Session 1

Welcome to Session 1.

In this introductory session, you'll discover that contemplative prayer is an invitation to intimacy forged in and through the messy contingencies of life. I'll introduce you to a bit of my own story, and a helpful three-stage pathway offered by one of the great contemplatives, St. Teresa of Avila. I end with a basic practice that you can begin with.

Buckle up. Here we go.


RESOURCES

Books

Martin Laird, Into the Silent Land

This is my "go-to" beginner text for those starting Christian contemplative prayer. There are many books on meditation and contemplation, but few with the depth, theological and historical context, and practices this one offers.


St. Teresa of Avila, The Interior Castle (translation by Mirabai Starr)

This extraordinary 16th century 'Reformer' paves a pathway of prayer - the Prayer of Recollection, the Prayer of Quiet, and the Prayer of Union. This is a reliable guide to our own journey of becoming still and encountering the One who dwells at our very center, in the interior castle.


Chuck DeGroat, Wholeheartedness: Busyness, Exhaustion, and the Healing the Divided Heart

This is my own invitation into a life of oneness and worthiness in Christ, as I explore the dynamics and contemplative practices of a wholehearted life.


New Forthcoming Book!

John Coe and Kyle Strobel, Embracing Contemplation: Reclaiming a Spiritual Practice

Concerned about contemplation? Wondering if it's biblical, or theologically substantial? This new book addresses your concerns. While it's not an introduction to the *practices* of contemplative prayer, it is a great contribution to dialogue with those curious or concerned about contemplation.



Video

Richard Rohr on Contemplative Prayer, the false self and true self, and the calculative mind.


Websites

Contemplative Outreach


Practice

1.    Find a quiet space where you won’t be interrupted

2.    Find a good chair where you’ll be able to sit upright with your feet on the floor.

3.    Set a timer for 5 minutes.

4.    Breathe in for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, and exhale for 8 seconds.

5.    Every time you breathe in, simply whisper within – WELCOME JESUS.

6.    At 5 minutes, simply whisper thank you.