One of my plans beginning now and into the new year, is to actively stay in the moment and regain spiritual practices that I seemed to have let fall by the wayside. Because I'm so darned curious about everything, I get easily side tracked.
I belong to Spiritual Directors International and when the monthly newsletter "Listen" recently came, I was excited for a variety of reasons. One is the annual conference which will be held in Louisville, KY in the spring with a focus on Thomas Merton. I have long been a Merton lover and actually did my M.A. thesis on Merton. The second reason was on their Field Guide page and a "Rear View Mirror Meditation."
It reminds me of some of the exercises in the National Intensive Journal that I taught for many years, but it also seems like a perfect option for my monthly journal group that meets on Dec. 29.
Because I have been posting at Sacred Ordinary blog more frequently lately, I'm going to try to get back to that at least once a week.
Here is the meditation:
Rear View Mirror Meditation (from Spiritual Direction International “Listen” newsletter, Dec. 2014 –www.sdiworld.org)
Set aside a half an hour or more, have paper and pen, or a writing device nearby.
Breathe deeply for five or more minutes. Feel into your physical self. In your body, where are you tense? Spacious? Flexible? Are there spots of bliss or resistance? Simply notice any sensations without judgment or analysis.
Allow your attention to travel your life timeline. Recall age five, or the youngest age you remember. What energies, sensations, or memories surface? For what are you thankful, grateful, and least grateful? Acknoweldge without judgment, and move on…
Recall age ten…
Recall age fifteen…
Recall age twenty…
Pause for a minute, and fast track into present time. On this present date. Acknowledge the road you’ve traveled, together with any consistencies and incongruities.
Now recall age twenty-five…
Recall age thirty…
Recall age forty…
Continue to your present age (or stop if you’ve already reached it.)
TUNE INTO YOUR BIRTHDAY AGE, THIS YEAR
Pause to idle in the present time: what reveals itself to you about here and now, the life you live, the silence you do—or don’t—cultivate, the kindness you embrace and share, and life blessings for which you give thanks.
REFLECT ON THE YEAR AHEAD
Choose one aspect of your life to tend to with care and compassion. Be willing to give permission to fine tune the necwssary actions and changes to involve all the best parts of yourself to engage and shift into gear.Who and which activities fuel your creativity, compassion, kindness? Can you create a roadmap?
In your own words, on paper or in the silence of your mind and heart, give thanks for life in all of its beauty, complexity, and simplicity. Then, park all your thoughts, and simply attend to the present moment.
The next time you meet with your spiritual guide or companion, give permission for this reflection to become part of your exploration and inquiry together. (If you don't see a spiritual director, share this with a close, trusted friend.)