Stairway of Surprise

Six Steps to a Creative Life

Stairway of Surprise
Michael Lipson By (author)
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5.2 X 7.5 in
128 pg

EDUCATION / Philosophy, Theory & Social Aspects


Stumbling through life, gazing at the stars, we can miss the greatest treasure beneath our feet. For the ordinary faculties of our soul—how we think, how we feel, how we act—are the rough and fallen forms of our highest spiritual capacities.

This book shows how six of these common abilities—thinking, feeling, doing, loving, opening, thanking—can be intensified infinitely. We already think; we can learn to think more deeply, more livingly. We already feel; we can learn to train our feeling life away from ourselves so that we feel the world in its richness. We already thank; we can learn a depth of gratitude that makes life and love intensely real.

These exercises are simple, but demanding. By strengthening our capacity to pay attention, they allow us to say the right word and have the fresh thought just when we need to. They gradually lead us out of the mire of distraction and confusion, and allow us to practice what we need most: continual presence of mind.



I. Thinking
II. Doing
III. Feeling
IV. Loving
V. Opening
VI. Thanking


“Wise words from a warm soul. Michael Lipson understands that paradise is in the here-and-now. What greater surprise could there be?” —Mark Epstein, MD, author of Thoughts without a Thinker

“A beautiful text with much originality.” —Georg Kühlewind, author of From Normal to Healthy

“A profound and loving book, filled with practical wisdom, beautiful writing, and true inspiration...timely in the gifts of insight it offers. I highly recommend it for all seekers of a deeper, more creative life.” —David Spangler, author of Blessing: The Art and the Practice and Apprenticed to Spirit 

Author Bio

Michael Lipson, PhD, the author of Stairway of Surprise: Six Steps to a Creative Life (2002) and Group Meditation (2011), is also the translator of Rudolf Steiner’s Intuitive Thinking as a Spiritual Path: A Philosophy of Freedom and of numerous books by Georg Kühlewind. After working with children with HIV/AIDS for nine years in New York City's Harlem Hospital, he moved with his wife and two children to the Berkshire Mountains of western Massachusetts. Dr. Lipson conducts a practice in Clinical Psychology and teaches meditation internationally. He is a frequent host of the radio call-in show Vox Pop on WAMC, a local NPR affiliate station in Upstate New York.