One of the dangers and invitations of contemplative practice is to notice how we use that practice. Contemplative spirituality and contemplative prayer—including the Welcoming Prayer practice that we're journeying through as a community—is not meant to be a tool of spiritual bypassing, although many of us, myself (Tara) included, have a temptation and a tendency to use it that way. Mindfulness, silence, contemplation, and other forms of meditation become spiritual bypassing when we use them as a defense against personal pain, as a way to avoid uncomfortable feelings, experiences, or revelations. I share this because true contemplative practice moves us toward love and justice. It doesn't move us there out of obligation or burden, but out of concern and love for our fellow human beings. As we ourselves are plunged into Divine Love, we come into deeper contact with the truth that all human beings are made in the image of God, and that their pain and suffering matters to God and to us. Spend some time in interested curiosity (note: not critique or judgment) around your own practices today. Are there times when your practices are pain-avoidant? Is there an invitation to deepening in Divine Love, no matter where that takes you? Photo by Maryna Yazbeck on Unsplash [IMAGE CONTENTS: Abstract ocean waves.]

Posted by Tara Owens, Abbess at 2021-01-19 15:19:39 UTC