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Prayer of the Heart in Christian and Sufi Mysticism [Kindle Edition]

Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Guiding the reader through the stages of mystical prayer—a way to create a living relationship with the Divine within the heart—this book draws upon Christian and Sufi sources such as St. Teresa of Avila, ‘Attâr, St. John of the Cross, and Rûmî. Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee describes the stages of prayer: how prayer is first born of need, but then takes one deep within the heart, into the stages of union and ecstasy. Through mystical prayer, one is drawn into the silence of real communion with God. Here, in the silence within the heart, a meeting and merging takes place that carries one beyond the self into the mystery of divine presence. This exploration delves into the secret of how to pray without ceasing, in which prayer becomes alive within the heart, and includes a chapter on the need to pray for the well-being of the Earth. It brings together the Christian and Sufi mystical traditions and will benefit any practitioner of prayer who is drawn to discover a relationship with God within their heart.

Editorial Reviews


"Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee . . . brings together the Christian and Sufi inner paths of devotion in a beautiful, compelling way. Combining his own deep personal experience with writings ranging from St. Teresa of Avila to Mevlana Rûmî and Abdul Qadir Jilani, Llewellyn has produced something unique: not an academic treatise, but a poetic book on prayer meaningful to the everyday lives of seekers in both traditions, a prayer of the heart in its own right."  —Neil Douglas-Klotz, author, Prayers of the Cosmos and The Sufi Book of Life

"Like his spiritual sister, Teresa of Avila, Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee sees prayer not as something we do, but rather a gift the Beloved has hidden within the innermost chamber of our hearts. Our whole life is an answer to the call to discover that treasure, to become prayer. With an extraordinary blend of passion and dignity, Llewellyn guides us deep into the blazing quiet of our own being, where prayer becomes the magic carpet that carries us to union with object of our most profound longing—a union that results in the melting of lover into Beloved, so that only love remains. This, Llewellyn teaches us, is our sacred birthright."  —Mirabai Starr, author and translator, Dark Night of the Soul by St. John of the Cross, The Interior Castle, and The Book of My Life by St. Teresa of Avila

"This is a precious little book . . . one of those rare works that emerge from the heart and leads us into unified consciousness. Its gentle and poetic words . . . reminding me to return home." —Edward W. Bastian, PhD, President, Spiritual Paths Foundation

"An excellent book. . . . As we recover more and more of the ancient contemplative traditions, we are finding immense similarities in goal, practice, and effects. . . . Vaughan-Lee makes this sacred journey both clear and inviting." —Fr. Richard Rohr, author and Franciscan Priest, Center for Action and Contemplation

"This exquisitely beautiful book opens us up tenderly to the astonishing mysteries of the human heart.We experience a 'Glow of Presence.' We feel loved, blessed and kissed by Spirit." —Imam Jamal Rahman, cofounder of Interfaith Community Church in Seattle, and author, The Fragrance of Faith

"Seamlessly moves between the Christian and Sufi mystics and bears witness to the divine love that permeates the mystical dimensions of the world's great religions. . . . A little gem that will be savored and treasured by all who are drawn along the path of love." —James Finley, PhD, Merton scholar and author, Christian Meditation, The Contemplative Heart, and Merton's Palace of Nowhere

"The author . . . parallels the prayer practices of Sufi and Christian mysticism with ease. . . . Vaughan-Lee's prayerful prose is poetic, inclusive, and intelligent." —Publishers Weekly (April 9, 2012)

"Draws together the Christian and Sufi traditions of mystical prayer. . . . Vaughan-Lee's clearly written little guide will be gratifying and absorbing for those interested in mysticism and alternate routes toward the love of God." —Library Journal (May 2012)

About the Author

Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee is a Sufi teacher who has lectured extensively throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe, and is the author of more than 15 books, including Alchemy of Light, Return of the Feminine and the World Soul, and Spiritual Power. He lives in Inverness, California.

Product Details

  • File Size: 166 KB
  • Print Length: 129 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1890350354
  • Publisher: The Golden Sufi Center (May 1, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0087GZJPA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #110,792 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sufi Addition to the Prayer of the Heart May 1, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This little book says that it brings together the Christian and the Sufi traditions of the Prayer of the Heart. This is a mammuth task for a small book like this! I would rather call it an introduction to the similarities in the Christian Prayer of the Heart and the Sufi Zikr, with the accent on telling what the Sufi Zikr is at best.

There is no real difference in these two practises. All practise is based on repetition (which helps to make us perfect), and indeed these two forms of praying are very repetitive. Both have as their aim to be able to stand in the presence of God, and unite with Him through the heart.

That the Naqsbandi silent Zikr is closest to the Christian Prayer of the Heart (at its highest level) is an excellent observation by Llewellyn, who writes from his own experience.

I found one particular paragraph very beautiful and relating to my own experience:

"When love reveals its real nature we come to know that there is neither lover nor Beloved. There is no one to pray and no one to pray to. We do not even know that we are lost; we return from these states of merging knowing only that we gave our self and were taken. Our gift of our self was accepted so completely that we knew nothing of the encounter. We looked towards our Beloved and were taken into love's arms, embraced in oneness, dissolved in nearness. For so many years we had cried and called out, and when the Beloved finally came the meeting was so intimate there was nothing left of us to witness it."

Fully recommended as an angle on the Prayer of the Heart!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful meditation. August 16, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
What a gem this small book is, detailing the similar ways these two faiths approach prayer, as well as how to find the divine within you and all around you. My copy is filled with underlined parts on virtually every page. Sample: "In every moment, in every event of your life, the Beloved is whispering to you exactly what you need to hear and know." It is one of those rare spiritual books I will consult in the future again and again. Highly recommended. ~Tom Rapsas, author of Life Tweets: Inspirational & Spiritual Insights That Can Change Your Life.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book May 26, 2012
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If one wants to read a book that holds great wisdom and is timely for all paths of belief..this is it!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely July 9, 2012
This book is lovely and gentle and quiet. I'm glad I have it. It helps my mind come to terms with all the different paths I've least two of them.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Mystic's Reflection April 5, 2013
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For the heart that seeks to be welcomed into stillness...hear love's call and say 'yes, I am here and enter!'
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love everything he writes June 10, 2013
By pgclark
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I am a big fan of this man. His writing is the reality of truth wrapped in the sweetness of love. I would recommend any and all of his writings if love is what you seek.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding! October 15, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It spoke to me like no book has in a very long time. I absolutely loved it and I'm on my fourth reading...very deeply.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for the layman and the academic January 30, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I just finished this book as part of my research for my Master's thesis. It is amazingly beautiful in its simplicity of relaying the deeply intimate and inspirational relationship of prayer to mystic union with Spirit (or what ever you call God). I highly recommend Prayer of the Heart. It is a quick read yet I have underlined much of the text and marked up all the margins. It has footnotes for those who wish to research further and it combines mystics from both Christianity and Islam as well as the author's own experience to allow readers of both faiths to relate to the teachings about going within in prayer to find God.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Mystical Prayer of the Heart.
Heart-felt teachings which show how the Prayer of the Heart is common to Christian mysticism and Sufism. Very worthwhile.
Published 3 months ago by Gary Reiner
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
well-written and interesting book
Published 4 months ago by Patty
4.0 out of 5 stars I bump into those like Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee who recommend trying to...
I see the ego relinquishing its protective role by joining not opposing the soul: the passion of of the soul is creation and communication according to its design for a person. Read more
Published 10 months ago by James R C Baker
1.0 out of 5 stars Nobody seems to understand the pray of the heart.
The words one uses in the beginning are not the prayer. They are a means to preparer the mind for the prayer. The pray is when we "wait on the lord. Read more
Published 17 months ago by N. Murphy
3.0 out of 5 stars Left My Heart Longing
I was looking for more indepth guidance about prayer. A lot of what is in this book I had read in one of his other books. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Ayana Sloan
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written account of the purity of this prayer.
Vaughan-Lee explains this truly unexplainable place within the heart that prays unceasingly. A contemplative heart calls this "home. Read more
Published 23 months ago by yellowcellogal
4.0 out of 5 stars A very inspiring book!
The author takes you to where the two seas meet (Sufi and Christian Mysticism). The place where true Love, Peace, and Happiness can be found.
Published on April 19, 2013 by Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars Too weird to read
St. John of the Cross, St. Teresa of Avila, now those are mystics and you should read their books to compare the many truths as you see them. Read more
Published on December 6, 2012 by John Cedric Boyer III
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful trezAtment of a joyful subject.
Prof. Vaughn-Lee KNOWS what he is writing about in this beautiful brief treatise. He unites Sufi and Theresan mystical experience in a saliently fine effort at deep appreciation of... Read more
Published on December 1, 2012 by W. Harrington
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More About the Author

Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, Ph.D., is a Sufi Teacher in the Naqshbandiyya-Mujadidiyya Sufi Order. Born in London in 1953, he has followed the Naqshbandi Sufi path since he was 19. In 1991 he moved to Northern California and became the successor of Irina Tweedie, author of "Chasm of Fire" and "Daughter of Fire." In recent years the focus of his writing and teaching has been on the subject of Spiritual Ecology -- a spiritual response to our present ecological crisis. Author of several books, Llewellyn lectures in the United States and Europe. He has also been interviewed by Oprah Winfrey on Super Soul Sunday, and featured on the PBS Global Spirit series. For further information, please see:,, and

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