Today has been one of those ‘Clean Up The Office’ days. In my office it can be defined as stressful and seemingly unproductive, even after many hours. I think paper reproduces like a single celled amoeba. The extras end up on men’s neck ties. 🙂
Giving myself permission to throw away is a hard decision normally. But today, I have not only given but taken permission to THROW AWAY! And amongst the pages and pages of paper from old catalogs to menus to receipts, ad nauseam I found a gem. Fr. Thomas Keating’s chapter entitled ‘The Unloading Of The Unconscious’ from his book Open Mind, Open Heart, published first in 1986.
Where it came from I have no idea! 🙂
Usually, when I come across one of those truly life changing works, I evaluate if I have the time to read it, fully knowing it would be good for me. The conclusion I usually reach is – put it away in a safe place until I have time to give it proper attention! (then much time elapses!)
Today I made time to read this chapter, and to put it into practice. This involved contemplative prayer for twenty minutes. Now, it is not that I have not prayed for twenty minutes before. The key to contemplative prayer is to have twenty minutes of silent prayer, all at once, twice a day. No praising, no asking, only resting in God for twenty minutes and if praising happens, it happens, etc. This is not a discipline I have become comfortable with. My prayer is usually very directed and full of praise, not contemplative for long stretches.
No results yet – but I will be incorporating this into my lifestyle and see what happens. Fr. Keating has some very good messages in this fourteen page chapter. As I longingly look at my pile of books to be read this year – maybe I need to add one more – Open Mind, Open Heart ISBN-13:978-0826406965. It is short as books go. GRIN
PS: Possible future updates if earth shattering events result from this praying style.