Monday, June 30, 2014

Praying mantrams

Wanted to share some excellent prayer and meditation resources. Eknath Easawaran wrote a number of books on using "mantrams" (prayers or passages)  from spiritual writers in many religious traditions, and using these in your devotions.

Been reading "Strength in the Storm", Easawaran's book on transforming stress and learning to live in balance. He includes a wonderful Gaelic prayer  called, "I Weave a Silence" (pg. 58) which I presume is from the Carmina Gadelica, that wonderful collection of prayers and songs from the Outer Hebrides.

"I waeve a silence onto my lips
I wave a silence unto my mind.
I weave a silence within my hear.
I close my ears to distractions.
I close my eyes to attractions.
I close my heart to temptations.
Calm me, I Lord, as you stilled the storm.
Stil me, O Lord; keep my from hard.
Let all tumult within me cease.
Enfole me, Lord, in your peace"

You'd be hard pressed to find a better mantram to pray and meditate on than that!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Esther de Waal: An Introduction to Celtic Christianity

I've been thumbing through some of my favorite books on Celtic Christianity and found "God Under My Roof" by the English scholar Esther de Waal. I started reading it again, and was again impressed with the Celtic vision that is presented in this small, but impressionable book. I thought to myself, "this is great stuff!".

Esther de Waal is a prolific writer on both Celtic and Benedictine spirituality. She has written two pivotal books on Celtic Christianity, "The Celtic Way of Prayer" and "The Celtic Vision". Many of de Waal's themes arise from the "Carmina Gadelica", that great collection of prayers and religious poetry from an area in western Scotland called the Hebrides.

Reading the prayers from the "Carmina Gadelica" will both challenge and change your understanding of prayer. Barriers such as the eternal and now will melt away. Prayer is meant to be of the moment, in at all times and places-not just in church building or on Sundays. Put another way, the hell with formality, prayer has to do with the moment and what is going on in the here and now!

Esther de Waal is a distinguished writer whose books have had a significance influence on the public at large and they are definitely worth reading. Recently, Ms. de Waal gave a lecture at St. Paul's Cathedral on Celtic Christianity which I found on I found a Youtube and I am linking here.