As we move through Creation Time, seeing God in all of creation and worshipping God with all creation, we are accompanied by a new 6-week series, “Be Beguiled by Beauty: Cultivating a life of contemplation and compassion.”
There is a lot that is not beautiful in the world. We might even want worship to be an escape from all of that; a time and place of quiet peacefulness. But this new series in Creation Time is not about disconnecting. Rather, it’s about connecting to the essential beauty and integrity of all creation and in doing so finding the courage to actually engage our world from a place of profound compassion. Without significant and deep resources, the crisis, difficulty and need of our world will be too much to bear. And so this new worship series offers us the opportunity to practice simple contemplative ways for us to connect our spirit to the beauty of creation and to our own sacred worth!
Spiritual Practices for a Contemplative Life
Each week we will add more contemplative practices
Each day... pour yourself a glass of water.
As you drink it, think about how water sustains us and is a source of LIFE!
And then refill that same glass and water another living thing, eg. water a plant, fill a bird bath...
Consider creating a reminder note that says,
“Water is life.
Water your life so you can water other life…
for the beauty of the earth.
In the Christian tradition contemplative reading is known as lectio divina (“divine reading,” in Latin). Through a process of close, contemplative reading, the simple words on the page become clearer and more meaningful. It brings greater understanding and connection, something easily missed by a superficial, quick reading.
Select a passage of scripture (perhaps start with a short Gospel reading). Read it through twice.
Recall the story...interactions...encounters
Close your eyes and reconstruct the scene in your imagination... who is there? what's being said? what does it look like? See yourself present in that scene.
Take your time... engage with Christ in the story, say what comes from your heart
This week’s contemplative action is a time of “warming.”
Set a reminder each day to sit in the sun or wrap yourself in the warmth of a blanket. Allow yourself a few moments to be “warmed” by the sun or blanket. As you do so, allow your mind to slow, your heart to open, your eyes to drink in your surroundings.
Be warmth to someone or something – HUGS (maybe if in your "bubble") send a note, card, letter, make a call – remind those you share your warmth GOD loves them!
Consider creating a reminder note that says,
“Warmth is love,
the very presence of divine love. Offer that warmth to others…
for the beauty of the earth.”
"Walk the Labyrinth"
There is a beautiful permanent Labyrinth at Holy Trinity Anglican Church (North Saanich), right opposite Patricia Bay. Take your time to walk it.
There are three stages to the walk:
1. Releasing (as you walk towards the centre) - A releasing or letting go of the details of your life. This is the act of shedding thoughts and distractions. A time to open the heart and quiet the mind.
2. Receiving - When you reach the centre, stay there as long as you like. It is a place of meditation and prayer. Receive what is there for you to receive.
3. Returning - As you leave, following the same path out of the centre as you came in, you take back the healing your have received our into the world with God.
Guidelines for the walk: Try to quiet your mind and become aware of your breath. Allow yourself to find the pace your body wants to go. Since the path is two-way, those going in will meet those coming out. You may “pass” people or let others step around you. If there are others walking the Labyrinth at the same time as you, please wear a face mask.
"The Practice of Curiosity"
Set a reminder to spend some time exploring a “phenomenon” that you don’t yet know about.
It might be further exploration into what the Hubble Telescope has taught us about the universe. Or it could be something about the behavior of an animal species.
Whatever you choose, as you do so, allow your mind to take in the wonder, contemplate the information slowly, open your heart to wonder.
You may want to put a note nearby, “The more we know, the more we know we don’t know. Wonder and awe that leads to care of creation is good… for the beauty of the earth.”
"Beauty without a Why"
When we look at the beauty of creation around us we can recognise it’s beauty for the sake of beauty and that it has worthbecause of this beauty … As we recognise this we look at ourselves too, maybe in a mirror?
See your worth without a “why”
See that you are created for God to LOVE you
Because life is for life.
Because it is good.
Now filled with compassion let us be LIFE and LOVE to others
For there is beauty in a world without a “WHY”. Amen.
Consider creating a reminder are your mirror (or simply draw/cut out a heart as the reminder) that says, “Look at you! So beautiful, Beloved. So beautiful. This is the voice of God … for the beauty of the earth.”