I invite you to set aside time for contemplative practice in this New Year. People ask me, “How long should I pray?” I say, “As long as it takes you to get to an emotional and mental yes!” Many find that they need two periods of twenty minutes a day to come to such surrender. Perhaps it is early in the morning, before your brain has a chance to begin its list-making and judgments. Or, it could be in the evening, which might include an examen of consciousness, looking for the God-encounters during your day. Maybe it is taking moments throughout the day to pause, breathe, be still, and recognize how you have returned from yes and back to various kinds of no.
The sacrament of Sabbath—keeping a chosen time sacred (though all time is holy; there is no distinction or division between profane and sacred!)—was offered by the Jewish people as a gift for all of humanity. And in our busy, technology-driven culture, it is especially important that we intentionally seek rest and re-creation. It might be saying that at least one-seventh of life must be about non-performance and non-egocentric pursuit, or we forget our life’s purpose.
Take a moment now. Perhaps breathe in and out with this week’s Gateway to Silence, “My true self is love.” Rest in the awareness of Presence. And know that you are never apart from it. When this moment ends, Presence will still be here, now, always.
Gateway to Silence:
My true self is love.