Through the use of our imagination and the five senses we participate personally in the many stories of Scripture, particularly the Gospels. \We enter the story personally, rather than read about the person(s) many years ago. Imaginative prayer stimulates our awareness, enlivening dialogue as we connect personally with the Living Lord in the Bible story. These personal, interactive encounters encourage intentional, deep responses to the initiatives of God.
To enter into a contemplative life, practice helps shape the opening for encounter. We need resources that provide a framework by which to attend to what is already there – a divine presence.
While not a magical formula nor a one-size fits all, spiritual practices are merely the containers that draws us closer and into a place of listening for God’s invitation in presence.
In a contemplative posture, listening and engaging with the whole self is the prayer. With an emphasis on pausing and silence, contemplative prayer intends to enter into listening over speaking, presence over petition, and experience of rather than talking about God. The encounter with God, others, and self becomes an embodied – whole person present of mind, body, soul, and spirit – prayer. Moving from a mind-filled prayer to a heart-expressed prayer, contemplative practices help nurture the journey of deepening the experience by building capacity and greater love.
These practices can be repeated again and again, providing a deepening journey with each encounter as the real drama of our life in God comes through our awareness, not through doing some novel every time. The values for the containers include:
- Coming Together in the unity of all God has made
- Pausing frequently to stop and take notice
- Savoring the moment with all of our senses
- Listening into the silence that speaks
- Seeing the beauty found in all things
- Living into the mystery of life
- Receiving the presence and movement of God
- Embracing the paradoxes that disarm and transform us
- Opening to transformation and inner-freedom
- Responding to love, with love, in love
Here are some resources that help you establish your own contemplative rhythm and practice whether individually or in community.
Are you interested in learning more about contemplative resources?
P.O. Box 2724
Gig Harbor, WA 98335