Lent Mini Retreats, Week 2

Day 1

“In yourself right now is all the place you’ve got.” Flannery O’Connor

“Awareness is a kind of knowing that is simply bigger than thought and gives us many more options for how we might choose to be in relationship to whatever arises in our minds and hearts, our bodies and our lives.  It is a more-that-conceptual knowing.  It is more akin to wisdom, and to the freedom a wisdom perspective provides.”  Jon Kabat-Zinn

For Today:

Ask yourself, “Am I able to be present to my mind, heart, and life?”  What keeps you from being present?

Day 2

“True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence on the future, not to amuse ourselves with either hopes or fears but to rest satisfied with what we have, which is sufficient, for the one that is so wants nothing, the greatest blessings of humankind are within us and within our reach.  A wise person is content with his or her lot, whatever it may be, without wishing for what one has not.”  Seneca (adapted)

For Today:

Day 3

“I cannot help thinking that the best way of knowing God is to love many things.  Love this person, this friend, this thing, whatever you like, and you will be on the right road to understanding [God] better.”  Vincent Van Gogh

“The soul should always stand ajar, ready to welcome the ecstatic experience.”  Emily Dickinson

For Today:

Keep your soul open to the ways that God might be around you – and seek to love what is in your midst.

Day 4

My to-do list for today:

-Count my blessings

-Practice kindness

-Let go of what I can’t control

-Listen to my heart

-Be productive yet calm

-Just breathe

For Today:

Try to practice the to-do list.

Day 5

“Eating with the fullest pleasure – pleasure, that is, that does not depend on ignorance – is perhaps the profoundest enactment of our connection with the world.  In this pleasure we experience and celebrate our dependence and our gratitude, for we are living from mystery, from creatures we did not make and powers we cannot comprehend.”  Wendell Berry

For Today:

Be aware of what you are eating.  Slow down.  Enjoy the texture, the taste, the company.  Be grateful for all those who helped get the food to your table (farmers, workers, store employees, etc.)

Day 6

“The practice of mindfulness [and awareness] involves finding, recognizing, and making use of that in us which is already okay, already beautiful, already whole by virtue of our being human – and drawing upon it to live our lives as if it really mattered how we stand in relationship to what arises, whatever it is.”  Jon Kabat-Zinn

For Today:

Love yourself as you are – and celebrate the parts of you that are okay, beautiful, and whole.

Day 7

“If I were to wish for anything, I should not wish for wealth and power, but for the passionate sense of the potential for the eye which, ever young and ardent, sees the possible.  Pleasure disappoints, possibility never, and what wine is so sparkling, what so fragrant, what so intoxicating, as possibility!”  Soren Kierkegaard

 “We do not see things as they are, we see things as we are.”  Anais Nin

For Today:

How might being more aware and mindful in your living increase the possibilities of a fuller life?  Have you experienced anything this week that would confirm this?