Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Into the Silent Land: A Guide to the Christian Practice of Contemplation Hardcover – July 1, 2006
Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
"This is a beautifully written book. The language is profound, poetic, and free of worn cliches. It has obviously grown out of a life of study, erudition, and personal prayer." --Worship
"Into the Silent Land by Martin Laird is a wonderful introduction to the subject of contemplation. It has a vitality and relevance that are gripping. Contemplative books are often dry, but I found this a page-turner." --Church Times
"In a world hungering for practical spiritual direction on how to manage distractions, moods, bodily posture, breathing, suffering, illness, addiction, and dying, Laird's book stands out as a treasure to share with anyone who is seeking greater wisdom and peace. He provides us with an eminently accessible doorway into the land of God's loving silence." --Horizons
"Larid'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
"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 clichés, 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
"This is a beautifully written book. The language is profound, poetic, and free of worn clichés. It has obviously grown out of a life of study, erudition and personal prayer."--Worship
"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
"With wisdom born of a life of prayer and study, Martin Laird invites us out of distraction and into the silent land where God is waiting. Taking the realities of affliction, fear and failure seriously, Laird offers an approach to contemplative life that is within reach of us all." --Stephanie Paulsell, author of Honoring the Body: Meditations on a Christian Practice
"Martin Laird's book is a compelling introduction to contemplative prayer. He draws on insights from the Eastern Orthodox tradition of the Jesus Prayer, from the Western Carmelite tradition, from poets and novelists and from his own experience as retreat director and confessor. In the silent land, our wounds become radiant sources of compassion."--Andrew Louth, author of The Origins of the Christian Mystical Tradition: From Plato to Denys
"Into the Silent Land reflects a happy combination of wide learning, authentic spiritual experience, and clear jargon-free prose. This work should be of inestimable value for anyone interested in the Christian contemplative tradition of prayer."--Lawrence S. Cunningham, author of Thomas Merton and the Monastic Vision
About the Author
Martin Laird, O.S.A., is Associate Professor in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at Villanova University. He has studied patristics in Rome, London, and Oxford, and has extensive training in contemplative disciplines and gives retreats throughout the United States and Great Britain. He is the translator or author of a host of books and articles, including Gregory of Nyssa and the Grasp of Faith: Union, Knowledge and Divine Presence (OUP, 2004).
If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle edition for only $2.99 (Save 70%). Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.
For thousands of qualifying books, your past, present, and future print-edition purchases now lets you buy the Kindle edition for $2.99 or less. (Textbooks available for $9.99 or less.)
Top Customer Reviews
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 lectio divina, or the quest for personal or collective holiness. Nor is this a manual on meditation in its classical Christian sense -- e.g., meditation as reflection on the spiritual life, such as found in the writings of Ignatius of Loyola. And while there are some superficial similarities (particularly in the emphasis on the "prayer word"), this is not about centering prayer or John Main's approach to Christian meditation. Laird anchors his approach to contemplation in the desert and eastern traditions, quoting authors such as Evagrius, John Climacus, Theophan the Recluse, Hesychios, and Gregory of Sinai. But he doesn't ignore the west: John of the Cross, Augustine, Meister Eckhart and John Ruysbroeck are frequently cited as well. If you're the kind of reader who pays attention to footnotes, you'll probably come away, as I did, with the sense that this is a book thoroughly grounded in the tradition of Christian spirituality.
Laird discusses the Jesus Prayer and the scripture-based prayer of John Cassian, but he clearly prefers -- and thus, writes about -- monologistic prayer: the prayer of gentle, unforced awareness, anchored in a synchronized attention to one's breath while repeating a single prayer word. This, of course, is the approach to contemplation advocated by one of the towering giants of mystical literature, "The Cloud of Unknowing.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A Simple Path toward Contemplative Prayer
This work 'Into the Silent Land' by Martin Laird serves as a 'vade mecum' in assisting the aspirant to contemplation in... Read more
This small book is a rare and excellent introduction into meditation or contemplative prayer for Christians. Contemplation offers a different way for Christians to experience God. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Northern Writer JEG
A beautiful book that really influenced my thoughts on God and connecting with him. It isn't hippy dippy or new age. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Jenniferwritesreviews
When you turn your attention from the object of your awareness to the awareness itself, there is just silent, vast, openness that has never been wounded, harmed, angry, frightened,... Read morePublished 2 months ago by John L. Davis
Over nearly 50 years of pastoral ministry I have been in search, quest of simple , sound, solid work on prayer. Read morePublished 4 months ago by James T. Olsen
Very helpful for my prayer life. I bought copies for friends to help in their preyer life. I have read over a few times.Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
Stimulating and thought provoking. Recommend it to anyone seeking a deeper relationship with the Christ and His Father.Published 5 months ago by Arthur Pratt
A beautiful and very readable guide to contemplation in terms of both why and how, in a manner that allows anyone to feel that they can practice contemplative prayer as well as... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Ryn Bish