Wednesday, December 16, 2009
This week’s blog will focus on some of my favorite exercises from the second section of my book “The Songbird In My Heart.” These exercises are called “Acts of Contemplation, Freedom for a Glad Heart” and are designed to put you in touch with your deeper self. Each day a corresponding prayer from the book will also be posted to Facebook.
The inspiration for these exercises came from two unlikely sources. The first are the beautiful books from Thomas Merton and his editors A Book of Hours, Seeds of Contemplation, and New Seeds of Contemplation. The second is the red Fieldbook by Peter Senge to his best selling business book The Fifth Discipline. While this part of the book bears little resemblance to these great books, they did serve as inspiration.
Please take some time and try them out! If you like, let me know how it goes. Best of luck. Mark
Acts of Contemplation, Freedom for a Glad Heart
Monday – Wake-up Time
Tuesday – Airtime
Today – Mealtime
Thursday – Moontime
Friday - A Moment in Time
Besides the air that we breathe, the food and fluids that we eat and drink are our most important contributions to good health. Before going into that, let me say that we have become so separated from the reality of our food that we have forgotten that everything we eat has given its’ life for us. We should never forget to give thanks and feel deep appreciation. Always remember, life lives on life.
There is the old saying “you are what you eat”. I don’t like to lecture others on this but here are a few simple points. Our digestive system is long like a vegetarian, not short like a carnivore. Our teeth are consistent with eating fruits and vegetables not meat. Having said that, eat whatever you decide to, it is your choice. I personally grow my own fruits and vegetables, plus try to practice balance and moderation.
Acts of Contemplation
Act 1 – Plan and prepare your favorite meal. In the planning and preparation be mindful. Stay in each moment of the tasks involved. Enjoy the smells and tastes along the way. Write a prayer of thankfulness in the downtime of the final preparation. Give thanks. Eat in each moment. Savor your food. If appropriate have a nice glass of wine. Relax and enjoy. Take a nap afterward.
Act 2 – Try juicing a fruits and vegetables meal. Gain access to a juicer. Maybe you have a friend who has a juicer that you can do this with. Pick out organic raw materials that you think will go well together. As you clean and prepare the fruits and vegetables for juicing, be mindful. Take in the smells and flavors of each fruit and vegetable as you go. Write a prayer of thankfulness ahead of time. Give thanks as you take your first sips. It is best to sip this slowly over time. Relax and enjoy.
Act 3 – Plan and prepare an all vegetarian meal. In the planning and preparation be mindful. Stay in each moment of the tasks involved. Enjoy the smells and tastes along the way. Write a prayer of thankfulness in the downtime of the final preparation. Give thanks. Eat in each moment. Savor your food. If appropriate have a nice glass of wine. Relax and enjoy. Take a nap afterward.
Act 4 – Consider taking anything you learned and make this a part of your daily routine.