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Prayer of the Heart in Christian and Sufi Mysticism

Overview

Guiding the reader through the stages of mystical prayer—a way to create a living relationship with the Divine within the heart—this book draws upon Christian and Sufi sources such as St. Teresa of Avila, ‘Attâr, St. John of the Cross, and Rûmî. Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee describes the stages of prayer: how prayer is first born of need, but then takes one deep within the heart, into the stages of union and ecstasy. Through mystical prayer, one is drawn into the silence of real communion with God. Here, in the silence ...

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Prayer of the Heart in Christian and Sufi Mysticism

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Overview

Guiding the reader through the stages of mystical prayer—a way to create a living relationship with the Divine within the heart—this book draws upon Christian and Sufi sources such as St. Teresa of Avila, ‘Attâr, St. John of the Cross, and Rûmî. Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee describes the stages of prayer: how prayer is first born of need, but then takes one deep within the heart, into the stages of union and ecstasy. Through mystical prayer, one is drawn into the silence of real communion with God. Here, in the silence within the heart, a meeting and merging takes place that carries one beyond the self into the mystery of divine presence. This exploration delves into the secret of how to pray without ceasing, in which prayer becomes alive within the heart, and includes a chapter on the need to pray for the well-being of the Earth. It brings together the Christian and Sufi mystical traditions and will benefit any practitioner of prayer who is drawn to discover a relationship with God within their heart.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Vaughan-Lee (Love Is a Fire) complements intensity with brevity, which allows him to ignite passion, but keep it bounded. The author, a Sufi teacher, parallels the prayer practices of Sufi and Christian mysticism with ease, for both faiths encourage praying without ceasing. These prayers of the heart come “through grace and not through effort.” Vaughan-Lee begins with the spiritual need for listening in quietude to shush the loud duality of mind and ego so as to achieve oneness with God. He bases his thinking on his experience as a teacher of Islamic mysticism and matches his life’s vocation with that of St. Theresa of Avila, whose stages of prayer he reviews in one chapter. In the next, he compares the Jesus Prayer with the practice of Sufi dhikr, repetitive prayer, especially of God’s name. He quotes Rumi, Sa’id al-Kharraz, Gerard Manley Hopkins, and St. Paul, among others, as easily as if they are family. He defines the circle of love—from God, to God—and dedicates a chapter to prayer for the earth as a sacred being. Vaughan-Lee’s prayerful prose is poetic, inclusive, and intelligent. (May 1)
From the Publisher
"Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee . . . brings together the Christian and Sufi inner paths of devotion in a beautiful, compelling way. Combining his own deep personal experience with writings ranging from St. Teresa of Avila to Mevlana Rûmî and Abdul Qadir Jilani, Llewellyn has produced something unique: not an academic treatise, but a poetic book on prayer meaningful to the everyday lives of seekers in both traditions, a prayer of the heart in its own right."  —Neil Douglas-Klotz, author, Prayers of the Cosmos and The Sufi Book of Life

"Like his spiritual sister, Teresa of Avila, Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee sees prayer not as something we do, but rather a gift the Beloved has hidden within the innermost chamber of our hearts. Our whole life is an answer to the call to discover that treasure, to become prayer. With an extraordinary blend of passion and dignity, Llewellyn guides us deep into the blazing quiet of our own being, where prayer becomes the magic carpet that carries us to union with object of our most profound longing—a union that results in the melting of lover into Beloved, so that only love remains. This, Llewellyn teaches us, is our sacred birthright."  —Mirabai Starr, author and translator, Dark Night of the Soul by St. John of the Cross, The Interior Castle, and The Book of My Life by St. Teresa of Avila

"This is a precious little book . . . one of those rare works that emerge from the heart and leads us into unified consciousness. Its gentle and poetic words . . . reminding me to return home." —Edward W. Bastian, PhD, President, Spiritual Paths Foundation

"An excellent book. . . . As we recover more and more of the ancient contemplative traditions, we are finding immense similarities in goal, practice, and effects. . . . Vaughan-Lee makes this sacred journey both clear and inviting." —Fr. Richard Rohr, author and Franciscan Priest, Center for Action and Contemplation

"This exquisitely beautiful book opens us up tenderly to the astonishing mysteries of the human heart.We experience a 'Glow of Presence.' We feel loved, blessed and kissed by Spirit." —Imam Jamal Rahman, cofounder of Interfaith Community Church in Seattle, and author, The Fragrance of Faith

"Seamlessly moves between the Christian and Sufi mystics and bears witness to the divine love that permeates the mystical dimensions of the world's great religions. . . . A little gem that will be savored and treasured by all who are drawn along the path of love." —James Finley, PhD, Merton scholar and author, Christian Meditation, The Contemplative Heart, and Merton's Palace of Nowhere

"The author . . . parallels the prayer practices of Sufi and Christian mysticism with ease. . . . Vaughan-Lee's prayerful prose is poetic, inclusive, and intelligent." —Publishers Weekly (April 9, 2012)

"Draws together the Christian and Sufi traditions of mystical prayer. . . . Vaughan-Lee's clearly written little guide will be gratifying and absorbing for those interested in mysticism and alternate routes toward the love of God." —Library Journal (May 2012)

Library Journal
The Sufi is a figure often invoked and spoken of in religious circles but too rarely encountered. This brief volume from Sufi teacher Vaughan-Lee draws together the Christian and Sufi traditions of mystical prayer, using examples and insights from Teresa of Avila, Rumi, and John of the Cross, among others, to guide the willing reader toward the mystical apperception of the divine presence. VERDICT Vaughan-Lee's clearly written little guide will be gratifying and absorbing for those interested in mysticism and alternate routes toward the love of God.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781890350352
  • Publisher: The Golden Sufi Center
  • Publication date: 5/1/2012
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 629,904
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.20 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee is a Sufi teacher who has lectured extensively throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe, and is the author of more than 15 books, including Alchemy of Light, Return of the Feminine and the World Soul, and Spiritual Power. He lives in Inverness, California.

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