iCONTEMPLATIVE

Contemplative

Their exists a great heritage of spirituality, contemplation, and prayer in the ancient traditions of Jesus followers, referred to as the Contemplative Tradition. We share with this tradition the belief that a life of awareness, one where we are fully present to see, sense, feel, and know God and others comes through a life of contemplation. Often the silence, imaginative journey, and communion with God that we crave gets overwhelmed by the busy, loud, over saturated existence. We have found the following community experiences and prayer practices to be encouraging vehicles in our desire to let go of ego–and find meaning in God.

If you have any questions about the resources on this page, please send us an email. We love feedback!

 

COMMUNITY EXPERIENCES

We often begin certain seasons with an intentional focus for our community. For the new year we create an experience called MY YEAR IN REVIEW, for the Christian Calendar seasons of Advent and Lent (the Forty) we devote ourselves to specific practices and prayer.  And, it seems, that most every FALL we go on retreat together.

We have documented most of these experiences below.  These writings have emerged out of the specific conversation and experiences of our unique group–and we have compiled many words and resources from writers who have resonated with us.

While these writings are focused on those who share life within the Convergence Community – we also hope others might find encouragement within the working out of faith, beauty, truth, self, and shared life on the pages of our writings.

 

WRITING DOWNLOADS


RETREATS

LovingLookRetreat_cover WhiteSpaceRetreat_cover ElementalRetreat_cover Let The Light In Pilgrimage retreat retreat retreat
Long Loving Look
Fall 2015
Whitespace
Fall 2014
Elemental
Fall 2013
Let the Light In
Fall 2012
Pilgrimage
Fall 2011
Near/Other
Fall 2010
The Inward Pursuit
Fall 2009
Awaken
Spring 2009


THE FORTY

Songs of Deconstruction letting go Into Obscurity Bound theforty KIDS Metanoia
Songs of Our Deconstruction
2014
letting go…
2012
into obscurity
2011
bound
2010
theforty for kids
2010
metanoia
2009


MY YEAR IN REVIEW

myir 2012 myir 2011 myir 2010 myir 2009 myir 2008 myir 2007 myir 2006
2012
2011
2010
2009
2008
2007
2006


OTHER

exodus retreat partners art art
exodus | the way home
2011
advent
2009
convergence
partnerships
art reflection
sea of galilee
art reflection
road to emmaus

ARCHIVES

house church community is... imagine & move good friday reorientation the merge Metanoia
house churces
2008
community is…
2008
imagine
2008
good friday vigil
2007
reorientation
2007
the merge
2007
imagine & move
2008

 

CONTEMPLATIVE PRACTICES

The resources below are practices we have used within Convergence–either written by us or taken from writers championing the Christian Contemplative aspect of following God. We welcome you to click on the PDF links below and begin using these practices in your everyday life. Also, share your experience in your with others!

Deep Listening | Who is at your table?
Lectio Divina
Surrendering Prayer
Awaken Community Prayer
The Jesus Prayer
Centering Prayer
Breathing Prayer
City of Lights Meditation
The Daily Examen
Divine Hours – Sample Day
Imaginative Meditation
Imaginative Meditation – Holy Week
A Meditation on Justice
Midrash
Spiritual Direction
Litany of Resistance
Litany of Penitence

 

CONTEMPLATIVE PRACTICES FOR KIDS

Our kids also are crying out for some centering amidst our hectic pace. Grounding our kiddos in imagination is so natural – and prayer is something they often integrate much easier than the adult. We pray our children might naturally be influenced by the great ancient traditions of the contemplatives. (all links below are in pdf form)

Centering Prayer
Daily Examen
Apostles Creed

 

 

ART AS CONTEMPLATIVE PRAYER

Art and creativity usher us into awareness.  It’s for that reason, that we champion the arts–and continue to practice reflection on art as contemplative prayer.  The following is an excerpt from the guide created for an event on September 21, 2013.

“Contemplative prayer . . . is our response to God’s invitation to relational intimacy.” – Juliet Benner

The contemplative prayer that we engage in most often as a community is about receptivity–it’s about being open to our life, to others, and to God in stillness and silence.  Seeing is a part of our receptivity–both our vision and awareness are apart of this seeing.  However, it’s not just in stillness and silence that we are to be receptive, our life awaits unfolding God’s nearness.  Paula D’Arcy says, “God comes to us disguised as our life.”

Benner quotes John O’Donohue, “We live between the act of awakening and the act of surrender.’ He goes on to argue that both awakening and surrender are shaped by seeing because how we see determines what we see and what we see shapes the soul.”    Seeing can guide us into experiencing each moment with the depth of value it carries.  Seeing echoes the call for us to let go of what holds us back from truly living.

Invitations to see are present throughout the Story,  “. . . stand by and see the salvation of the LORD” (Exodus 14:13), “behold the beauty of the LORD” (Psalm 27:4), “Let us go . . . and see this thing that has happened” (Luke 2:15), “O taste and see” (Psalm 34:8).  We are beckoned to a life of awareness–to truly see our world.

We surround this community with art in order to open our life to something deeper than a surface level sleepwalking through life.  It is within the world of art, that our senses are engaged—understanding and knowing is not reduced to mere reason and the rational.  It is with art that we can touch something that may have been long avoided–the interior life.  Taking in art–seeing it–means feeling life deeply.

Not only does art lead us to feel deeply–it invites us to let go of our need to control.  When we process artwork we are viewing the world through another’s perspective–and we are entering a dialogue about the world in which the art was created and presented.  Even if we don’t know the intent of the artist–the art is open to interpretation, meaning, there is likely not just one view of it.  Art is mysterious.  Our encounter with art–at times comforting and other times perplexing–makes room in us to be open to the mystery of God.  Paul writes, “we see through the glass darkly.”  We don’t get the entire picture–we cannot grasp the entirety of God.  We see a fuzziness–and yet we struggle for clarity.  The world of the arts is one that helps us be a little more okay with less control, less clarity, and more mystery.

OUR PRAYER

May our encounter with the art and artist
be also an encounter with You.
Let the Story live on in us,
as we imagine the Story anew.

Let us not avoid what stirs,
reflecting on our life,
feeling deeply within us,
seeing the artwork before us as mirror.

May our world be expanded,
viewing from the slant of others;
by the mysteries of God ever growing,
leading us to step out of our myopia,
and letting go of our tight grip of control. 

Let us taste and see.