Contemplative Prayer: Practice of the Presence of God

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Contemplative Prayer class. Practice of the Presence of God.



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good i'm a huge canal so this is our last or next-to-last class on contemplative prayer and we're looking precisely at the moment of the practice of the presence of god
we noticed a last time that this isn't some kind of artificial make believe exercise that it's reality therapy it's waking up to the fact that god is always with us and in so many mysterious ways so in that sense it's the simplest thing in the
world what is our motto is come police
the number of here that's it that's globes only invented y say
could we have a sure your sex or
our our motto is up a bobby's both mean i with you you with me and the coat of arms is the to peacocks just directly present to the chalice directly drinking from the challenge so that's what we're to be here up commune
niti mutually supporting ourselves in this venture of being president to god
at the last chapter there was much made of all the trips in the monks were taking and ivan suggested we redo our coat-of-arms with the peacocks flying away but this did not receive consent so they're going to stay there drinking from the chalice and that expresses this whole theme of
of from the practice of the presence
we could relate it to the biblical theme of remember remember with israel this is a theme that comes up again and again in the old testament and in different ways in the new testament israel is always forgetting for getting the mighty works of god for getting god present in israel's history and so this x
three sizes to try to just move through this cold state of forgetfulness to a lively awareness of god's presence
whether it be of the direct kind of face to face presence with god or simply being a somehow aware of god is the larger context for the immediate focus the larger horizon
so that's where we'd been
ah now i think we could spend at least a little time asking about precisely this place here doing gestalt therapy racing to our awareness how this place wants to very much support and sustain this practice
they can almost inevitable so that have to work at it if we're not press to gods be with us how is this our little map here wants to help us in the history guard and in some ways and just obvious but if we called some of the aspects of this to consciousness it
might help us in our ongoing practice how does this place of the hermitage almost continually pts over their head with this reality of god's presence in so many ways
what are some of the ways
is there any way this trip
well ah yeah yeah the bell in most places where people live the predominant up oral factor it's a church bells it might be the subway it might be the ticker tape or up cars or whatever
here it's a bell
other things nature nature
prepare of what kind of nature feather
much the hill so took my eyes to the hills that's right this is a to be indicated bit naive style not strictly the scale a yeah so we're kind of in this bowl so good we're not in the inner city with the i lived for four years in the bronx with these br
round stone kind of thug apartment houses around broken windows up all this stuff is quite a different context so the being kind of snuggled in this patient of the heels go out we got in this meet the fact that that ourselves around chapel
no i think in a certain way the chapel it's right at the centre of everything if you conclude our guests community
so right at the center is the chapel and what's right at the center of the chapel
the altar so it's up it's a very central community is extremely exceptional in a very secular world whether you live in suburbia or up on a foreign these days will write down and town or in the residential districts of this is very exceptional
the church at the center of the church are always open source so it's extremely exceptional church very accessible to any one of us don't think anyone of us lives more than five minutes away on foot from the church that's always open and at the center is the older so easy
if we're not always consciously aware of this the place is a kind of our
mandela really nasty or something new treatments as other things map on top of the chapel we have to sign
mmm hmm across at the center and that be kind of the power the bell power
like it reminds revised name is it an act of after an action and have jacob's ladder and don't know it's certainly the predominant of architectural fact also served with the very highest points are of the hermitage
terms of the buildings are as you say to cross
and the and the bill
and the cross does it bear the corpus sonnet or
no it's the famous resurrection of christ so wants to win this fundamental christ is risen so christ is in our midst gathering a whole community from what i hope cemetery
you can't represent it it's crisis because we've eliminated those crevices frank is marching are liturgical expert says that and simple as so powerful and when cheap and have been we can invite repeating it everywhere so instead of every grade and sort of cross just the headstall but also our beloved deceased and stay
we're thinking of their gathered as close as possible to this center we remain one worshipping community
so in all of these respect you go downtown don't know if you see pictures of new york city downtown of st patrick's which is a very significant building but it looks like a little tiny toy if you get back far enough and see it in the context of these skyscrapers to the right and left a job
rockefeller center etc
the even the cathedral in the roman catholic cathedral issues dominated by the secular world of the business area that isn't the case here our business area is very young you have to go looking for it to find it where we produce the fruitcake
center or we keep the financial records etc but quite emphatically at the center is the worshipping church
then i think you said something cyprian about a an order community around this decision haphazardly thrown together nor is it just kind of residential districts but it's clearly coordinated with a central three buildings
ah other factors about it
had a little bit further would be offered the center of channel
the back
individual cell and sell is each my bottle
i can come together communally
at one
back and back office and the center continually states ground as we take it and that
human cell
right there's a rhythm that wants to be balanced in terms of times together times in solitude so that we don't lose that centered and so that you are aware of it are aware that were community worshipping were were that were individuals worshipping and the cell
well wants to strengthen that significance in the individual we're not just stay here com activity
individuals who come together awesome community to so also if you can put the time dimension somehow how many that over this the fourth dimension the i'm going back and forth four times a day to the church going into the church and the whole dynamic of worship in the church
i was interested to note that were never more than three hours of our waking day away from a worship service
this extremely exceptional again in the in the secular world people go for weeks with have been able to get the church of they want to get to church or maybe they get to church once a week etc but every day to be coming and going back and forth back and forth and as as he never three more than three hours away from formal worship
this sub you almost have to be working at forgetting god so someone like brenda lawrence would say just lives this place just quaint
oh what about this place is just your usual secular classroom
and why isn't it just your usual secular humanism crazy me out of my head around that the instant may have our dinner the kitchen sink like and crucifix in longer now
well we were surrounded by similar cause me cause my home as catholics we take that all for granted but i'm protestant severely recognize it certainly put a system this is a a pretty striking central symbol with the corpus and what do we have behind us you know our lady
than we have gregorian chant there so that's time even a music quarter in to worship and we got the way the cross all around us but this is a very exceptional a classroom or check a table and it's interesting it's not just your usual a school desk is
been very carefully walked why what should build a kind of a sense of of reverence
so am i should say this is everywhere
in the library we have a wonderful ancient were done and child and all those images etc and just the books her and so in the refectory and to
what about these three community buildings how are they serving us
there's surfing our a spirit you can say if you want to get into our triadic spirit mind and body the worship the library the refectory and then the bakery in all the rest but they want to serve the whole person up in this context to being a worshipping contemplative community
and these three spaces in one burner they want to be in every cell and in each one of us so it it wants to be not only very focused but somehow sufficient complete not repressing very significant parts of our humanity you and your hand i was an assessment of chapter member
let's come back to the checked out and say of the chapter alone i think first chapter of my of the songs spencer st joseph sabian and the struck up a couple of on churches in the way through awesome as that feeling we take care of a different part of our spiritual
chapter vegetable chapter which has been the decision name
marty of of am going on i was happy chapters is not going to be content with coffee and john so certain segments we we might have music
gathering here from this told the sacred ever happens happens particular absolutely i think that's experience placements know those who are us who come to the saturday rosary an icon goes here and a candle in fact quickly the answer worshipping space and then i know
what is a i'm embarrassed to yeah this becomes the place of the
what is a typical worked with that the really rushed her that's right so yeah this is a very unusual
also our community room that's that's just to enjoy we don't have to be in a heavy sacred space that there is that immense picture of christ that we all appreciate by the crystal and job
a significant number of the videos have religious themes
et cetera
other things
no mention in terms of an issue we at the are not and spent the ocean incredible simple of mystery of the infinite so lots of monasteries are coast into an area and that has its own strength
a monopoly is kind of innovation but we have a credible open or sure that i think of in its own way it's it's healthier than being all enclosed by
it does want to open a sound etc
but and then we have the guests ministry they don't come here the way they might go to a or higher to tell to are you will just vacation and catch some up golfing etc
they come here specifically for the worships so they kind of reinforces sickness will pass and the church is always welcome to our side and so once you open on their side and every one of those spaces is specifically for this purpose so it's a mutually supporting think what are the
the guest house in terms over we silva et cetera so the whole thing once constantly to be reminded of this and so yeah i think we almost have to work at it to be oblivious to god's presence
other things about that
at the a very pro-business and and
was me know
the way book can ride on a about on level images code the kind of radical that they can be so yesterday
the musical friends and time
that's the danger we have the rhythm and i know with it i'll be it know i would be desperate tonight i could go with our be a touch they chose tomorrow teller matter just that knowing means i don't have to commit myself and faith or risk or know what's going to bug me on the way to church i'm not gonna have to call up the pasture to get the door
open during the think so it just so convenient
but it can be second nature night in the best of sensors intended symbol into incorrect particular was talking about as the that all client liturgical that that our environment to reduce the number so that the wells and anymore
then they shouldn't be more money and mary church
that the office should be in the center with nothing distracting the yeah go right down to the too much energy working again for david knowledge base
and that we've done people are shocked how bear our churches we still have more than one of the older people here what plaster statues of mary and joseph in the rotunda kind of dutch and this kind of so people are astonished to what extent we have brought
it down in almost a quaker or same way to the absolute minimum and there again what i find exciting is wouldn't we go into the returned at the moment of eucharist as i understand the idea of the architect of it really feel sound and we ourselves with the living icon so
so that it's not bear it all and it would be awkward if we had these sacred images then with our backs to them kind of thing so just centeredness of the thing in its own way wants to challenges to a baroness yeah we have i think a few strong imagery it's rather than dozens and dozens of plaster say
it's around you know there is hundred parchment to speaker the trees and far as to the ocean is hospital desert here in the sense that drives this particular area where you know yeah get irritated with what everything does seem rather than this time are
and there is an american the associated with the aspect of frontline yeah we jumped out to make you go to church on the every problems so however there's the aspect up to the living with much rather not go to church there are no times when we might not want pregnant be done
apples from non sports car challenge them could be title first experience and charges but then we're still called into the spider or we might be going
still have that constant is experience something to the desert with digging counterparts
i'm struck by the presence of
i have
there was lots around yeah you mean no one can remind one never know
i've noticed now part of the most important
the presence or absence him
i say on this reflection on the lie at it also have really dry the wall separates the course to the from new the rest of property now reminds me of the world separating the city of jerusalem from
you know you
the the desert and matter bottles and some outside the me
it's just some restaurant point to there's certainly all kinds of fuck sacred residences for the better and for the worse in we live in a kind of a sacred place and again there they aren't out there too much i was thinking into
so much a modern society is secular and the roman catholic church wants to apprentice witness to the sacred but how many of the orders are contemplative really have this kind of settled in ongoing commitment very few so if the roman catholic
church is just a minority of americans and as the contemplative spaces like this there are other contemplative monasteries across the country but there are few in number compared with the parishes and compared to and all the people who don't go to church and center when extremely small minority so we just take this for granted
and yet it's extreme exceptional and if we claim it at all again
we should get to work on when it's all about and but the road intuition is interesting i used to go down the point when i just to ride and watch highway one traficant back of her him from junction all these people very intent on getting someplace else on and up in a sense through the study
you can we don't go in where else we go out but we come back and there's not this desperate need
to a because god is elsewhere rather than here the presumption is that god is here let's do something about it
like the right phone number of reasons one being that it reminds me of a
i'll be nice story that jesus was right sides and that recognized the time they are coming together sharing eucharist
then i'm seriously
which reminds me i get out and of the angel jesus is not it
that across file charges entries almost a statement on why i'm actually finding you must have been fourteen and that he has gone actually have you manage you to the periphery to gallery
back into the world not insurers and you have to be in jerusalem pop it out
so i'm really pleased that we have that argument outside church
that's really resurrection simple
so the pythons despise it it's industry we talked the practice depressants of god there is also certainly our titles and this mysterious absence of god and to wrestle with that and knowledge that is places also about that so when you're doing a women's of darkness and
and the empathetic
brother lawrence we get to him he spent the first ten years his religious life and just absolute darkness and simpson absence of god and aridity and he stuck through that and then came out on the other end but part of it is up the absence of god why have you forsaken me soon isn't always so of the interior
constellation to etc
please paradox that actually what seems like an absence really isn't
i mean that the road window or about the absence of cotton rather an affirmation of a presence is not as be expand the are precisely that's what i would mean also was totally other god we've got to we've got to go beyond the gods who are easily present
the to find a god whose of present but it's such a totally other way that it's a
no and you got me thinking about the road
i think about time when will walk around so she could get down highly erotic come back and i'm i'm going on the highway going off the movies i have
to do something else i'm going to go back up that run to the road vehicles and book that i've been standing on place to you know if your conscious that possibility that the dark
but inspire the back it now however years in spite of acne i saw the image of monastic life staying on the stay put and now anyway
say a shop yourself to charity and that notion that big have let it live community never wrote it symbolizes that
also the are i'm not getting think that things you about them that well
the all these are they the because you ever said and hearing before a ever enlightening and ten
i think that's rough know it gets her and distress president the chinese have to enter sit face a while for nine years just stay there and you know work do itself is a great assistants just the that just can not moving
it certainly i think a powerful country cultural witness because at least in the american myth if it gets difficult here just jump in a car and go elsewhere there's an ad they're doing again and again under review about california and
to we're a mobile people are we were constantly moving and i don't know every five years that can be average american family moves on often is related with jobs or something but the myth that the highway i think it's very different from our one hundred motor basically want to link things and issues
the on foot that's very interesting so to win not things but the community and the guests and it's basically a a foot contribute and put a new bicycles but that's an extremely exceptional so your highway wants to be straight and five lane etc and you don't have done it
that and it wants to bond and this community we've put a lid on it now we're saying we're not going to grow war we're not going to build more cells this was a huge fight back in time with on paper ballot
we keep our to just keep building building building and would be the biggest teach in the world but i'll get beyond a certain size and were no longer canal these hermitage because that requires being family i think quite charming walking whole going and know everyone in the neighborhood and they will come out in the you know bug
the etc but we're all about the same thing it's an extremely intentional community everyone here is why if they're truly seeking god that's it that's for basic criterion and that's what brother lawrence talking about so has miss solis when and that up there and it's all about this one thing
know ah that's right for point as i'm a meal and
i was teaching some american literature and the night real wages and children about five years ago an adult with life and a neighborhood
with neighbors and nine your neighbors nose down and his children were staring at and as like looks on faces and they they wouldn't respond any questions that just international laws and dog on that night i went back in the next day i say how many of you have neighbors and all the hands went up said how many eighty nine hundred acres names
at the hands went up so how they talk to your neighbors in the last year blond kid up on up with his hands up
they have no sense of living and sort of really living in a community i think most of us here how he grew up in towns or even in a city where we as as a of neighborhood and i look at least in a town where be out of eleven o'clock at night and walk home without the scare up
somebody in a muddy and you
and on occasion when i only have a movie or or get-togethers something and i can walk up to my stall the ultimate obligating love me as a fox or a deer you know it's it's very different within within this this particular group that it is outside i get warm or glaring
so if the road and strikes me about the metaphor of mostly adventures on that to and i very often do it again and selling and a spacious and wash watch those cars zooming up and now i'm their motorcycles with mobile homes
and it isn't open like going on right now for one day
ah that there is cause they're too i'm reminded of that and i often remind you of the absence of god or something spiritual
the about in london to the elderly who are living in their apartments alone then distributed be signs that say il divo and she's supposed to struggle over put it in the window because otherwise known with known for days on end if she dies in there so the because of the time she means incredible type of freedom this avenue
mit the anonymous city but you just do your own thing but here if someone's missing from to take no we're aware of it the seventy can kind of strength repository of the american dream at least in that sense of your rod and ever your neighbor is inside mister rogers your neighbor is your right
this is the way it used to be for millions and millions of years you know the human experiences little villages but i kind of charm by the idea that before week anos o r three generations of white people but before that was the native americans for god knows home and we know they were here but apparently they weren't in a little group
certainly not going to wish our and more or less living our life but then the idea of the small village weather in africa the us or australia would sort of the city is i'm fairly new thing and it's a very exciting thing we don't want to get anti city it's just it up this
is very unique and don't i'm sinking up berkeley our house are we haven't know that on but we
we haven't even met our neighbors you go you're not come adorned the new and swimming and think once there was a contact but no other and dull that's kind of the you're extremely lucky in this day if you have that sort of relationship to the present time
and we know everyone and every one of these and more or less so we want to spot the same thing yes i was thinking caring about name is but when i live
you may find at seminary i had a nice apartment and if i had four days off by foot an apartment never seen my day but and if i have instance gorgeous out to there but somehow i didn't have the community support that's up to the other retired they and the same
diamond between seventy eight here erect me with
and after dinner on thursday club or way the and a new television and first planet and i think what may into heaven this community you read attack people but no actually i said at dinner
so it's kind of and americans really do love that notion and just getting in their own room and close to new car and i'm upset that to be quite think sometimes that are worse we have that to you have result of that unhealthy fall into buying or lensbaby me from going to go by and will impose my doors no by
so here a dynamic about you but we're trained with that a man who are like and on my time relatives at least they wouldn't have a of up
you england
i met least you can say they're different italy they way they happened here to there but americans are just first lucky with impact to my house of my gate
they have to either community programs is that us to however would also realize that some life is not the individual that to move out of the south towards the other that's why i hadn't road because the road is into my community that it doesn't need to stop you insist on
nevada and south towards the are we welcome the other along that road we choose to walk back out not an to acquire the doors but not to learn to love that are the better new people me that's what i've of about this i swap can
not a man like last time we like and i kept themselves haha i can't do that
whereas the has crossed by they hesitate
then i'm surprised there's no gag are really should factor
your founder of a document used to see this isn't a prison and so in terms of people coming in also in terms of we're here to freely and so if any moment when could walk out and
yeah and to say that would never more than three hours away for worship alyssa says were never more than three hours away from encountering others are guests who were there and there they come in to go from all kinds of different but they come here for this think of also trying to find their sincerity ethan that etc
and often during your weren't internet we are looking on the perspective of the person outside looking at that know that person outside is glad that we're up here that person would not lot of us all to the show up here no one's home moving not for are very happy that we're here over here laced and close
yeah that says we're very different from your retreat house say of a patient must retreat house where two or three priests are assigned there for this year or next year's and they're preaching preaching and retreat sensor of industry is to preach retreats are of industry here isn't to preach retreats you just have five during the year
our ministries to be worshipping community here and as permanent worshipping the that's a powerful
i'm drawing cards so to speak so we're always home and we don't move on according to that other
and of course again that goes directly into brother boring since a practice the process of got it seems to me our main problems might not be the shape of the place where the rhythm or but things like negative effect what what can keep us away from god
if we get depressed if we get lonely if we get angry
that can be a kind of a very contemporary way of experiencing separation from god into our fear cetera so it's not a distance from a sacred place to remind us it's not that we have to work eight hours a day enough i
no an investment company or up in a newspaper office or something you just there's no way but we can to our own inner stuff it can bubble up precisely through solitude and through the intensity of being an old syllabus mailed small community that can cause us to wrestle
with other kinds of factors it can seem to render something like a serene ongoing communion with god difficult
and sometimes i think it can be positive ethic can be a kind of a sense of elation and expiration and being jolly et cetera it's that can make us less aware what it can get we can get very busy doing this doing that doing that and sometimes it's very necessary sometimes it's listeners with that can render the
ongoing serene awareness difficult or on the other and idleness we just don't have enough to fill up our day in a significant real way
and that's one of the real dark temptations of the desert fathers and mothers that don't dare devil and which is blog you know and this is the kind of thing that renders more difficult and habit routine wrote those are the things
that i think we have to battle the gibbs so it isn't is it if it's the easiest thing in the world in fact it's very difficult to be present to god in any kind of ongoing way but not because the place doesn't call us to it that was the only when i was sneaking any comments about that
just one of the right and it was passionate connect this is going back mention connecting maturity through more generally to one of the biggest else to the buttons and in which black only silence with the quiet or i don't mean just an auditorium mean in general because people in the moderators extra sharing a room so
at all kinds of things can match them my church visual
well new era and another way to show every sensation needs your music and of all them
a space which is news which allows you to become american keep listening room
of serve the one thing
i think absolutely when i go into moderate but certainly to san francisco selling them where you see only images the billboards the most obvious but
where do they call it overloads and sensory overload
now the nature here i don't think it's century under because again the human family lived this way from billions of years whether on the farm or in the little village this is the way our nervous system is built for nature zone
new york that context earnest your his oneness
and that also that the fact that we lived with some kind of ongoing contact with trees and rivers and seasons etc for the get millions of years it it's only very recent this extremely artificial context of the megapolis
where i if you see a tree it's just just strictly ornamental there are you know on the on the cement sidewalk and cetera
so yeah all and and to be aware of that and wouldn't we do how do we feel up in that silence that's the that's the i wouldn't want to dimension what did this business has negative effect what do you do about that i like their with journal bases not to try and in a busy way to try to fix that and outreach
sorrow or fear or whatever be but be there with that and there's somehow mysteriously at the center of that find a god this presence
right at the can the i the cyclamen with the the heart of the desert or something
that's so that can be and then with the business just slow down a little just ask is this necessary kind of thing and then just little moments in break etc to render that mess phonetically wild
ah other comments on notice how this place physically but also the rhythm of the place and the dynamic and the other people certainly the animals call us back to god
this kind of thing
which animal
for primarily but in a scattergun little furry icon search
our infirmary it's interesting you know we have a man who sat bedridden or you issued images all around you hope to convince obviously faith context and i haven't been warning now
and just about the first thing we do as the warning offering you know so here's this man who's close to death she called suspect to this
and i said good morning he says god morning it wouldn't god then there's a event
but also our library it specifically of there's also a cartoon poetry of humor and all the rest of us
but it's it wants to sustain this life there's you know not a lot of stuff that
it isn't focused
also the food very simple basic healthy and cooked by us with the as they say a lots of places they have to bring in a cop cottage they just grinded out in it's there i think it's something different to know the touch martin is doing his thing today job seeker
i do his thing etc but also where the needs of the grumblings of the hopes of the community and the whole thing as in that context
all right up with that we still haven't gotten to brother lawrence so when do we absolutely promise that our next class will be a certain class focused right on brother lords the pages aren't in border numeric me but the pages are in terms
of the themes will be looking at because it's not that he sat down and wrote a logical volume on the practice the presence of god it's a series of conversations of letters and his ideas would come up it's very repetitive it's very but as you get into a new kind of see
the complexity of the supporting structure for this spirituality and then radical simplicity of the center of it all and again he's suggesting that this could be your basic and my basic practices christians you ted should be
and dumped ponder that challenge if it's not the i think it should certainly be a basic component of a to so for your homework assignment you might just flip through there and get up a feeling for this would you have a other lawrence and then again our final things the way will conclude is how to brew
it all together especially is there any possible way of reconciling a wisdom and no seven those kind of pre-christian nasty themes we're christian and copy