• Into the Silent Land

  • A Guide to the Christian Practice of Contemplation
  • By: Martin Laird
  • Narrated by: Erin Bennett
  • Length: 5 hrs and 1 min
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (188 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Sitting in stillness, the practice of meditation, and the cultivation of awareness are commonly thought to be the preserves of Hindus and Buddhists. Martin Laird shows that the Christian tradition of contemplation has its own refined teachings on using a prayer word to focus the mind, working with the breath to cultivate stillness, and the practice of inner vigilance or awareness.

But this book is not a mere historical survey of these teachings. In Into the Silent Land, we see the ancient wisdom of both the Christian East and West brought sharply to bear on the modern-day longing for radical openness to God in the depths of the heart. Laird's book is not like the many presentations for beginners. While useful for those just starting out, this book serves especially as a guide for those who desire to journey yet deeper into the silence of God.

The heart of the book focuses on negotiating key moments of struggle on the contemplative path, when the whirlwind of distractions or the brick wall of boredom makes it difficult to continue. Laird shows that these inner struggles, even wounds, that any person of prayer must face, are like riddles, trying to draw out of us our own inner silence.

Ultimately Laird shows how the wounds we loathe become vehicles of the healing silence we seek, beyond technique and achievement. Throughout, the language is fresh, direct, and focused on real-life examples of people whose lives are incomparably enriched by the practice of contemplation.

©2006 Martin Laird, O.S.A (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

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What listeners say about Into the Silent Land

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A top-five selection

_Into the Silent Land_ is in my top five most influential books on the spiritual journey. I have read it—and now listened to it, too—multiple times over the years. It registers more deeply with me each time.

5 people found this helpful

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Fantastic guide to Contemplation

The book itself is deep, wise and inspiring. I learned a great deal about contemplation and myself from listening.
I wasn't crazy about the narrator although she read the book clearly and with good inflection.
Overall well worth the investment of time and I will listen over and over.

3 people found this helpful

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Difficult to absorb

Deep & simple. Best savored in small bites. A Christian intro to meditation as prayer.

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Great

This is the second time I have listened to this book. It was as good as the first time. The reader was excellent. Would love to hear more books read by her.

2 people found this helpful

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Deep thoughts

I am not familiar with Contemplative practice. This book has stretched me. I certainly plan to listen/read again and gain more insight into silence and contemplative prayer.

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Extraordinary wisdom, beautifully read

This is incredibly accessible, full of helpful images and practical guidance. A must read for any Christian wanting to explore contemplative practice.

1 person found this helpful

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A Masterpiece of Spiritual Insight!

Wise, deep, insightful, this slim volume gives the best overview of Christian contemplation (or meditation) I have yet come upon. Despite its slender size it manages to be both comprehensive and profound, combining a surprisingly thorough overview of the history of Christian contemplation with an in-depth description of its practical application — including a truly brilliant account of how to embrace the many hurdles encountered along this path in a way that leads to further growth.

Read it and give it a try. It will open a whole new world.

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Excellent book on Contemplation!

Would you consider the audio edition of Into the Silent Land to be better than the print version?

I read this book and I listened to it. Both versions are excellent.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Martin Laird understands that everyone - no exception - can contemplate.

Which scene was your favorite?

I love the authors humor! It's not a dry book with instructions on how to meditate but it has examples from life.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No, I wouldn't want to listen to the book all in one sitting because I wanted to digest some of the information I have heared.

Any additional comments?

Highly recommend it to anyone who is seriously thinking to embark on contemplation in the Christian spirit.

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Heavy breath intake on recording is a distraction

Irony that the heavy breathing of the reader takes away from the silence & stillness of the text.

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Simply the Best!!

This is simply the best modern exposition of contemplative prayer!!! It is my favorite book of 2020. It is at once a very practical how-to and a clear description of what to expect along the mystical path. Thank you to Brother Martin for writing it and to Audible for making the audiobook available. I would hope to see his other books in the trilogy on audio.