Books in the list below are selected to support and encourage your development of a discipline of silence. They are arranged in categories, by author surname. Categories include:
short introductions to silence; Christian meditation and contemplation; books focussing on particular practices of silence; autobiographical and more general books about silence; solitary or hermit life; prayers and meditations; classic texts on silence and prayer; and in depth books for experienced practitioners and/or higher level academic study.
Short introductions (less than 25 pages)
- Pierre Lacout, God is Silence, London: Quaker Home Service, 1985.
- Wendy Robinson, Exploring Silence, Oxford: SLG Press, Fairacres, 1979.
Silence and Christian meditation and contemplation
- Sister Jeremy Hall, Silence, Solitude, Simplicity: A Hermit’s Love Affair with a Noisy, Crowded, and Complicated World, Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2007.
- Phileena Heuertz, Mindful Silence: The Heart of Christian Contemplation, Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2018.
- Martin Laird, Into the Silent Land: The Practice of Contemplation, London: Darton, Longman and Todd, 2006.
- Martin Laird, A Sunlit Absence: Silence, Awareness and Contemplation, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011.
- Martin Laird, An Ocean of Light: Contemplation, Transformation and Liberation, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019.
- Sally Longley, Conversations with Silence: Rosetta Stone of the Soul, Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2021.
- Kim Nataraja, ed., Journey of the Heart: Christian Contemplation Through the Centuries, Norwich: Canterbury Press, 2011.
- Benignus O’Rourke: Finding Your Hidden Treasure, London: Darton, Longman and Todd, 2010.
- Richard Rohr, Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer, New York, NY: Crossroads Publishing, 1999.
- Jessica M. Smith & Stuart Higginbottom, Contemplation and Community: A Gathering of Fresh Voices for a Living Tradition, New York, NY: Crossroads Publishing, 2019.
Other books on silence with God
- Peter-Damien Belisle, The Language of Silence: The Changing Face of Monastic Solitude, London: Darton, Longman and Todd, 2003.
- Catherine de Hueck Doherty, Molchanie: The Silence of God, London: Fount Paperbacks, 1982.
- Andrew Norman, Silence In God, London, SPCK, 1990.
- Maggie Ross, Writing the Icon of the Heart: In Silence Beholding, Abingdon: The Bible Reading Fellowship, 2011.
- Catherine Doherty, Poustinia: Encountering God in Silence, Solitude and Prayer, 3rd edition, Ogdensburg, NY: Madonna House Publications, 2000.
Books on specific practices of Christian meditation or contemplative silence
On Centering Prayer:
On Centering Prayer:
- Cynthia Bourgeault, Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening, Lanham, MD: Cowley Publications, 2004.
- David Fredette, The Path of Centering Prayer: Deepening Your Experience of God, Boulder, CO: Sounds True, 2012.
- Keating, Thomas, Invitation to Love: The Way of Christian Contemplation, London: Bloomsbury, 2011.
- Thomas Keating and Others, Spirituality, Contemplation and Transformation: Writings on Centering Prayer, New York, NY: Lantern Books, 2008.
- Thomas Keating, Open Mind, Open Heart: The Contemplative Dimension of the Gospel, New York, NY: Continuum, 1995.
On John Main and the 'Christian Meditation' practice:
- Lawrence Freeman, Light Within: Meditation as Pure Prayer, London: Darton, Longman and Todd, 1986.
- Lawrence Freeman and Stefan Reynolds, eds., John Main: The Expanding Vision, London: Canterbury Press, 2009.
- John Main, Word Into Silence, London: Darton, Longman and Todd, 1980.
The Jesus Prayer meditation:
- Per-Olof Sjögren, The Jesus Prayer: Learning to Pray from the Heart, London: SPCK, 1975.
- John Twisleton, Using the Jesus Prayer: Steps to a Simpler Christian Life, Abingdon: Bible Reading Fellowship, 2014.
Autobiographical and general or secular books on silence
(some not from any faith perspective)
(some not from any faith perspective)
- Iulia de Beausorbe, Flame in the Snow, London: Constable and Company, 1945.
- Anne D. LeClaire, Listening Below the Noise: A Meditation on the Practice of Silence, New York, NY: HarperCollins, 2009.
- Patrick Leigh Fermor, A Time to Keep Silence, London: John Murray Publishers, 2004 .
- Adam Ford, Seeking Silence in a Noisy World: The Art of Mindful Silence , Lewes: Leaping Hare Press, 2011.
- Thich Nhat Hanh, Silence: The Power of Quiet in a World Full of Noise, London: Rider, 2015.
- Diarmaid MacCulloch, Silence: A Christian History, London: Allen Lane, 2013.
- Sara Maitland, A Book of Silence, London: Granta Books, 2008.
- Max Picard, The World of Silence, Stanley Godman, trans., London: The Harvill Press, 1948.
- Silvia Ostertag, Living Silence: Tuning In and Practicing, (Beauchamp: Matador, 2013.
- George Prochnik, In Pursuit of Silence: Listening for Meaning in a World of Noise, London: Doubleday, 2010.
- Graham Turner, The Power of Silence: The Riches That Lie Within, London: Bloomsbury, 2012.
- Bieke Vandekerckhove, The Taste of Silene: How I Came to be At Home with Myself, Collegevile, MN: Liturgical Press, 2015.
- Harry Wilmer, Quest for Silence, Einsiedeln: Daimon, 2000.
Books about solitary or hermit life and silence
- Mario I. Aguilar, The Way of the Hermit: Interfaith Encounters in Silence and Prayer, London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2017.
- Bernadette Flanagan, Embracing Solitude: Women and New Monasticism, Eugine, OR: Cascade Books, 2014.
- Paul A. Fredette and Karen Karper Fredette, Consider the Ravens: On Contemporary Hermit Life, Bloomington, IN: iUniverse, 2011.
- Karen Karper Fredette, Where God Begins to Be: A Woman’s Journey into Solitude, Bloomington, IN: iUniverse, 2004.
Prayers and meditations
- Sister Wendy Beckett, Meditations on Silence, London: Dorling Kindersley, 1995.Carla A. Grosch-Miller, Psalms Redux: Poems and Prayers, London: Canterbury Press, 2014.Thomas Merton, Dialogues with Silence: Prayers and Drawings, London: SPCK, 2002.
- Carla A. Grosch-Miller, Psalms Redux: Poems and Prayers, London: Canterbury Press, 2014.
- Thomas Merton, Dialogues with Silence: Prayers and Drawings, London: SPCK, 2002.
Helen Waddell, The Sayings of the Desert Fathers, London: Fontana, 1962.
- Benedicta Ward, Selections from the Sayings of the Desert Fathers, Kalamazoo, MI: Cistercian Publication, 1975.
Classic Christian texts about silence and prayer
- Anonymous, The Cloud of Unknowing, available in various editions.
- Catherine of Sienna, The Dialogue, available in various editions.
- Meister Eckhart, with Introduction by David Steindl-Rast, Meister Eckhart, From Whom God Hid Nothing: Sermons, Writings and Sayings, Boston, MA: New Seeds Books, 1996.
- Ignatius of Loyola, The Spiritual Exercises, available in various editions.
- John of the Cross, Ascent of Mount Carmel, available in various editions.
- John of the Cross, The Dark Night of the Soul, available in various editions.
- Julian of Norwich, Revelations of Divine Love, available in various editions.
- Matthew Levering, On Prayer and Contemplation: Classic and Contemporary Texts, Lanham, MD: Sheed & Ward, 2005.
- Teresa of Avila, Interior Castle, available in various editions.
Some in-depth books for experienced practitioners and/or higher-level academic study
- Cynthia Bourgeault, The Heart of Centering Prayer: Nondual Christianity in Theory and Practice, Boulder, CO: Shambhala Publications, 2016.
- Beverly J. Lanzetta, The Other Side of Nothingness: Towards a Theology of Radical Openness, Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 2001.
- Beverly J. Lanzetta, Radical Wisdom: A Feminist Mystical Theology, Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2005.
- Rachel Muers, Keeping God’s Silence: Towards a Theological Ethics of Communication, Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2004.
- Paula Pryce, The Monk’s Cell: Ritual Knowledge in American Contemplative Christianity , New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2018.
- Bernadette Roberts, The Experience of No-Self: A Contemplative Journey, London: Shambhala, 1984.
- Maggie Ross, Silence: A User’s Guide, Volume 1: Process, London: Darton, Longman and Todd, 2014.
- Maggie Ross, Silence: A User’s Guide, Volume 2: Application, London: Darton, Longman and Todd, 2018.
- Robert Sardello, Silence: The Mystery of Wholeness, Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books, 2006.
- Alison Woolley, Women Choosing Silence: Relationality and Transformation in Spiritual Practice, London: Routledge, 2019.
The DVD's are arranged by title.
- A Rising Tide of Silence, directed by Peter C. Jones, 2014.
- Day of a Stranger, directed by Cassidy Hall, 2021.
- Into Great Silence, directed by Philip Gröning, 2006.
- In Pursuit of Silence, directed by Patrick Shen, 2017.
- No Greater Love, directed by Michael Whyte, 2009.
- The Way, directed by Emilio Estervez, 2011.
- The Big Silence, directed by Barney Snow and Clare Bradbury, first transmitted 2010.
Other BBC TV series first transmitted between 2005 and 2010 which do not appear to currently be released on DVD or available on line.
- The Convent,
- The Monastery, and
- The Monastery Revisited