection)

Case examples and sample scenarios allow readers to practice what they’ve learned and provide them with models for their own interactions.


Beloved’s Gift: Following Soul’s Song into Love, Hope and Faith

In a moment of insight, a sudden opening of the heart, we may glimpse again the mysterious reality we took for granted as children. We may once again experience its wonder and delight” (I. Zalewski, Who Is God). This book tells of the author’s unexpected return into that reality, believed to be irretrievably lost as childhood was left behind. It was written in real time as each step of that return unfolded its challenges and gifts. Its message of making believing more than making believe is shared for all who remember or hunger to remember that reality with the author’s hope that it might inspire them to listen for and live into the love, hope, and faith at its core.