Internationally known author, scholar and speaker Paul Coutinho, PhD.In a world where pain and suffering are an integral part of life, internationally known author, scholar and speaker Paul Coutinho, PhD, offers spiritual insights and remedies. Coutinho, of St. Louis, is continuing the series, “Searching for the Sacred: An Eastern Approach to Hope and Healing,” at the Center for Spirituality and Sustainability (CSS) on the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville campus.

The series is being held at 7 p.m. on the second Sunday during the months of February-April, June-August and October-December at CSS. Registration is required at fullerdome.org/.

Coutinho blends spirituality and psychology and brings an eastern influence on western spirituality. He leads workshops and retreats that respond to the quest for the divine and a desire to live life to the fullest. His books include: “Sacred Darkness: Encountering Divine Love in Life’s Darkest Places,” “How Big is Your God?: The Freedom to Experience the Divine” and “An Ignatian Pathway: Experiencing the Mystical Dimension of the Spiritual Exercises.”

“We need to accept the fact of pain and suffering, and then look for the gift of purification and enlightenment that life’s pains offer,” explained Coutinho. “People need the courage to question their fundamental and dogmatic beliefs, in order to live an authentic and meaningful life. As Socrates once proclaimed, ‘The unexamined life is not worth living.’”

“I share my spiritual gifts to help people discover their own gifts on the individual and common path of realizing our identity in the Divine Essence,” said Coutinho, recipient of CSS’ 2009 Spiritual Leadership Award. “I believe that a true spiritual experience is universal. The experience is not bound by time, culture, religion and nationality.”

Facing and embracing the sacred have always been commonplace for Coutinho. “Growing up in India, experiencing the sacred in everything is part of my DNA,” he said. “The spiritual permeates every aspect of life. I have always felt grounded in the divine. I experience a real sense of belonging to the divine that gives me the peace and freedom to live through the ups and downs of life.”

For more information and to register, visit Searching for the Sacred.

The Center for Spirituality and Sustainability is a non-profit, multi-faith home for spirituality and sustainability efforts housed in the Buckminster Fuller Dome at SIUE.

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