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4.7 out of 5 stars
60
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 25 November 2010
I have been more at the type of Christian Worship for many years which is very full in terms of singing, extempore prayer, preaching, etc. and I have been richly blessed through it. However, for sometime I have realised that there is a dimension missing - that of quietness and stillnes and simply allowing God to fill me. Sometime ago I attended a series of talks by a Benedictine Monk and whether his very practical approach to the religious life was a stimulus I am not sure. However, I started reading a range of books the general theme of which was in the realms of contemplation and meditation. Some books were very helpful but many missed the point for me in either being too theoretical or, more often, assuming a particular religious background or knowledge which was very different to my own.

My search was, therefore, for something that would pick me up from where I am - give me something of the background and history of contemplation but, at the same time, be very practical. This books fits that brief for me. When I first started reading it, I had doubts as it seemed to be more theoretical than I had hoped but, having flicked through the coming chapters of the book to see what was coming,I was hopeful and so it proved to be. A whole raft of practical, proven techniques are provided which have certainly helped me. What is also to the credit of the author is that where he is slightly at odds with others who have published in the same field he not only says so and explains why, but also describes other options so these can still be tried to see of they are of benefit as he makes the point very clearly that this is a persoanl journey.

Overall I have found it a very worthwhile read. It has taken me sometime to get through it as I wanted to practise a little of what I was learning before I moved on. I shall now leave a gap and then read it again and go one step futher in what I do practically.

If you fit my sort of situation then I am sure you will not be disappointed.
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on 13 May 2017
A good clear introduction to the practice of contemplation, especially for those near the beginning of their journeys. It's good to know why certain practices are recommended and are found to be helpful, but also good to know the context and see how deeply rooted they are in our Christian past.
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on 9 March 2017
wonderful inspiration and contemplation
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on 4 April 2008
You'll need two copies - one to keep and re-read, one to lend to your friends. An astonishingly grounded and wise guide to contemplative prayer. Not a "how to" book on techniques,but something much deeper, unpacking the nature and goal of contemplative practice as a way of uncovering the stillness deep within us, the place where we meet God. Although entirely rooted in Christian faith, the book makes some connections with other perspectives, particularly from cognitive psychology. If you have any experience of contemplative prayer, this is the book to encourage you further along the path to "the silent land".
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on 12 January 2011
Although small in size this is a great book, get the hard back because you will read it again and again! Martin Laird draws from Christian wisdom down the centuries and puts it all into a modern context. He maps out the distractions which may hinder a meditation practice and ways of understanding how it deepens with daily practice and time. It is a clear, well set out book and a treasure for anyone starting off Into the Silent Land, even for those with an already established practice. In our noise filled and busy world there is a growing interest in silence and this is one book which will be of enormous help to anyone setting out on that path.
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on 25 April 2009
This is a very helpful book for anyone who wants to find out about contemplation. It is written in a down to earth style and deals with the sort of obstacles a person will encounter such as distracting thoughts. Because the author is trying to explain something that needs to be experienced, I sometimes can't quite grasp what he means - I think this will be helped by contemplating awhile then coming back to the book again later.
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on 26 September 2011
This is the best book on contemplative prayer that I have read in many a year and I am over 80 years old. It is clear and practical and is illustrated with stories that reinforce the points made. The author' learning and personal experience sits lightly upon him while it gives depth and clarity to his writing. I have recommended this book to several people and they have been enthusiastic in their responses.

Elspeth
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on 12 October 2010
I have been practicing John Mains tradition of christian meditation for a few years. This is the best book about the christian traditon of contemplation I have read. The book is simply and clearly written and has real depth. I have just started reading it a second time and can tell that this is a book I will keep coming back to. The author's approach pays particular attention to the jesus prayer tradition and also draws on the Cloud of Unknowing. I found the chapter on the use of a prayer word (mantra) fascinating, particularly the wide variety of early christian sources he uses to put it into a historical context.

A very deep, informative, but above all practical book for all who would like to learn about, and more importantly practice contemplative prayer.
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on 17 September 2009
The author brings a wealth of knowledge from the desert fathers and scripture to present a method of meditation which touches the practioner in his/her daily life. In reading Phillip Lairds book we come to realize that the sort of prayer we thought was rerserved for Monks Nuns and religious is actually readily available to us in a simple manner and is very practical in facing the challenges of every day life. Contemplation using the " prayer word" becomes a place of refuge leading to a freedom we previously could not have imagined. The author usues examples of people in fearful and challenging situations which have found that the very fears and problems they had opened the door to the " silent land". this book for me is a a must for people seeking a way to pray in a personal and life giving way.
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on 26 January 2008
Having spent the past few years reading one book after another on Christian meditation/contemplation to accompany my ongoing exploration and practice of this way of prayer, this book was an absolute delight. No waffle, no new-age hype, just brilliant 'puts his finger right on it' accuracy and a number of extremely useful case-studies which could be applied to many situations. I have recommended this book to several people, all experienced meditators, and each one has raved about it and ended up buying their own copies. If I were to recommend just three books to people embarking on the Christian contemplative path, this would definitely be one of them. It offers a rare and refreshing combination of genuine depth, brilliant clarity and wonderful readability. A real treasure and the best book I came across in 2007.
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