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Let nothing disturb thee; Let nothing dismay thee; All thing pass; God never changes. Teresa of AvilaBefore enlightenment chopping wood carrying water. After enlightenment chopping wood carrying water.Zen ProverbThe Practice of ContemplationIn Part 2 we look at the practical aspects of practicing contemplative prayer. As the great Christian mystic Teresa of Avila once wrote, we must be comfortable to pray. Go through each of the points below before beginning on the journey of contemplative prayer. Some points relate to physical concerns while others deal with praying itself.SettingFind a place where you can practice contemplative prayer each day. It may be your lounge room or a space outside. It is important that it is somewhere you won’t be disturbed by noise or others.PositionThe physical position you use is up to you. Some people prefer lying down, others sitting up. You may choose your favourite chair or sit on the floor on a cushion. You can purchase prayer cushions designed for sitting on the floor. Generally, I recommend a sitting position because it is important to keep alert when practicing contemplation. If you are lying down you may fall asleep. By the way, if you do find yourself falling asleep at first, don’t...
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Ask, and it will be given to you; search and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. Everyone who asks receives; everyone who searches finds; everyone who knocks will have the door opened.Jesus of NazarethLoad the ship and set out. No one knows for certain whether the vessel will sink or reach the harbor. Cautious people say, "I'll do nothing until I can be sure". Merchants know better. If you do nothing, you lose. Don't be one of those merchants who won’t risk the ocean.RumiIntroductionThe ultimate value of life depends upon awareness and the power of contemplation rather than upon mere survival. AristotleThat pleasure which is at once the most pure, the most elevating and the most intense, is derived, I maintain, from the contemplation of the beautiful. Edgar Allan PoeContemplation has been practiced by humanity throughout time. Have you ever gone outside on a clear night and stared in awe at the stars that light up the dark sky. Have you experienced walking through a rainforest and become transfixed on the natural beauty that surrounds you. Has there been a time when you look at a loved one, perhaps a partner, child or parent and...
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