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"Jean-Yves Leloup explores the writings of many spiritual masters from across the centuries, in particular the Desert Fathers, the fourth-century monk Evagrius, St. John Cassian, and the anonymous nineteenth-century author of The Way of the Pilgrim." "Drawn from the experience of the monasteries of Sinai and Mount Athos, here is a clear and practical presentation of the spiritual art of arts: stillness in the face of interior pain and confusion." "These spiritual riches, refined and developed by the Orthodox tradition in Christianity, can also be recognized in the teaching and practice of Buddhism, Hinduism and Islamic Sufism. The fundamental truth of one tradition is to be found under its own proper forms and nuances in others. Far from diminishing the unique value of this hesychastic way of prayer, the most developed spiritual traditions of humanity affirm it as one of the great forms through which humanity reaches out to embrace Infinite Reality."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved
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If you feel bombarded by emails, phone calls, text messages and the daily stress that comes with them, there could be a solution for you. Some people have found relief in perfect silence. Host Michel Martin learns more about the popularity of silent retreats.

Chanting the psalms, or psalmody, is an ancient practice of vital importance in the Christian spiritual tradition. Today many think of it as a discipline that belongs only in monasteries--but psalmody is a spiritual treasure that is available to anyone who prays. You don't need to be musical or a monk to do it, and it can be enjoyed in church liturgical worship, in groups, or even individually as part of a personal rule of prayer. Cynthia Bourgeault brings the practice into the twenty-first century, providing a history of Christian psalmody as well as an appreciation of its place in contemplative practice today. And she teaches you how to do it as you chant along with her on the accompanying CD in which she demonstrates the basic techniques and easy melodies that anyone can learn. "Even if you can't read music," Cynthia says, "or if somewhere along the way you've absorbed the message that your voice is no good or you can't sing on pitch, I'll still hope to show you that chanting the psalms is accessible to nearly everyone."

This essay seeks to explore contemplation as it features in Christian theology and philosophy, both ancient and modern. Contemplation, in ancient philosophy, is transformed in Christian theology; nonetheless, it has the structure of what Jean Wahl calls ‘transascendance’, a rising to the heights. Although contemplation remains as a theme in modern Christian theology, it drops out in modern philosophy: that is, post-Renaissance philosophy. And yet it returns, both in analytic and continental philosophy, in the twentieth century. It returns, however, in the mode of ‘transdescendance’: by way of conditions of possibility, and fundamental orientations.

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