Hi Friends! Welcome to Episode 14 of the Reaching Hurting Women Podcast: A Contemplative Path of Recovery. Here we are learning new ways of coping with our daily struggles. My name is Tamara and I will be your host. Today we are talking about: Contemplative Practices
As I stated in the introduction here at Reaching Hurting Women we are taking a Contemplative Path to Recovery. By that I mean we are using contemplative spiritual practices to help us cope with the challenges of not only addiction recovery but also the challenges that come with every day life in general.
What are contemplative spiritual practices? Well they are ways where we can be intentional and deliberate about matters of the soul. They are tools that help us become more aware of God’s presence in our normal life; they inject the sacred into activities that might otherwise be ordinary. By applying contemplative spirituality we can take anything we might be doing: like cleaning house or gardening for instance, and turn them into a sacred spiritual experience.
Contemplative prayer is at the heart of the spiritual practices where we open ourselves to the mystery of Jesus Christ. What we are talking about is taking the essence of contemplative prayer and applying it to other activities so that we are keeping God’s presence at the center of whatever we are doing.
Now let’s talk about the different categories of contemplative practices and the various activities included in them. I have Eight Categories of Contemplative Practices and the different activities in each of the categories. I’m not going to go into detail about most of them, because we will be learning more about many of them in the months to come. But this will give you a nice overview of contemplative practices. As I list them off, be thinking about how you can apply these activities and practices to help you cope with your daily struggles. Let’s get started…
- Stillness Practices: Connecting with God in quiet reflection.
- Centering Prayer
- The Jesus Prayer
- The Daily Examen
- Breath Prayers
- Movement Practices: Connecting with God through your body in motion.
- Walking Meditation
- Tai Chi
- Labyrinth walking
- Creative Practices: Connecting with God through creative expression.
- Relational Practices: Connecting with God by being present with others.
- Telling Stories
- Learning Practices: Connecting with God through intellectual exploration and discovery.
- Reading the Bible
- Studying Christian Doctrine
- Studying Christian Church History
- Reading inspiring books
- Having Theological Conversation
- Influencing Practices: Connecting with God as an agent for change.
- Attending a protest
- Leading a team
- Writing a letter
- Serving Practices: Connecting with God by sharing your gifts and resources.
- Feeding the hungry
- Giving blood
- Serving your neighbor
- Giving / Pledging Money
- Ritual Practices: Connecting with God through ceremonial, cultural, religious traditions.
- Liturgy of the Hours
- Creating a Sacred space
- Building an altar
This list is designed to help you get started with your own contemplative practices. Remember, our goals are to connect with God in the midst of our activities. That means anything we do can become a contemplative practice if we have God at the center.
Quickly, let’s talk about some of the benefits of contemplative practices.
- We will begin to experience inner peace.
- Our life will be better balanced.
- We will find more purpose and meaning in life.
- We will have a healthier perspective on life.
- Our recovery will take on deeper meaning.
When we are walking a healthier spiritual path not only will our life be better, those in our circle of influence will be better too.
Thanks so much for joining me today on the Reaching Hurting Women Podcast: A Contemplative Path of Recovery. Here we are learning new ways of coping with our daily struggles. I hope you have enjoyed our discussion on the Contemplative Practices. We will be diving more in these topics over the next few weeks and months. I look forward to hearing from you. You can leave comments or questions below the show notes. Please take a few minutes and check out the other columns and resources at ReachingHurtingWomen.com. Until next time may the grace and peace of God be yours.
The Big Book of Christian Mysticism by Carl McColman