on 23 November 2011
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and would strongly recommend it to anyone interested in the Christian contemplative experience. Door to Silence is filled with wisdom, and is perfect for reading anytime, or as a source for daily readings to accompany the time of meditation. One of the things I found particularly helpful about this book was the format of short paragraphs, which encourage a slow, thoughtful reading of the text.
John Main always taught with the conviction of experience, and as one who practiced what he preached. He didn't see meditation as just a spiritual exercise, but rather as the path to fullness of life to which everyone is called.
I also find John Main's thought so valuable because he was firmly grounded in his own tradition of contemplative Christianity, but also keenly aware of the particular psychological and existential crises of modern life. He does not provide psycho-analysis, or "feel-good" platitudes. Rather, he gently yet firmly encourages us to take up the healing, enlightening, and transformative practice of meditation, and to persevere in it day by day.
Much of John Main's wisdom is challenging to the reader, not unlike the koans of Zen Buddhism. Their truth can be fully realized only through experience. Herein lies the simple brilliance of John Main's thought. If we merely talk about God, we are only scratching the surface. That's why John Main saw meditation as so vital. Meditation is the way to "verify the truths of our faith in our own experience." When we meditate, we respond to the invitation to live life more deeply. This is a wonderful and powerful book, from a true spiritual master.