Contemplation is the ever-fresh world of the spiritual heart. Non-contemplation is the ever-constricted world of the head, senses, and feelings separated from that heart. The spiritual heart is the true center of our being. (Tilden Edwards)
Christian Contemplative Ministries at St. Barnabas is about growing in Wisdom that we may be able to see and live into what/who is really in front of us from a deeper level. It’s about being Present, being open to The Presence of the Holy which is always active in the world. It’s about living into the non-dual Reality of Divine Love. This ability is developed through conscious, intentional practice that we engage in together and follow individually when we are apart. Our practices engage heart, mind and body – the three centers of knowing for human beings. Opportunities to practice and develop in Contemplative Wisdom include:
CENTERING PRAYER: Practice of the Heart and Body
Group practice on Tuesday mornings at 9 am in the Church.
Centering prayer is a practice that begins and sustains that possibility of allowing our spiritual heart to flourish through daily meditation practice of letting go of thoughts. This is based on the teachings of Thomas Keating and Cynthia Bourgeault. Our time together includes a short reading, chanting and 20 minutes of silence in which we practice Centering Prayer together. Anyone is welcome to join us and instruction in Centering Prayer is provided as needed.
BOOK STUDY: Practice of the Mind
For ongoing learning, we meet on monthly occasions after group practice of centering prayer throughout the year to read and discuss a book that leads us further in our practice of the Contemplative Wisdom Way of Being.
Spring 2019 Book Study
“The Meaning of Mary Magdalene: Discovering the Woman at the Heart of Christianity” by Cynthia Bourgeault
Was Jesus’ most important disciple a woman? This thoughtful and provocative analysis of the evidence is provided by one of today’s most respected contemplative teachers. “Yes, she is an apostolic leader, but not only this. Yes, she is a beloved, but not only this. Yes, she is a feminine archetype, but not only this. Flesh-and-blood human being, beloved, teacher, spiritual master in her own right: all of these dimensions have to come together to reveal who she really is. .”
The Book Study meets on selected Tuesdays once a month after Centering Prayer, from approximately 9:45am to 11am in the Gowen Library at St. Barnabas.
April 2 – Part One – Mary Magdalene as Apostle
May 7 – Part Two – Mary Magdalene as Beloved
June 4 – Part Three – Mary Magdalene As Unitive Wisdom
WISDOM RETREAT DAYS: Practice of Heart, Body and Mind together
As scheduled, two to three times a year.
Based on the teachings of Cynthia Bourgeault, as provided in her book, The Wisdom Way of Knowing, we gather on a Saturday for special teaching, practice of Centering Prayer, chanting, and mindful work together. These gatherings have proven to be invaluable in the ongoing work of Contemplative Practice.
From The Rev. Patricia Rome Robertson — BIO
I am so grateful to the Rector of St. Barnabas Church for inviting me to focus on the spiritual work that has meant so much to me for many years. I’ve been a regular practitioner of Contemplative Wisdom since 1998 when Thomas Keating came to the parish where I was serving for a weekend of teaching and practice of Centering Prayer. That practice, along with engagement of Wisdom School teachings with Cynthia Bourgeault, started me on the road of learning about the transformation that spiritual practice brings about in individuals and communities and yes, I believe, the world. This is important work, developing and awakening of the spiritual heart and body awareness that is embedded in all human beings but often lies dormant. Please feel free to email me at email@example.com with questions about this ministry. Join us for a deepening of your life in Christ!
As she travels between January 1st 2019 and March 27th, 2019, Rev. Patricia will keep an ongoing blog of her adventures and insights. You can visit the blog by clicking here!