By Martin Laird
"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 better half quantity to his bestselling Into the Silent Land, Laird makes a speciality of a top quality frequently missed 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, etc, Laird exhibits how we will discover the deeper degrees of knowledge that leisure inside us like buried treasure ready to be came upon. the foremost perception of the publication 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, vanity, melancholy, grief, anxiety--not as hindrances to be triumph over yet as possibilities to perform hand over to what's. With readability and style Laird exhibits how we will be able to flow clear of determining with our turbulent, ever-changing concepts and feelings to the cultivation of a "sunlit absence"--the luminous wisdom within which God's presence can so much profoundly be felt. Addressed to either rookies and intermediates at the pathless direction of nonetheless prayer, A Sunlit Absence deals clever counsel 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 could actually play in our religious lives.
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From the preface
In the Lives of Paul that have seemed, scant justice has been performed to the magical point in his spiritual adventure and in his instructing. And but not anything is extra attribute of Paul than his mysticism.
He used to be the type of guy who couldn't be content material to live at the outdoors of faith, yet sought to arrive that that is furthest within.
II. a spiritual Mystic
III. A Christian Mystic
IV. An Evangelical Mystic
V. A Rational Mystic
VI. a realistic Mystic
VII. How Paul Nourished the magical Life
VIII. The Message of Paul the Mystic to the Church of this present day
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Extra info for A Sunlit Absence: Silence, Awareness, and Contemplation
With even the simplest impulse to pray (or even when the body happens to adopt its posture of prayer—whether sitting, walking, standing) we are immersed in the luminous expanse of awareness. Moreover this “we” that is immersed in awareness is itself a vast ﬁeld of awareness that has no boundaries. This formless vastness bodies forth as prayer. CONCLUSION The practice of contemplation quietens the noise that goes on in our heads and allows inner silence to expand. This expanding inner silence is a wide and fertile delta that embraces the mud, reeds, and rushes of all sound, whether delightful or disruptive.
Our lives as students are so out of control and overprogrammed. To be able to be silent, even brieﬂy, is a refreshing break. I can’t do this everyday but most days I did. Usually I’m constantly distracted but once I felt a tremendous peace and warmth 29 30 A Sunlit Absence coming from deep within me. I’d never experienced anything like that before. It lasted most of the day then went away. But it had a lasting effect. I felt more drawn to that place within that I didn’t know was there, and it was easier to return there, much easier.
I always thought of my anger as a response to something or someone who had offended me. But Evagrius suggests that anger is a response to pain, to being hurt. If I learn how to handle pain better, I might learn how to handle anger better. But what I ﬁnd most helpful is the link he establishes between anger and fear. I have recently realized that anger and fear are very closely related. In psychology class we learned about the ﬁght/ﬂight response. ”18 I’ve always known that I struggle a lot with fear but have only recently come to see that when I’m very angry, I will wake up afraid.