fbpx

Contemplative Rhythms and Improvisations

The second term of the School of Contemplation will focus on the similarities and differences in contemplative practices over the last couple of thousand years. What has stayed the same? What new possibilities have emerged? How can recent or personal improvisations keep contemplation fresh?

Stay tuned as we share highlights and resources from this term’s journey below (followed by posts from the previous term):

Flexio Divina, Natura Divina & Visio Divina

By Contemplative Rhythms and Improvisations, School of Contemplation No Comments

Over the last few weeks, we have looked at innovations on the practice of Lectio Divina. This began with Rachael reminding us of the place of lectio as part of the four-fold contemplative pattern: lectio, meditatio, oratio, and contemplatio. In this pattern, lectio is the particular time for receiving a “word from God” from some source. Literally, it refers to “reading” but it could refer not only to written text but to input from a wide variety of sources, which we explored with some of our innovations. So we practiced “flexio divina” by reminding each other that we can practice this type of reading not only with…

Read More
choir loft in Florence Cathedral

Improvising on Taize – Humming

By Contemplative Rhythms and Improvisations, School of Contemplation No Comments

Last week, Rachael refreshed our memories about Taize and their emphasis on singing chants together. She shared this quote: “At Taizé,” wrote Olivier Clement, “people from different and sometimes opposing denominations, cultures, races, and languages pray and work together. Yes, it is really possible; Christ destroys every separating wall.” Regarding the attraction of the young, Olivier Clement explained the “Taizé phenomenon”, saying: “Young people today are tired of talk and tired of scoffing: they want authenticity. It is no use talking to them about communion if we cannot show them a place where communion is being worked out – ‘come…

Read More
hand holding stone at Montserrat

Focusing Prayer – Improvising on Welcoming Prayer

By Contemplative Rhythms and Improvisations, School of Contemplation No Comments

In previous weeks, we explored “welcoming prayer” in depth, including the way in which it can deepen our attention on what is happening in our bodies and senses. This week, Rachael introduced us to “focusing prayer,” which gives a similar attention on one’s senses. Focusing prayer is a practice that learned from Eugene Gendlin’s research on the importance of “focusing” attention and respect on what is happening in the body of therapy clients during sessions. His research noted that therapeutic gains were more significant and persistent when clients noticed a “felt shift” in their bodies. Catholic priests and psychologists,  Peter Campbell…

Read More

Deepening in Welcoming Prayer

By Contemplative Rhythms and Improvisations, School of Contemplation No Comments

This term we are looking to deepen our understanding and practice of some of the primary types of contemplative exercises. As we do so, we looking for the ancient roots to these rhythms and some of the contemporary improvisations that help them to be more accessible and relevant. In the first weeks, we have been looking further into “Welcoming Prayer.” This is practice that was developed by Mary Mrozowski and others at Contemplative Outreach. You can look more into its history and purpose here. One of the reasons for this prayer is to help people to re-connect with the kind…

Read More

Donate Now