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 freeing sea of silence."
In this spouse quantity to his bestselling Into the Silent Land, Laird specializes in a top quality usually missed through 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, etc, Laird exhibits how we will be able to discover the deeper degrees of understanding that relaxation inside of us like buried treasure ready to be discovered. the major 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 discover ways to see no matter what problems we event in meditation--boredom, lethargy, vanity, melancholy, grief, anxiety--not as hindrances to be conquer yet as possibilities to perform quit to what's. With readability and beauty Laird indicates how we will movement clear of opting for with our turbulent, ever-changing ideas 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 rookies and intermediates at the pathless direction 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 principal function it will probably play in our non secular lives.

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Extra info for A Sunlit Absence: Silence, Awareness, and Contemplation

Sample text

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.

But now that this has happened with my girlfriend (or former girlfriend), it’s impossible to pray. I’m afraid of silence now. There’s too much anger and hurt and probably a lot more that I don’t know about. ”2 This is exactly what happened. To pray is now a battle. I wouldn’t say that I was ever free from distractions, but there had been this warming sensation all over and peacefulness and a growing sense that the Jesus Prayer was an anchor or some sort of opening. Now there is this panic and pain and anger.

Gradually we learn that we are not these thoughts and feelings that come and go any more than we are the weather that comes and goes. We may indeed prefer a certain type of weather, but we are not the weather. 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).

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