Frensham Village Churches

Richard Rohr on Contemplative Practice

Practice 

Beholding

 

Contemplative practice integrates the passing insights and momentary consciousness that come through mystical experience. Even if you haven't had a "Damascus Road" encounter, a regular contemplative practice opens you to non-dual awareness and the necessary actions that flow from this knowing that we are all one in God and that God is in all things. For some the conversion happens instantaneously, but for most of us, it does require life-long practice.

 

Choose some object--rock, tree, work of art, food, creature--and settle into some time of quiet observation. Whenever judgments, labels, or critiques arise, whether positive or negative, let them go and return to simply witnessing what is before you. Take it all in: shape, texture, colours, sounds, smells, perhaps even taste. If you are distracted by something else or the seemingly random thoughts that perpetually float through your mind, come back to this object, this moment.

 

Gradually let your gaze soften and behold the more-than-matter-ness that is also here. Deepen your awareness of the Risen Christ's presence within this thing and within you.

 

You might return to this object again and again, each time deepening your seeing to the level of pure presence, including and beyond what is visible and sensible.


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