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

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 better half quantity to his bestselling Into the Silent Land, Laird specializes in a top quality usually missed 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 serious contemplatives from St. Augustine and St. Teresa of Avila to St. Hesychios, Simone Weil, and so forth, Laird indicates how we will discover the deeper degrees of expertise that leisure inside us like buried treasure ready to be came across. 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 learn how to see no matter what problems we adventure in meditation--boredom, lethargy, conceitedness, melancholy, grief, anxiety--not as hindrances to be triumph over yet as possibilities to perform hand over to what's. With readability and beauty Laird indicates how we will be able to circulate clear of settling on with our turbulent, ever-changing concepts and feelings to the cultivation of a "sunlit absence"--the luminous wisdom during which God's presence can such a lot profoundly be felt. Addressed to either novices and intermediates at the pathless direction of nonetheless prayer, A Sunlit Absence deals clever suggestions at the specifics of contemplative perform in addition to an inspiring imaginative and prescient of the aim of such perform and the principal function it may well play in our non secular lives.

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Not ever. ” Somebody walks into a room carrying a Gucci bag that you yourself cannot afford but crave nonetheless, and immediately the mind comments, “Doesn’t she look silly carrying that thing? Just look at her! ” The inner chatter is not only concerned with silly things; it can generate quite a lot of suffering. This suffering requires mental noise to make it seem real. And soon we’ve given it the keys to the car. Mental craving acts like a whisk that quickly froths things up into foamy obsession.

He pinpoints certain areas of life in which inner noise, anxiety, confusion are frothed up by the mind’s whisk with the result that we become out of touch with reality. If we are out of touch with reality, we are at the same time out of touch with ourselves, with others, and with God. Evagrius sees our relationship with food to be one such area, but it has much more to do than merely with what we eat. If we think for a moment how obsessed our culture is with how our bodies appear to others, this does not seem so far-fetched.

I knew what it would say before I read it. My roommate told me not to go. But like a fool I agreed to meet for lunch the next day. On the surface she was all bubbles, but underneath it was like being with a perfect stranger. I didn’t feel anything. I just felt numb. I just kept going over our last few conversations in my head to see if there was some opening, something that would suggest it wasn’t really over. Later that day another friend said he saw her the previous weekend clubbing in Philadelphia with some guy who was in one of her classes.

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