The Barn at the End of the World by Mary Rose O'Reilley
The Apprenticeship of a Quaker, Buddhist Shepherd

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Transcendence can come in many forms. For Mary Rose O'Reilley a year tending sheep seemed a way to seek a spirituality based not on "climbing out of the body" but rather on existing fully in the world, at least if she could overlook some of its earthier aspects.

The Barn at the End of the World follows O'Reilley in her sometimes funny, sometimes moving quest. Though small in stature, she learns to "flip" very large sheep and help them lamb. She also visits a Buddhist monastery in France, where she studies the practice of Mahayana Buddhism, dividing her spare time between meditation and dreaming of French pastries.


About Mary Rose O'Reilley

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Mary Rose O'Reilley teaches English at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. She received her B.A. from the College of St. Catherine and her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She completed certification in the two-year spiritual guidance program of the Shalem Institute and took Buddhist precepts as a lay practitioner at Plum Village, Duras, France. Mary combines teaching with contemplative education in the Christian and Buddhist traditions and has received an ACLS Contemplative Studies Fellowship as well as numerous other awards for teaching and writing.
Published March 8, 2000 by Milkweed Editions. 316 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Religion & Spirituality, Self Help, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

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Spirituality & Practice

The animals become her spiritual teachers as she learns how to trim hooves, dock tails, and shear coats while trying not to get stomped or bitten.

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