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The acclaimed modern translation of St. Teresa of Avila's classic book on spiritual awareness and guidance Celebrated for almost five centuries as a master of spiritual literature, 16th-century saint Teresa of Avila is one of the most beloved religious figures in history. Overcome one day by a mystical vision of a crystal castle with seven chambers, each representing a different stage in spiritual development, Teresa immediately wrote The Interior Castle. Probably her most important and widely studied work, it guides the spiritual seeker through each stage of development until the soul's final union with the divine. Free of religious dogma, this modern translation renders St. Teresa's work a beautiful and practical set of teachings for seekers of all faiths in need of spiritual guidance. It also places this classic book on spirituality --"a gem of mystical literature made accessible and relevant to the modern spiritual seeker" -Sharon Salzberg--in a contemporary context, reasserting its literary importance even after more than 400 years.
Born in the Castilian town of Ávila in 1515, Teresa entered the Carmelite convent of the Incarnation when she was twenty-one. Tormented by illness, doubts and self-recrimination, she gradually came to recognize the power of prayer and contemplation - her spiritual enlightenment was intensified by many visions and mystical experiences, including the piercing of her heart by a spear of divine love. She went on to found seventeen Carmelite monasteries throughout Spain. Teresa always denied her own saintliness, however, saying in a letter: 'There is no suggestion of that nonsense about my supposed sanctity. ' This frank account is one of the great stories of a religious life and a literary masterpiece - after Don Quixote, it is Spain's most widely read prose classic.