God is a paradox. God is within and also other. Mystery yet revealed in Jesus. Creator but also the Existence in which we all live. All a paradox. I do not understand it. I am okay that I do not understand it. It teaches me to loosen my mind. I need to open my mind. I must learn to see with new eyes.
Centering prayer loosens my mind. During centering prayer I open to the “larger Mind”. Each time I open to the “larger Mind”, Mystery begins to reveal Itself to me. Mystery seems to only reveal what It knows I am ready to see. Patience is necessary for this journey.
Mystery says let things just be. Mystery asks me to move forward in trust. Mystery does not want me to fear. Mystery insists that I do not judge. Mystery is beautiful. Mystery is an invitation to enter. Mystery is meant to be enjoyed.
Mystery will show me a new world. Paradox is an invitation into Mystery. It is an invitation to trust Mystery. Let it teach me. Mystery will teach me how to live. Mystery will show me how to love. Paradox opens me to Life. Certitude closes my mind. Paradox is infinite. Certitude is finite.
You might choose a walk in nature, music, photography or meditation. All of these open you to Life, the great Mystery. Enter with an open mind. Move forward in trust. Don’t judge. And most of all, enjoy the journey.
Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening by Cynthia Bourgeault
The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics See by Richard Rohr
The Eyes of the Heart: Photography as a Christian Contemplative Practice by Christine Valters Paintner
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Contemplative Discernment by Fr. Carl Arico, Pamela Begeman, Gail Fitzpatrick-Hopler: A contemplative practice of discernment is not about decision-making, although this may be an eventual outcome. Rather, contemplative discernment is receptive in nature, a process of opening to receive clues about who we are in God. We focus on ever-deepening levels of relationship and trust in God’s will for us. We learn how to listen deeply to our motivations and sort through and purify any mixed motivations. As this relationship deepens, we learn to allow the love of God to motivate our actions and manifest through us. We discover what it means to truly pray “not my will, but Thy will.”
Embracing Living: The Welcoming Prayer by Contemplative Outreach, Mary Dwyer, Therese Saulnier, Cherry Haisten, Jim McElroy: The Welcoming Prayer is a method of consenting to God’s presence and action in our physical and emotional reactions to events and situations in daily life. If Centering Prayer (or another daily prayer) is practiced for one hour of the day, the Welcoming Prayer is for the other 23 hours. It is a “letting go” in the present moment, in the midst of the activity of ordinary life.
Practicing the Presence of God by Pamela Begeman, Mary Ann Brussat, Gail Fitzpatrick-Hopler, David Frenette: We live in a world of complexity, fragmentation, noise, and haste. We sometimes find ourselves overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of tasks, appointments, and commitments facing us. How can we experience God in the midst of the busyness, responsibilities, and activities of our daily lives? By practice. By living more in the present moment. By practicing the presence of God in the present moment.
Sounds True has titles by teachers and authors such as Thomas Keating, Cynthia Bourgeault, James Finley, Richard Rohr, David Frenette, Parker Palmer , Eckhart Tolle , Michael Singer , Jon Kabat-Zinn , Marianne Williamson to name a few.
Contemplative Light offers courses on contemplative practices (Christian Meditation, Centering Prayer, The Examen, Lectio Divina, The Jesus Prayer), the Christian mystics (ancient and current) and spiritual writing. Peruse their wonderful offerings.
Prayer-Bracelet: Authentic Orthodox prayer ropes and bracelets are handmade by monks in the Orthodox monastaries reciting a prayer for every knot they tie. Peruse their prayer ropes and bracelets that are all handmade, provided by several orthodox churches around the globe.
Themes in the Gospel of John by N. T. Wright: The course approaches the Gospel of John in a way that looks at seven key themes. These themes bind the Fourth Gospel together in a manner that allows us to see this ‘new way of living’ as possible for followers of King Jesus. In so doing, we then apply these themes to the current era in order to ask ourselves questions about how we are putting them into practice. In a way, this is the story of how to live out being the presence of God on earth through the indwelling of God’s spirit.
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.
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.