Celtic Way Contemplative Practice
I can still remember the awe I felt as a child in Albuquerque, NM looking up at the night sky and feeling as though I was being drawn right into the heart of the Milky Way. There’s a shimmering sparkle to the light there, especially at dusk. My dad said it was the dust, but to me it was magical.
This love affair with nature has continued all my life in car camping through the National Parks and Canada, hiking and backpacking, and sailing the coast of southern California. I’ve always felt whole and loved in the beauty of God’s creation. However, it took a while to connect these feelings with the God of church and the Bible.
Music has also been a huge part of my life - I’ve played piano since I was seven. And in 1992, though my vocation was software engineering, I said, “Yes.” to becoming the musician for a small start-up church. Over the period of the next 18 months or so, I went from feeling like a complete hypocrite each Sunday, to having a sense of an undergirding presence in my life that seemed, somehow, to care deeply for me. Thus, began a calling to service as a church musician lasting until 2017.
About 10 years ago, a friend invited me to attend a Centering Prayer group with her. This was the beginning of my intentional journey into a deeper relationship with God. Since that time, I’ve gone to several silent retreats, and participated in a 9-month “Contemplative Journey” program (twice), followed by another 9-month program, the “Contemplative Living Experience” (CLE) at the Denver Center for Contemplative Living. I’ve also attended Celtic Spirituality services and classes offered by Fr. Scott Jenkins and John Philip Newell, and I now have a daily Centering Prayer practice.
I’ve come to know the truth of every human being’s basic-core-of-goodness, connection to the Earth, connection to each other (really all living things), and, most importantly, connection to an indwelling God who is closer to us than our breath and loves us beyond all understanding. That awareness has been so transformational that I want to share its possibilities with others. In September of last year, I applied and was accepted into an 18-month program, “Leading Contemplative Prayer Groups & Retreats”, at the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation. I began study in January of this year and will continue through June, 2020.
Starting the fourth Saturday in August, I will have the honor and great joy of collaborating with Fr. Scott and the Spirit in leading contemplative prayer practices. I hope to see you there.