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Synopsis

This book is an introduction to prayer, drawing on Eastern and Western traditions.

Translated from the original Japanese into Dutch, French, German, Italian, Korean, and Spanish, Awakening to Prayer has already become a modern spiritual classic. In this simple yet profound book, Japanese Carmelite Augustine Ichiro Okumura explores the fundamental nature and root of prayer, the human and divine reality that underlies all praying. Drawing on the images, stories, and insights of Eastern and Western spiritual traditions, the author considers prayer as conversation, as listening, as resting in the divine. In a long chapter on the "anthropology of prayer," he discusses the relationship between prayer times and other daily activities, the need for both repeated ritual and silence, the problem of distractions and deviations in prayer. The book culminates in a moving reflection on Christ's prayer and what it means to pray authentically as a Christian.
     Born into a Buddhist family in Japan in 1923, theologian Augustine Ichiro Okumura entered the Catholic Church in 1948, and was later ordained to the priesthood within the Order of Discalced Carmelites in 1957. A prolific author, he has served as a consultor for the Pontifical Council or Inter-Religious Dialogue, and is a leader in the Zen-Christian dialogue in Japan. This is his first book to appear in English.

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