Contemplative prayer is not just about sitting in quiet stillness.
The contemplative way is about being present enough truly to experience God’s grace in the depths of your soul. It’s about, through God’s grace, being set free and discerning who you are called to be, and doing what you are called to do.
Children who play freely, unselfconsciously, and are fresh with wonder can be profound teachers of presence and the contemplative way. Jesus seems to say that childlike wonder is crucial. Such immediate, open presence can be like contemplative keys to the Kingdom of Heaven.
Lately, some of my best moments of contemplative prayer time is while I’m out walking our dog, Chancey.
Often I stroll quietly and simply observe the sights and sounds around me… just taking in the surprises of the moment. Chancey is an excellent companion for these “prayer walks.” She is totally and enthusiastically immersed in the moment. As I hold her leash, she hops along on her hind legs with great hopes of encountering one of her fellow four-legged friends, or perhaps, even find an opportunity to chase a squirrel up a tree and free the world from danger . . . at least in the moment. And for me, the amazing songs of the birds connect me to memories of healing moments in nature. Which also weaves that into the wonder of the present moment. In the words of Gordon Hempton, there are “sound symphonies” all around.
Sometimes I put on my earphones and listen to a podcast on my phone.
This morning, while listening to one of my favorite podcasts, “On Being”, a particular interview captured my attention. “Mind and Morality: A Dialogue” was the title, and the conversation between this scientist and psychologist was a powerful example of how the way we interact with one another can be crucial… and can create a place of true discovery for all involved.
I won’t go into the details of that dialogue here, but I am posting below an “On Being” Trifecta – three podcasts that can be part of your spiritual exercise (while walking the dog or whatever opportunity you may have to be truly present in the moment.) Each one is very different, but all emphasize a contemplative way of knowing, which can awaken you to a place of true discovery . . . wherever you are in your faith journey . . .
Blessings along the way . . .