Robin of Metanoia and I have started a blog dialogue about Into the Silent Land (see the first posts here and here), which turns out not to be the only book that's on both our reading lists.
I'm reading about silence in a sustained way this summer - partly to prepare for a course that I might (or might not) teach in the fall of 2011. So for what it's worth, here is what I'm reading - silently. If you have other suggestions for me, I 'd love to hear them...or if you're reading some of these, let me know what you think.
- Into the Silent Land by Martin Laird, OSA. Reflections on the contemplative Christian life.
- A Book of Silence by Sara Maitland. Travels to literally silent lands (the Sinai, a hermitage on a remote island). Read the NY Times review.
- Virgin Time: In Search of the Contemplative Life by Patricia Hampl. Another travelogue, this one goes on pilgrimage to trace the steps of saints Francis and Clare and to a monastery in California.
- In Pursuit of Silence: Listening for Meaning in a World of Noise by George Prochnik. A look at the sonic landscape from many perspectives, including the scientific.
- Being Still by Jean-Yves Leloup. An Orthodox theologian looks at the early roots of the contemplative Christian tradition. The opening stories of a young monk's training on Mount Athos which set the stage for the rest of the book are marvelous reflections in themselves.
- Earthen Vessels by Gabriel Bunge OSB. A Benedictine hermit reflects on the contemplative life, richly interwoven with bits from the desert fathers. Its subtitle — The Practice of Personal Prayer According to the Patristic Traditions — says it all.
- The Power of Pause by Terry Hershey. Practical suggestions for just stopping. Less academic and more advice driven.
The photo is of my reading spot of choice - in my freshly weeded back yard.