Books of Alphonse & Rachel Goettmann

 

extracts from
http://www.authorsden.com/
BY ALPHONSE AND RACHEL GOETTMANN
translated by Theodore J. Nottingham & Rebecca Nottingham


Becoming Real: Essays on the Teachings of a Master
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The Beyond Within: Initiation into Meditation
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The Spiritual Wisdom and Practices of Early Christianity
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Prayer of Jesus, Prayer of the Heart
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Translations of the Goettmann's books may be found on Amazon and Kindle here : Amazon

    BY K. GRAF DÜRCKHEIM AND ALPHONSE GOETTMANN
translated by Theodore J. Nottingham
 


Dialogue on the Path of Initiation: An Introduction to the Thought of Karlfried Graf Dürckheim

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Book reviews
 


Becoming Real: Essays on the Teachings of a Master
Nottingham Publishing, 1995. 120 pp.

Eleven rare essays on the teachings of German spiritual teacher and transpersonal psychologist, Karlfried Graf Durckheim. These writings from primary students of Durckheim, all key leaders in their fields.

The Beyond Within: Initiation into Meditation
Abbey Press 1992 ISBN: 0870292471

A practical guide to transforming meditation. Translated from the original French.

Excerpt
This is not a book, but the utterance of a continual search verified through experience. These are the words of a life. More than thirty years ago, the decisive call came and there was no turning back:"Deep within, you are someone entirely different..." It was an explosion! But the Way still had to be found. The stages succeeded one another, but always and obstinately in the same direction: contemplative Silence. Here alone are we placed before the power of the call and the depths of its promises. We human beings are an abyss of dazzling mystery who come to self-realization only in and through contemplation, and no action can replace it. A person's entire being and behavior depend directly and completely on this beyond within... Such a conviction came through the most personal experiences, in solitude and in the desert. It was unique. And the more it became unique, the more it opened upon the universal. Our Love, that great Silent One beyond all words of love, first showed it to us; beginning with our wedding, it has penetrated step by step toward a sharing in meditation which has never ceased. This has become our daily bread. Now we share it with hundreds of people who come from all spiritual, cultural, and geographic horizons searching for the Essential. Bethanie, Center of Hesychast Meditation, Bible and Tradition located near Metz in eastern France, is the fruit of this experience.

Professional Reviews
A practical guide and treasure house of wisdom
The reader will find here the nuts and bolts of practical application, from postures to hand positions, from beginning to advanced. Just as valuable is the connection the authors make with the teachings of the early mystics of Christianity. They present an experiential tradition virtually lost to the West after the schism between the Catholic and Orthodox churches. Yet any seeker after higher consciousness or encounter with the divine will benefit from this book. It is based on many years of training, experience and teaching. The authors are among the most important spiritual directors in Europe. Highly recommended for those who seek to unite with the reality of the sacred.

The Spiritual Wisdom and Practices of Early Christianity
Inner Life Publications

A presentation of the original essence of Christianity and its practices aimed at spiritual transformation. Translated from the original French.

Excerpt
The world has forgotten silence. Yet it is in silence that the world has its origin and its end. God is also silence and, since we are in His image, the depth of our being is silence. This explains the rise of anguish and fear of death at the heart of the noise which reigns in the cities and now reaches the most distant countryside and the last corners of our forests. Technology in its varied forms never ceases to invade everything and slows down for nothing. Tormented by the unconquerable yearning for our original silence, people of our time are beginning to escape into the deserts, in the retreats of monasteries or in exotic vacations, the symbols of a lost world. Faced with this general asphyxiation, it is important to have these breaths of fresh air in order to survive in the short term. But in the long term, we must learn to live fully in each moment and not only during certain spiritual experiences.

Professional Reviews
An eloquent interpretation of Christian transformation
The authors make available in this book their own discovery of Christianity as the tradition which bears witness to the New Covenant which God has written on the hearts of believers. Human beings will no longer need to teach each other about God, for He will reveal Himself in their hearts (Jeremiah 31). The translator, Theodore J. Nottingham, has given to the French text such English idiom that one meets the authors as honored members of both the English-speaking community and of the Christian spiritual community from whose experience they write so eloquently.
Dr. Charles Ashanin, PhD

Prayer of Jesus, Prayer of the Heart
Publisher: Inner Life Publications ISBN: 0963818120

A classic on early Christian spirituality
A classic on early Christian spirituality. The prayer of Jesus differs from all other Christian prayers in that it leads the supplicant into the presence of God, seeking to enter into the very heart of God, so that his or her soul may find consolation in divine mercy. The producers of this special book deserve much credit for its addition to the spiritual literature available in English. Charles B. Ashanin, Ph.D.

Excerpt
As long as we pray only with the intellect, we will never experience a personal encounter with God, nor with anything else. At the beginning, the intellect can follow the movement of the air to fix itself on the heart until it remains there one day without effort. Usually, unless we are blessed with exceptional grace, the invocation of the Name is at first external: we pronounce it with our lips and vocal cords; then it penetrates in the intellect to become mental: we pronounce it without the lips or the participation of the vocal cords; then it is internalized by descending into the heart where its repetition is done more and more spontaneously and without effort of the will. Finally, at the last stage, we are entirely seized by grace which is now the author of the prayer, filling the heart with love and light.

Professional Reviews
This book changed my life.
This book changed my life. It introduced me to the ancient spiritual tradition of the Christian faith that has been virtually lost to the West for the last thousand years. At the heart of "hesychast" (inner tranquility)teachings is the Prayer of the Heart, a method of ceaseless conscious awareness of the Divine Presence. This consciousness to the Holy in every moment is the response to the admonition to "seek first the Kingdom." This book offers a practical guide for the application of the Prayer to one's daily life. It is written by people who live this spirituality with deep authenticity. Their experience is universal and of immense value to all people seeking inner awakening

An excellent tutorial on the Jesus Prayer
Excellent for those searching for a means of learning continual prayer. Having experienced the joy of continual prayer for almost four years, I found explanations for things I have experienced during prayer and assistance in perfecting the prayer form. Some of the terminology in this book may make conservatives a little nervous, but there is nothing contrary to the teachings of Jesus or the Catholic Church in it. The book is an excellent source for those inquiring about this ancient Christian prayer form. It will change your life!

Book review of the British Orthodox Church

The opening chapter offers a wonderful tour through Old and New Testaments on the power of the Name of God flowering into fullness in the holy Name, Jesus. What a testimony of love for the divine Name by patriarchs, prophets, apostles is here. The next chapter moves on through the New Testament and the early Christian centuries: Hermas, Origen, Ephrem the Syrian… But as the authors point out their “goal here is not to exhaust this immense outpouring which clearly shows that it is the same faith found in the Acts of the Apostles which continues to make its way down through the centuries. What is important is not so much the scholarship as the need to quench our thirst for prayer today at the source of the masters of yesterday. For them, the power of God is truly present in the name of Jesus. The invocation acts in the manner of a sacrament with divinizing power.”

That quote basically sums up the book. It is not unscholarly – it just doesn’t flaunt its scholarship for that is not its aim. Its aim is to inspire, to fan into flame the spark of prayer – in the authors’ own words: “We have dared to write a book on the Prayer of Jesus because we are certain that it will become one of the most important keys to the rediscovery of the first spark of early Christianity.” This is a book written out of love, humility and “fiery poetry”

At times that love and fiery poetry brings forth delightful and memorable verbal imagery: “we must begin, according to the invitation of Christ Himself, by descending into the crypt of our heart where the divine spark is found which, in solitude, can turn into fire.”

At other times it is demanding and powerfully challenging: “The justificiation of “lack of time” does not work here: the prayer is much more nourishing than sleep . Recent research tells us that a half hour of meditation is equal to three hours of sleep… we can discover with surprise, if we take up the Prayer of Jesus in all our empty moments – travel, dinner, pauses in the day… to what extent these times add up and of what extraordinary fecundity they are!”

The authors offer helpful instruction on a variety of physical postures yet do not over-insist on any particular one but allow freedom. They offer helpful practical insight into the practice of the prayer.

To sum up, this is quite simply a wonderful book on the Jesus Prayer. To any and all who love the Name of Jesus I thoroughly recommend this volume. When I say it is inspiring, I know whereof I speak, for it inspired me enough to pray the Jesus Prayer (however feebly) at the dentist while having a tooth extracted!

   
 
 
 
 


Dialogue on the Path of Initiation: An Introduction to the Thought of Karlfried Graf Dürckheim
Globe Press Books, April 1992. 168 pp. English. ISBN 0936385278.

The premiere introduction to the life and thought of the German spiritual teacher and transpersonal psychologist, Karlfried Graf Durckheim.

Excerpt
The openness of my soul toward this inner center occured in early childhood. Many other extraordinary moments followed in my life and reinforced this part of myself. In these special experiences, I was touched by a profound reality which allowed me to understand that they were not a matter of feeling or belief, but of a reality much more real than the one which we consider to be the only reality. We believe that the only reality is the one of time and space and, for Descartes, nothing is real except that which can be inscribed in preconceived concepts. But this is only the envelop of something wholly other which hides the reality of our depths. It is this other reality which has profoundly touched me at each stage of my life from childhood onward, through the war years on the front and the encounter with death, to the overwhelming and definitive experience which showed me the beyond which is both hidden and manifested at the same time...Eventually these were no longer particular experiences, but a kind of perpetual contact, a state which came and went. It is not possible to be permanently open to this reality, but there does come a time when we always feel the call to turn toward its depths.

The summit of spiritual wisdom
Durckheim is one of the most important spiritual teachers of our age, though still little known in the U.S. This book has been a bestseller overseas for nearly a decade. What makes Durckheim -- psychotherapist, mystic, teacher of meditation -- so important to our age is that he focuses on the individual's experience of the transcendent rather than on traditional teachings. Influenced by Zen Buddhism, Jung, and the great mystic Meister Eckhart, Durckheim provides a universal map to our breakthrough toward our Higher Self. He offers a bridge between different traditions by dealing with the human potential for spiritual awakening regardless of cultural background. One of his great gifts is to focus on the body as an integral part of spiritual development. There is no theory or philosophy here. The teaching is concrete, personal, and universal. Durckheim is ciritical to our understanding of life as we enter the next century and learn to share one common Truth.


The finest in practical wisdom
This book is the best introduction to the thought of spiritual teacher and transpersonal psychologist Karlfried Graf Durckheim. He combines Zen Buddhism, Christian mysticism, and Jungian insights to create a powerful, pragmatic approach to "self-becoming".

 
 
 
 

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