By Kathy Keary
Our full series in the Contemplative Prayer Video Series is here.
Revisit earlier articles in our Contemplative Life Series here.
The Shift Network offered the Mystics Summit this week, a five-day, interspiritual event featuring 35 acclaimed teachers of mysticism. One of the presenters, Dr. William Bloom, PhD, is one of the leading educators and authors in the field of spirituality and well-being in the United Kingdom. Bloom asserts and I agree that mystical experiences are available to everyone. He suggests that we identify the circumstances that avail us, as individuals, to the flow, the wonder, and the energy of life. He then suggests three strategies to help us deepen our experience:
While Dr. Bloom’s suggestions are simple, they are profound at the same time. Throughout the contemplative life video series, we have delved into different ways to connect with the divine whether that be lectio divina, visio divina, contemplative photography, the prayer of silence, journaling, art journaling, walking in nature, drawing mandalas, engaging in Zentangle, guided meditations, reflective meditation, breathing exercises, music videos, dance, and using our imagination in prayer. It is our hope that you will continue to pursue the practices that speak to you. Dr. Bloom’s suggestions will deepen your experience.
Today, I will walk your through a guided meditation. Get comfortable in your chair. Take a few deep breaths to center yourself. Imagine that there are celestial guides overhead gazing at you. Your guides are beings that have influenced your life in a positive way. They could be saints, prophets, the divine, angels, or loved ones that have gone before you. I will give you a moment to select who your guides will be.
Imagine that these beings are gazing at you with hearts filled with love for you. They hold you dear. Your well-being is their highest interest. Pause and allow yourself to feel their love. Yield to the experience. Soak in it like you would soak in a warm bath. As the recipient of this tender love, what emotions surface? What is happening within your body? What word describes your experience?
Now imagine that you join your guides positioned overhead. You too are gazing at yourself with love. You too want only the best for you. Allow yourself to feel this love to your core. Rest in it. What emotions are surfacing? What image reflects these emotions? What color reflects your experience?
I invite you to slowly return to the room knowing you can return to this sacred place anytime you wish.
Until our paths cross again, may the road rise to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face; the rains fall soft upon your fields, and may God hold you in the palm of His hand.
[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.]
Photo 114697112 © Maksim Prochan | Dreamstime.com
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