The following two books by Silvia Ostertag feature poetry as well as instructions on sitting. They were beautifully translated by two of our Zendo members, Wendy Tyndale and Sue Chowdhury. Both books are highly recommended to all who seek silence, to those who are beginners as well as to those who have meditated all their lives.

Living Silence

This is a bliving-silence-coverook on the practice of silent meditation and its transforming power. The brief poetic texts are thematically grouped to address the various aspects of the meditation practice, such as the nature of silence, the importance of the present moment, obstacles the practitioner may encounter, and the integration into our everyday lives of the new insights the practice can give us. Silent meditation is the practice of letting go and allowing this silence to be heard and take hold. The reader catches glimpses of how practitioners of silent meditation become aware, little by little, of ‘feeling connected with everything in a unique way’, of being at one with all, and finding their lives gradually transformed.

Silvia Ostertag’s texts are based on talks she gave to the hundreds of students who ‘sat’ with her. Sometimes humorous, sometimes sharply critical, through each one we feel her hope that we reach an awareness of the pure silence and the deep sense of oneness that is present in every human being who becomes conscious that the ‘here’ and ‘now’ – this very moment, this very place – is all that there is.  The texts provide guidance for those who practice meditation either alone or with a group. They may be read on a daily basis, before meditation practice, as a guide during a retreat, or in any way the reader likes to use them. They are comforting, encouraging, uplifting and sometimes humorous. They engage with the practitioner at different moments, in different moods and at different stages of his or her practice. Above all they relate the practice of meditation to daily life.

The book costs £6.50 including postage and packaging.



Finding Silence

Silvia Ostertfinding-silence-coverag encourages her readers both to practise silent meditation and to seek silence in their everyday lives, by her inspiring reflections on silence borne out of her own deep experience.

Finding Silence is not simply a follow-up to Living Silence. Silvia has continued to polish this single jewel of silence which she revealed to us in Living Silence, until that jewel reflects the light even more vividly and with a brighter brilliance.  There are myriad new angles through which the light catches our eye, and more accurate observations of the ordinary moments of our lives as we sit in this ever brighter silence.

Although Silvia was a Zen master, there are no direct references to Zen in these two books, which can be appreciated by people who follow any spiritual path or none.

The book costs £6.50 including postage and packaging.

Light Sitting in Light

A Zen master of world renown as well as a Catholic nun, Elaine MacInnes has spent most of her life bringing the way of Zen into the already rich store-house of Christian spirituality.

Light Sitting in lightsittinginli00maciLight strikingly conveys the essence of her teaching. It takes Western readers beyond words and concepts towards the Zen experience of kensho or seeing into one’s true nature. It demands not that they change their native religion but that they allow Zen to bring them to insight.

The book is eminently practical, beginning with a lesson in the art of silence and then introducing silent prayer or meditation (zazen) in a way which demands no previous knowledge. Gradually tensions are released, nerves become relaxed and physical health improves. Over a longer period, the reader may experience new serenity, egolessness and compassion. The final goal for most seekers today remains what it has been for centuries: to come to experience.

The book costs £6.50 including postage and packaging.

Bulk Orders and Requests from Overseas

You may buy five or more copies in any combination of the three books for a discounted price. We are also able to send orders abroad. Please contact us here for further information and price details.