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Publisher's Summary

Sitting in stillness, the practice of meditation, and the cultivation of awareness are commonly thought to be the preserves of Hindus and Buddhists. Martin Laird shows that the Christian tradition of contemplation has its own refined teachings on using a prayer word to focus the mind, working with the breath to cultivate stillness, and the practice of inner vigilance or awareness.
But this book is not a mere historical survey of these teachings. In Into the Silent Land, we see the ancient wisdom of both the Christian East and West brought sharply to bear on the modern-day longing for radical openness to God in the depths of the heart. Laird's book is not like the many presentations for beginners. While useful for those just starting out, this book serves especially as a guide for those who desire to journey yet deeper into the silence of God.
The heart of the book focuses on negotiating key moments of struggle on the contemplative path, when the whirlwind of distractions or the brick wall of boredom makes it difficult to continue. Laird shows that these inner struggles, even wounds, that any person of prayer must face, are like riddles, trying to draw out of us our own inner silence.
Ultimately Laird shows how the wounds we loathe become vehicles of the healing silence we seek, beyond technique and achievement. Throughout, the language is fresh, direct, and focused on real-life examples of people whose lives are incomparably enriched by the practice of contemplation.
©2006 Martin Laird, O.S.A (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Die Falknerin on 03-24-17

An extraordinary gift

By disposition and temperament, I have always been given to silent contemplation, especially Teresian prayer. Even so, the problems and challenges of contemplative prayer never go away. That's why a guide like this so helpful. It can assist you when you want to give up.

When people ask me about prayer, as often happens, I recommend this book along with Romano Guardini's "The Art of Praying." They're all you need to begin.

I can't recommend this book highly enough. Laird's writing style is excellent, and he brings the contemporary and the classical together in such a relevant, meaningful way. The narration is perfectly suited to the text, very dignified and intelligent.

I'd also recommend Laird's book, "A Sunlit Absence," if you enjoy this one.

Please don't give up on contemplative prayer. Its rewards are immeasurable and worth every trial and difficulty.

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By M. James on 04-25-15

A top-five selection

_Into the Silent Land_ is in my top five most influential books on the spiritual journey. I have read it—and now listened to it, too—multiple times over the years. It registers more deeply with me each time.

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