2004-09-14

Brian's Notes - Part 4

Read Part 1 here
Read Part 2 here
Read Part 3 here

Following on from your experimenting with Anabaptist and Anglican methods and practices (and your earlier talks on Practicing the Presence of God), can you suggest some practices for those who are new to this experience?

I think just about everyone benefits from being mentored in these things, as opposed to studying them on one's own. There's something about submitting to the "spiritual master" or "spiritual director" or "mentor" that enhances the experience. You become part of a tradition, a community - it's not just about learning the practices: it's about entering the community. So, I'd suggest finding a monastery or looking for a retreat (or planning one - and finding someone qualified to lead it) and delving into experiences that way ... in community, in a tradition, in apprenticeship. I think that's how I learned contemplative prayer, practicing God's presence, lectio divina, ignatian reading, examen, and anything else of value that I know. I think you'll make more progress in one weekend, or even in one evening in a communal context than you will in months trying to "do it yourself."

Thanks Brian.

2 comments:

Rick said...

I may add from an Anglican perspective, praying the Daily Office is considered praying in community. We essentially pray with the Anglican Church as whole-- those in the past, present, and future. My spiirutal director tells me that when I am praying the Office it is NOT about me, it is about God. :)

My personal prayer and meditation--lectio etc. comes after the Office, but not in place of it. I love lectio in group and find it deeply moving. I like how Ignatius would uses his fives senses to meditate one hour per each sense: what to I SEE... what do I HEAR...
etc. Good stuff. I haven't mastered five hours though. :)

There are many Episcopal Churches in the community that offer some form of "comtemplative" prayer during the week, one may want to investigate those opportunities.

Once again, thank you for this blog.
Blessings in Christ,
Rick

bobbie said...

hey rick, thanks for the head's up on that. i have been reading the office, but would love to engage mid-week with a community, i will definately be looking into that.