Download e-book for iPad: A Sunlit Absence: Silence, Awareness, and Contemplation by Martin Laird

By Martin Laird

ISBN-10: 0195378725

ISBN-13: 9780195378726

"The perform of contemplation is among the nice religious arts," writes Martin Laird in A Sunlit Absence. "Not a strategy yet a ability, it harnesses the winds of grace that lead us out into the freeing sea of silence." during this significant other quantity to his bestselling Into the Silent Land, Laird makes a speciality of a high quality frequently ignored through books on Christian meditation: an enormous and flowing spaciousness that embraces either silence and sound, and transcends all subject/object dualisms. Drawing at the knowledge of significant contemplatives from St. Augustine and St. Teresa of Avila to St. Hesychios, Simone Weil, and so on, Laird exhibits how we will be able to discover the deeper degrees of wisdom that leisure inside us like buried treasure ready to be chanced on. the most important perception of the booklet is that as our perform matures, so will our event of life's ordeals, sorrows, and joys extend into beneficiant, receptive adulthood. We discover ways to see no matter what problems we event in meditation--boredom, lethargy, vanity, melancholy, grief, anxiety--not as stumbling blocks to be conquer yet as possibilities to perform hand over to what's. With readability and charm Laird indicates how we will movement clear of deciding on with our turbulent, ever-changing suggestions and feelings to the cultivation of a "sunlit absence"--the luminous knowledge during which God's presence can such a lot profoundly be felt. Addressed to either newcomers and intermediates at the pathless course of nonetheless prayer, A Sunlit Absence bargains clever information at the specifics of contemplative perform in addition to an inspiring imaginative and prescient of the aim of such perform and the imperative position it could actually play in our religious lives.

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Sample text

Mostly nothing. We simply listen as deeply as Mary to Gabriel (Lk 1:26–38). Our search for God, who has sought and found us from all eternity (Jer 1:5), is shown to be nothing but this deep listening to the alluring knock: “Behold I stand at the door and knock” (Rev 3:2). “I am the Door” (Jn 19:9). As our practice of silent prayer matures from place of refuge to place of encounter, what is our practice like and what is our relationship with thoughts? The external circumstances of our lives continue to be whatever they happen to be at any given moment, but now we experience these circumstances differently.

But without sailing skills the voyage would be reckless. The contemplative, whose skills are trained by the storms and trials of this path, discovers the joy that, while we can never grasp God, God nevertheless does nothing but graciously give to us, ground us, and embrace us. Such is the nature of God’s simplicity. TWO Our Collection of Videos They changed their sky but not their souls. —Horace O Lord you are my rock, my refuge, Who trains my arms for battle, my fingers for war. —Psalm 144 Each of us has a soul but we forget to value it.

Though the language and perspective may at times seem dated, the dynamics are strikingly accurate. Someone, for example, turns down your invitation to dinner, and immediately a stream of inner commentary breaks loose: “They don’t like me I suppose. Nobody likes me. I’ve never had any true friends in my whole life. Not ever. ” Somebody walks into a room carrying a Gucci bag that you yourself cannot afford but crave nonetheless, and immediately the mind comments, “Doesn’t she look silly carrying that thing?

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A Sunlit Absence: Silence, Awareness, and Contemplation by Martin Laird


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