Tag Archive | watchfulness

Worth Abbey Retreat on Watchfulness 29 April to 1 May 2016

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The link for booking is below:

http://www.worthabbey.net/Abbey-Contact-Us

The retreat is based on my new book ‘Putting On the Wakeful One: attuning to the Spirit of Jesus through Watchfulness’, published April 24th, available for pre order on Amozon…

Putting On The Wakeful One: Attuning to the Spirit of Jesus through Watchfulness

imageMy new book ‘Putting On The Wakeful One – Attuning to the Spirit of Jesus through Watchfulness’ is out on the 24th April and available for pre-order from Amazon.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Putting-Wakeful-One-Watchfulness/dp/1909728462/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1458804124&sr=1-2

 

Going to Lee Abbey 14-18 November 2016 to lead the Mindful Christian retreat

Lee Abbey Retreat The Mindful Christian

Please click on the above link to get to the details for my retreat there 14-18 November 2016

The bell that rings out silence – Worth Abbey Church #mindful

Worth Abbey

Worth Abbey Church hangs like a bell in the sky, ringing out…silence. This sense of being in a bell that is all to do with silence increases when you sit inside – even more you get a sense of a giant bell hovering above you.

Back in 2006 a phrase of 5th century Bishop, Diadochus of Photike, pioneer of the Jesus Prayer, also rang me like a bell. The energy of that phrase has stayed with me ever since, motivating and directing me. He said, ‘Let us keep our eyes always fixed on the depths of our heart with an unceasing mindfulness of God.’[1]

Within the vast  bell-like space of Worth I have been inspired to cultivate that mindfulness of God. The space and the silence invite you to indwell such mindfulness in your heart.

I have just led a retreat at Worth over the weekend on watchfulness and mindfulness of God. The experience did something which one translation from the Prologue of the Rule of St Benedict calls running ‘with hearts enlarged.’ The experience made my heart bigger. It was not just the space, the silence, the rhythm of prayer – it was the people. Those who were on retreat and the monks who offered us hospitality.

Now as I am home and I believe for weeks afterwards, if previous experience is to go by, that bell church that rings out silence will still ring in my life. I will still hear the echoes of the silence drifting to me on the wind.

[1] Quoted in Olivier Clement, The Roots of Christian Mysticism (London: New City, 2002) p.204.

Watching with our Transforming Lord Retreat at Worth Abbey 9-11 January 2015

Folks have been asking if I am running a retreat at Worth Abbey again next year, and yes I am! The details will be on their website soon but if you want to book in advance then you can email the Open Cloister bookings secretary, Alison Schillinger via TOC@worthabbey.net.

It is the weekend of 9-11 January 2015 and is called ‘Watching with our Transforming Lord.’

This is what they said about it last year:

How do we follow the footsteps of Jesus into our homes, works, and relationships in a way that transforms our lives? In Mark’s gospel, Jesus shows us the way through watchfulness, a lost aspect of the gospel which is cultivated through contemplative practices like Lectio Divina, silence and the Jesus Prayer. The retreat will look at how these practices help us deal with time and work stress. This is an opportunity at the start of a New Year to take time out to take a fresh look at our lives.
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#mindfully choosing the palette of colour you paint with..

#mindfully choosing the palette of colour you paint with..

I was leading a retreat at Worth Abbey on watchfulness over the weekend. On the Sunday morning I got up early and walked to the Abbey Church at 6.15. There is very little light pollution and the night sky was very open.

The stars beckoned me to look at them, stopping me in my tracks. Their beautiful silence brought tears to my eyes. I have always liked the Don McLean song Vincent (starry, starry night) about Van Gogh. The opening lyrics came into my head as a refrain:

‘Starry, starry night,
Paint your palette blue and gold…’

The rational part of my brain said, ‘the words are not right’. The actual words are:

‘Starry, starry night,
Paint your palette blue and GREY..’

But a voice came back to me saying, ‘no, you paint your palette blue and gold.’
It felt like a message from the stars for the New Year.

For me blue speaks of faithfulness and stability and sticking with people, God, the way of watchfulness and mindfulness. Gold speaks of the brightness of hope.

What mindfulness has taught me is that I can choose the palette of colours I paint my life with. Each thought and feeling has its own colour. Sometimes I have painted with grey, allowed depressed thoughts to become a ruminative pattern in my mind. I have learnt that they are passing events in my mind, that they are not me and that I can let them go.

As I have noticed them and let them go, blue and gold thoughts have sprung up. The message of hope came as a gift from the stars, ‘paint your palette blue and gold…’ I can mindfully choose the palette of colour I paint with. And so can you.

Watching with our Transforming Lord, retreat at Worth Abbey 3-5 January 2014

Watching with our Transforming Lord, retreat at Worth Abbey 3-5 January 2014

How do we follow the footsteps of Jesus into our homes, works, and relationships in a way that transforms our lives? In Mark’s gospel, Jesus shows us the way through watchfulness, a lost aspect of the gospel which is cultivated through contemplative practices like Lectio Divina, silence and the Jesus Prayer. The retreat will look at how these practices help us deal with time and work stress. This is an opportunity at the start of a New Year to take time out to take a fresh look at our lives.
This retreat is led by Shaun Lambert, a Baptist minister, frequent retreatant at Worth, writer (a regular correspondent for the Baptist Times and author of a recent thought-provoking book, A Book of Sparks, which mentions his Worth Abbey experiences) and good friend of the monastic community.
See link below for further details:
http://www.worthabbey.net/cloister/weekend.htm

My talk at Somerville College Chapel Oxford, #mindfulness- a Christian perspective

My talk at Somerville College Chapel Oxford, #mindfulness- a Christian perspective

Link to my talk on ‘mindfulness – a Christian perspective’ at Somerville College Chapel Oxford, now on their blog

ancientdeepwatchingfrees #contemplation

This is a link to http://www.christiantoday.com which has a longer article on slowing down at Advent and turning away from our anxious, acquisitive, competitive and suspicious watching this Christmas, to a deeper watching modelled by Jesus.

 

advents not adverts (click on this link)

#Christmas is coming: which season will lead us ADVENT or ADVERT?

an ever watchful eye   (click on this link)

As Christmas comes will we in the season of Advent, wait for the adventure, or be Advert-led? Here is an Advent reflection I have written on the South Asian Concern blog, about a watching that is not anxious, acquisitive or competitive.