Examen

A great way to pray is to look for God’s presence in your life. More than 400 years ago St. Ignatius Loyola encouraged prayer-filled mindfulness by proposing what has been called the Daily Examen. The Examen is a technique of prayerful reflection on the events of the day in order to detect God’s presence and to discern his direction for us. Try this version of St. Ignatius’s prayer. 1. Become aware of God’s presence. Look back on the events of the day in the company of the Holy Spirit. The day may seem confusing to you—a blur, a jumble, a Read More …

Centering Prayer

“Prayer is not a request for God’s favours…Genuine prayer is based on recognising the Origin of all that exists, and opening ourselves to it.” ~Cynthia Bourgeault CENTERING PRAYER: THE VERY BASICS Most faith traditions have some form of meditation or contemplation. Virtually all methods of meditation have a goal of expanding, or deepening, the consciousness of the practitioner. The details vary. The Contemplative Society focuses on Centering Prayer, a surrender method of meditation, or contemplative prayer, that reaches back to the early days of Christianity. In her book Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening*, Cynthia Bourgeault writes that even though we Read More …

The 3-2-1 Process (Shadow)

You can do the 3-2-1 Process anytime you need it. Two particularly useful times are right when you wake up in the morning and just before going to bed at night. Once you know 3-2-1, it only takes a minute to use it for anything that might be disturbing you. First thing in the morning (before getting out of bed) review your dreams and find someone who showed up with an emotional charge, positive or negative. FACE that person, holding them in mind. Then TALK to that person, or simply resonate with them. Finally, BE that person by taking their Read More …

I AM: Mantra Meditation (Spirit)

Sit in a comfortable, upright posture, and let yourself settle. Then, use the word-sounds-meanings I AM or “Ayam.” Recall it every few moments or whenever thought arises.3 Let yourself be carried by it. There is nothing you need to accomplish. There is nothing you need to get rid of. Just recall this mantra, I AM. You can trust this process. If you drift, just recall the mantra, I AM. You will naturally come back to the present moment. Recall this mantra or sound anchor whenever you want and always when you notice that you have been pulled away. If you Read More …

Compassionate Exchange (Spirit)

Begin by bringing attention and feeling to the heart and breathing to and from the heart. Recall a memory that evokes the experience of care and compassion. Then, picture someone dear to you and breathe this person’s distress and suffering into your heart. Then, as you exhale, breathe out the essence of freedom from suffering, and direct it towards this person. Continue to breathe. Each time you breathe in, take in the suffering and distress of more and more people. Each time you breathe out, breathe out the essence of release and freedom from suffering and direct it towards this Read More …

Big Mind (Spirit)

Sit or stand quietly. Notice the qualities and contents of the mind and emotions. Allow them to settle. Silently use your own Facilitator voice to ask to speak to the Controller. When the Controller shows up, acknowledge the voice, and take a moment to notice his or her presence and qualities. Does another voice (or voices) need to be heard from? If so, allow them to show up, acknowledge their presence, and be with them until they are ready for you to go on. Now ask to speak to the voice of Integrated Big Mind/Big Heart. Allow the voice to Read More …

Integral Inquiry (Spirit)

1) Sit upright and breathe naturally. 2) Rest in the present moment, releasing attention into the suchness or openness in which everything is arising. Relax into what is. 3) If thoughts arise or attention wanders, ask “Avoiding?,” “Contracting?,” or “Who am I?” 4) Let the question simply open you to a deeper awareness, rather than try to answer it. Don’t engage a mental story about your avoidance or contraction. Just notice what’s happening and return to being present. 5) Rest in pure presence. Notice when you get distracted and check for any shadow elements, such as recurring, emotionally charged thoughts Read More …

3 Faces of Spirit (Spirit)

At any moment, you can experience God as a 3rd-person “It,” a 2nd-person “Thou,” or a 1st-person “I.” Simply repeat the following sentences quietly to yourself, letting each perspective arise gently and naturally. I contemplate God as all that is arising—the Great Perfection of this and every moment. I behold and commune with God as an infinite Thou, who bestows all blessings and complete forgiveness on me, and before whom I offer infinite gratitude and devotion. I rest in God as my own Witness and primordial Self, the Big Mind that is one with all, and in this ever-present, easy, Read More …

Basic Breath Meditation (Spirit)

Sit quietly with an erect spine and breathe naturally. Bring attention to the present moment and breathe, silently counting the breath. Begin counting your breath, counting the first inhalation as “one,” the exhalation as “two,” and so on. Breathe in while counting “one,” breathe out, “two,” breathe in “three,” and so forth Start over after you reach “ten.” Between the in and out breath, rest the mind. Pay special attention to the stillness between each breath. Whenever your mind wanders, go back to “one” and continue to count the breaths. Set an engaging, gently challenging standard. It’s your choice: You Read More …

States of Consciousness (Mind)

Use your five senses to touch into the physical realm. Look around your environment. What do you see? What do you smell or taste? Listen to any noises that might be present such as the sound of your own breathing. Notice any sensations in your gross body. Is there heat… or pressure… or pain… or heaviness… or itchiness… or tension? Allow it all to be present as you witness the waking state of awareness. Begin the transition to the more subtle states by turning your attention to the sensations associated with emotions. Is there sadness… or joy… or anxiety… or Read More …