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By Martin Laird

ISBN-10: 0195378725

ISBN-13: 9780195378726

"The perform of contemplation is without doubt one of the nice non secular 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 releasing sea of silence." during this significant other quantity to his bestselling Into the Silent Land, Laird makes a speciality of a high quality frequently neglected by way of 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 wisdom that leisure inside of us like buried treasure ready to be chanced on. the major 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 learn how to see no matter what problems we event in meditation--boredom, lethargy, conceitedness, 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 exhibits how we will be able to movement clear of determining with our turbulent, ever-changing innovations and feelings to the cultivation of a "sunlit absence"--the luminous information during which God's presence can such a lot profoundly be felt. Addressed to either novices and intermediates at the pathless course of nonetheless prayer, A Sunlit Absence deals clever assistance at the specifics of contemplative perform in addition to an inspiring imaginative and prescient of the aim of such perform and the critical function it may play in our religious lives.

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If we know how to dwell in physical silence, then silence becomes not a threat but attractive, nurturing, and liberating. The powerful attraction of something as utterly simple as silence is well attested throughout the contemplative tradition. The following is a good example of how silence is not simply concerned with a buttoned lip or a cold shoulder. The fourteenth-century Augustinian friar and spiritual writer The Open Porches of the Mind 47 Jordan of Saxony not only shaped the spirituality of his own religious community but also stood on the shoulders of countless saints and sages who have witnessed to what silence does other than make no noise.

The insidious thing about these videos is that they have a way of cultivating a psychological identification with them. ” This mind-tripping state of awareness is nearly always chewing, chattering, and commenting. Moreover, these tape-loops gain a very subtle yet effective momentum. The more we watch or listen to them, the more we identify with them, the more we live out of them and live them out. ” It can be tepid or it can be a tempest. It can be entertaining, pious, a horror story, or utterly humdrum.

34 Whether we live in a monastery or not, the grip our inner videos have on us must be loosened. Awareness and stillness are the skills we cultivate to allow this to take place. The result is that our minds will be clearer and more silent. One of the most debilitating results of the spiritual fragmentation that has plagued Christianity in the last several centuries has been the opposition of the contemplative life to the active life. Both individuals and communities happily enjoy this schizophrenia.

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


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