In the book, Contemplative Practices in Action, Doug Oman asks the questions, “Do I enjoy the spiritual support of an integral contemplative practice? If not, can I expand my practice in ways that are personally appropriate and consistent with my tradition and beliefs?”
Oman looked at 10 different contemplative practices found in non-religious traditions and religious traditions and discovered commonalities between the practices. He says these common elements “share a coherent resemblance.” According to Oman, an integral contemplative practice consists of four elements: Set-aside time, virtues and character strengths, short practices that can be used throughout the day for centering during stressful situations, and a spiritual model. This is the last week in our series on complete contemplative practices.
This week, we will reflect on Spiritual Models. Does your religious tradition have a person who you can read their words, observe their life, and follow their example? If you are not religious, do you have a person who you resonate with? Someone who calls you to be your best self by the words they write and the life they live?
In my tradition, we focus on the words and life of Jesus. For me, I love pairing the words written in the Old Testament with Jesus’ words in the New Testament and then I sprinkle in another person’s words that resonate with me. As I tune into living in Abundance in 2019, I am reading and reflecting on these 3 quotes:
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. God makes me lie down in green pastures and leads me beside still waters. My soul is restored. My good God leads me safely down the path.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me to protect and comfort me.
You set a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you bless me by calling me Your Beloved; my cup overflows. Surely Goodness and Mercy will follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell with God my whole life long.
Jesus said, “I came that you might have life, and have it abundantly.”
Abundance is not something we acquire. It is something we tune into.
Who are you following? Who are you reading? How does your mentor inspire you to live life full of love for the Divine, yourself and others?
I hope you enjoyed this series. I know that I continue to learn and grow as I write to you each week. On most days, my practice is not complete, but I don’t think the idea of a complete practice needs to happen everyday. I like to ask myself, “On a broader scale, maybe over the course of a month, does my practice feel complete?” Am I putting in my special time? What am I reading? Who am I following? How am I intentionally living?
I’ll end this series with my blessing for the year:
May we be able to honor ourselves, be who we are in the world, and express that power without fear!