I forget exactly how I was introduced to the writings of Brother Lawrence. My inclination is that it was either by a spiritual/mystic GIM friend of mine at a training weekend or by complete accident browsing through my church’s library. However, it happened– I’m glad it did. His writings have become influential in my meditation practice as well as my spiritual journey.
Brother Lawrence (born ~1611) was a monk who lived in a Carmelite monastery in Paris for most of his life– much of it spent as a cook in the monastery’s kitchen. The entirety of his writings revolve around his relationship with God and the peace he was able to find in simple actions (like making an omelet or sweeping the floor or washing the dishes). Although his writings are Christian in nature, spirituality and being present in the current moment are not ideas limited to one particular religion. We can all benefit from Brother Lawrence’s ideas on living in the moment, appreciating what we have, being grateful for beauty, accepting life as it comes and making peace with that in our Selves.
“Walking with the Father: Wisdom from Brother Lawrence” is a good introduction to his writings, including a short bio at the beginning. “A Retreat with Brother Lawrence and the Russian Pilgrim” by Kerry Walters is an in-depth personal retreat-style study– probably best used by Christians (because it targets that religion’s ideals and teachings) for intensive self-reflection and spiritual growth. There are a number of other books and collections of Brother Lawrence’s writings available at the usual on-line retailers, but these are the two I’ve read and know best.