What Are Contemplative Practices?
A list of contemplative practices would include centering prayer, meditation in all its forms, Lectio Divina of scriptures and other sources, photography, walking, writing and fine arts of all kinds. This is a short list. There are many more and variations too numerous to count. Obviously, many of the activities we do regularly can be a contemplative practice. The difference is intentionality. In contemplation, we slow down and pay attention. These practices aim to still the mind. We may use repetition to aid the focusing of the mind. Silence accompanies the practice. The thoughts don’t always stop, but we do learn how to release them. And we gain some distance from them realizing we are not our thoughts.
There are mental and physical benefits to contemplation like reducing stress, anxiety, tension and high blood pressure. However, the original intention of contemplation is to create a space of receptivity and surrender. We soften the boundaries between the “within and the without” of ourselves. This space beckons Grace to enter. This still, open place is the beginning of transformation from within. The illusion that we are separate from the Divine and all other beings breaks down. A sense of wholeness, unity, and “okay-ness” takes its place. Kindness, compassion, wisdom and clarity can become our natural expression.
How Might I Help?
Spiritual direction sessions are a great place to learn about these practices and try them together. I offer group practices of various kinds. You can find these in events. Contact me if you have questions or to schedule a session. I am available to lead or teach these practices with your small group, church, colleagues, or interested friends.
SCHEDULE a session:
If you feel intrigued by contemplative practice and you would like to learn more, try a practice or ask questions, then contact me.