Archive | September 2016

When we resist opening the gateway to awareness

There are grooves in the driveway at Penhurst Retreat Centre where the gate drags, like a scar.

imageWe are here on retreat to help open the doors, the gateways into awareness, relational, embodied, spiritual. What we often become aware of is that the capacity for attentiveness is there, but that there is resistance, the door, the gateway drags as we begin to open it.

That can stop us opening the gate into our awareness and attention fully. But it is quite normal. We might be trying to avoid difficult thoughts and feelings – we might be trying to escape or bypass reality. But in mindfulness and Christian contemplation we are turning to face reality – and bring that reality into God’s light so that it can be reexamined and reperceived.

And so gently we work on the opening of the gate, the doorway. The contemplative and mindful practices begin to oil the hinges, and straighten the gate posts – and the groove left behind, the scar reminds us of our human vulnerability and that becomes a mark of grace rather than shame. The knowledge that self-awareness, that attentiveness to others costs something – it does not come automatically or easily.

A mindful ‘wonder’ meditation

I was teaching about mindfulness at a conference earlier this week and someone asked if there were other meditations like the compassion one that begins…May I know happiness. I have written a compassion one called the Ananias Prayer but what came to mind was to write one about ‘wonder.’

One of my favourite verses in the New Testament Gospel of Mark in the Bible is chapter nine and verse 15, ‘As soon as all the people saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with wonder and ran to greet him.’

This came to mind as a good inspiration for composing a meditation about wonder.

May I know wonder.

May I see with wonder.

May I hear with wonder.

May I touch with wonder.

May I taste with wonder.

May I sense with wonder.

May I feel with wonder.

May I be overwhelmed with wonder.

May I run with wonder to greet this world.

May I walk with wonder.

May I be still with wonder.

May I know God and resonate with wonder.

May all my senses resonate with wonder.

May I fly in my imagination with wonder.

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The Silent Swallow