Photography is a wonderful contemplative practice. The camera lens focuses on God’s presence. We learn how to see with new eyes. We see from our heart not our minds. We begin to view the world through God’s eyes.
Grab your camera or cell phone. Take a walk in your neighborhood. Explore the paths of a local nature center. Stroll through a small town on foot.
Leave your worries, anxieties, fears, concerns at home. They will still be there when you return from your quiet journey. Decide to enjoy this special time. And then let go of that too.
God is your lens. What does the Divine want to reveal to you in the frame of the lens? Don’t look for the picture. The picture will find you.
What captures your attention or peaks your interest?
It is autumn. Is it the pastel colors of the leaves on the trees? Their foliage has begun to change color before they gently drop off and fall to the ground.
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Is it a church? The old church is constructed of magnificent large stones. You must capture its old fashioned splendor and beauty. It reminds you of a church you once attended many years once ago.
Is it a small pond? The dark blue sky and cotton ball white clouds perfectly reflect on the surface of its calm waters. It is difficult to discern where the water and the sky meet.
Focus and snap your picture. Zoom in if you must. Alter your perspective. Adjust your camera from portrait to landscape.
Crouch down and shoot upward. Ascend the small hill and snap the photo as you look down upon the scene.
“Photography can be an act of silent worship.” We rest in God’s presence that continues to surround us. Each frame reveals what God wants us to relish.
“Practice is the key to developing any habit; it is the commitment of a lifetime to keep showing up.” I must show up to my daily centering prayer practice. A contemplative photography practice is no different. Each time I show up I am always amazed by the pictures God has framed for me.
I encourage you to check out Christine Valters Paintner’s book, Eyes of the Heart: Photography as a Christian Contemplative Practice to learn more about this delightful practice.
If you enjoyed reading this post, please recommend and share it to help others find it.
 Christine Valters Paintner, Eyes of the Heart: Photography as a Christian Contemplative Practice, (Sorin Books): 2013
The Artist’s Rule: Nurturing Your Creative Soul with Monastic Wisdom by Christine Valters Painter
Spirituality in Photography: Taking pictures with deeper vision by Philip J Richter
One on One Coaching with Rich
Does this sound like you?
“I am bored with my life?”
“I am not doing the things that I want to do in all areas of my life:”
-career, personal, family, community.
I feel unfulfilled, like I am just going through the motions everyday.
I have dreams and goals, but I am afraid to show up and take action on them.
I don’t want years to pass and be disappointed when I look back on my life.
Integrating Centering Prayer practice with your everyday life addresses all of these thoughts.
Do you want to obtain the freedom to become your true self, the person I’m created to be?
How do I create a long lasting and sustainable centering prayer practice?
I am currently taking on clients for Centering Prayer One on One Coaching sessions.
I will work with you to setup a program designed to meet your specific needs.
I am currently reading From the Inside Out: Reimagining Mission, Recreating the World by Ryan Kuja.
Contemplative U Course- Everyday Mysticism: An Introduction to the History, Theology, and the Practice of Contemplative Christianity. It’s great for someone who is brand new, or for those looking to brush up or deepen their practice. You pick the price you pay for the course.
Welcome to Contemplative-Life.org. Our mission is to present the best of contemplative teachings. Through contemplative awareness, one becomes open and present to the mystery of God in the here and now—in the midst of daily life.
I continue to update my Resource Page including Books on Sale that features great kindle books at low prices. It includes authors such as Nicholas Amato, J Brent Bill, Daniel P Coleman, John Eldredge, Rachel Held Evans, James Finley, Sharon Grussendorff, Philip Gulley, Thomas Keating, James Martin, John Ortberg, Amos Smith, Barbara Taylor Brown.
The Power of the Jesus Prayer: Learn a method practiced by Christian mystics for centuries to consent to the action and presence of God within.
Christian Prayer Methods: Prayer is a core Christian practice, but for many, this means “saying prayers” or asking God for various favors. In this course, we will review a variety of methods of prayer that have been used for centuries in Christianity. Whether you’re a beginner who is just learning how to pray, or a more mature Christian who has been at it awhile, this course will offer specific guidance, encouragement and support for practicing several time-tested methods of prayer.
The Way of the Wisdom Jesus: Going Beyond the Mind to the Heart of His Teaching – If you put aside what you think you know about Jesus and approach the Gospels as though for the first time, something remarkable happens: Jesus emerges as a teacher of the transformation of consciousness. In this online course, Episcopal priest, teacher, and retreat and conference leader Cynthia Bourgeault serves as a masterful guide to Jesus’s vision and to the traditional contemplative practices you can use to experience the heart of his teaching for yourself. It is based upon her book, The Wisdom Jesus: Transforming Heart and Mind – a New Perspective on Christ and His Message .
Prepare to be immersed in the 1st Century A.D. context of the life, work, teachings, and actions of Jesus. Check out Simply Jesus by N. T. Wright. It is based on his book Simply Jesus. Enjoy an article I wrote about one of the lectures on the Beatitudes.
This course is a short course based on Prof. N.T. Wright’s latest book, Simply Good News. Tom Wright will guide you through the chapters of his book through videos that suggest what some of the main points are. You will instantly get into the heart of the idea of ‘good news’ as it was understood by the 1st Century writers of the New Testament. You will be brought into their world in order to make more sense of what ‘good news’ means in our world.
Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks – This is a great way to listen to books with your cell phone while you drive, walk or relax at home. I frequently listen in my car during my commute to and from work. I’m a proud affiliate.
David Frenette’s book The Path of Centering Prayer reenergized the Centering Prayer tradition with its fresh insights and teachings. Centering Prayer Meditations: Effortless Contemplation to Deepen Your Experience of God is a wonderful companion audio program created to be equally rewarding as a stand-alone guide – gives listeners an immersive resource to learn contemplative prayer, step by step and in the moment. With clarity and compassionate presence, Frenette explains the essential principles of this contemplative practice for both new and seasoned practitioners.
Centering Prayer is a silent prayer practice that can move you toward a profound relationship with the Spirit of God within. It is a way of praying that opens the door to the Divine Indwelling—the ground of our being. With Centering Prayer, Father Thomas Keating and his colleagues Gail Fitzpatrick-Hopler and Father Carl Arico present the first online course in this method for deepening your intimacy with God and ultimately consenting to the presence and action of the Divine in all aspects of your life.
Since the time of the Desert Fathers in the third century, Finley begins, Christian mystics have practiced meditation as a way of opening to the direct presence of God in daily life. Legendary seekers such as Saint John of the Cross, Saint Teresa of Avila, and Meister Eckhart explored how meditation can lead us beyond the closed horizon of the ego, to an interior and holy refuge that is always available to us. On Christian Meditation, James Finley offers a gentle introduction to this all-transforming way of life, and the ever-deepening realization of oneness with Christ it leads us to. (Based upon his book, Christian Meditation.)