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Prayer of Heart and Body: Meditation and Yoga as Christian Spiritual Practice Paperback – September 1, 2001
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In the chapter, Notions Strange to Christian Ears, the author clarifies concepts connected with yoga and compares them to Christian beliefs in a very insightful way that I found immensely helpful. He explores the concepts of reincarnation, kundalini energy, chakras and astral bodies and contrasts them with Christian convictions about death and resurrection, and the goal of meditation-prayer for Christians: communion and even union with God.
Some Christians are afraid of Yoga, or condemnatory. I have always felt a l ittle unsettled because I did not understand how yoga and Christianity interfaced. I have a lot more to read in this wonderful book and am finding it perfect for my search.
Ryan also offers insights that I find immensely helpful in my own spiritual practice: like cues during the day that can call me to take an idle moment and focus it in some deep prayerful breathing, times of tension or discouragement or tiredness or boredom that can be my moment to breath the Breath of Life again.
I have only read two chapters of this exceptional book and am stopping writing to go back to the delight of reading it. I invite you to give yourself a gift!
1) Christians who are just beginning (or thinking about beginning) a yoga practice; especially if they have ever worried that practicing yoga was somehow practicing Hinduism.
2) Yoga practitioners who either don't take time for meditation, or who have trouble focusing during meditation
3) People who are looking to enhance their prayer life.
Ryan does a great job of addressing the concerns that many in the Christian Church feel towards Yoga and other Eastern spiritual practices in addition to giving detailed guidelines for using meditation as a part of your prayer life. His writing is intelligent and direct- there is no "Christian-ease." Rather than spouting his own opinions about meditation, he quotes heavily from the teachings of Thomas Merton and John of the Cross, among others. Definitely worth reading.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It seems that many Christians don't see value in silent meditation. We can see that with the increase in worship services that are praise oriented with constant preaching and... Read morePublished on February 28, 2010 by Gloria
Well-written and informative guide to the history and practice of Christian meditation, including yoga postures with illustrations. Read morePublished on February 12, 2009 by Kate
I am new to Christianity (I was baptized a little over a year ago) and wasn't sure how to incorporate yoga and meditation into my prayer life. This book was very helpful. Read morePublished on April 19, 2008 by Midnight Tarot
I'm not sure what Thomas Ryan, in Prayer of Heart and Body, is saying about whether the Cross and Resurrection of Jesus Christ are necessary for our salvation. Read morePublished on January 9, 2007 by C. Norman