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Word into Silence: A Manual for Christian Meditation

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Spend the next 20 minutes reading a book, something that teaches you new things or enriches your mind with practical knowledge.

Word into Silence is John Main’s classic book on how to practise contemplative prayer, or Christian meditation. It offers a practical twelve-step programme that teaches how to be at peace with ourselves. Stepping aside from the busyness of our daily lives and being still in the presence of God, John Main says, is the key to discovering our true selves and knowing God as 'the ground of our being'. Such is, so deep, the egoistic darkness. It wants to cause Liberation. It wants to cause Godliness.

Then you claim ownership, and therefore it’s Ego. The ego loves the cause and effect paradigm. The ego says, “The effort is preceded by a cause, so if I can cause something to happen, I will get the desired result.” La meditación es la oración de fe, porque primero debemos dejar de lado nuestro ego para que el Otro aparezca, sin saber a ciencia cierta si verdaderamente aparecerá”. It feels that it can remain, continue to remain, in its own lowly dimension, and yet through its actions and cleverness, and manipulations, obtain something of the beyond. That’s the false hope of the ego. But the ego does not see it as false.

Remember, all the thoughts are from and for That. That which is — liberation. And that is liberation. Obviously, if the subject is gone, who can call the object, an object. So, the object of love is a non-object. Those who have come before us, have called that object as — Truth, God, Beloved, Amma-Baba, Father, Maa. As with anything, the practice of this, and especially the discipline of consistency in meditation is much more difficult than it seems. The book, while being clear and simple, recognizes this and encourages readers to persevere. The benefits, clarity and insights gained make it worthwhile.

Acharya Prashant: Only sometimes do you use the word ‘liberation’. At other times, you use a lot of other words for liberation. So the mistake is mostly, semantic. You just need to expand your vocabulary and remember that every word in the dictionary, is a synonym of liberation. In attention, you are targeting something bombastic. Boom! So, you better be big. And why will you target something so big, and therefore so very distant?

John Main OSB became a Benedictine monk after serving as a diplomat in the Far East and lecturing in international law. Father John founded the Benedictine Priory of Montreal, which became the centre of a worldwide meditation movement and inspiration for numerous meditation groups today. His books include The Heart of Creation, Moment of Christ, Word Into Silence and Word Made Flesh.What follows is a 12 step programme for meditation. The essential mantra offered is "Maranatha" which is ancient Aramaic for "Come, Lord". The radical simplicity of this mantra is offered as the focal point for your concentration, allowing worldly distractions and illusions to melt away and, rather than pray ourselves, understand that it is the Holy Spirit praying within us that grants us our enlightenment as communion with the Lord.

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