SCDL cover

Giving and receiving love
Sense of spiritual connection
Deep inner peace
Feeling thankful for blessings—

This book invites the reader or listener to find more ordinary spiritual experiences such as these in their daily lives, and provides ways to draw attention to them. Links: Rutgers University Press , Amazon, Barnes and Noble

Building on sixteen questions from the Daily Spiritual Experience Scale (DSES), developed by Dr. Underwood, the book can help people with many different kinds of spiritual beliefs cultivate richer, deeper, and more satisfying lives.

The DSES has been used for research and counseling by people around the world of many faith traditions, and also for those not comfortable with religion. In 40 translations, over 400 scientific studies have used the scale and it is used widely in clinical and therapeutic contexts. Having more of these experiences predicts things like better resiliency, better relationships, and less burnout, stress, PTSD and addictions.

An Audiobook is now available

The audiobook version, extensively revised and updated in 2020 and read by the author, is now available at many retailers. It has significant changes from the print and e-book editions.
There is a “Journal and Bibliography” in PDF format that accompanies the audiobook. Click here to download it if it did not automatically come with your audiobook (for example, with a library loan of the audiobook).

It is now available on Audible (click here to access it through Audible). It includes the workbook.

The audiobook is also available through Payhip (click here)  with the workbook included. (If you download from Payhip it will unpack mp3’s  into the separate chapters. Sort alphabetically to get them in order if your computer doesn’t do this automatically.) Other sources for the audiobook are:  and Applebooks. Here is a sample audio from the book, a part of one of the four Themes.

The North American versions of the book, both print and electronic were published in 2013 and is available on Kindle, and an international e-book was released in 2016. The international version of the e-book is available on various Amazon international sites such as Amazon UK, Amazon India, Amazon Brazil, and Amazon France.

Here is a link to a Group Study Guide for book groups or others.

Here are some of the  links from the book for poetry and music.

Book of the year selection for 2013 by Spirituality and

Read a newspaper review of the book here.


“Drawing on a lifetime of experience, reflection, and research, Lynn Underwood invites the reader to look at daily life with new eyes, to see signs and sources of spiritual growth that might otherwise be missed. She brings her heart to this book, along with her scientific rigor, personal vulnerability, and down-to-earth wisdom. If you want to deepen your sense of the spiritual in your life, and share such experiences with others, this is the book for you.”
Parker J. Palmer, author of A Hidden Wholeness, and Let Your Life Speak

“I think this fine book will be invaluable to an awful lot of people! Religious folks have been told what to see instead of how to see, which only calls forth a lot of inner resistance and nonseeing. There is nothing to resist here, but a lot to appreciate, enjoy, and see—for yourself. This is good!”
—Richard Rohr, OFM, Center for Action and Contemplation

“Lynn Underwood has distilled her lifework into a masterpiece. Not only does her book provide the average reader (devout or agnostic alike) a guide to deepen their spirituality in a way that Catholic St. Ignatius and Buddhist Thich Nhat Han would approve: but in a very modest and low key way she provides a moving account of her own spiritual Journey, akin to Karen Armstrong’s Spiral Staircase. Every reading group and Temple and Church adult study group should have Spiritual Connection as required reading. It is a gem.”
—Dr. George Valliant, MD, Professor, Harvard Medical School and Director of the Study of Adult Development, Harvard University

“Grounded in science and authentic personal experience, this book is a treasure of profound wisdom. Everyone can benefit from deepening awareness of their own spirituality by reflecting on these questions and learning how others have responded. The book is an inspiring gift of love made visible.”
—Frances Vaughn, PhD, psychologist and author, Shadows of the Sacred

“This is the best book available today for anyone of us who feel the need to transform our lives. Over many years, Lynn Underwood quietly developed what is now internationally renowned as the most thoughtful and valid measure of spirituality available today. The reader will find opportunity for deepened self-awareness and spiritual growth in responding to each question, and will find that this spiritual classic and powerful self-assessment tool opens up new horizons of serenity, hope, joy, and vision. Its scientific grounding is impeccable.”
—Stephen G. Post, PhD, professor of preventive medicine, Stony Brook University

“Lynn Underwood’s Spiritual Connection in Daily Life is a welcome and valuable contribution for caregivers, professionals, patients, and ordinary people. She creates a pluralistic approach rich in stories and examples from around the world, yet grounded in research. The author encourages readers to explore their experiences of love and connections to people, the universe, and God (or the holy or divine) and to use her questions as a starting point for discussion and reflection rather than a conclusion.”
—Rabbi Robert Tabak, staff chaplain at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania

“I warmly recommend this practical exercise for establishing one’s personal spiritual profile— its strengths, and its, as yet, unfulfilled potential. Particularly valuable are the insights arising as to how one might progress towards an enhanced relationship with God and with other people, as well as have a greater awareness of all that life has to offer.”
—Russell Stannard, emeritus professor of physics, Open University, U.K., author

“Through her Daily Spiritual Experience Scale, Lynn Underwood has elegantly bridged a divide between science and spirituality in language and experiences that are accessible to all religions, faith traditions, and cultures. This book is not just for reading; it is for experiencing and savoring. It is rich food for the soul.”
—The Rev. Walter J. Smith, SJ, PhD, president and CEO, HealthCare Chaplaincy

“As a scholar in the field of traumatic stress I always encourage my students to look beyond the impact of stressful events into the realm of human nature resilience. My research has shown me that Underwood’s Daily Spiritual Experience Scale is an important measurement that taps the unique experience of spirituality as it is manifested in day-to- day life. I would recommend this book to managers of stressful work places who are interested in promoting the well-being of their workers.”
—Gadi Zerach, PhD, clinical psychologist, Department of Behavioral Sciences, Ariel University, Israel

“We do the mystics an injustice by putting them on a pedestal. Lynn Underwood knows that the mystic is not a special kind of human being, but every human being is a special kind of mystic. This includes you and me—ordinary people for whom this book is written. Wisely, the author uses the term mystic sparingly. She speaks rather about “experiences of connection with the divine in our lives.” If this is for you what it deserves to be, a topic of prime concern, then the Sixteen Little Questions of this workbook can indeed Make a Big Difference in your life. In fact, you may learn to be—in the midst of Daily Life—the unique mystic you are meant to be.”
—Brother David Steindl-Rast, Benedictine monk, cofounder of

“Spiritual Connection in Daily Life introduces a remarkable concept known as the “Daily Spiritual Experience Scale,” which consists of sixteen multiple-choice questions measuring among other things your daily life connections with others, divine providence, your inner spirit, and nature. This scale helps us find the “spiritual connection” in one’s daily life and one’s sense of compassion, love, joy, and inner peace. An excellent tool.”
—Dr. Alwi Shihab, Islamic scholar, trustee, University of Indonesia, Jakarta, and Hartford Seminary

“Zen Buddhism may best highlight a core feature of Chinese Buddhism—an emphasis on integrating spiritual practice into daily life. In line with this belief, the Daily Spiritual Experience Scale (DSES) was appealing to us. We found all the 16 items relevant and essential in our cultural context in Hong Kong. Our findings supported the transcultural properties of the DSES and it continues to be useful to us and to others in Hong Kong.”
—Dr. Siu-man Ng, Department of Social Work and Social Administration, University of Hong Kong

“Lynn Underwood has very skillfully provided for us a readable, user-friendly, and intimate approach. Far from evading the emotional, spiritual, and existential challenges involved in the search for meaning and wholeness, she has opened for us an exciting and compelling way of coping with the inescapable task of plumbing the depths, and finding the treasures, of life’s inscrutable joys.”
—Kortright Davis, professor of theology, Howard University School of Divinity