Author/Artist: Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee
Publisher: The Golden Sufi Center
First published: 2012
"Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee . . . brings together the Christian and Sufi inner paths of devotion in a beautiful, compelling way. Combining his own deep personal experience with writings ranging from St. Teresa of Avila to Mevlana Rûmî and Abdul Qadir Jilani, Llewellyn has produced something unique: not an academic treatise, but a poetic book on prayer meaningful to the everyday lives of seekers in both traditions, a prayer of the heart in its own right." —Neil Douglas-Klotz, author, Prayers of the Cosmos and The Sufi Book of Life
"Like his spiritual sister, Teresa of Avila, Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee sees prayer not as something we do, but rather a gift the Beloved has hidden within the innermost chamber of our hearts. Our whole life is an answer to the call to discover that treasure, to become prayer. With an extraordinary blend of passion and dignity, Llewellyn guides us deep into the blazing quiet of our own being, where prayer becomes the magic carpet that carries us to union with object of our most profound longing—a union that results in the melting of lover into Beloved, so that only love remains. This, Llewellyn teaches us, is our sacred birthright." —Mirabai Starr, author and translator, Dark Night of the Soul by St. John of the Cross, The Interior Castle, and The Book of My Life by St. Teresa of Avila
"This is a precious little book . . . one of those rare works that emerge from the heart and leads us into unified consciousness. Its gentle and poetic words . . . reminding me to return home." —Edward W. Bastian, PhD, President, Spiritual Paths Foundation
"An excellent book. . . . As we recover more and more of the ancient contemplative traditions, we are finding immense similarities in goal, practice, and effects. . . . Vaughan-Lee makes this sacred journey both clear and inviting." —Fr. Richard Rohr, author and Franciscan Priest, Center for Action and Contemplation
"This exquisitely beautiful book opens us up tenderly to the astonishing mysteries of the human heart.We experience a 'Glow of Presence.' We feel loved, blessed and kissed by Spirit." —Imam Jamal Rahman, cofounder of Interfaith Community Church in Seattle, and author, The Fragrance of Faith
"Seamlessly moves between the Christian and Sufi mystics and bears witness to the divine love that permeates the mystical dimensions of the world's great religions. . . . A little gem that will be savored and treasured by all who are drawn along the path of love." —James Finley, PhD, Merton scholar and author, Christian Meditation, The Contemplative Heart, and Merton's Palace of Nowhere
There is no real difference in these two practises. All practise is based on repetition (which helps to make us perfect), and indeed these two form of praying are very repetitive. Both have as their aim to be able to stand in the presence of God, and unite with Him through the heart.
That the Naqsbandi silent Zikr is closest to the Christian Prayer of the Heart (at its highest level) is an excellent observation by Llewellyn, who writes from his own experience.
I found one particular paragraph very beautiful and relating to my own experience:
"When love reveals its real nature we come to know that there is neither lover nor Beloved. There is no one to pray and no one to pray to. We do not even know that we are lost; we return from these states of merging knowing only that we gave our self and were taken. Our gift of our self was accepted so completely that we knew nothing of the encounter. We looked towards our Beloved and were taken into love's arms, embraced in oneness, dissolved in nearness. For so many years we had cried and called out, and when the Beloved finally came the meeting was so intimate there was nothing left of us to witness it."
Reijo Oksanen, Switzerland