cover image Stilte: The Dutch Art of Quietude

Stilte: The Dutch Art of Quietude

Mirjam Van Der Vegt, trans. by Worthy Publishing. Worthy, $21 (208p) ISBN 978-1-5460-1578-9

In this soothing guide, Dutch meditation teacher Van der Vegt (Shadow Flight) celebrates the Christian monastic tradition of silence and slowing down in order to find the peace of God. Van der Vegt uses the metaphor of descending a spiritual staircase to explain the process of achieving “contemplative silence”; the first step is calming relief after a hectic day, then one struggles to maintain the silence, and the final step is knowing one is beloved by God and that Jesus is constantly with those who embark on this lifelong journey. On the practical side, Van der Vegt suggests doing Christian walking meditation, introducing peace and quiet to children, ignoring the news cycle, and creating a 40-minute period of silence at home. Throughout are insightful suggestions (such as shaking a bottle of water filled with sand to consider the “cloudy vision” of turbulent times), and plenty of Bible quotes and interviews with theologians and monastic leaders. Christian readers will find this accessible guide an immersive way to enhance prayer. (Oct.)