Amazon and Other Reviews
There has never been a more timely book written than this one. During this time of uncertainty and fear in our world, with divisions along lines of skin color, religion and politics becoming even more devisive among many, Dr. Tom Norris provides a clear, simple and effective message for the world. If there is one book to buy for yourself or to give as a gift, this is the one. Within the covers are the answers for all seekers of peace, joy and love. I couldn't recommend more highly. Debbie McGinnis
One principle of Universalist practice states: ‘There is divine purpose in All That Is, and no lesson is imposed upon us without our free choice...’ In Tom Norris’ loving exploration of his Universalist practice and its dialogue with the religious traditions around it, we can see divine purpose at work. Norris has done the hard work of examining the meaning of personal suffering, exposing the painful conflict between the judgments of inherited religious tradition and the possibilities of holy mystery, and finding in the midst of that formless chaos, a new creation. With love and patience, and in substantive dialogue with a living community of practice, this volume brings theological shape and practical context to the Universalist ‘credo’, lighting a pathway for those who would take not one, but many roads less traveled. Rev. Dr. Laurie Kraus
Amazing! Both intellectually & spiritually stimulating. Amazon Customer
This book is a Love Letter to God/dess and to ourselves: eloquent, witty, inspiring, and challenging. After experiencing this I’m proud to call myself a Miccosukee Universalist. Full of great actionable material. Rev. Houston Cypress
Teaching and Training
I have been a college teacher and a professional trainer for over 35 years. Below are some of the recent, typical evaluation comments I receive from the hundreds of my students at Florida International University. It's easy to understand. I love teaching and helping young people think their way through some of the most complicated issues of our time.
"I would have to say he is one of the best instructors I have had. He makes the lectures interesting. His class makes you want to know more about religion."
"Best professor so far. Made the material easy to relate to and exciting to learn. I would take the class again just to learn the material again."
"Professor Norris is helpful and attentive to his students. He listens to our concerns and problems. His notes are extremely precise. Great teacher!"
"Professional, extremely knowledgeable, unbiased."
This one really touched me and gave me a good laugh as well. Honest, my department really does appreciate me.
"I cannot laud this instructor enough. I feel privileged to have been able to be exposed to such a wonderful and knowledgeable person who is extremely comfortable in his 'element.' His tolerance, appreciation and observations (as he himself termed his personal TAO) was well received by the class. He was never offensive or inconsiderate to anyone. He was always prepared and engrossed all the students when lecturing. He always answered all the questions any student had. I was truly surprised that this Gentleman is not on the staff. He should be a full-time or tenured professsor. DO NOT let this professor slip out of the Department of Religious Studies. Professor Norris is one of the best professors I have EVER had.....serously, this guy deserves tenure and should be on full-time faculty staff."
"He knew the material extremely well and was very passionate about it."
"This is what a professor should be like. A model professor."
"My favorite instructor. He was hard, but I learned and wanted to learn; and come to class because of him."
"He is a very nice and affable person with a scholarly passion for religion. He does not let his religious beliefs get in the way of his teaching."
"I think that Professor Norris is one of the best professors I have ever had at FIU and one of the best teachers I've had in my life. He is so open-minded and accepts all questions students have. He clarifies information. He does fun and interesting activities, too. I really enjoyed Religion Analysis. He helps you respect all religions and the differences between people."
I have had the good fortune to provide spiritual counseling and psychotherapy to a number of wonderful people over the years, representing some 34 countries, and coming from all walks of life: secretaries, senior executives, doctors, nurses, teachers, FBI agents and police officers, computer specialists, interior designers, software designers, counselors, artists, musicians, economists, massage therapists, entrepreneurs, military personnel, bankers, students and so on. Whatever the profession or background, the basic human problems and spiritual needs are the same. Below are comments from some of the people I am working with at this time.
"Through his careful guidance, Dr. Tom Norris has not only helped me cope with issues of rape, insecurity and anxiety, but more importantly, has given me a greater understanding of myself. Having worked with other counselors in the past, I can honestly say that his wealth of knowledge, unique insight, and sincere care for those he works with makes him an ideal mentor for any patient; and I know that, through our work together, he will continue to make me the best possible version of the person I am meant to be." (Jessie, 25, Communications Specialist)
"Working with Tom has been extremely worthwhile and worth the investment in myself. It was a journey that was difficult at first because I had to turn around and be honest with myself. Nonetheless, Tom made it a very smooth process that healed old wounds and helped manifest and actualize my dreams for myself. I am a lot happier now, more balanced, and feel a deeper connection with the Divine. I've longed to be in this good place for the last 30 years of my life. I am very grateful for the counseling, guidance, and direction of which Tom has provided. It has surely been life changing and transforming. Thank you Tom!" (Alex, 30, Counselor)
I grew up a high-functioning child of an alcoholic, aside from having experienced child-on-child sexual abuse. I reached my forties living with fear, shame, and self-doubt, though I consciously would not have admitted to these. For most of my life I thought I could just grin and bear it, reminding myself that it was all in the past. These issues, however, wreaked havoc on my professional life and personal relationships, and this all took a devastating toll on my soul. Tom worked with my inner children to find and heal the root of my pain, which I had been in denial about, but could no longer ignore. My self-confidence and self-worth have grown tremendously. I have found purpose in my life, and have begun to set life goals that will bring me closer to my dreams. I have also discovered tools to bring peace to my personal relationships. (Ignacio, 45, Teacher)
Hi, my name is Cathy. I’m 50 years old. I have known Tom Norris for over 5 years and am fortunate enough to be mentored by him for the past two years about my life issues. I can’t believe the difference his counseling has made. It’s amazing what his broad education, knowledge, life experience and just plain love for helping people can offer any person. Tom’s counseling has changed my life for the BEST! Thank you Tom. (Legal Secretary)
"For most of my life, I longed to find a mentor and counselor that could help me put into perspective both the psychological and spiritual aspects of my being; and I'm very happy and proud to say that Tom has become that mentor. I look forward to attending each session because I know progress will be made and because Tom approaches each session with an equal yet generous amount of kindness, respect, compassion and knowledge. This has been a powerful and humbling journey, which has not only helped me identify and heal old psychological wounds, but has helped me further embrace and understand my spirituality. Now that I know who I am and where I come from (both spiritually and mentally), I know I can and will achieve my life's mission to the fullest. Thank you Tom, for helping me tap into the light and power within me. God bless." (Deanna, 30, TV Producer and Actress)