8 ways to be with thoughts in prayer

Poppies

How’s it going in surrendering yourself to the Mystery that has intimately accessed your heart and has brought you to this place that it might translate you into itself?James Finley  If you ask me just precisely how one is to go about doing the contemplative work of love, I am at a complete loss. All … Continue reading 8 ways to be with thoughts in prayer

Retreat Day: “What do You want me to do?”

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The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet. Frederick Buechner, Wishful Thinking Many of us long to know what we should do with our lives and how we should live on a day by day basis. Those of us with a religious bent want … Continue reading Retreat Day: “What do You want me to do?”

Lass auch Dir die Brust bewegen, Liebchen, höre mich!

Every year everything I have ever learned in my lifetime leads back to this: the fires and the black river of loss whose other side is salvation, whose meaning none of us will ever know. Mary Oliver: In Blackwater Woods I was listening to Radio 3 over breakfast on Wednesday. Bryn Terfel was interviewed and … Continue reading Lass auch Dir die Brust bewegen, Liebchen, höre mich!

What’s eating away at you?

I think that … that you work on the thing that's eating away at you. And I think that the performers that we feel are wrestling with something significant are the performers that hold … they hold our attention. Why couldn't people take their eyes of Brando? Something was always eating at him. I don't … Continue reading What’s eating away at you?

Service

This week a body came for spiritual direction. She was reflecting upon busyness, upon the balance she was seeking in a life of service to God, with space for prayer and contemplation. Amongst other things, she draws and paints. She related an experience she'd had that morning. She had felt anxious about the amount of … Continue reading Service

Desire and this body

In meditative or contemplative practices, the advice on dealing with so-called 'distractions' is to come back either to your breath, or to a word, phrase or mantra. I want to write about attention to this body in contrast to, or in concert with, the breath or a word. I have just prayed. When I noticed … Continue reading Desire and this body

Evanescence (IV)

4. Prayer on retreat, July 2014 [Read parts I, II & III] Here I am again, looking for something exciting on the iPhone, doing everything I can to avoid prayer. It is addiction: anything to stop me coming home to myself, and the work of coming home to You. What am I doing? I am … Continue reading Evanescence (IV)

Boredom: guardian of the Temple (part 3)

Not exactly waiting for someone else, he is, as it were, waiting for himself. Adam Phillips, On Kissing, Tickling and Being Bored, p.72 If you are bored, your mind is wandering—away from you—its rightful purpose. Gail Sher, One Continuous Mistake p.30 You long for yourself. Distractions are substitutes, looking for something to fill a hole, … Continue reading Boredom: guardian of the Temple (part 3)