Contemplation is a change in consciousness. It brings us to see the big picture. . .. to see beyond our own boundaries, beyond our own denominations, beyond even our own doctrines and dogmas and institutional self-interest, straight into the face of a mothering God from whose womb has come all the life that is. (Joan Chittister)
Christian Contemplative Ministries at St. Barnabas is about diving deep into the Heart of Divine Reality. Everyone has the capacity to engage in contemplation and grow deeper in their relationship with the Cosmic Christ. “You are made both of and for contemplation. It is the secret longing of your being. . . . It is in the wilderness of your heart that you discover a reality beyond every religious form. (Beverly Lanzetta)
We invite you to learn how to live 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.
WISDOM RETREAT DAYS: Practice of Heart, Body and Mind together
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.
Next Wisdom Day is TBD
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 firstname.lastname@example.org with questions about this ministry. Join us for a deepening of your life in Christ!
Patricia provides a periodic blog entitled “Along the Way”. You can access and subscribe here.