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The Gentle Art of Spiritual Discernment

A Guide to Discovering Your Personal Path

Published by Destiny Books
Distributed by Simon & Schuster

About The Book

Support for those embarking on an authentic spiritual search.

Throughout his decades as a social activist and self-transformation teacher, as well as through his spiritual work with death row inmates, Pierre Pradervand noticed more and more people moving away from organized religion. He also realized that many were still seeking a spiritual dimension in their lives. Yet, with so many options available, especially so many “spiritual fast food” options, selecting the right spiritual path can be difficult.

In this guide, Pierre offers support for those embarking on an authentic spiritual search. He explores how to discover the practices that best correspond to your unique spiritual expectations. He focuses in depth on helping you answer three fundamental questions: “Who am I deep down?”, “What am I really looking for in my spiritual quest?”, and “What is the deep motivation of my search?” He shows how integrity, generosity, and discernment are essential components of any lasting spiritual path.

Revealing his own difficulties on the spiritual path, the author shares his journey to rediscover his spiritual power after losing it all. He explains how he reoriented his spiritual quest in a straightforward, less dogmatic way—which led him to discover the gentle art of blessing and the simple path to becoming an embodiment of divine love.

Showing how to cultivate your inner voice and intuition to become your own empowered spiritual authority, this guide reveals how to see more clearly, avoid pitfalls, open your spiritual horizons, and move toward your own unique spiritual path founded on discernment, perseverance, and divine love.



Integrity is a quality of being. It means holding on at all times to your highest sense of truth and your own vision, whatever the cost may be. It consists in resonating with the most intimate fiber of your being and enjoins us not to withdraw one inch, whatever the prestige or authority of the person or institution opposing us—not out of obstinacy but because of the quiet courage of an inner voice that says: “This above all: to thine own self be true.”

Integrity means following at all times one’s highest sense of what is right, whatever the consequences may be, however solitary your path, and however loud the taunts and the mockeries of the crowd and the Pharisees.

Following your integrity means “speaking truth to power,” as the Quaker wisdom goes, even when silence would better serve your interests. It means hanging on to truth when all those surrounding accept compromises or pretend that it’s not really important. It means being unflinching and firm when others disappear in the underground shelters of their fears and timidity.

Integrity means refusing to dilute one’s inner sense of truthfulness, be it to satisfy, appease, or gain the approval of one’s beloved.

Above all, integrity means refusing to cheat yourself, lie to yourself, or abide in the shade of half-truths. You can lie to others—even deceive them—and be forgiven. But when you lie to yourself, who is there to forgive you? After a defeat of this sort, who will help you get up again? Even if you are sufficiently ignorant to let yourself indulge in the supreme absurdity of deceiving yourself, will not your inner strength abandon the ship of one who voluntarily scuttles it in that manner? In such moments, grace alone can save you.

To deceive oneself kills the discernment that is the basis of honest judgments and meaningful choices. To consciously avoid what one knows to be true or to lie to oneself is the sin against the spirit, which resides deep down in each one of us.

Integrity, as the most intimate substance of our being, constitutes the marrow of our identity and the foundation of all our qualities, starting with love. It is the woof on which we weave the exquisite textures of our existence, creating a tapestry. No woof, no tapestry. When integrity is married to love in a joyful dance, it forms the perfect couple, and our existence becomes a celebration of life.

So when winds and tempests howl or when a tempter whispers that “a compromise is absolutely essential” and attempts to make us avoid the challenges we need to grow and stay awake, let us at all costs hold on firmly to that inner foundation, our integrity—for in it resides true life.

About The Author

Pierre Pradervand studied at the University of Geneva, the University of Bern, and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor before receiving a doctorate in sociology from Sorbonne University in Paris. A true world citizen, Pierre has labored most of his life for social justice. Active as a writer, speaker, and workshop facilitator, he is the author of numerous books, including The Gentle Art of Blessing. He lives in Geneva, Switzerland.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Destiny Books (September 14, 2023)
  • Length: 128 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781644118054

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Raves and Reviews

“A rare and precious read, not only because the content is deeply profound and insightful but also inspirational and wise. Simple in language and tone, it is a heart-opening invitation for accelerated spiritual growth and conscious awakening. This is a book written by that rare species of ‘root’ teacher, who, in our modern world, are now few and far between. The messages of these great lights convey the purest transmissions because they themselves are the very essence of their teachings: in other words, they walk their talk. Turning the pages, one experiences a level of intimacy rarely achieved in the written form. It is like talking with an old, treasured friend; a spiritual mentor. A book you will wish to keep close to hand long after you have read it.”

– Nicolya Christi, author of Love, God & Everything

“This book by a true spiritual master asks the fundamental questions we all need to ask—and search to answer. It opens the whole dimension of spirituality to the reader—genuine, lived spirituality, the inner authority we all need if we are to find our way in these critical times.”

– Ervin Laszlo, Ph.D., whole systems theorist, philosopher, and author

“From beginning to end, Pierre Pradervand’s pen poetically dances. It’s like reading an epic poem without stanzas that literally pulls you in. The Gentle Art of Spiritual Discernment is a marvelous journey.”

– Steve Farrell, cofounder and worldwide executive director of Humanity’s Team

“A book that will serve many who are exploring their spiritual journey in their own unique and personal way.”

– Jeff Genung, cofounder of Contemplative Life

“The reader will find so many inspirational points of guidance here, as the author outlines the simplest path to achieving the noblest goal of becoming the embodiment of divine love. Rejoice in finding your own glowing path beyond convention, beyond tradition, beyond recriminations, anger, and hate, beyond rules and regulations, as you find your own key to the mansion of your spirituality, the giant within.”

– Reverend Dr. Linda De Coff, author of Bridge of the Gods

“From the moment I began reading The Gentle Art of Spiritual Discernment, I literally could not put it down. My hungry soul drank in every word of his highly inspirational stories, examples, quotes, and teachings!”

– Shannon Peck, spiritual healer, cofounder of the Love Center, and author of Angels on Earth

Many of us already know what an inspiring teacher Pierre is. His books contain many stories of spiritual healing both from his own life and from people in challenging conditions in West Africa, for example, and on death row in Texas. I am pleased to say this is more of the same. It’s not a big book but it’s packed full of teachings and anecdotes and there is little superfluous theory. It’s great as a pick-me-up and an overall uplift when we are tired and perhaps down a little. It’s interesting to read that he, too, had to rediscover his spiritual strength after it was all blown away. There are also practical teachings in the book as well as stories and personal accounts. The three questions he suggests we try and answer are: Whom am I deep down? What am I really looking for? And what is the deep motivation for my search?

– Cygnus Review, Autumn 2023

“I very much enjoyed reading through The Gentle Art of Discernment. Pierre is such a wonderful inspiration. In the past I used to focus on sending and receiving love with all I met. Now I'm doing both that and blessings, and somehow the blessings often feel more meaningful. “

– Fred Burks, PEERS founder and former White House interpreter

"After a lifetime of exploring spiritual traditions across cultures, Pierre Pradervand concludes that the distillation of it all is a conviction that the only thing that matters is to grow in love, feel only love, act only out of love, and have love as your 'universal reference for absolutely everything.' That idea is the anchor, thread and springboard of this inspiring book, which guides by example more than by instruction. Whether you’re seeking a life philosophy, a moral compass, a reason for being, or simply peace of mind, this book will encourage, deepen and clarify your journey."

– Bunny McBride, author of By the Light of the Moon: Reflections on Wholeness of Being

“Gentle is indeed a key word to describe the way in which Pierre Pradervand approaches spiritual discernment. His book is very easy and pleasant to read, but in the meantime it gives profound and authentic advice. Not at all in a strict way, but in a very relaxed way, with personal anecdotes which are so meaningful. When reading this book I felt uplifted all the way through. I cherish the way Pierre handles spiritual issues.”

– Emy ten Seldam, Hoofdredacteur BRES Magazine

"This is a book of remarkable depth, based on a lifetime of spiritual practice and service for social justice. Pierre is dedicated to the elevation of the collective level of consciousness, on which our very survival depends. He draws inspiration from many sources, including Mary Baker Eddy, St Teresa and Brother Lawrence. Pierre describes qualities to foster an authentic spiritual search, including a strong intention, a sincere motive, consecration, discernment, discipline and perseverance."

– David Lorimer, Editor of Paradigm Explorer

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