Before We Face the Monkey Mind

A reader has written to me with the following question: I make my living as a psychotherapist & most of my work is spiritually oriented counseling with Christians.  I have long been trying to introduce clients to contemplation through encouraging brief periods of silence, solitude and openness  (15-20 min).  I also taught an introductory  course through my church.  Finally, I am preparing to lecture other therapists on using contemplation in therapy. As I have tried to introduce … [Read more...]

Carl’s and Fran’s Holiday Gift-Giving Guide for 2011

Here is a list of books for you to consider for the folks on your Nice List this holiday season. These are all books that either I, or in a few my cases my wife, have read over the past year and feel are worthy of our endorsement. Some of these are new books, and some are old; most are Christian, although a few are not; and most are "spiritual" although again, a few might not appear that way — on the surface. But they are all great reads and well worth your attention. As always, a click on the … [Read more...]

Into the Silent Land

Into the Silent Land: A Guide to the Christian Practice of Contemplation By Martin Laird Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006 Review by Carl McColman Here is one of the loveliest, most poetic, and most useful books on the practice of mature Christian prayer that I have ever read. First of all, what this book is not. It is not a comprehensive guide to Christian spirituality, or even to Christian prayer. The author does not bother discussing the sacramental or liturgical life of the church, or … [Read more...]

Quote for the Day

Wisdom, health, life and love cannot be found in trying to control the wind, but rather in harnessing the wind in the sails of receptive engagement of the present moment. — Martin Laird, Into the Silent Land … [Read more...]

Quote for the Day

The contemplative discipline of meditation, what I will call in this book contemplative practice, doesn't acquire anything. In that sense, and an important sense, it is not a technique but a surrendering of deeply imbedded resistances that allows the sacred within gradually to reveal itself as a simple, fundamental fact. Out of this letting go there emerges what St. Paul called our "hidden self": "may he give you the power through his Spirit for your hidden self to grow strong" (Eph 3:16). … [Read more...]


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