Contemplative Space

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From Wendy Farley’s The Wounding and Healing of Desire: “In contemplative practice, the incarnate spirit itself is present to receive whatever benefits are to be had from the practice. It does not have to think through everything that happens or should happen and orchestrate the good effects of meditation or yoga or chanting. To a certain extent, contemplative practices are alike in seducing thinking and willing into relative stillness so that our deeper needs can be tended. Bodily practices like yoga or meditation, centering prayer, chanting the Psalms, gardening, or drawing relax the body so that the toxins of stress, fatigue, and tension can he released, allowing the body’s energies to flow more freely. Practices also release discursive reasoning from the burden of micromanagement and in this way permit the body to accept a deeper restructuring. The body digests what has happened to it, loosening habitual attachments and passions, purifying the “rubbish” that accumulates within us and allowing consciousness to flow more easily. The opposite can also be said. Contemplative practices allow the stillness of the divine to work in us, less impeded by the mind. They remind us that we are not in charge of what happens but that when we relax into whatever practices are helpful to us, we give more space to the efficacy of grace. The aim of contemplative desire is the gradual recovery of freedom to love. Through the transformation of desire, we walk a path that integrates all of the parts of us and engage practices that energize our spirit. Our bodies burn off obstacles so the hold of passions can he weakened. We come nearer to our vocations, both the vocation of all beings to incarnate Divine Eros and our own unique form of that incarnation, whatever it is.”

Roger

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