top of page

Wisdom & Mindfulness Practices

  • Body Prayer
    Practice: Our spiritual paths involve not only our minds and feelings but also our bodies. We can pray through gesture and posture. Within the Christian Wisdom and Contemplative tradition, people have been using their bodies to pray for hundreds of years. You might choose to work with one of the following body prayers or come up with your own. Purpose: Our bodies want to be included in our spirituality whatever that may be and understand things that our mind and emotion cannot. By allowing our bodies to bring their intelligence an offering, we are reminded that we are not separate from our bodies and that our bodies must be included. Body Prayer by Heather Ruce You can find a video of the prayer here Here I am, as I am Holy, Human In this world, as it is Sacred, Profane Ever connected, in this wondrous luminous web Ever abiding, in the Heart of God Body Prayer by Julian of Norwich (1343–1416) Pray these four gestures with your body while saying the italicized words aloud (meaning adapted by me): 1. "Await" (hands at waist, cupped up to receive): I wait for the awareness of God who is always within and all around me, not always as I expect, hope, or imagine, but just as God is revealing God's self to me in this moment 2. "Allow" (reach up, hands open): I allow all parts of myself to be open to a sense of God’s presence (or not), allowing more of myself to listen to my heart 3. "Accept" (hands at heart, cupped towards body): I accept myself as I am and my awareness of God as God is, I accept that I am not in charge, I accept the infinity of God’s presence, present whether or not I am aware 4. "Attend" (hands outstretched, ready to be responsive): I attend to what is mind to attend to, to my spiritual invitations from this stance of awaiting, allowing and accepting Body Prayer co-created by Natalie and me Pray these four gestures with your body while saying the italicized words aloud 1. "Anchor" (right hand in a fist in front of torso between heart and solar plexus): I feel and sense that I am anchoring in the mercy of God, the spiritual substances of abundance, goodness, peace, hope, love, etc. from the kingdom of heaven, rather than the conditions of this world 2. "Surrender" (both hands open up and flat in front of torso): I feel and sense the willingness to surrender to God in and all around me, getting out of my own way 3. "Inter-abide" (like first gesture but with left hand wrapped around it): I feel and sense the inter-abiding interconnectedness within where it is difficult to distinguish where God ends and I begin, where I end and God begins, like the vine in the branch and the branch in the vine 4. "Widen" (arms spread open wide to the side, palms open and facing forward): I feel and sense the wideness of being able to make space for my human nature and spiritual nature within, for the shadow and the struggle to be co-present with my deepest sense of being Body Prayer You can find a video of the prayer here Here I am, as I am Holy, Human In this world, as it is Sacred, Profane Ever connected, in this wondrous luminous web Ever abiding, in the Heart of God — composed by Heather Ruce, first and third line words are from Babette Lightner Body Prayer Six gestures with italicized words said aloud words by Joyce Rupp from her book Out of the Ordinary: 1. "I thank you, Holy One, for the gift of another day of life" (stretch your arms high and wide above your head): I offer the Creator praise and gratitude 2. "I reach out in compassion to my sisters and brothers throughout the universe" (hold arms out from your sides, a little below shoulder height. Pivot to the left and to the right with your arms stretching outward toward the cosmos): I intentionally become aware of my spiritual bond with all of creation 3. "I give to you all I am and all I have" (stretch your arms out straight in front of you, slightly apart, palms up): I offer my life to the Holy One 4. "I open my entire being to receive the gift that you have waiting for me in this new day" (pull your hands close together and cup them as container): I open to accept what the Holy One offers me this day 5. "I touch this planet, Earth, with awe, reverence, and gratitude, promising to care well for her today" (bend over, reach down, and touch the floor, or better yet, the ground, if you are outside): I will remember to be kind to our planet Earth 6. "May I be united with you throughout this day, aware of your love strengthening me and shining through me. Amen." (stand up, cross hands over your heart, and bow to the waist): I am aware of the indwelling presence of the Holy One Body Prayer You can find a video of the the prayer here gestural movement (M) with words (W) and a focus for your attention (F) by Babette Lightner • • M. Lightly stamp right foot while doing gesture of putting down a staff and say first phrase. Repeat movement with left saying second phrase. W. “Here I am, as I am.” F. Feel your presence on the ground [exactly as you are] in the moment with each movement and the words. M. Open horizontal circle with 1st right then left arm saying 1st phrase with right and 2nd with left. W. “In the world, as it is” F. See/ feel/hear the world around you [exactly as it is]. M. Hands together in prayer like position. W. “Supported by the [earth].” F. Sense the same pressure between your hands as you do the pressure between you and the earth under your feet. M. Prayer hands move up over your head. W. “Floating in the [Cosmos].” F. See your self from the perspective of the moon, standing on the earth, under the earth, [notice that you are part of more subtle realms beyond this horizontal realm such as the kingdom of heaven]. M. Prayer hands to level of forehead. W. “Awake” F. Sense an alert glow between your eyes. M. Prayer hands to heart level. W. “to my [current] state of being.” F. Feel your current state of being, sensations of your being. MWF - woosh exhale any movement feels good. *[I have changed/added a few words]
  • Centering Prayer
    Practice: Sit silently for a period of time, generally 20 minutes. Begin by finding a comfortable and upright position that you can remain relatively still in for the duration of the prayer period. Choose a sacred word such as love, let go, Christ, release. During the prayer time you simply allow your thoughts, emotions, sensations, anything that occupies your attention to come into your awareness and rather than engage them with your attention you return to your sacred word. This is not a mantra because you are not repeating, pondering, or meditating on the word. It is simply the vehicle which allows you to let go of that which tries to occupy your attention. Purpose: This practice builds the internal muscle of letting go, kenosis, and we learn to over time begins to develop an object less awareness.
  • Christian Meditation
    Practice: Sit silently for a period of time, generally 20 minutes. Begin by finding a comfortable and upright position that you can remain relatively still in for the duration of the meditation period. James Finley teaches a simple breath prayer breathing in God saying ‘I love you’ and breathing out ‘I love you’ in relearn. Purpose: This practice cultivates a deep rest in the infinite love of God that is always loving us in every moment of our existence and which we are a part of manifesting in the world.
  • Conscious Work
    Practice: This can be done with any practical work that you do - laundry, preparing and cooking meals, dishes, cleaning, chopping would, house projects, etc. We engage in conscious work by bringing presence and attention to the task we are engaged it. Purpose: To bring presence to the elements of our every day lives and to observe our habitual ways of being and identifications that may no longer be useful.
  • Enjoyment Practice
    Also called ‘orienting to pleasure’ in Organic Intelligence Practice: Our brain and nervous system is wired to pay attention to what is wrong in our environment in order to fix it. This is not a problem necessarily but ‘what’s wrong’ can take up too much of our attention, contributing to a sense of overwhelm and dis-ease. As you go about your day . . . Notice when you are experiencing enjoyment Pause and see if you can identify what is enjoyable about the moment Begin to identify where that enjoyable experience is landing in your body (stomach, face, shoulders, etc) and what the sensation is (tingling, loosening, calming, etc) * Take a few seconds to enjoy it Purpose: This practice is about breaking our addiction to the ‘what’s wrong’ habit. It has a deactivating effect that supports the nervous system in returning to a oscillatory rhythm rather than stuck on activation.
  • Finding Your Rootedness
    Practice: Sense your feet on the ground with roots going into the ground as well as your legs like the trunk of a tree. Sense the substantialness and strength here. See if you can sense into this even when life feels unmanageable and the winds seem to be blowing hard. Allow the top of the tree to bend in the wind without losing contact with the base of the tree. Purpose: This practice helps us get in touch with our connection to and as part of the earth. It brings a sense of equilibrium especially when times are challenging and reminds us that we are more than the branches and leaves being toppled around.
  • The Divina's - Lectio, Audio, Visio, Physio, etc
    Practice: This practice generally follows four movements as one engages a sacred reading, text, or poetry. It can also be done with an image, a song, your body, gestures or your life. The four movements are as follows. First reading, pay attention to what word or phrase, aspect of the image, posture, gesture stands out to you and allow yourself to repeat it briefly. Second reading, notice how the text lands in your body in sensation, what emotions and feelings are stirred, what thoughts, associations, and images emerge. Allow yourself to chew on what comes up and whether there is a specific meaning arising for you. Third reading, notice whether a prayer or mantra emerges that can be offered on behalf of you, others, the world, or God. Forth reading, simply sit in the mystery allowing it to draw you deeper into silence. Purpose: This practice takes us deeper into sacred texts, images, gestures, etc. under the premise that they are living and breathing offering nourishment to us at an point in our lives.
  • Presence Practice
    Also called ‘orienting’ in Organic Intelligence Practice: Come into the present moment by connecting to your environment through your senses. Engage what is around you with neutrality. You are simply being present to what is without judging it or evaluating whether you enjoy it or don’t, whether it is pleasant or unpleasant. Ask yourself: What do I see around me? (a painting on the wall, a plant, a cloud outside, a piece of furniture, a person, an animal, etc) What do I hear? (the sound of cars in the background, the hum of the refrigerator, birds chirping, etc) What do I feel with my skin (on the outside of my body)? (the temperature of the air, a piece of clothing, the texture of a chair or pillow, etc) What do I smell? (the scent of a candle, food in the kitchen, the ocean, etc.) Purpose: When our physiology gets stuck in reviewing what has happened, planning for the future, or scanning our environment for what’s wrong, we often become activated. We feel a sense of unease and it is difficult to be present right here, right now. When we are present we are more able to respond to what is actually needed from us in any given moment. This practice helps our physiology register the present moment and has a de-activating quality to it bringing a momentary sense of ease which has a regulating effect.
  • Sacred Chanting
    Practice: We take a simple chant and begin to sing the words. As the sound emerges from within us, we allow the vibration to move through our body bringing our awareness to the aliveness that exists in sensation and moves through us by the voice. We allow the chant to touch and open our hearts as well as quiet the mind. Purpose: This practice is also a prayer and supports an engagement of our three centers of intelligence - intellectual, emotional, movement.
bottom of page