This is progress? |

TBC Staff

"There is a progression in the spiritual life. It is not wise to tackle the Mount Everest of the soul before having had some experience with lesser peaks. So I would recommend beginning with a daily period of from five to ten minutes. This time is for learning to 'center down,' or what the contemplatives of the Middle Ages called 're-collection.' It is a time to become still, to enter into the recreating silence, to allow the fragmentation of our minds to become centered . . . .

"The first one is simply called 'palms down, palms up.' Begin by placing your palms down as a symbolic indication of your desire to turn over any concerns you may have to God. Inwardly you may pray 'Lord, I give to You my anger toward John. I release my fear of my dentist appointment this morning [etc.].' Whatever it is that weighs on your mind or is a concern to you, just say, 'palms down.' Release it. You may even feel a certain sense of release in your hands. After several moments of surrender, turn your palms up as a symbol of your desire to receive from the Lord. Perhaps you will pray silently: 'Lord, I would like to receive Your divine Love for John, Your peace about the dentist appointment [etc.].' Whatever you need, you say, 'palms up.' Having centered down, spend the remaining moments in complete silence. Do not ask for anything. Allow the Lord to commune with your spirit, to love you. If impressions come, fine; if not, fine" (In "Celebration of Discipline" by Richard Foster, who is also the General Editor of "The Renovare Spiritual Formation Bible" and founder of the Renovare movement).

[TBC: As Richard Foster demonstrates, man is willing to meditate upon nearly everything except that which God has commanded: "But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night" -- Psalm:1:2).