The Tree of Contemplative Practices


This has been a very good contemplative weekend for me, in spite of an overwhelming feeling of busyness and the need to get my life back into God’s rhythm. At church yesterday I felt as though the scriptures that were read have been written just for me.   First in 1 Kings 3:4-12 God’s approval of Solomon for seeking a discerning mind resonated with my own desire to seek God’s wisdom in all my challenging daily decisions at the moment.

Then the gospel portion – Matthew 13: 31-33, the story of the mustard seed, the theme of our organization.  I have been struggling over the last couple of weeks because we have seen very little finance come in as yet for the first steps of the Mustard Seed Village.  Just enough to clear the land for the first building.  Not what I had hoped for, but as I read the scripture yesterday I realized that this is God’s mustard seed beginning and rather than getting frustrated with my own unfulfilled expectations I need to thank God for the provision and live in faith in hope of the fulfillment.

Then I read Romans 8:26-39 which ends with that wonderful reminder that “nothing can separate us from the love of God.”  When we seek to discern God’s ways and accept with gratitude and excitement the mustard seeds that God plants in our hearts nothing can separate us from God’s love.  What a wonderful, renewing and faith building thought.

Having spent so much time in contemplation yesterday, I was delighted to discover this Tree of Contemplation which graphically explains the many different ways we can enter into contemplative prayer.  Thanks to Jessica Mokrzcki who blogs at Ascending the Hills for making me aware of this.  For more about contemplative practices and this diagram visit The Tree of Contemplative Practices  at The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society .  Contemplation is an important part of many religious traditions.  It has always been an important part of the Christian tradition though this is more obvious in the Catholic and Orthodox traditions than it is in the Protestant.  However along with many of my friends I have over the last few years found my faith to be enriched and strengthened by the use of such practices and would heartily recommend exploring them.

Tree of Contemplative Practices

Tree of Contemplative practices © The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society Concept & design by Maia Duerr; illustration by Carrie Bergman

One Response

  1. Thank you for sharing this. Very helpful snapshot that gives a big picture view as I write curriculum on this topic for my church.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: