I am excited to share my interview with Clint Sabom regarding his course, Contemplative Practice: 5 Spiritual Exercises To Get Closer To God.
Clint Sabom and Marc Thomas Shaw are the instructors of this wonderful course and are the founders of Contemplative Light.
Contemplative Light is a community of spiritual teachers developing Contemplative Learning Courses, articles, podcasts, and lessons on silent prayer and meditation.
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For those not familiar with this form of prayer, how do you define contemplative prayer?
Spending quiet time with God. Putting it that way allows a lot of people to realize they are already doing it to some degree. Then, when they find out there is an entire tradition, even multiple traditions, of these practices, they feel validated and are eager to learn more.
For beginners who have a difficult time with contemplative prayer, what advice can you provide?
Watch less TV. Get comfortable with silence. Abstain from the radio or podcasts or any audio when you’re driving. Unless we live in a monastery, most of our time is not spent in prayer. So cut back on noise and stimulation all you can, and when you do take time for contemplative practices, it will come that much more naturally.
How long have you been a contemplative prayer practitioner? Which type did you start with
Since about age 21, and I am 40 now. I think I start with literally just sitting in silence and trying to let go and let be and be quiet. It was only many years later until I learned any “formal” prayer techniques or meditation methods.
Do you practice contemplative prayer everyday? Which one(s) ?
Yes, definitely. Mainly the Jesus Prayer and Centering Prayer.
Why are you attracted to contemplative prayer?
At this point, it’s just who I am, and what I most naturally do. In the beginning, I think I wanted to calm down feelings of anxiety and quiet my racing thoughts.
What is our true self? What is our false self?
If your friend Joe calls you up on the phone and starts talking to you, how do you think Joe is perceiving you? What exactly is he imagining as “you” in your opinion? That’s your false self.
The true self is more of a mystery. Every spiritual teacher tries to put a different spin on this question. But it’s still just a bunch of words. I suppose the true self is what God sees when He looks at us, the part of us that continues after death.
The true self has a stronger sense of Being, and less of a sense of Knowing. In fact, I feel like my own true self wants to answer all of your questions with the response: “I don’t know.”
How can a contemplative practice help me?
It generally becomes the most important thing in people’s lives once they invest their time and energy into it. It will make you calmer, happier, healthier, and of course, more deeply connected to God.
I encourage you to check out Clint and Marc’s course: Contemplative Practice: 5 Spiritual Exercises To Get Closer To God .
You will explore methods practiced by Christian mystics for centuries to consent to the action and presence of God within, including Centering Prayer, The Examen, Lectio Divina, Christian Meditation, and the Jesus Prayer.
Also by Clint and Marc at Contemplative Light:
How might your life change if you were steeped more deeply in the wisdom of the Christian Mystics? Drawing on the best available writing on the topic of Christian Mysticism both ancient and modern, Contemplative Light is offering a special course on the Christian Mystics Sacred Lives: An Introduction To The Christian Mystics.
The Divine Transformation: Essentials of Christian Mysticism – Welcome to a comprehensive introductory through intermediate level course on both practice and perspectives of these timeless teachings from the Christian Mystical and Contemplative traditions! Whether you are a long-time practitioner looking to solidify your understanding and framework for practice or a beginner interested in immersing yourself in this teaching, this course can serve as a rich resource.
Contemplative Practices: 5 Ways of Consenting to the Divine – Learn methods practiced by Christian mystics for centuries to consent to the action and presence of God within, including Centering Prayer, The Examen, Lectio Divina, Christian Meditation, and the Jesus Prayer.
Dante’s Road: The Journey Home for the Modern Soul by Marc Thomas Shaw
150 Meditations From The World’s Mystics by Marc Thomas Shaw and Clint Sabom
Writing as a Spiritual Practice: This course helps you to access the rich spiritual stories that lie deeply within you. Words are powerful. The words that you write can be used to:
- help you understand yourself better – and therefore divine God’s purpose in your life
- facilitate healing of spiritual wounds
- minister to others more effectively
- share your testimonies of how God has worked in your life
If you read devotionals, you already know how they can be a true blessing. A devotional can uplift you when you’re feeling discouraged, sad or lonely. And, if you are feeling called to write devotionals, know that you have a unique opportunity to bless others and make a genuine difference in their lives. This course takes you step by step through the process, and then guides you towards publishing, if that is your goal.