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A Sunlit Absence


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Table of Contents

Introduction ONE Standing at the Gate of the Heart: On the Practice of Contemplation TWO Our Collection of Videos THREE The Open Porches of the Mind: On Silence and Noise FOUR A Sunlit Absence: The Light of Awareness FIVE Sifted by Boredom SIX Creative Disintegration: Depression, Panic, and Awareness SEVEN Sharp Trials in the Intellect EIGHT "It Don't Work for Me": Prayer of Petition and other Practical Problems Notes

About the Author

Martin Laird, O.S.A is Associate Professor of Theology at Villanova University. He has extensive training in contemplative disciplines and gives retreats throughout the United States and Great Britain. The author of Gregory of Nyssa and the Grasp of Faith and Into the Silent Land (both by OUP), he lives in Villanova, PA.


"...useful to anyone on the contemplative path, this book deals profoundly yet simply with matters treated only superficially, if at all, in many other guides to contemplation." --Library Journal "A Sunlit Absence, by Martin Laird, a professor of theology at Villanova University and a priest in the Order of St. Augustine, is filled with sympathy, grace and encouragement... Laird's writing is refreshingly concise, occasionally amusing and vividly memorable. Both beginning and longtime contemplatives will discover treasures in this little gem of a book." --Todd Friesen, Christian Century "Books that talk about 'contemplation' often seem to have been written on Jupiter. This one is a sterling exception." --John Wilson, Christianity Today PRAISE FOR INTO THE SILENT LAND: "This book is different. There are plenty of books on contemplation that feel rather tired--either wordy and labored or unhelpfully smooth and idealistic. But this is sharp, deep, with no cliches, no psychobabble and no short cuts. Its honesty is bracing, its vision utterly clear; it is a rare treasure."--Rowan Williams, The Archbishop of Canterbury "Often they say 'you learn how to swim by swimming' but a good coach or swimming manual is essential. Equally, we could say 'you learn how to be contemplative by contemplating' and a good guide or mentor is necessary. Into the Silent Land is just that. I tried it and it works. Try it."--Archbishop Desmond Tutu, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize "Into the Silent Land is a beautiful and deeply consoling book, a reminder that prayer is both real and fundamentally simple. Not since Thomas Merton's Contemplative Prayer have I encountered a guide to contemplation this wise and compelling."--Douglas Burton-Christie, author of The Word in the Desert: Scripture and the Quest for Holiness in Early Christian Monasticism "Laird's book defines how to sink back in God's ground physically with breathing, mentally with 'prayer words,' and spiritually with interior surrender. Through anecdote, Scripture, and classic wisdom, Laird illuminates a Christian path into the silent land. An able guide, he makes the trip more than worth the journey." --Christianity Today "Books that talk about "contemplation" often seem to have been written on Jupiter. This one is a sterling exception."--Martin Laird "Laird's writing is refreshingly concise, occasionally amusing and vividly memorable."--Todd Friesen, Christian Century

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