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The Interior Castle

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  4,466 Ratings  ·  252 Reviews
The acclaimed modern translation of St. Teresa of Avila's classic book on spiritual awareness and guidance
Celebrated for almost five centuries as a master of spiritual literature, 16th-century saint Teresa of Avila is one of the most beloved religious figures in history. Overcome one day by a mystical vision of a crystal castle with seven chambers, each representing a di
ebook, 320 pages
Published July 1st 2004 by Riverhead Books (first published 1588)
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Darius Murretti You have jumped to a wild conclusion in saying that the headaches despite which Teresa wrote this book were caused by her meditations. It was 1577 and…moreYou have jumped to a wild conclusion in saying that the headaches despite which Teresa wrote this book were caused by her meditations. It was 1577 and little was known about nutrition, lead poisoning, health standards were much lower and life spans much shorter there may have been many reasons for the headaches she happened to be having when she was writing this.
Regarding the loud sound in her head that she likens to water falls and hosts of bird . She says I don’t har this through my ears but from the top of my head . Since I happen to be a surat shabd yogi . I know exactly what she was hearing .It is what we call the Shabd . In the Bible it is referred to in John 3:8 “The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.” In john 3:8 it is likened to wind , but higher up it takes the form of waterfalls , thunder and other forms the higher to God you go. This is also called the holy spirit and part of theholy trinity . It is the WORD mentioned in John 1:1 that Creator the world and was with God and which was God. If Teresa had been properly initiated by a perfect Master into the spiritual science of surat shabd yoga she would have ben instructed how to listen to and enjoy that sound and how to be pulled up by it and merge into it and taken by it up to the supreme God head where it merges in to God from whom it came . But alas Teresa got a far as she did without the benefit of a living human who was the WORD MADE FLESH in 1577 (although there was definitely a LIVING WORD MASTER on earth in 1577 as there is at all times on this earth ) hence she an s she was baffled by the internal sound fr0m the top of her head and did not know how to proceed .

It is/was not psychosis or delusional that she heard the sound . It is God in action Vibrating throughout His universe sustaining it, guiding souls in it and carrying souls of it . This very power incarnates as perfect Master in order to teach the “marked sheep” how to listen to it and return home . Jesus was “THE WORD MADE FLESH “ He initiated his MRAKED SHEEP into surat shabd yoga and took them back to the Father.
I’m very sorry if it offends orthodox Christians but Jesus was NOT the only incarnation of the WORD (aka the Holy Ghost of the trinity) Many came before and many after him and there is at least on in the world today .
In the book of Mirdad Mikail Niamy calls it the “spirit of holy understanding”
In the Buddish scriptures it is called The TAO.

In the hindi scripture is called shabd or nam
You are correct when you say that it is DANGEROUS to do serious meditation intended to realize God without a TRUE PERFECT Master or the highest order You can find one such at . this wrl has b never been without at least one perfect living master who teaches this science. Incidentally Perfect masters NEVER charge money for their services . They always work normal jobs (Jesus was a carpenter , Maharaj Charan Singh Ji was a lawyer , Baba Sawn Singh Ji was an engineer they all made their own living and helped their students in their spare time . So no one is making any money . it all free and always at the master’s expense .

Regarding less ambitious forms of mediation such as loving compassion mediation done by Buddhists
1) 100s of scholarly psychological research articles stating beyond refutation that mediation is extremely beneficial for physical , mental and emotional health
2) extensive brain imaging tests of people mediating showing how during mediation the higher better most evolved parts of the brain which reflect the highest positive emotions associated with inner love peace and bliss light up .
So this appears safe for everyone.
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Roy Lotz
It is absurd to think that we can enter Heaven without first entering our own souls

Last week I spend five days walking on the Camino de Santiago. I know, probably that doesn’t sound terribly impressive to anyone who walked all the way from France, but I still had a great time. Every morning we set out before sunrise, when the lush landscape of Galicia was still shrouded in mist and twilight. We walked on and on, guided by the conch shell signs that point the way. We reached the pilgrim's hoste
Karen Locklear
May 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Update: I am blogging about this book. Here is the blog address if interested:

First of all, don't read this book straight through and expect to get meaning from it. This is not one of those books.

This is a book that needs to be experienced. There is so much to it, I can't even begin to explain well enough to give it credit. Meditation and pondering are definetely required!

I have 78 pages left. I intend to finish it tonight. Then in the morning I've decide
Darius Murretti
Aug 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Interior caslte review
The vast majority who try fall by the wayside but St Theresa(Terry) succeeded in opening her inner eye and entering the “straight and narrow gate “ to the Father’s house during her life time, entering the wedding chamber and marrying the Kings of the infinite .
Why did Terry succeed where almost all others failed ?
1)Terry had a conviction “Either we are the brides of this great King or we are not.” So what are we waiting for?!
2) Terry relied on God’s grace not on her own e
In the study of the various aspects of Catholic theology, sometimes we forget that the whole religion thing is really about one thing - loving God and loving each other. In this classic work, St. Theresa of Avila brings us back to these simple truths. In her eyes, the spiritual life, which is the love of God in one's own life, is like a castle with seven "mansions", or levels. In the outer mansions are the things that keep us from God and from love, namely selfishness, self-centeredness, all of ...more
This is a book about prayer written by Saint Teresa of Avila, a 16th century Carmelite nun, mystic and doctor of the Church.

In this book, she presents a model of the human soul as a castle cut from a single diamond. This castle is divided into seven groups of mansions, beginning at the outer gate and moving inward toward the center. We enter the castle whenever we pray, for the gate to the outermost mansion is prayer. (Those who never pray remain in a courtyard outside the gate.)

As we progress
Feb 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Although St. Teresa was a 16th century nun, she was as busy as the rest of us when "encouraged" by her spiritual director to write this book for her nuns. I read it as part of a Sunday school class, and I found myself cracking up at how Mirabai Starr captures her. One minute she is fervently advocating for humility and self-expression and prayer and the next she's literally writing I don't where I was. Between opening and managing some 15 or more Carmelite convents, dodging the suspicious Spanis ...more
Anna O.P.
I don't know which one is more unfair: leaving this book with 5 stars but with no review, or writing a review which can never ever do it justice, however hard I strive to. The Interior Castle is a spiritual classics; it has been read and enjoyed by millions, and in turn I'm sure it has made many saints! So nothing I write can ever truly describe how awesome this book is!

What I can say is this: it's ironic that I only discovered this book very recently, at the order of my spiritual director. Iron
Sep 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've been reading this start-stop skip around fashion since 2012. this time i read it from cover to cover and every reading seemed to be planned by God to come at the right time, just when i needed to read something in particular. Thank You, Lord.
Jun 05, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: europa, non-fiction
Llegué a este libro desde una curiosidad puramente literaria.

Y me gusta la figura de Santa Teresa, o más bien, me gusta y me da curiosidad conocer más sobre ella.
Pero este libro me causó más angustia que cualquier otra cosa.
Nunca había leído a una mística, por lo cual no tenía idea de lo que encontraría, pero me causó antes que nada como incomodidad.
Quizás es que fui a una escuela de monjas durante toda la primaria, o que mis papás me forzaban a ir a la iglesia, como algo necesario y obligat
Bogdan Liviu
Sep 27, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
"I cannot believe in a God who wants to be praised all the time." - Friedrich Nietzsche
O călătorie a sufletului prin cele şapte "Locuinţe" ale "Castelului interior". De menţionat că această operă a fost scrisă pentru "surorile" de acolo care aveau dubii cu privire la rugăciune. Eu începusem să citesc cartea sperând că voi găsi aici întâmplări din viaţa sfintei Tereza. Ce-am găsit, în schimb, a fost un agasant îndemn în a îl lăuda pe Dumnezeu de parcă ar fi un dictator. La asta se adaugă, fireşt
Elizabeth Andrew
Feb 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spirituality
I've spent my adult life appreciating Teresa of Avila's INTERIOR CASTLE second-hand. Her autobiography has long been a favorite but every time I tried INTERIOR CASTLE I got bogged down. I love stories of Teresa's spunky leadership, her bad-mouthing God ("If this is how you treat your friends, no wonder you have so few!"), and her belief in an indwelling divinity who spurs on our yearning for connection, and all of that personality and wisdom seemed buried in self-effacing doctrine about humility ...more
♥ Ibrahim ♥
Our Lord Jesus Christ told us that in the Father's House there are many mansion, and for our be love saint here, Teressa, these mansions could be seven and they represent the mansions of the soul as it seems to grow, develop and be united with its Beloved the Lord. How close are we getting to the Lord? Are we making some progress?

The beautiful thing about Teresa is that she writes as words come to her mind in full spontaneity. So, her words come so genuine, so simple, so real, so much from the
Jul 07, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion
This is an excellent, though a difficult, book and one I feel I will return to in the future.

Saint Teresa wrote The Interior Castle relatively late in her life, after years as a nun, and with a lifetime of spiritual discipline behind her. Therefore, she is easily able to identify common pitfalls which present obstacles to spiritual growth and advancement. Her advice is practical and surprisingly relevant to readers some 400 years after the book was written. However, she may easily surpass the a
Apr 27, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Teresa of Avila wrote Interior Castle as a way to explain her theory about the soul. I have to admit, the idea of the soul being a castle shaped crystal housing seven mansions inside is pretty cool. The imagery of the soul-crystal darkening after being touched by Lucifer was striking as well. As a person who never fully understood the mystic branches of the Abrahamic faiths, I found the mysticism offered here is fairly accessible. However, the multiple comparisons of disabled individuals to a ...more
Sondra Jones
Oct 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm not going to "review" a classic. But I will say wow. Teresa of Avila's Interior Castles goes way beyond any spiritual practice or state that I've known existed. It's a whole new world. Again! It just keeps getting bigger and bigger. And that's a good thing.

This book is available on YouTube, read in its entirety. That's how I "read" it. Now I need a hard copy.

Some new ideas to me were around Jesus' suffering and suffering in general. That is why I need a hard copy; need to go back and read a
This book is considered a spiritual classic. Likening the soul to a castle, Teresa guides the reader through the seven rooms (Mansions) ending with union with God. A good book to read a chapter a day as part of daily Bible and prayer.
Julie Davis
Jul 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rereading after having read it for the first time at least a decade ago.
Jul 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Anyone wanting to re-connect with Christian thought and learn about a devotional/rational relationship to God, this is an incredibly beautiful book.
Carol Apple
May 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“Few tasks which I have been commanded to undertake by obedience have been so difficult as this present one of writing about matters relating to prayer: for one reason, because I do not feel the Lord has given me either the spirituality or the desire for it….”

So Teresa of Ávila (1515 – 1582) begins The Interior Castle (published 1577), a book which became a lucid and beautifully written spiritual classic. A learned woman who had already written several books, Teresa had been instructed to write
Becky Ankeny
It isn't fair to rate this book until I've read it several times, but a first-time through was difficult. Teresa refers to herself in the third person, presents women as intellectually inferior, and extends a metaphor over 300 pages or so. I trudged. BUT, it will be worth reading again. Teresa says that a touchstone for mystical experience is whether it leaves the person more humble and more committed to the virtues and to loving God. Also, true communion with God, however outré the experience s ...more
S.D. Johnson
Nov 30, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Many years ago I had a dream about falling off the edge of a cliff and hovering then out in a void, and, as though suspended in empty space, there was a shining city of aquamarine crystal below me. I fell over the centre of the "city", (or large building - I had no idea of its size), contracted to a point and then radiated outward in a state of supreme ecstasy and all-knowingness. I could no longer see, but it was as though I was all-seeing. It was so powerful that when I awoke I thought that I ...more
Dec 28, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religious
St. Teresa of Avila is one of my favorite saints. After years of collecting her famous quotes from various other readings, I finally decided to sit down and read perhaps her most famous book, Interior Castle. Overall, Teresa is giving us a kind of roadmap for spiritual development by using the analogy of a castle with multiple rooms to describe the soul and its union with God...the further in we get, the closer we are to that union. This book is not particularly easy to read. At times St. Teresa ...more
Czarny Pies
Sep 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Believers
Recommended to Czarny by: Ste, Theresa is the patron of a parish I used to belong to.
Shelves: religion
Why read Chicken Soup for Catholics when this work written by a great saint and doctor of the Church is available. Although it was written almost five hundred years ago, its limpid style makes it as readable as anything that has been published in this the 21st century.

Teresa offers a guide on how to begin and progress through a long life of prayer. She leads the reader through seven phases referred to as mansions of one's interior castle. The first three phases are of active prayer in which one
The Interior Castles is a very wonderful book on how to get closer to God and how to overcome the trials come upon you. St. Theresa originally wrote this for the sisters in her convent, at the urging of a friend of hers. She says that the way to the "ultimate marriage with God" is through humility and a humble life, and through prayer. She also says that we have to be aware of when God speaks to us, and know when Satan is trying to veer us away from Him.

The reason why I gave it only three stars
Feb 01, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spirituality
I made it about 2/3 through and have given up in favor of a "selections from" book my mom loaned me. The style of writing was a bit too dense, tho part of it could be the translation. Every once in awhile a quote would jump out at me, but it was too slow going considering my exploding to read pile.
Olive Chan
Feb 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
From what I've heard, this translation of this classic work is one of the more understandable ones. It's difficult material to get through simply because it's so deep. But it's not a classic for no reason! I recommend this for anyone looking to explore more of the mystic's approach to their relationship with God.
Apr 03, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mystics, prayer warriors, people on their spiritual journey through prayer
Recommended to Kathy by: Mary Clark
You can't read this book quickly. The thoughts are deep. And the translation sometimes makes for slower reading as well. I gave up on the English version, and ordered the original Spanish. It makes so much more sense, but still slow reading. i've had it 3 years and still am not done, but then I don'tread it every day either.
Apr 03, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is probably a better book than I rated it, but I just did not understand it. I have not experienced anything remotely like the raptures St. Teresa talks about, and the run on sentences and rabbit trails leave me lost.
Nov 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am always reading this book. There are so many aspects I learn everytime I pick it up.
Jul 11, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
St. Teresa is painfully 16th century in her writing style but the wisdom imparted is incredible--you just have to not get lost along the way.
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Catholic Thought: Interior Castle Seventh Mansions & Epilogue 20 18 May 27, 2016 12:04PM  
Catholic Thought: Interior Castle Sixth Mansions 15 15 Mar 19, 2016 08:58AM  
Catholic Thought: Interior Castle Fifth Mansions 10 18 Mar 17, 2016 03:03PM  
Catholic Thought: Interior Castle Second Mansions 26 20 Mar 09, 2016 09:00AM  
Catholic Thought: Interior Castle First Mansions 11 22 Mar 08, 2016 07:35PM  
Catholic Thought: Interior Castle Fourth Mansions 19 22 Feb 27, 2016 11:34PM  
Catholic Thought: Interior Castle Introduction 25 27 Feb 25, 2016 08:40AM  
  • The Cloud of Unknowing
  • The Collected Works of St. John of the Cross
  • The Spiritual Exercises
  • Revelations of Divine Love
  • Catherine of Siena: The Dialogue (Classics of Western Spirituality)
  • Abandonment to Divine Providence
  • Introduction to the Devout Life
  • Uniformity with God's Will
  • Fire Within: Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross and the Gospel - On Prayer
  • True Devotion to Mary
  • The Sayings of the Desert Fathers: The Alphabetical Collection (Cistercian studies 59)
  • The Rule of Saint Benedict
  • Story of a Soul: The Autobiography of St. Therese of Lisieux
  • The Philokalia, Volume 1: The Complete Text
  • The Soul of The Apostolate
  • The Three Ages Of The Interior Life: Prelude of Eternal Life
  • Life of Christ
  • Lord, Have Mercy: The Healing Power of Confession
Saint Teresa of Ávila, also called Saint Teresa of Jesus, was a prominent Spanish mystic, Carmelite nun, and writer of the Counter Reformation. She was a reformer of the Carmelite Order and is considered to be, along with John of the Cross, a founder of the Discalced Carmelites. In 1970 she was named a Doctor of the Church by Pope Paul VI.

Born in Avila, Spain, on March 28, 1515, St. Teresa was the
More about Teresa of Ávila

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“This Beloved of ours is merciful and good. Besides, he so deeply longs for our love that he keeps calling us to come closer. This voice of his is so sweet that the poor soul falls apart in the face of her own inability to instantly do whatever he asks of her. And so you can see, hearing him hurts much more than not being able to hear him… For now, his voice reaches us through words spoken by good people, through listening to spiritual talks, and reading sacred literature. God calls to us in countless little ways all the time. Through illnesses and suffering and through sorrow he calls to us. Through a truth glimpsed fleetingly in a state of prayer he calls to us. No matter how halfhearted such insights may be, God rejoices whenever we learn what he is trying to teach us.” 50 likes
“. . . it is presumptuous in me to wish to choose my path, because I cannot tell which path is best for me. I must leave it to the Lord, Who knows me, to lead me by the path which is best for me, so that in all things His will may be done.” 42 likes
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