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Prayer of Examen

“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20b) The Prayer of Examen is a way to reflect and contemplate your day. It has been practiced by Christians for over 500 years. Ignatius of Loyola is credited with introducing this prayer as well as others (see Ignatian Contemplation as well). It can be practiced in the car, on a walk, or sitting in

Art Journaling

When I was a little girl I kept a diary.  I’m not sure what was so important that it had to have lock and key, but I remember it being a safe place to keep my thoughts, emotions, and fears. For me, art journaling has provided that safe place to express my troubles, emotions, dreams, and thoughts once again. It can seem intimidating when you go to the art store or

Ignatian Contemplation

Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556) was a profound spiritual director in the sixteenth century. His legacy not only includes founding the Jesuit order, but also combining contemplative and spiritual formation exercises into every day life.   He wrote and traveled all around Europe preaching, teaching, and offering spiritual direction to people from all walks of life. One could also call this practice praying with your imagination.  It has been described to me in

Food Meditation

This meditation was taught to me by Cissy Brady Rogers, who is a, teacher, spiritual director and therapist in Southern California. Food meditations help to regain a sense of connection to what we are feeding our bodies and reconnect food to our whole selves rather than just our stomachs. In Hale Sofia Schatz’s book If the Buddha Came to Dinner she says, “Our first taste is sweet; the taste of

Lectio Divina

This ancient practice dates back to the 12th century and was first introduced by monks.  Today this practice can help break out of the usual way of reading scripture and allows for reading just a few verses at a time again and again instead of reading a bunch of verses all at once.  It is a way to “marinate” in the Bible. How to: There are many ways to practice

Labyrinths

What is a labyrinth?  We might think of movies or trying times, some think of mazes, but a labyrinth is actually a spiritual growth tool that can be traced back to 1st century Christianity. There are multiple forms of Labyrinths, but most familiar are the Cretan and Chartres Labyrinths.  The Chartres Labyrinth dates back to the medieval era.  It was used to symbolize the pilgrimage to Jerusalem for people who

Yoga

Slowing. Stretching. Challenging. Breathing. Building strength. Letting go. Growing. Those words alone are why I do yoga.  I can connect to God and to my body. Once upon a time I thought yoga to be a very evil device that would allow my thoughts to be used in “sinful ways” (confessions of a former fundamentalist Baptist here).  For those with roots like mine, it might be helpful to seek out