Gail's Blog

Cultivating A Contemplative Practice

As we travel through this epic time period of transition, we have choices regarding how to live. They can include going along with divisive narratives of our culture or to evolve ourselves in a new healthier collective era. In this era humankind is working to save our planet and each other. Fortunately, we have many great teachers and sages who brought us great wisdom as well as contemplative daily practices. This wisdom helps us align with the generative narrative for our times. Rather than reach for the therapist’s session, one can reach for powerful divine therapy. All great mystical traditions speak of the availability of a deeper sense of self, one more connected to divinity than to the ego-driven, anxious self. No one speaks really of “divine” therapy. It is free and can offer a foundation for a lifelong spiritual journey of growth and transformation.

Our society longs for the deeper sense of connection and inner peace and yet looks for it in the outside world. We become distracted, anxious, depressed, worried and tired. We worry about the future which we can little control, we regret mistakes we made, we want change but are afraid to choose, we doubt instead of trust or have faith and we manage others when we can’t manage ourselves very well. Cultivating contemplative practice can provide you with reflection, calm, and the ability to accept your own suffering and difficulties. Through contemplation we can create new visions for our future. New doorways can open into freedom as we face our aging process, letting go, and surrendering to life circumstances.

Over the years and many private sessions I have had with clients and strangers, I learned that all people are suffering, even those who appear to be so together and “have it all”. The rich suffer, the poor suffer. It is all part of the human condition. Those who can be the most difficult are the ones who sometimes suffer the most. They cannot understand how they have brought upon themselves their own pain and challenges. They are alone many times because they have pushed people away or have made themselves unapproachable. They have a strong sense of the need to be right and, therefore, people avoid giving them suggestions or inclusion. They have become disconnected from their authentic self. Contemplative “divine” therapy can lead them back home to their connective soul.

As we develop contemplative practice, we begin to look at the doorway of our heart. We begin to notice when one door is opening and one is closing. It can teach us to pay attention when we are standing on the threshold. It can reveal insights and what steps to take next. It does require time out of your day to contemplate, pray and perhaps write. Perhaps you can only do this once a week. Whatever can work for you will be perfect.

Our times are seductive and exhausting. Discipline yourself to turn off the phone, the social media, the screens each day and remember the rythmn of nature. The further we remove ourselves from nature, the more dysfunctional we become. It shows in our physical bodies, our meltdowns, our relationship with others and the amnesia of who we are and what we are connected to. We have become self-destructive. “Creation is sacred because it is God’s presence becoming visible in matter. The plants, trees and animals who share this place with us deserve to be treated with respect and justice, as we would treat other people. I like to think of this as “eco-justice”. Protecting nature from harm, protects us from harm, for as Chief Seattle famously said, ‘What we do the to web (creation), we do to ourselves.'” Chris Machado, SSS Director, Holy Spirit Retreat Center, Encino, California.

2 responses to “Cultivating A Contemplative Practice”

  1. Gail Minogue says:

    Thank you Doug.

  2. Doug says:

    They’re always amazing, and I think today’s blog is so spot on, beautifully articulated, and quite relevant to the moment that I must say – thanks Gail!

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