PRAYER & ICONOGRAPHY
An experiential introduction to three types of prayer: Lectio Divina, the Jesus Prayer, and Centering Prayer. These three prayer practices are ‘active’ forms of prayer and offer techniques that may assist us. True Contemplation, when we cease from interior spiritual doing and learn simply to be, resting wordlessly in the presence of God is considered passive, as it is offered as gift. Participants will gain a basic understanding of each prayer practice and discover that prayer practice and contemplation are two poles of our underlying, ongoing spiritual rhythm; a gentle oscillation back and forth between spiritual ‘activity’, with regard to God, and ‘receptivity'. Ample time will be given for practice.
- One day or three evenings
Interior Christian Prayer for the Sincere Beginner
Exploration of the ancient art of Lectio Divina, at one time practiced by all Christians, as taught by Guigo II in "Ladder of Monks". Reading, meditation, prayer and contemplation are seen as 4 stages of spiritual exercise and rungs of a ladder that may “lift us from earth to heaven,” Time will be spent on the properties and function of each stage, what it does in relation to us, the differences between the stages, their order of importance, and the help and consolation that may be gained. Time will be spent in practice. - One day
Process of Writing an Icon as a Mystical Journey
Participants will explore the ancient, mystical process of 'writing' (painting) an icon as a spiritual discipline and the inherent theology of each of 21 steps: etching, color, line, and gilding as well as elements or symbols used in iconography to convey meaning. Ample time will be allowed and guidelines given for praying with icons.
-One half day or one evening
Mystical Meanings of the Signs, Symbols & Gestures of Eucharist
Join us for a contemplative look at the Eucharist. Every sign, gesture, or movement in the Eucharist has deep roots in early Christian liturgy. Far from arbitrary, the non-verbal elements of Eucharist are symbols that point towards transcendent mystery and are supported by the accompanying prayers. We will also explore the origin of the Eucharist and the great linking points to Jesus’ great parable of the Good Shepherd.
- One-day retreat