Wednesday, December 2, 2009

December 2nd

Day number 2! - The Welcoming Prayer

My friend, Patsy, introduced me to this practice and it has been incredibly helpful to me.

It's fairly simple [although a bit more involved than doing nothing]. :)


Focus, feel, and sink into
the feelings, emotions, thoughts, sensations,
and commentaries in your body.


Welcome the Divine Indwelling in the feelings,
emotions, thoughts, commentaries,
or sensations in your body by saying


Let go by repeating the following sentences:

“I let go of the desire for
security, affection, control.”

“I let go of the desire to change
this feeling/sensation." (Contemplative Prayer, Welcoming Prayer Brochure, 2)

So, for example, I'm harboring negative feelings toward a professor of mine. Every day, when it's time to go to that class, I feel my body tensing up.

First, I'll focus on my professor and the way I feel about her. I'll pay special attention to how my body feels. My whole body is locked. My jaw is especially tight and I'm breathing short, shallow breaths. Also, I've become so anxious that my stomach physically hurts. I acknowledge the ways that my body and my mind feel. I'll spend time on each uncomfortable element as if I was sitting with a dear friend.

Second, I'll welcome these sensations [out loud if possible].

"Welcome negative feelings about my professor."
"Welcome tenseness and tightness in my jaw, face, legs and the rest of my body."
"Welcome stomachache."

Third, I let go [again, out loud if possible]. I let go of my desire for security [in this case, the desire to know I'm going to get a decent grade]. I let go of my desire for affection [this professor, I acknowledge, doesn't have to like me]. I let go of my desire to control the situation [it's not the end of the world if I don't pass]. And, finally, I let go of my desire to change the situation [it's also okay that I don't like her].

This may seem counter-intuitive to the way we've been taught to pray. That's part of the reason it's so beautiful. It's easy and simple enough to do practically anywhere. And if you practice it regularly, you'll most likely reap the benefits in your daily life.

For more information about Welcoming Prayer check out The Contemplative Outreach website.

No comments: