{Day 1} 31 Days of Contemplative Living

Feline Lectio

 Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly. –Matthew 11:28-30

Emily Freeman at Chatting at the Sky has challenged bloggers to write for the 31 days of October on a topic near and dear to them. I am taking that challenge and will share some ideas and insights on living contemplatively.  I will keep the posts short, since I know that keeping up with a daily blog can be difficult both for readers and writers. I hope the posts are helpful and look forward to engaging with you over this topic!

If you are longing for peace in the midst of a busy life; stillness and rest during days of task lists, multiple roles, priorities, and hopes; or simply a deeper ability to focus and hear the still small voice of the Spirit, I invite you on the journey of living contemplatively.

{Day 1} Contemplative Living (below)

{Day 2} The Friendly Beasts
{Day 3} Noticing Thankfulness
{Day 4} Paying Attention to Love
{Day 5} Welcoming Back Hope
{Day 6} Living in the Midst
{Day 7} Friday Florilegium
{Day 8} Praying Photos
{Day 9} Sabbath Rest
{Day 10} Single-tasking, Part 1
{Day 11} Single-tasking vs Task Surfing, Part 2
{Day 12} Single-tasking, Part 3
{Day 13} You are an Artist
{Day 14} Friday Florilegium
{Day 15} Color Your Prayer
{Day 16} Sabbath
{Day 17} Cultivating a Relationship with Your Home, Part 1
{Day 18} Cultivating a Relationship with Your Home, Part 2
{Day 19} Cultivating a Relationship with Your Home, Part 3
{Day 20} Cultivating a Relationship with Your Home, Part 4
{Day 21} Friday Florilegium
{Day 22} Creating a Lectio Table
{Day 23} Sabbath
{Day 24} The Contemplative Body, Part 1
{Day 25} The Contemplative Body, Part 2
{Day 26} The Contemplative Body, Part 3
{Day 27} Vegging Out and Other Habits of Distraction
{Day 28} Friday Florilegium: Spiritual Disciplines


What do you hear?

In this moment, what sounds surround you?

What is the loudest sound?

What is the softest?

Close your eyes and listen.

For me, its the crackle and tapping of the metal heaters, a loud-mouth crow, hummingbirds chattering, a distant construction truck, water running through the pipes, my computer hard drive whirring, and the ever distant hum of the city.

The moment I start to listen, something changes. A different kind of attention clicks on.

I am here. Right now. In the present.

If you listened for even a moment, you experienced a taste of contemplative attention.

Often contemplative is considered a synonym for quiet–but that is not its origins.

Con, with and templum, temple or the place of God.

Rather than an adjective describing only times of silence and solitude, contemplative designates a way of approaching life, tasks, experiences, relationships with an eye and ear and heart to the sacred.

When we contemplate, we are listening to our lives with God and noticing God’s ever-presence with us.

It doesn’t require a silent retreat or an escape to a mountain top monastery. In fact, monks in those monasteries will tell you that contemplative attention can be practiced anywhere, because God is everywhere we are.

Practice: As you go about your day, simply notice the sounds.

31 Days