As of today, there are only five days until I open my office as a vessel in which contemplative commmunity may emerge. Monday, January 11 at 7:00 pm and Tuesday, January 12 at 11am are the times set aside for contemplation.
I have no idea where this will go or what it will eventually look like. Formerly attached to “order” and “plans”, I find myself in the precarious position of entering into this process from a place of complete unknowing. I have no idea who (if anyone) will show up. I have no idea how the initial session, let alone, subsequent sessions will unfold.
While much of this is unknown, there is a mantra that has been carrying me forward in this process. I have carried within me the words of my writing coach, Julie Tallard Johnson, http://www.julietallardjohnson.com, “You have your own unique medicine and there are people out there who need and are looking for this medicine. Trust that you will find eachother.” With this in mind, all I can bring to the table are the things that have fed me in my spiritual journey and through which I have found a growing contentment and peace:
- Scripture – Released from the constrictions of dogmatic interpretations, scripture has the unique ability to reveal to us, in a deeply personal and intimate way, the voice of God. Approached through ancient techniques of mystical prayer, scripture has the potential to be for us the living, breathing word of God. In this way, scripture inspires, confronts, challenges, nourishes, guides and brings healing.
- Music – Music has always been a vehicle through which I have found comfort, inspiration and freedom. Used as a tool for meditation, music has the ability to assist us in finding the deeper place of peace within where we can be open to that still small voice of God within.
- Mantra – Mantra is a sacred sound or phrase repeated over and over so as to facilitate a deeply meditative state. Mantra prayer is a tool used across spiritual traditions – Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, indigenous traditions. The power of mantra prayer resides, not in the words themselves, but within the sacred vibrations of intention, thought and sound. Mantras have the power to stimulate healing and transformation by providing a path in which contemplation may be realized. To this end, I turn to the mantras that have uniquely spoken to me: The Aramaic Lord’s Prayer, Sanskrit mantras and Latin chants.
- Meditation – Meditation is the process of being open to the presence and action of the Divine in our lives. There are miriad tools for meditation, many of which have spoken to me: Imagination/Contemplation, Lectio Divina, Mantra, Movement, Centering Prayer.
- Discussion – In community, we grow through the wisdom of others. In meditation, God will impart a unique message to each individual. In sharing these revelations, all present have an opportunity to be healed, comforted, inspired and guided.
- Contemplation – In contemplation, we attempt to cease the activity of the mind so that we can “Be still and Know God.” In contemplation, we allow ourselves to simply rest in the peace and love of God. YUM!
While I remain unsure as to where this all will lead, I do find comfort in giving myself permission to stand in the truth of what has spoken to me and through which my own unique giftedness has been revealed. I humbly share these gifts freely and openly to anyone who desires to explore the unlimited possibilities of cultivating contemplation within the context of a nurturing, supportive and confidential community. All are welcome!