The man whispered, “God, speak to me.” And a meadowlark sang, But the man did not hear. So the man yelled, “God, speak to me.” And thunder and lightening rolled across the sky, But the man did not listen. The man looked around and said, “God, let me see you.” A star shined brightly, But the man did not see. And the man shouted, “God, show me a miracle.” And a life was born. But the man did not notice. So, the man cried out in despair, “Touch me, God and let me know you are here.” Whereupon, God reached down and touched the man, But the man brushed the butterfly away and walked on.
Exercise Your Present State of Consciousness
In the language of the Spiritual Life, we speak of awakening. So you might ask, awakening to what and how? The answer is conscious awakening to the presence of God in every moment of our lives. The ‘how’ can be a simple practice of noticing. We often say, “Notice what you notice and then notice what you noticed about what you noticed”. Stay with your noticing and see where it takes you.
The following is an intentional exercise for using your body in the practice of awareness.
Notice the richly varied and vivid impressions – shapes, colors, movement, and dimensionality of the entire visible world and how you are relating to it.
Register the various sounds taken by your ears – a diverse range on intensities, pitches, and tonal qualities – the commonplace city, street and house noises. Hear birdsong, the miracle of speech or the wonder of music. Listen even to the quiet.
Become aware of what you touch: Let your fingers play with texture (smooth, rough, dry, sticky, or wet). Feel weight (heavy, light, solid, empty), heat-cold. Do you receive pleasure or pain from the things you touch? Note how our body feels right now, tired-energetic, stiff-limber, painful or pleasant.
Taste a number of different foods and substances. Give your attention to what is entering your mouth. Allow the tastes to linger on your tongue and your imagination.
Notice the odor of warm bodies, earth, incense, smoke, perfume, coffee, onions, alcohol, the sea, etc. Draw the smells deeply into your memory and imagination.
Finally, become aware of your awareness. Awareness itself can be an object of awareness. An unlimited awareness is the source of being. Here, experience cannot be adequately expressed by language.
Word about the Contemplative Wednesday Service
Gathering with others in a contemplative prayer service is a helpful way to intentionally carve out time to share a moment with God. Our 2nd & 4th Wednesday Contemplative Services are modeled on the Taize Prayer form. You are invited into “Silence, Simplicity and Singing.” A leisurely rhythm in a gently lit space will provide time to reflect on ancient icons, short meditative offerings and brief bible readings, and to participate in Taize songs and Eucharist. There will be no sermon, no announcements, and no distractions. In fact there will be as few words as possible. Join us in this chance to stop and dwell in the presence of Christ with our St. Matthew’s family. Invite others who may need a simple pause in the midst of their week.