Wednesday, October 14, 2009

First Things First

Where is the contemplative mind being taught?

In today's CAC (Center for Action and Contemplation) email, Fr. Richard Rohr invites the reader to consider where the contemplative mind is being taught. He offers, "The contemplative mind is really just the mind that emerges when you pray instead of think first. Praying opens the field and moves beyond fear and judgment and agenda and analysis, and just lets the moment be what it is—as it is."

What struck me is his follow-up comment, "...We really have to be taught that mind. We now are pretty sure that it was systematically taught—mostly in the monasteries—as late as the 13th and even into the 14th century...."

So in the ancient churches, the monks were taught that before engaging the brain, first engage the spirit. I find this very inspiring.

Upon reflection, I notice how my visits which I precede with a short, silent prayer almost always are the ones at which I can be fully present, and leave with a sense of Wholeness and Shalom. I hunger for a teaching that offers to pray first, and a mind that can get out of the way for a Spirit of prayer to enter my heart at all times. I hunger for the Holy Spirit to come and re-form me.

What is your first thing, first?

1 comment:

  1. Wow. At first I couldn't come up with what my first thing first is! I mean, I wanted to say it is my quiet time. But I knew that sleep and comfort and food sometimes comes first. And with more thought I realized that my husband's comfort is really what I put first. Is this good or bad? Right or wrong? It isn't necessarily either. It is what is. But my awareness of this may yet inform my behavior.

    I like your example of praying through the day. When I find myslef doing that, you're right, things seem to feel better!