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Light Within

Canterbury Press. Norwich, 2008
RRP $29.95

Reviewed by Con Graves, who, after 28 years as a psychologist and business executive, switched to a life of voluntary simplicity aimed at reducing his impact on the earth and reducing stress in his own life and the lives of those around him. He worships at Newlife Uniting on the Gold Coast.

THIS SMALL book is a collection of 26 short chapters that had their genesis as talks or conference addresses given to groups of devotees wanting to learn about meditation as a method of prayer.

As Mr Freeman writes in his introduction, this book was written as a methodology for “meditation to be the way of access to the deepest spiritual strength necessary for their spiritual fidelity and continued growth as human beings” (P1).

Each chapter provides practical advice and some spiritual insight to support the reader in mastering this approach to meditation.

Mr Freedman’s approach is grounded in the work of John Main.

Mr Main proposed an approach to meditation based on a simple mantra of a Christian concept.

Devotees are asked to select an appropriate word for their spiritual focus and then use the mantra of focused repetition to steer the wandering mind and control the intrusive thoughts.

Light Within would largely appeal to those interested in exploring meditation as a way of prayer.

It is pragmatic in its approach and steers away from deep theoretical exposition as its intent is to inform and educate the reader in the practice of meditation as a way to seek to discover the presence of Christ.

It must be said that this meditative approach won’t appeal to much of the mainstream.

While its approach is not completely one of disengaging the mind as seen in the New Age practices, it does not adopt the more usual practice of Christian meditation aimed at stimulating thought and deepening meaning and therefore won’t appeal to all.