By Martin Laird
"The perform of contemplation is likely one of the nice religious 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 spouse quantity to his bestselling Into the Silent Land, Laird makes a speciality of a top quality usually ignored by means of 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 forth, Laird indicates how we will be able to discover the deeper degrees of know-how that leisure inside of us like buried treasure ready to be came upon. the main 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 event 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 beauty Laird indicates how we will be able to stream clear of picking out with our turbulent, ever-changing concepts and feelings to the cultivation of a "sunlit absence"--the luminous know-how within which God's presence can such a lot profoundly be felt. Addressed to either rookies and intermediates at the pathless course of nonetheless prayer, A Sunlit Absence bargains clever counsel at the specifics of contemplative perform in addition to an inspiring imaginative and prescient of the aim of such perform and the crucial position it may possibly play in our non secular lives.
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Additional resources for A Sunlit Absence: Silence, Awareness, and Contemplation
Evagrius, a fourth-century monk living in Egypt, has perhaps the most to say about these inner videos and how they very subtly keep us from ever embarking on the spiritual path. Students initially respond to Evagrius with bewilderment and reserve. Yet year after year it is Evagrius to whom they warm the most. Undergraduates today often have a remarkable psychological sensitivity and fragility. 1 Cryptic as some of his sayings may seem, students perceive in Evagrius a person of deep compassion and insight, a person who understands the struggles they themselves go through because Evagrius, too, has lived them.
The twentieth-century Swiss psychoanalyst C. G. 6 There is a story told of how Jung used silence to help one of his patients become aware of the cause of his problems. Complaining of a general anxiety, but unable to identify what he was anxious about, the client did not give Jung much to work with. Jung suggested he go home and spend the evenings alone and see what came up before their next appointment the following week. The man returned and told Jung that he had enjoyed the evenings alone at home; he had read a novel he had been meaning to read for months and listened to symphonies he had not enjoyed for years.
When the prayer word becomes second nature to us, it becomes more than a spear or a shield or a place of refuge: but an endlessly ﬂowing inner spaciousness in which we “live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). Therefore, we do not have to ﬂee from our life circumstances or from our thoughts and feelings (yet we are free to if common sense so dictates). These thoughts and feelings are themselves porous to this spacious ﬂow; they, too, manifest the silence we seek. But we do not see this simple fact in the early seasons of practice.
A Sunlit Absence: Silence, Awareness, and Contemplation by Martin Laird