A friend mailed me a pre-read copy of "Contemplative Prayer" by Thomas Merton. It's short and quite good. I was ready to highlight stuff on every page (except I didn't have a pencil, so I only highlighted in my imagination). He talks about vulnerability and authenticity as vital to contemplative prayer, and the dread that comes with entering into those "places." He talks about "false contemplation" - methods of meditation or self-delusion in practice in which one creates a quiet place to hide from authenticity, vulnerability and dread, hammering every door shut, and then pretending one is having real deep meditation practice, or mistaking that hiding place for "emptiness." He talks about the growing sense of ones own nothingness that comes with humility and surrender, and the combination of painful terror and joyful freedom that can produce. He talks about the frequent hijacking of religion for identity purposes - for politics or social causes which are fear based and only designed to serve human power-interests.
It's good stuff. Just a little paperback, 94 pages long.