By Martin Laird
"The perform of contemplation is among 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 makes a speciality of a high quality usually neglected via books on Christian meditation: an unlimited 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, etc, Laird indicates how we will discover the deeper degrees of expertise that relaxation inside of us like buried treasure ready to be chanced on. the foremost perception of the e-book is that as our perform matures, so will our adventure of life's ordeals, sorrows, and joys extend into beneficiant, receptive adulthood. We learn how to see no matter what problems we event in meditation--boredom, lethargy, conceitedness, melancholy, grief, anxiety--not as stumbling blocks to be triumph over yet as possibilities to perform hand over to what's. With readability and charm Laird exhibits how we will movement clear of determining with our turbulent, ever-changing options and feelings to the cultivation of a "sunlit absence"--the luminous information within which God's presence can so much profoundly be felt. Addressed to either rookies and intermediates at the pathless course of nonetheless prayer, A Sunlit Absence bargains clever assistance at the specifics of contemplative perform in addition to an inspiring imaginative and prescient of the aim of such perform and the vital function it may play in our non secular lives.
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Additional info for A Sunlit Absence: Silence, Awareness, and Contemplation
There is the awkward silence of the road trip with someone we do not know quite well enough to be silent next to, the refrigerating silence of hardened anger, the reverential silence of dogwoods in winter, the vast silence of a cathedral, the focused silence of absorption in our sewing or a good book, the stunned silence of seeing the status of our pension fund. Each features physical silence, the absence of sound waves, but this silence is merely the outer form of other dynamics. In the spiritual life silence is characterized by a powerfully searching and subtle dynamic.
29 The only Our Collection of Videos 41 monastery we all need to enter is the one Jesus opened up as he disclosed the inner depths of his own identity and purpose: “I and the Father are one” (Jn 10:30). ”30 Why do we need to leave behind our collection of videos? Because they deafen the listening heart. As St. Augustine puts it with insight born of experience, “All the time I wanted to stand and listen. To listen to Your voice. ”31 We might well wonder, Am I somehow at fault for having all these distractions?
St. ” These terms describe the way a certain thought or train of thoughts quickly steals our attention and sets off a cycle of inner chatter and commentary. This inner chatter is something like a video that constantly plays in the mind only to be rewound and played again and again and again and again. For some it might be a predominantly visual sequence of distractions, for others predominantly aural, or a combination of both. The insidious thing about these videos is that they have a way of cultivating a psychological identiﬁcation with them.