By Kathy Keary
Our full series in the Contemplative Prayer Video Series is here.
Our full series on the Prayer of Silence is here.
Last week, we finished our five-episode series on the Prayer of Silence (see link above). Starting today we will be exploring a close cousin to the Prayer of Silence, one that falls under the category of mindfulness.
So much of our inner mental chatter is about regrets and shames of the past and worries about the future. It’s spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically healthy to engage in activities that help us to turn that noise off and be present in the moment.
In his book, Letting Go of Nothing, Relax Your Mind and Discover the Wonder of Your True Nature, Peter Russell, a leading thinker on consciousness and contemporary spirituality describes possible responses stemming from meditative practices that foster being present in the moment. He asserts: “You may have a sense of ease, of relief and relaxation, of deeper contentment, inner peace, joy. Perhaps a sense of openness or spaciousness. Or a gentle delight in the mind being quiet, an appreciation of the inner stillness.”
Russell takes it a step further. He invites the reader to be “present to how it is to be present – not so much noticing your experience of the moment but noticing how it feels to be in the moment.” He instructs: “However it feels, allow yourself to savor it. To soak in it, as you might soak in the warm bath. Savoring how it actually feels to be present motivates us to return here more often. As we do, the familiar, delightful feeling of being here now becomes a beacon drawing us home.”
Today, we will spend a few minutes being fully present to the sounds and sight of beauty – a relaxing music video accompanied by lovely images of God’s breathtaking creation. I invite you to be totally present to the awesome sounds and sights. Be in the moment.
To take it a step further, savor how this experience makes you feel. As Peter Russel invites, “soak in it.”
Using words or art, journaling your emotional response to the experience of being present to the beautiful sounds and sights will take your prayer experience to a deeper level.
This link will take you to a collection of meditative music videos enabling you to return to this experience whenever you like.
Next week we will begin a series reverencing the season of Lent through contemplative prayer. I hope you will join me.
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May God bless you and hold you close.
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[Kathy Keary, spiritual director, holds a bachelor’s degree in education, a master’s degree in theological studies, and completed Sophia Center’s Souljourners Program, an intense study of spirituality and spiritual direction. Kathy believes that the Divine is present and active in all of life and encourages others to be awakened to the God in all including the Divine within. She enjoys accompanying others on their journey to wholeness discovering the person they were created to be.]
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