Tonight at Midnight EST on http://blogtalkradio.com/grace-independent I am going to be an introduction to Contemplative Prayer. You can listen live, listen through your cell phone (347-326-9632), come back later and listen or download the show through the blogtalk player at the same link or, find the podcast on iTunes.
I recommend, before you listen, that you grab a candle, a little incense and create a quiet area where you can sit comfortably and be undisturbed while you listen and perform the exercise.
Contemplative prayer is a tradition in almost every belief system. From the Buddhists to the Christians to the Muslims to people with no belief in a Universal Power or God but who engage in meditative processes. Prayer, after all, is a form of meditation – just a more directed one than many other types.
Lectio Divina is a Latin term for the practice of using sacred texts for divine guidance. It is the core aspect of Contemplative Prayer. You read a passage (or several) slowly and when a word or phrase pops out and grabs your attention, you use that as a kind of “mantra” for the meditation. Repeat the word or phrase over and over in your mind as you sit still and slow your breathing. Allow the phrase to drive all other thoughts from your mind. During the course of a contemplative prayer session, there is usually a kind of revelation that occurs as to why that word or that phrase was so important to you now.
For people who have tried meditation but been unsuccessful in quieting their minds down to nothingness, contemplative prayer is a good way to begin. The directed nature of it, the intuitive response to the reading all help to make it an accessible form of meditation for all. More advanced practitioners enjoy it as it helps them to integrate an exploration of their spirituality and beliefs into their meditation practice.
Tune in and try it out. It is a great habit to start in the beginning of this New Year.
c.2012. Cassandra Tribe. All Rights Reserved.