Taking a nurturing timeout for yourself is essential to rejuvenating or healing your mind, body and spirit.
Contemplation is a way of listening with the heart while not relying entirely on the head. Contemplation is a prayerful letting go of our sense of control and choosing to cooperate with God and God’s work in the world. Prayer without action can promote our tendency to self-preoccupation, and without contemplation, even well-intended actions can cause more harm than good. In short, contemplation might be described as entering a deeper silence and letting go of our habitual thoughts, sensations, and feelings in order to connect to a truth greater than ourselves.
Contemplation is the practice of being fully present—in heart, mind, and body—to what is in a way that allows you to creatively respond and work toward what could be.
Only the contemplative mind can bring forward the new consciousness that is needed to awaken a more loving, just, and sustainable world. There are many forms of Contemplation and we invite you to learn about some below.
Centering Prayer is simply sitting in silence, open to God’s love and your love for God. This prayer is beyond thoughts, emotions, or sensations.
There are many forms of body prayer—for example, chant, walking meditation, dance, yoga, tai chi, pilgrimages, prayer beads, gestures, and breathing exercises. Every human culture has developed some form of drumming, the repetition of a steady beat, to encourage and inspire what writer Barbara Ehrenreich calls “Collective Joy.” While drumming often supports dancing and musical performance, it also has a long history as contemplative practice.
Lectio Divina is a contemplative practice with its Christian roots in the Benedictine tradition. It combines slow, conscious reading of a biblical or sacred text with contemplation and silent prayer.
Walking meditation is a contemplative practice where close attention is paid to the action of walking. It is not thinking or contemplating while walking (which is also delightful), but being mindful of the muscles of the body, the placement of the feet, balance, and motion. Walking meditation has a long tradition in Buddhism and can also be practiced while walking a labyrinth.
Welcoming Prayer is the practice that actively lets go of thoughts and feelings that support the false-self system. It embraces painful emotions experienced in the body rather than avoiding them or trying to suppress them.
Contemplation is a way of listening with the heart while not relying entirely on the head. Contemplation is a prayerful letting go of our sense of control and choosing to cooperate with God and God’s work in the world. It is the practice of being fully present—in heart, mind, and body—to what is in a way that allows you to creatively respond and work toward what could be.
Practicing Presence requires a certain amount of non-reactivity. Being able to notice and observe our own emotions allows for a space between what activates us (or triggers us) and our next thought, word, or action. The space allows us to respond skillfully rather than react choicelessly. It also creates pathways to take care of our own needs in the moment. This practicing awareness of our emotional process gives us insight into the experience of others, precisely because all of us are human.
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