"Within the stillness and silence of contemplation, we discover that the
boundaries of self-identity that usually appear so firm and solid are
actually far more porous, flexible and fluid than we realized. From a
centered place of calm, we lose our strict sense of separation and
isolation from the rest of the natural world. We enter into a liminal
space in which we can experience the myriad connections that weave us
together with poignancy and clarity." ~Allison Leigh Lilly
These are the moments in our daily spiritual practice when we are open to connection, to guidance, to change. And it's an important step in the process.
If you are used to ending your spiritual practice each day without ever getting to this step, I encourage you to give it a try. Even five minutes of silent contemplation can be very powerful.
If you try it this week, or try any of these steps we've been looking at this month, let me know how it goes.
"Besides praying to the gods, there are other ways you can adapt this
stage of Lectio Divina to a spirituality grounded in nature. If prayer
is simply a form of reverent conversation, then you might feel moved by
your observation and meditation on nature to converse with the many
beings around you — even beings with whom you might not normally strike
up a conversation. If you’re feeling inspired by your spiritual work,
you can speak with the robins about the coming spring, or converse with
the tree that stands tall and patient in your backyard to learn what
lessons it has to teach you. You might even feel moved to speak out
loud, to tell your own story to the waterfall or the evening breeze." ~Allison Leigh Lilly
In this step, we consider prayer and what that might mean for those of us with a less traditional spirituality or spiritual practice. Your own conversations might be with the trees, or the moon, or your spirit animal guides.
What might that look like for you? How would you incorporate this step into your own daily spiritual practice?
"Now is the time to ponder, to daydream, to explore the personal meaning
that the natural world holds for you as a denizen of the land." ~Allison Leigh Lilly
Today, we come to step two in the daily spiritual practice. We meditate and reflect on whatever we chose for "reading", whether that was spending a few moments in nature, or actual reading of a book or oracle card.
This reflection can be simple and brief, for a few minutes as you consider the message you read or experienced and apply it to your life, or it can be part of an elaborate ritual that includes lighting a candle and taking the time for a longer pathworking.
If you did step out into nature, you could even do your reflecting there.
Next Tuesday, we consider step three, but this week give some thought to how you would want to include this step in your daily spiritual practice.
This month, we're taking a look at the typical practice of Lectio Divina and applying it to those of us with a nature-based or earth-based spirituality.
Does "reading" inspirational material as a first step in our daily spiritual practice have to occur between the pages of the book? In the following quote, we're encouraged to read nature.
"Go outside and spend some time quietly observing the natural world
around you. It doesn’t matter if you live in a secluded hermitage out in
the woods, or in a busy urban center full of bustling people, or even
in a carefully landscaped suburban neighborhood. Nature is not something 'out there' beyond human reach — we are deeply embedded in the natural
world all the time." ~Allison Leigh Lilly
"When we see nature itself as a constantly-unfolding story about the
deepest, most sacred truths of life and death, we can adapt the practice
of Lectio Divina as a creative approach to meditation that can
strengthen our relationship with the earth. Here are just a few ideas
about how to use the practice of Lectio Divina to engage with the
stories of nature..." ~Allison Leigh Lilly
In her post, she takes each part of the traditional Catholic practice of Lectio Divino and demonstrates how it could be used by people practicing a Celtic or earth-based spirituality. During the next few weeks, on Tuesdays, I will explore how to create a deeper daily spiritual practice by adapting those steps...
(1) Reading or Observation
(2) Meditative Reflection
(4) Contemplative Silence
On Thursdays, I'll be back with a focus on connecting with the moon and several ways to use the moon to deepen your daily spiritual practice.