Regina Sara Ryan is a former Catholic nun and a 20-year devotee of spiritual teacher Lee Lozowick. The author of The Woman Awake: Feminine Wisdom for Spiritual Life defines prayer as "the orientation of the human heart, body, emotions and mind toward communication and communion with God." And the prayer that interests her most is transformational prayer, which is at once mystical and dangerous since it involves the death of the ego. Rumi, Kabir, and Rabi'a of Basra all demonstrated this deep yearning for the Holy One in their lives, devotions, and poetry.
Ryan writes cogently about the best times for prayer and the importance of intention. She shares the following: "I have a thin red fabric from India that I drape around my neck as a scarf when I take a long-distance flight. Nobody needs to know that this scarf is sometimes a covering for my altar at home, but I can't forget that it is soaked with years of prayer."
Ryan's chapters provide a rounded intensive on the devotional path with material on the inner life, working with the mind, the body in prayer, invisible prayer, and writing our prayers. Although the author sees herself as still "a kneeler in training," she has great respect for practitioners of dangerous prayer including G. I. Gurdjieff, Simone Weil, and Daniel and Philip Berrigan. Ryan also has some healing and helpful comments on chanting, openness, sex, and the spiritual practice of gratitude.