Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Time for Rising

December 16, 2015 
Reflection by Tuesday Rupp

Lately I’ve been making a lot of bread, which takes surprisingly little effort. It’s the same recipe each time ­ Mark Bittman’s no­-knead bread ­ and it gives me tremendous pleasure to make it.

Altogether it takes about 15 minutes of actual work with my hands, since most of the work of the yeast happens over a long proofing time, between 12 and 18 hours. A little yeast, a little salt, a little flour, some water. One day later, I’m savoring a full delicious loaf of bread with a beautiful crumb and a lots of flavor. If I want more bread, I have to plan ahead a bit, work out the best time to stir together ingredients and leave them alone. Since so little effort it involved, it really is just a matter of deciding to do it.

The time we spend in contemplative practices works this way. Connecting breath to body, letting go of our thoughts, and bringing awareness to an aspect of God’s unfailing love are a powerful leaven even in short durations. When we make prayer practices a regular part of our day ­ even for a few minutes ­ we will be surprised at the transformation from the inside out.

Today is always a good day to pick up (or dust off) a favorite contemplative practice.There are lots of practices to try: centering prayer, chanting, Anglican rosary, even coloring (a favorite of mine). Even five minutes of mindfulness meditation ­ bringing total awareness to the breath coming in and going out ­ done regularly will net results.

Our practices help to prepare us to recognize Jesus when we meet him, make us ready to
encounter the living God.

Here is a short, informative video explaining the practice of Centering Prayer simply.

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