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

By Martin Laird

"The perform of contemplation is likely one of the nice non secular arts," writes Martin Laird in A Sunlit Absence. "Not a method yet a ability, it harnesses the winds of grace that lead us out into the releasing sea of silence." during this better half quantity to his bestselling Into the Silent Land, Laird specializes in a top quality frequently ignored via 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 discover the deeper degrees of know-how that leisure inside of us like buried treasure ready to be chanced on. the most important perception of the ebook 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 adventure in meditation--boredom, lethargy, conceitedness, melancholy, grief, anxiety--not as hindrances to be conquer yet as possibilities to perform give up to what's. With readability and style Laird exhibits how we will movement clear of picking with our turbulent, ever-changing suggestions and feelings to the cultivation of a "sunlit absence"--the luminous expertise during which God's presence can so much profoundly be felt. Addressed to either novices and intermediates at the pathless course of nonetheless prayer, A Sunlit Absence bargains clever tips at the specifics of contemplative perform in addition to an inspiring imaginative and prescient of the aim of such perform and the relevant function it might probably play in our non secular lives.

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A Sunlit Absence: Silence, Awareness, and Contemplation

"The perform of contemplation is likely one of the nice non secular arts," writes Martin Laird in A Sunlit Absence. "Not a method yet a ability, it harnesses the winds of grace that lead us out into the freeing sea of silence. " during this better half quantity to his bestselling Into the Silent Land, Laird makes a speciality of a top quality frequently neglected through books on Christian meditation: an unlimited and flowing spaciousness that embraces either silence and sound, and transcends all subject/object dualisms.

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In her memoir of her battle with an eating disorder, Margaret Bullet-Jonas recounts how bulimia ushered her into a world of chaotic fragmentation in order to illustrate the crippling isolation of mind-tripping gone out of control. “The language of compulsive overeating,” she writes, is tragically jumbled and ineffective, as multitoned and multivoiced as Cerberus, the dog who stands at the threshold of hell in Greek mythology, each of its three heads barking independently. A person who stands at the brink of addictive behavior is listening intently to conflicting inner voices.

And we find ourselves returning to the Apple store like a dog to a fire hydrant. Analysis of the lightning-quick subtleties of chatterfueled distraction and its ability to split, fray, and knot desire is typical of the desert psychology of the early Christian centuries. 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.

I didn’t mean go home and read or listen to music just now. ” And so the man went home and did just that. When he returned the following week he had plenty that he could begin to talk about.

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