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 specializes in 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 serious contemplatives from St. Augustine and St. Teresa of Avila to St. Hesychios, Simone Weil, and so forth, Laird exhibits how we will discover the deeper degrees of wisdom that relaxation inside of us like buried treasure ready to be came upon. the most important perception of the publication 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 adventure in meditation--boredom, lethargy, conceitedness, melancholy, grief, anxiety--not as stumbling blocks to be triumph over yet as possibilities to perform give up to what's. With readability and style Laird indicates how we will be able to movement clear of determining with our turbulent, ever-changing options and feelings to the cultivation of a "sunlit absence"--the luminous expertise within which God's presence can such a lot profoundly be felt. Addressed to either newbies 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 primary position it may well play in our religious lives.
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Extra info for A Sunlit Absence: Silence, Awareness, and Contemplation
10 Intellectually I understood that my friends were trying to help me. But the thought that they betrayed me gets me mind-tripping on self-pity, and I almost always just go with it. If I can see myself as being a victim, I can more easily stay in denial of the issues that concerned my friends. In a weird sort of way being this victim was more comforting than the fact that my behavior was making me ill and that my friends thought Our Collection of Videos they needed to let someone know. I can see that I do this.
This mind-tripping, what Evagrius calls “passions” stirred up by a thought or image, can actually make us sick. Not just spiritually, but mentally and physically as well. ”11 Anger, resentment, self-pity can even make you completely crazy: “Those who long for true prayer but are given over to anger or resentment will be beside themselves with madness. ”13 Blinded as I may be by my anger, all this mind-tripping seems very real at the time. ”14 “The most ﬁerce passion is anger. . ”16 33 34 A Sunlit Absence Another thing that Evagrius has taught me is how closely related are anger, fear, and pain.
The mystery of the God we seek circulates in ever-moving repose through us and in us. Christ reveals God as both door and doorway, both seeker and sought. For all our striving and attempts to negotiate the riddles and doorways of silence, the practice of contemplation can no more deliver the gift of contemplation than the most skillful sailor can make the wind blow. 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.
A Sunlit Absence: Silence, Awareness, and Contemplation by Martin Laird