This paperback is a previously unpublished work by John Main (1926-1983), a Benedictine monk who was a pioneer in spreading the practice of contemplative prayer developed by the Desert Fathers. In the introduction, editor Laurence Freeman, the founder and spiritual guide of the World Community for Christian Meditation, states that this priest was not interested in altered states of consciousness but in "a process of radical transformation of life."
In a crucial passage Main writes:
"Meditation is learning to be sensitive to and aware of his (Jesus Christ's) presence within us. It is this presence that teaches us that each of us is made a real person by the power of his love. If we can make contact with those depths within us we discover that we are not just autonomous, isolated persons. Each of us, in this mystery of Christ dwelling in our hearts, is called to love and to be loved beyond all division."
Main also sees Christian meditation as a key unlocking the doors which imprison us in addiction, slavery, and all limitations. Faith is translated limitless freedom and "we soar beyond ourselves into the mystery." But make no mistake, this teacher is very clear about the importance of doing Christian meditation. (See the spiritual practice on devotion below for specific instructions.) The art here is to become absorbed into the oneness of divine reality.