This week’s prayer practice is one a friend of mine taught me in the last couple of weeks. It is one of Thich Nhat Hanh’s practices called “Letgo.” After I began the practice I realized ‘Letgo’ has many similarities with the Examen and found that I was experiencing some of the same benefits. As I have begun to settle into this practice I have discovered my days to be calmer and more centered even when the world gets busy. I am able to separate what is important from what it is not. The most amazing thing is of the many of events and things I thought were important they just are not priorities any longer. Instead I am able to focus on what makes my life more enjoyable, beautiful and to just BE. So I offer this practice as my gift to your well Being.
I usually pick a time of day when things are quiet, either early in the morning or just before I go to bed. I like both times. The morning time energizes me and the evening time centers me and quiets my mind so that I sleep much better. But select a time that works best for you. I do set aside 20 to 25 minutes for each session.
- Begin by sitting quietly, concentrating on your breath. Reflect on those things you have let go of in the past. You many begin your ‘list’ as early in your life as you wish.
- Be aware that our conscious attention only catches a small portion of what goes on in lives.
- Start with small steps first. Accept that events such as rush hour traffic, broken washers, and burnt dinners will always be there to annoy and frustrate you. Use these events to practice an acceptance of those things that just happen because it’s life.
- Be mindful of those times when you pick up old burden or worry’s and begin to carry them around again. Learn to recognize the old resentments and anger that emerges and ask yourself if you want to continue to hold space in head and heart for them.
- Take deep breaths and let the burdens, anger, and resentment flow out with each exhale.
- Repeat step 5 as often as necessary until you are able to bring your mindfulness back to the now.
May the peace of God be with you all.
Ruth Jewell, ©March 10, 2015