Week 2 Day 1: Stop
Question: Sit in total stillness for five minutes today. How does it feel?
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Transcript of Video:
Most people are very familiar with the story of Creation in the Book of Genesis: how God created the world in seven days. I’m always struck that, at the end of the act of Creation God stops and God creates the Sabbath. And what’s particularly interesting is of all the things that God creates, the one thing that he calls holy is the Sabbath. So I think stopping is an essential part of the way that we mirror the divine nature and the divine life within us. And if we don’t stop, we are depriving ourselves of the blessings of the one thing that God called Holy. So we should just stop.
-Br. Geoffrey Tristram
It felt very good, should do it more often.
Ok, remember the priority question? I’m still on the journey. The morning is best – 5 or 6 am when everyone is asleep or mid afternoon when everyone is gone. I love to sit & look out my bay window. BUT it’s making this kind of time that’s the challenge. Quieting my busy, multitasking mind is hard And once the time is gone-already 6, kids up, people come home, grading calling me name – I regret what I missed.
I will say when I make time to quilt or craft, especially faith projects, the peace does come
It’s been a busy day. 5 minutes being still was great. It seemed to go by way too fast.
What I did notice was, as I quieted myself down, all kinds of thoughts came racing into that empty space. I breathe them away but new ones come. I simply wait. 5 minutes doesn’t give me enough time to get really quiet, but today, it’s exactly what I needed.
Never easy for me to be completely still.
I was late for my yoga class and did not want to disturb others by coming in late. I parked and took a walk along Storrow Drive instead – over the bridge and paused in the Chapel – to stop. I was there for perhaps 15 minutes, still, before I moved along. Before I left I took the beautiful brochures and then went to the website and discovered this beautiful program, have “jumped in” in April. Some call these fateful coincidences, some call this serendipity … some call this God. I needed to – stop – take a sabbatical this year after cancer treatment, my heart and mind are particularly open. How did this feel? I am learning yet to be still. Some days easy, some days restless.
I guess it is something I have to practice. I find myself consumed with thoughts. Toward the end though I began to relax and almost fall asleep. I remember doing something like this at a Benedictine Monastery in Chicago only we focused on a word to empty our minds that was difficult but rewarding for me too.
I love my 5 -20 minutes each day. It is a treasure.
In the moment of quiet I can here the Lord in my senses, especially my skin, of all is well. “I’m here for you always!”
I could feel myself descending into a state of meditation and relaxation. I didn’t really want to open my eyes. In fact it was an effort to do so because I felt like I was supposed to stay longer. My mind feels calm as does my body. The only problem was that I had to check the time, which maybe I shouldn’t have done. I should just have sat, untimed, in meditation. I should start meditating on a regular basis.
Very calm and surprised. I have been meditating for some time, but never kept track of the time. I was surprised how fast the five minutes was up.
All my senses wanting to work…..ringing ears, sparkles and colours in my closed eyes, itchy skin, restless brain….this would take alot of practise to be a peaceful experience
Having some meditation experience I was able to quiet my mind relatively quickly. I popped open my eye for a quick moment in my Eye caught a word in the newspaper which was “happy”. I meditated on the word – happy. And realized happiness was in that moment a quiet kernel I was able to touch and feel.
A mix between thoughts racing through my head and quiet solitude. Also a real focus on my breathing patterns. Visions as well.
Stop. Listen. Wish the dogs would settle down. Stop.. Listen. Wish dog 2 would settle down. Stop. Listen. Think about the tyranny of dogs. Then the tyranny of work. Stop.. Listen. For a little longer. Compose this post in my head. Stop. Listen.
I have such pain from two torn rotator cuffs that I can’t tolerate stopping and staying still. The pain becomes too much. Nevertheless, when I’m on the bus I am stopped but the world moves by out the window. It helps me to keep my mind focused away from the pain. That time has become my comtemplative time, my praying time, my time to say thanks for the beauty of God’s world.
It feels amazing! Of course, my mind didn’t want to “turn off” at first, but even so the quiet was lovely. (I did notice that I was distracted by ambient noises… the refrigerator running, a siren or car alarm, the garbage trucks and leaf blowers, etc.) But to have all devices within my control turned off and to sit still is a blessing. I have a campus office that I’ve made very comfortable with low lighting, candles, a table-top waterfall… so it’s not exactly silent… and I can still hear the students walking and talking in the halls… but this is also a blesses space of quietness for me.
When I did this, I noticed how chattery my mind is; restless, monkey mind. I wasn’t at ease. I noticed a lot of noise. Huh.
The word “stop” is so powerful. It is really helping me to just say “stop” and sit quietly. Do nothing…except meditate.
Thx for a very helpful tool to get me into Lent.
5 minutes of rest feels meditative. A chance for my head to catch up with my feet. Figure out priorities and find lost pieces.
I recently went through a particularly stressful rough patch. Three big grant deadlines in five days, my 82 year old mother rushed to ER for pneumonia, multiple blizzards to name a few. In short, I was completely frazzled. I had the opportunity to go away for a week and decompress. While away I took two yoga classes and then took two yoga classes since returning this week and have another yoga class tonight that features a lot of meditation and massage. The extended, repeated time to be still within less than a week’s time has restored peace and wellness. I am also intentionally eating more fruits and vegetables, healthy grains, yogurt. I am unloading the burden on my digestive system. I am getting out on crisp, sunny days to play with my dogs, to walk the beach and see the sun sparkling on the ocean. I feel terrific mind, body and spirit and reconnected to the my awareness of God’s presence, light and love. Peace + Shalom + Namaste +
I absolutely lose track of all sense of time. Sometimes I feel as if an hour has gone by…sometimes I misjudge and sit for an hour thinking only five minutes has gone by…i do feel blessed that some days I have a day to indulge, but I also relate to those who feel so needed by others that there is no time to just BE with God. During those times I would just have a constant dialog, (yes, dialog, not monologue with God) running through my head as I moved from task to task. It was energizing, but by the end of the day, all I could do was fall I to bed and listen to God…
I used to get up early in the morning which is my favorite time of day. Somehow I have gotten out of sync and don’t get up until 8:00. I am disappointed every day. I am trying to get back to early. This is my goal.
It feels wonderful! I am blessed with an office space I use for spiritual direction that is very restful and peaceful… with a waterfall, candles, singing bowl, low lighting, etc. I can just breathe deeply, count my breaths, say the Kyrie Eleison and be present. I recommend this to everyone. It is not difficult or costly to create your special place.
It felt good. I sat outside, so it wasn’t actually silent. It was sunny & warm & there were many types of lovely birds singing, an occasional car, and at the very end the waste management truck…oh well…My mind kept going to the things I still needed to do today, so I used my “breath prayer” to keep those thoughts away. it went by very quickly. And it was enjoyable.
I got behind in watching these videos, so this morning, Tuesday, I watched this one. We are getting a rare snow in SC. So I pulled a chair into the kitchen to sit right in front of the glass door that opens to a porch. The porch overlooks the back yard to the lake. I brought the dogs’ bed right beside me, along with my coffee. Perhaps it was meant for me to get behind on these videos. It was easy to sit in silence and watch the snow fall for 5 minutes – to start my time listening to your bell ring a call to worship. I am thankful to be warm and dry with a full belly of breakfast. I pray for those who are cold, wet, and hungry. I only wish some of the appliances in my kitchen were quieter. It would have made this time of silence – really silent. Thank you for the gift and permission of sitting still in silence for 5 minutes today.
Felt good. I have been developing a meditation practice for some time so this was not way out of my comfort zone. If anything, I’d like to develop my skills at sitting regularly for longer periods. I do manage 10 mins a day at least 5 days a week with a goal of 7. I’d like to push both those numbers up.
The stillness always feels beneficial and it’s a very good practice to observe thoughts without acting upon them. It never feels like a divine practice to me exactly. But very much like a necessary one.
Only a couple of weeks before beginning this Lenten series, I returned to a practice I learned in my early 20’s, then discontinued; I am now 68: Transcendental Meditation. I am only doing one morning session at present, but it is very good. My mind chatters away, but by focussing on my breath and my mantra, my mind quiets down. A point is reached where I feel at peace with simply sitting, breathing, and being. This lasts for about 20 minutes, then my mind seems to wake up and “want” to become active again. I am always calm and reflective at the end of a meditation session. Now, in this Lent season, I am more consciously aware of God’s presence with me during meditation. It feels very good, very comforting, very centring.
So, I had to do yesterday’s assignment first this evening – the silence – because I didn’t remember to watch the video until late yesterday… So…I do a lot of silence, and this time what I realized was that it’s not really silent. The dishwasher is running & in my “quiet” space two clocks are tick, tick, ticking. The louder of the two demands my thoughts keep time – “Lord, Je-sus Christ-have mer-cy, Lord Je-sus Christ-have mer-cy” & “Come Christ-ians join-to sing, Al-le lu-ia ah-a-men”. That’s what came to mind…The silence made me want more, so I had my devotions. 🙂
I find it more than a little distressing that I cannot sit in total stillness for 5 minutes. My fingers tap on the coffee mug. my body rocks the chair. My head is already working. So, that’s my goal for this week. I will sit still and enjoy it…soon, I hope.
Silence takes somepracticeandmy I patience usually gets in the way. I’ mcomforted to know others must also contend with a wandering mind. It is about a discipline I have lacked for most of my life. Sitting and contemplating usually leaves me frustrated, but like many others things,I just wish it would’ve easy. Can’t seem to get that one through my head
I have a hard time keeping my mind still to listen for God’s presence. I will try again this afternoon.
At first I totally resisted the exercise doing other things to distract me from intentionally beginning the 5 minutes. Before starting it seemed an interminably long time to have to sit doing nothing. Eventually, what I was doing to distract myself from starting the task (watching a movie!) became very uncomfortable and began to eat at me inside. Once I began, my mind took over the distracting activity. I was determined that I would not keep checking the clock and only look at the time once I was certain five minutes had past (it was 8 minutes!)
The feeling throughout was a pounding in my heart, the presence of the feeling that I ought to be doing something else!
My first awareness was how hard it was to find “silence”. From the ticking of the clock, to passing traffic, even to a purring cat…silence was elusive. My mind seemed to want to use this relatively “quiet” time to download a lot of thoughts which fought to distract me from just letting go. It seems obvious I need to work on cultivating more silence in my life.
Loved it … it is rejuvenating. Looking so forward to our diocesan quiet day tomorrow.
Mine actually was a reposed standing. Many times I have stood and looked out of my kitchen window. Today, the standing in the stillness, with the radio turned off, centred me and I noticed that the sky was blue, the clouds were very white and, the sun was shining. I had never noticed before how the sun shining on the fir tree turned it to yellow/green, how many birds were flying quickly past my window in that five minutes, how the breeze made the fir tree dance and the pampas grass feathers swayed gently in the breeze. Nor had I noticed what a lovely structure the bare branches of the other trees were. Thank you for focusing me on this God given 5 minutes (which turned into 10 as I could not end my stillness time). In me I became calm, my shoulders relaxed and all became quiet. We owe it to ourselves, in busy lives, to make the stillness time and God will give us this time with love, we only have to accept it with thanks.
I love contemplative prayer!
It is often times hard, but it is worth the discipline.
It is very cleansing.
i do try and stop and think and realize how fortunate i am coming into a large family and you learn to give and take. also we are ready to help one another with whatever problems we have. am thankful for all the neices and nephews i have who have been very good to me and john. as my nephew peter said to me what are families for. jane
I was actually able to sit in silence for five minutes during the J2A church school class I taught Sunday morning. Our topic was Christian meditation and I took the students through a guided meditation that ended in the whole room sitting in silence. I thought there would be some giggling or shifting around by the students but that didn’t happen. I also noticed I needed to allow the silence to be there–I had to drop concerns that the students would be uncomfortable or that they would think I was weird for having them do this. I unpacked all of those thoughts, let them go, and was able to relax in the silence. It felt good.
What does 5 minutes of stillness feel like? Bliss. The presence of God.
“…. the sigh too deep for words…”
Stop for five minutes of inactivity?? Obviously not conceived by one with ADHD!!
Do you ever get absorbed though? Totally engulfed by a thing that needs cracking? Can that be a version of this stillness thing?
I often start my morning devotions with 5 minutes of silence. It takes me a couple of minutes of really get silent, but then I am filled with a feeling of peace.
I often drive home from work in silence to give my mind and body time to unwind, relax or even think about something I may not have been able to concentrate on at work.
I also find yoga, body balance and these types of classes are perfect for spending 5 minutes or so at the end of the class for relaxation. To clear your mind of all thoughts and worries and to allow your mind and body to totally relax. To really concentrate on your breathing and feel every muscle relax. It takes a lot of practice though!
It felt amazing to be alone and quiet, I was driving and I could really focus on the things outside the car.
It felt good. Hard to stop an focus on now, on myself, on a conversation with God. And hard not to dirft over into what I Should be doing.
I became very impatient towards the end of my 5 minutes. Most of the time, my thoughts were wandering to things I SHOULD do. I felt agitated and restless.
Didn’t happen today with work and all. Praying for five minutes before I go to sleep to meditate on my amazing Lord and His sacrifice for me.
It felt great! I had time to think about my relationship with God as well to ask Him some questions about the future. I had my eyes closed but I reopened them in exactly five minutes!
I can stop and be quiet but my monkey mind tends to want to interrupt the silence. I am a well trained American which tells us that to be useful we must be busy. That includes the active mind.
Oh how I want to just sit in the presence of my creator and feel the unconditional love.
I will continue to add more seconds to my quiet time.
Being told to take five in stillness was a welcome surprise this evening after a full day. Today was Sunday with a worship service, bag lunch with other parishioners, Annual General Meeting with financial reports, election of officers, etc., then off to the opera and finally home. This has been a day with many blessings. As I sat in stillness my mind wasn’t still at all. It had to process all those blessings that I would not have been as mindful of if I had just picked up the as yet untouched newspaper.
I try to sit totally still every morning for 20 minutes. It helps me to sit up straight (not fall asleep!) and to have a regular time set aside. I have a mantra–ma-ra-na-tha. (Come Lord) Its not always easy, but it is always good.
It feels good to stop and do nothing. I have to work past the anxiety that I should be doing something else or the preemptive resentment that I will be interrupted by my children or work. My mind doesn’t slow down. In order to not think about those other things, I find myself chanting something in my head. It changes a couple of times over the course of the quiet time. Thank you God. Please keep us safe. Help me be what you want me to be.
Ahhhh, to stop.
To stop movement
To stop talk
To stop internal chatter
Be still and know that I am God.
It is a time where I take myself out of Time and experience eternity.
To be with God in this time is bliss.
Since retirement, this is something I have practiced with frequency, usually daily. Five min. is too little for me. I usually take ten to fiveteen min. My mind feels serene when I finish. It’s a great way to start the day. Parents could wake up a few min. earlier on school days before the children get up. It might be hard at first, but it would be worth the silence and personal space.
I was not officially trying to meditate, but being still for a few minutes provided a similar opportunity for busy thoughts to come forward. Eventually, after I intentionally dropped a few of those, there was quiet, and then I started to get restless. How much longer until the timer will go off?
It looks like sabbath IS similar to meditation and not easy to attain.
Most of us were raised in a culture that “idle hands were the devil’s handiwork.” Stopping was not an option. I learned early that if I had run out of work, check in because there is more to do. That philosophy is very prevalent in today’s workplace where stopping to meditate may result in dismissal.
Fast tracking and multitasking have taught me that stopping to listen and to think are critically important in developing creative solutions for client problems. For some of us, making that time is easier than for others.
The daily office contains opportunities to stop and meditate and to allow God to speak in the stillness. I use that time, which may have to be postponed until Compline, to allow God to open my ears and my heart to the work he would have me do.
With practice, I have found the silence before the Altar of Repose to be transformative. I start and suddenly an hour or more has past. In that time, the stress and the anxieties have been replaced by focused prayer for those who are in greatest need. In the stillness, I am refreshed and renewed.
The challenge is to make the time to stop and to have it become part of one’s daily discipline.
That was very hard to do. My mind was racing with everything I should be doing. It took awhile for me to relax and clear my mind. Isn’t it crazy that we feel we can’t take 5 minutes for ourselves? It can be very calming.
Five minutes isn’t enough. I need ten minutes to get quiet. It always reduces the negatives and allows to move ahead with greater peace.
Being still for 5 minutes felt good to mind and body. I was in a busy spot in my home, so was aware of all the little noises, but was still peaceful. We need this daily in our lives.
Once I stopped thinking re where I stand on my “to do” list and what I would do after the “stop” – peaceful. My mantra – Abba, Father, I love you – helped me to still my mind.
It felt good! I’ve been trying to meditate in the early mornings – this was a lovely reminder to ‘stop’ mid-afternoon and get recharged!
I need to continue this practice even after Lent. I become keenly aware of the noises in my house that are otherwise ignored or overshadowed, I also felt as though my body got Into the rythm of the sounds around me
I sat and watched the trees blowing in the wind and savored the peacefulness of a gloomy day. I felt peaceful and present.
I felt relaxed and peaceful and mindful. I sat in a room where there would be no noise distractions. But my mind kept distracting me from trying to be fully at rest.
The 5 minutes went by quickly; I was conscious of every little noise in my house, from the creaking of a board to the scampering of my cats. In fact, I had a heightened sense of awareness of everything, but it wasn’t over stimulating; it was a gift to sit quietly. This was another component of the mindfulness class I took last fall, and it truly is life-changing, especially if practiced regularly. I’m making this a part of my Lenten discipline also.
When you have been busy, it feels great to just sit and let your mind wander. To daydream about life. I came home after practicing the organ for about two hours. I was tired. I sat on the sofa and let my mind go where it would. I felt so much better afterwards. It was just a short amount of time, but, outside of time, in Gods’ time if you like, it was of infinite value.
Sitting still for 5 minutes gave me a sense of quiet and peace. Although guilt started to creep in that I wasn’t doing “something”,
It felt refreshing – I chose not to be focus on contemplation, but on just being still. It was hard to find quiet outside myself, but surprisingly easy, inside. I realized that the external noise mostly brings satisfaction or joy – the sounds of birds, or the washing machine, or someone enjoying themselves is comforting when I’m just being still. It’s easy to see why this rest and stillness would be holy.
Staying absolutely still for 8 minutes (when it first felt OK to check the clock), felt restful, meditative, clearing and open to Holy. I will do it on occasion now.
…Love in ones’ life makes all things bearable
What a flood of painful memories. So many young people with their time ended.
I became aware of the sound of my breathing, the beat of my heart, the sounds of the traffic outside, the wind blowing around the flags posted outside my apartment building. I became aware of how tired I feel. I’ve decided to make this a real Sabbath day. No chores or errands. Everything can wait till tomorrow. I’ve already shared breakfast with family at one of our favorite local restaurants. Now the rest of the day will be spent reading, journaling, being present to that cup of tea I’ll be drinking, and yes, sitting in the silence. I can’t even remember the last time I gave myself a real Sabbath day, that’s how long it has been!! Now that I’m retired, I am suddenly aware of the huge gift of free time I’ve been given!! And especially the freedom to choose much more easily just when I will stop!!
Body relaxes, brow unfurled, mind quiet. so precious.
It felt wonderful…a time just to “be”…a time of reconnecting that went by very quickly.
I was very uncomfortable being still for years, but just a few years ago that changed. I would ask one question of myself, “Do you believe that God values you, even when you are perfectly quiet in mind, body and spirit?” Until I recognized His unconditional love and accepted it, I couldn’t be still. Now stillness is a place of refuge for me where I go to seek comfort and solitude knowing that God meets me there and values me for just being His child. I don’t have to “do” anything for Him, just “be”.
Thanks for that lovely reminder.
I felt peace. Still I felt uneasy at first since sitting perfectly still for five min is rare for me. Takes practice?
5 minutes turned into 10 easily with thoughts of sleep at the end. I am convinced that by stopping and being still, we re-charge and receive more energy.
I have only just recently learned the basics of christian meditation (over the past year). I’m known to have a busy mind. It is particularly damaging when many thoughts are negative and self consuming. I am, at long last feeding from the peace and stillness; and finding God in this beautiful space in life. I hope to meet God in inspirational ways and hope and pray for transformation in living out my faith.
Sitting in silence for 5 minutes feels good, a space for reflection … didn’t use any words or a centering prayer, or a prayer rope or an Ignatian passage – maybe simply being is good ….
I like to spend time alone with God. When I was younger, had children and was working I would sometimes wake up in the night, slip out to the livingroom and have alone time. Now that the children are grown and I am retired I have more time.
Five minutes seemed longer than I thought it would I am a fidgeter, so this was difficult for me. My mind was still going a million miles per second.
I was also again reminded of the passage in I Kings 19:9-13 where Elijah is hiding in a cave after a very stressful time. God asked him what he is doing there, and tells him that He is about to pass by. There follows a fierce wind, an earthquake, and a fire, but it says God was not in any of those. Rather, He was in the gentle whisper that came after all the cataclysms, the sort of gentle whisper we can only hear when we still our selves and listen.
I’ve thought of this verse already this week, too.
My first impression was that “total stillness” is not still. I became aware of the furnace blower, the refrigerator running, the clock ticking, my dog snoring softly, and distant sounds of traffic and an airplane. I became aware of tension and pain in my body, even though I would have said I was quite relaxed. I heard the tinnitus in my ears that I usually ignore. And I became aware of all the thoughts that noted and described all these things. There were a few brief moments of deeper stillness, making me want to practice this again and go deeper than all the external and internal noises. Then I might actually sit in stillness.
At first I fought falling asleep since I am in a room with a cozy woodstove going. To combat this, I tried focusing my eyes on the ceiling. Too nothing. Then the stovepipe. Uninspiring. However, when I turned my view out the open window, looking across a snow covered field stretching to a barn in the distance, it was easier to still the thoughts. The 5 minutes passed quite quickly.
I have a hard time just sitting in silence, I can do it quite easily with centering prayer, but to just stop seems to have another quality to it, which I need to explore. In the hustle and bustle of daily life to just stop seems to be quite profound.
Having my 2nd cup of coffe at the computer and reading the various posts. OK, I decided to try this. I closed my eyes and quickly got still (unusual for me) and it felt like unknown territory at first. Then, in my mind I saw a “waterfall” of glorious silver-grey clouds roiling down into a bottomless chasm. It felt peaceful, comforting. Then I heard my dog lapping up water in another room, a dog barking in the distance down the street. Back to this world 🙂
I can stop moving externally but my chattering mind continues on. If I am lucky, by five minutes in, I have stopped for a few seconds. Practice increases the silence. I feel refeshed.
Sitting in stillness is possible . . . but turning the mind to stillness so that the work of the Holy Spirit can get through is the tough part! It takes me more than five minutes to settle: the first five being taken up with all the things I need to do or have forgotten. I find that if I have a pad and pencil beside me and note them down, eventually my mind is still enough to get about listening.
I so agree with this. Sitting in stillness and quiet are quite easy but, oh so hard to stop the brain from thinking of one thing after another – flitting about. Prayer helped. Looking at the blue sky outside my window helped on this cold winter day. But the stillness of the mind takes practice.
It seemed like a very long time , but peaceful. Every now and them my mind would wander, I caught myself and refocused.
It feels good to allow myself to be still, not to be driven to do something toward fulfilling the never-ending list of things-to-be-done.
I was aware of how much tension there is in my body, how hard to release it
It was very short–first I noticed my body, and bits that were uncomfortable. I used my cell phone as a timer on vibrate on my lap, and my hand felt phantom vibrations. I used to meditate and I fell right back into the rhythm.
I thought I would say it felt good. My body was still, but my mind was anything but still. How fast it can flip through what needs to be done, what should have been done, what could have been done differently. And then even tho my body was still still, my chest was tight. So I focused on my breathing, and that helped. Maybe with practice, 5 minutes of stillness will feel good. Imagine what 10 might feel like???
My mind also was not still.
A blessed repose of peacefulness and piercing elation of joy in God’s presence!
I belong to a contemplatve prayer grop so I love having 5 minutes to sit still and concentrate on God.I usually say this;”Lord, have come to hear your will.
In your presence,I am still.” Then use my secret word. always fnd t peaceful.
I love this. I meditate everyday (or try to). I like this salutation. Thank you.
Being an introvert, comfortable. But as I sat there my mind started to plan for things at work and I realized I had spent the time thinking of the next things I have to do.
I found something similar. My mind kept wandering to various things.
That’s normal. Forgive yourself and try again. I have been trying to do mindful meditation for months and I constantly catch my mind drifting. But the practice of bringing it back to the meditation is good for the rest of the day to. I find myself having unnecessary and unrealistic thoughts and tell myself to stop and focus on what is important.
Snow Day Meditation-
Freeing, Peaceful, Breathing, Rest
Holding the door closed, keeping all the distractions, worries, needs of the day-
Outside, now, STAY OUT!!!!
Hear, O Soul, the Lord, your God is…
Snow Day Meditation-
Freeing, Peaceful, Breathing, Rest
Holding the door closed, keeping all the distractions, worries, needs of the day-
Outside, now, STAY OUT!!!!
Hear, O Soul, the Lord, your God is…
Sitting in silence each day has made a huge difference in my life – in my perspective of my place in the world and in the amount of trust I am able to carry into the rest of my activities. It’s a little Sabbath each day. I don’t ever do it perfectly, but over time it has brought a kind of peace.
Very nice to stop, pay attention to my breathing and heartbeat…to listen to “the sound of sheer silence.”
I loved the silence and letting the Christ permeate through me. In silence I hear the words God wants me to hear and the direction I must go. This is a time I step outside myself and let Christ in.
It went so fast. I set my timer and I couldn’t believe how quickly 5 min went. At first I paid attention to my breathe and considered it a gift of life. I felt my sore muscles and realized how much my legs work for me. Then I began to talk with God about areas of disappointment (caused by my mistakes). And it was over. 5 min was just beginning to get me started.
How did it feel? – Difficult, then the words, Immortal, Invisable, God only wise, kept repeating in my mind.
I try each morning to meditate
on our porch. It is interesting me that I have to go through a routine of thought, and cannot just be still. I will try that Later today
As I began my time, I was unaware that my shoulders were hunched up tightly, but as I prayed, they slowly relaxed and I felt tension leave from them.
Not to be a smart aleck, but it feels like one sixth of the 30 minutes per day that I try to spend in meditation.
By stopping I became aware of everything that is happening in my body. I felt my breathing, I felt the beat of my heart, and of all the wonderful physical things that go on within my body with little attention from me that, by the Grace of God I am kept alive.
I also became aware of the furnace running in my home. Our house keeps us warm and safe in what can be a very hostile world.
I became aware of the blessings with which Providence has endowed me.
I became aware of the need to be thankful.
Early morning, 4 am, for me is the best time for silence before the sun rises. Some say that this time of night is the darkest time of night just before dawn, when people begin to wake and begin a new day. I read prayers, daily lectionary, messages from SSJE. It is my quiet time my time for silence.
My favorite silent time is in the early morning hours as well. There is a sense of intimacy in it, as if it is just you and God awake.
I roll out of bed, down the steps, and curl up in the same spot on the sofa at 4:30 each morning with as little movement as possible. I use that liminal, emerging from sleep time, to rest with God and be receptive to whatever God is trying to say to me in this season of my life. Then, I am on with my day, yet somehow I am subconsciously reflecting on those early morning thoughts and sensations throughout the day. I am sometimes surprised at what I write in my journal at the end of the day.That daily practice of 20 minutes of being totally still and receptive to God is the most restful, life-affirming part of my day.
My usual prayer time is also first thing in the morning, and if I miss it (because I`m rushing out the door early), I never get around to it. The exercise showed me just how hard it is to stop in the middle of the day. “Stopping” before getting started is easy; but actually stopping is very difficult.
I would have to agree about 4 am. When I worked on ship, my work day started then. It was magicial, for I have no human word to explain it. There is this moment before the sun comes up, you can feel the world coming alive. The wind calms down, the dolphins and whales come up to the surface. This is when I grab my tea, walk out on the bridge wing and embrace the day. Enjoy the beauty that God has given us. It is my favourite 5 minutes of the whole day. When I am home and in the chaos, I try to remember those moments and recentre myself. But I find it sometimes hard to calm your mind from all the things you feel like you should be doing. This exercise drove it home that I need to reflect more and respect the Sabbath.
Yesterday we began to learn about Centering Prayer, and we sat for nearly 20 min. in silence. Stopping is the first step on a direct path to….and with….God.
I wanted to re-position myself. The last 2 min seemed to be longer than the first three.
My life is too busy with work, home, family health issues. There are not enough minutes in a day to do what I feel I need to do to catch up with life. Stopping is a gift I have not given myself often enough. It is necessary in order to be able to step back and reflect on what is going on and where I need to focus.