Category Archives: Learning Group

Sharing our stories, and learning to always walk with God, who is Story.

Praying the “Daily Office”?

The Manuscript Room:  Book of Hours

Image by peterjr1961 via Flickr

Marine of the Korean War in prayer

The Anglican (Protestant) tradition uses the ancient Christian spiritual practice of praying the daily office. The daily office (aka Conical hours, divine hours, Liturgy of the Hours, or fixed hours of prayer) are fixed times of prayer set throughout the day. Millions of Christians the world over are in prayer at these times, and this routine allows space for communion with God, and the potential for continual spirit of God-awareness in regular life.

It encourages followers of Christ to accomplish that which the Apostle Paul admonished, to “pray without ceasing.”

Here are the “divine hours”:

The daily offices of prayer

 

This practice is particularly powerful when done in community. A retreat, or trip with others could include the teaching and experience of the daily office. And, one does not need a priest or clergy to “do it right”. If a group is devoted to celebrating the offices, all that is needed is the cooperation of others to commitment to it in heart and mind; and reverence and regularity.

To learn more, I offer these good resources:

Basic Helpful and  Informative article.

Daily Office, which one can follow online.

Praying the Daily Office I:  (Anglo-Catholic Style Daily Office) Traditional Anglo-Catholic Offices in the American PDF

 

Book of Common Prayer (England, 1559)

Praying the Office II. (Quick Reference Guide To the Prayer Book Offices)

 

Have you ever prayed the offices/divine hours? Would you consider praying the ones that wouldn’t interfere with your sleep?

To be continued…

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(1 of 5) -Monday’s Mini-Retreat (5 min or less)

Ed Cyzewski invited me to carrying on with his 5 minute Retreat series, “with my own spin”. So, for the next 5 days, I invite you to come here for a short and refreshing retreat in your day.

Let’s work through this and apprehend how God is with us. (Please feel free to comment anytime. Sharing your experience is valuable for all of us.) Blessings to you.

First, please be prepared to take a short rejuvenating break, and eliminate potential distractions. (Silence your phone, computer, shut your door, etc.)

Start off with five deep inhales and exhales.
— Be increasingly aware of yourself occupying a space, where you are. Feel the weight in your chest as you breathe, and let your air out slowly and calmly.

Cover your ears and breathe in and out five more times, listening to the sound of your breath.

Now-Be aware of God giving you life–the Breath of Life. His Spirit.

Spend a bit of time chewing on that theme.
–Allow yourself to make associations, dwell on an image or phrase about this topic which comes to mind, and how it relates to your life, today.

(If you get distracted, or your mind starts to wander, cover your ears again, and listen to your breathing.)

In this way-you try to “get out of your head” (a.k.a. to stop or dull, the chatter in your mind, and set your inner monologue aside.) Remember you are a spiritual being having a physical existence and tangible experience, right now in this moment. You live, you eat, you sleep, you think, and you breathe. Right now, you are here, breathing and living. Stay with that.

Briefly, talk to God (in some way) about your gift of life and Living breath. (Or, the associations, phrases, or images that have been on your mind.)

Now, realize you have God, with you, at hand (not far away), and you may keep this awareness to be revitalized and strengthened in your day.

One more deep breath, and stretch your arms, or whole body, a bit. Find relaxation in these few calm moments.

Here you are. You are yourself. Enjoy that.

And Enjoy your day.


Spiritual Growth: Resource (Event)

What is spiritual formation?

The Spiritual Formation Discovery (event) is presented by Imago Christi an international and cross-cultural spiritual formation ministry of Church Resource Ministries (CRM). Imago Christi develops spiritual formation resources and coaches Christian leaders around the world.

www.ImagoChristi.org

If you’re interested in attending the Imago Christi Lancaster PA event, please let me know.

Awake in my dreams: Lucid dreaming

I have to do a post about this, esp since it’s fresh in my mind. This morning I have really vibrant lucid dreams. That is, I woke up within the dream, and could control the things I did/decided, and I could consciously control some of the dream’s outcome.

I used to have insomnia as a tween (pre-teen, ages 9-12) and teen. Now, I have trained my mind to fall asleep in usually under 2 minutes. (Much to the astonishment of my spouse, and friends who happen to see it take place.) I usually remember 3-7 dreams per night. I dont’ bother with a dream journal much, because I don’t have several hours to take it all down when I wake up.

If I can’t fall asleep in 5 minutes or less, I tend to be awake for a while. So, I’ve developed some skills to fall asleep. The one I use the most, and the most effectively is counted down from 100. I concentrate on the numbers (number shape and order themselves), and allow my breathing to grow slow and deep. Often I beginning dreaming immediately as I drift off into unconsciousness.

A person can develop this sort of (lucid) dreaming as a skill, much like training yourself to remember dreams. Here are some tips to start remembering your dreams. I also got some quire handy tips on how to wake up a bit better within my dreams from Tim Ferris, who has researched it a bit.

For me personally, I’ve always had a vivid imagination, been highly creative, and highly stimulated visually. Actually, I had always thought everyone had the chance to dream this way. Since I was a little girl I’ve had fantastic lucid dreams, and I would pick *flying* when I would wake in my dreams. This just seemed like the most fun and exhilarating choice, and crashing didn’t happen too often either. (It’s more like bouncing usually.)

Can you wake up during your dreams?

Interesting- Quick facts about lucid dreams here.

For anyone interested in sharing lucid dreams, discussions, or learning more, I started a facebook group page. At Facebook, search my name (Lisa Colon DeLay) and “lucid dream learning group”.

Learning to Swim

photo by stephen jones (steve p2008 -Flickr)

I couldn’t swim until I was 11 years old, and even then, it was a pretty panicky endeavor.

Today I taught both of my kids (ages 7.5 and 10) how to swim in about 3 hours.

Both were super afraid of being in the deep section when we started. Because they trusted me; it worked. I gave them pushes to the side, and skill tips, and once the fear was nearly gone, they could do it.

Much has to do with trusting that one is fairly buoyant in the water. Thrashing is not helpful, tense muscles tend to sink. For my son, who was quite scared, I told swim, “swim gently.” Something clicked. He saw/experienced that when taking his time, he could maneuver and stay afloat. The terror of sinking like a rock eased away. He probably jumped in the deep end to swim about 150 times after that.

For my daughter, distracting her with techniques, like a flutter kick and slicing arms through the water, distracted her from her over-thinking. The paralyzing fright of trying something new and “dangerous” settled out, and made way for real progress. I would hold her under her belly, to qualm her fears, and then I’d take her into deeper water so she wouldn’t stunt her learning by cutting it short: standing up each time she wasn’t sure of things, or when she felt scared–which, at the start, was about every 4 seconds. Once she saw how far she could go, by obeying my instructions, she realized she was ALREADY swimming. Then the fear (well, more the 50% of it) subsided. She got far more comfortable in the water.

It’s like that in life too, isn’t it. Much of what we think is beyond us, or too scary is part of how we’ve let our fears and false notions get in the way. We all must learn to float and not fight as God teaches us how to manage deeper water. Otherwise we are trapped in the kiddie pool.

How old were you when you learned to swim? Or do you have Aquaphobia a.k.a fear of water?

In what ways, to you, is the art and skill of swimming related to growth, or your own personal journey?

Any other thoughts?

P.S.

I’m looking for a pop up camper… keep your eyes peeled.

Freaked out!

The face of "Freak out"

I got this on Facebook from Susan Sims. Me thinks she pulled it from somewhere online. If anyone knows the proper source for citation, give me a shout out.

I thought this picture just perfectly captured what happens on my insides when I get suddenly horrified or surprised. Notice the weird hand gesture of fright. Classic.

In a rather unrelated note, due to my employment research, I found this, and I thought it would make a fine read, even for those not in recovery. Please note the restorative humility it takes to get well seen in these steps. It makes one wonder how many of us are all that well, right?

(I welcome your thoughts and comments!)

12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous (& Biblical References) by Alcoholics Victorious

1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol … that our lives had become unmanageable. “I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.” (Romans 7:18)
2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. “… my grace is sufficient for you, for my POWER is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9) ..for it God Who works in you to will and act according to His good purpose.. (Phil. 2:13)
3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of GOD as we understood Him. “… If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” (Luke 9:23**)
4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. “Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord.” (Lamentations 3:40)
5. Admitted to GOD, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs. “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” (James 5:16)
6. Were entirely ready to have GOD remove all these defects of character. “If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the land.” (Isaiah 1:19)
7. Humbly asked Him to remove all our shortcomings. “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up.” (James 4:10)
8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all. “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.” (Matthew 5:23, 24**)
9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others. Give and it shall be given you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Luke 6:38**)
10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it. “For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith GOD has given you.” (Romans 12:3)
11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with GOD as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will, and the power to carry that out. “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” (Psalm 19:14) “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly…” (Col. 3:16)
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and practice these principles in all our affairs. “Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:1-2) **The words of Christ

Lurking

A one way conversation

They say that 90% of people who visit a blog simply “lurk.” That is, they read, and rummage around a bit, but do not participate or respond to posts by leaving comments–even when it is encouraged.

Why do you think this is?

(Smash the stats, and answer rather than lurk this time, k?) 😉

Thanks for reading!