Everything we see in our world can be a practice or portal for contemplative prayer.
– Nicholas Amato
I read the above quote in Living in God: Contemplative Prayer and Contemplative Action by Nicholas Amato.
Let me share some of my everyday portals:
- Centering prayer is my daily portal to contemplative prayer: rest in God.
- I particularly enjoy to drink a fresh pot of french pressed coffee with my wife.
- When my sixteen year old daughter edits my upcoming blog posts
- A leisurely stroll through the neighborhood with my wife, daughter, son and sandy (golden doodle)
- Time alone to read a good book
- A gaze into the flickering flames of our gas fireplace
- To explore a small town on foot
- A silent afternoon walk on a quiet path in the woods
- A clear night sky lit up with millions and billions of stars
- When I watch my children play
- To quietly sit at a family gathering and watch and listen
- The sounds and smells of the waves on a morning or evening walk on the Ocean City, NJ boardwalk
- A holiday movie with my wonderful wife
- When I take turns to read with my nine year old son
- To savor an evening meal at a restaurant with my twenty year old son
What is your daily portal to the Divine?
Living in God: Contemplative Prayer and Contemplative Action by Nicholas Amato. Enjoy my review of this wonderful book.
Eyes of the Heart: Photography as a Christian Contemplative Practice by Christine Valters Paintner. (Enjoy my review.)
The Soul of a Pilgrim: Eight Practices for the Journey Within by Christine Valters Paintner
Spirituality in Photography: Taking pictures with deeper vision by Philip Richter (Enjoy my review.)
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I am currently taking on clients for Centering Prayer One on One Coaching sessions. I am happy to setup weekly, bi-weekly or monthly sessions with you over the phone or skype to help you go deeper into your centering prayer practice and integrate it into your daily life. Contact me for more information. The rate is $50 – $75 per hour. The first session is 1/2 off.
Feel free to peruse my Resource Page. I frequently update it with new information.
Learn how I use my prayer bracelet.
Our friends at Contemplative Light are offering Contemplative Practices. This course examines in-depth traditional practices of the Christian mystics, including: The Examen, Centering Prayer, Lectio Divina, The Jesus Prayer and Christian Meditation.
Contemplative Perspectives: Frameworks for the Divine: With the historic practice of The Jesus Prayer as a jumping off point, we explore the experiential aspects of the Purgation/Illumination/Union path of Christian Mysticism.
I am currently reading The Day the Revolution Began: Reconsidering the Meaning of Jesus’s Crucifixion by N. T. Wright. I plan on reading Grateful: The Transformative Power of Giving Thanks by Diana Butler Bass.
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.)