Meditative practice for daily disruption: Compass episode 61

The Welcoming Prayer is a daily practice of disruption
The Welcoming Prayer is a daily practice of disruption

In this episode, we're creating our own stories of disruption through a contemplative prayer practice. The Welcoming Prayer helps us recognize what we're feeling and where God is in the midst of our experiences. Take a breath and join us in disrupting the cycles of negativity in our own heads.

 

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Episode Transcript:

This is the Compass Podcast

  • Where we’re sharing the story of daily spiritual disruptions for a broken world.

  • My name is Ryan Dunn.

    • This episode is a little bit different than normal.

    • Over the last several episodes, co-host Pierce Drake and I have been talking with spiritual disruptors--people who are engaged in work that disrupts the broken cycles that exist today.

    • It’s been really meaningful to share the stories of Father Greg Boyle about disrupting marginalization and Luke Edwards stories of disrupting trends of loneliness.

  • In this episode, we’re going to depart from story sharing and dive into story creation.

  • Here, we endeavor to provide a practice of personal disruption.

    • Something that interrupts feelings of separation, loneliness, lost-ness (if that’s a word), in our days.

    • This is a practice you can put into use daily to interrupt your day with something spiritual.

    • The under-riding idea of this podcast is that everything is spiritual--there is nothing that is separated from Divine presence.

    • Hopefully, this helps re-orient us to the Divine presence in our midst no matter what else we’re doing.

    • Does this sound like a pretty cool endeavor?

    • I think so.

    • So let’s get into, shall we?

  • The practice I’m introducing is called Welcoming Prayer… and I was actually introduced to this practice by a guest on our podcast, the Rev. Tyler Sit. 

    • Rev. Tyler detailed the practice in his book, Staying Awake: The Gospel for Changemakers.

    • Tyler was one of our featured disruptors a couple episodes ago.

    • He is not the originator of the Welcoming Prayer practice.

    • Mary Mrozowski originally put the practice together in the late 20th Century.

    • Mary was one of the founders of Contemplative Outreach--which your can learn more about at contemplativeoutreach.org

    • She based the practice on the 17th century French spiritual classic “Abandonment to Divine Providence” by Jean-Pierre de Caussade.

    • In essence, the Welcoming Prayer is a method of consenting to God’s presence and action in our physical and emotional reactions to the stresses of life.

    • So when I’m stuck on an anxious feeling, or a feeling of defeat, I find it helpful to retreat into this practice as a way to disrupt the cycles of rumination in my head.

      • You know, those thoughts that are triggered when negative things happen…

      • The thoughts that like to suggest that I mess everything up.

      • That success is for other people but not for me.

      • That I’m just an imposter and pretender.

    • This practice derails those thoughts before they become my narrative.

  • The Welcoming Prayer consists of three parts or movements.

    • First, we recognize what we’re feeling.

    • Secondly, we welcome these feelings as a means for recognizing God’s presence.

    • Thirdly, we let go of a need to control and simply embrace the moment.

  • So let’s take this through, one time, together. [Gong]

  • Allow yourself to feel this moment… What’s going on in your body? Where are you holding tension? What’s distracting in your mind? … Sit with that for a moment.

  • Welcome whatever is that you’re experiencing. Name it to yourself.

    • And we’re focusing on emotional states and reactions here.

    • So you may be carrying a cold or allergies right now.

    • Instead of just recognizing that you have a stuffy nose or sore throat, turn your attention to how those physical challenges inspire you emotionally.

    • Are you frustrated by them? Do they have you feeling drained? Are you fed up with having to deal with stuff?

  • Tyler Sit actually says “hello” to his sensations: “Hello anxiety, I see you. Hello fatigue, I recognize you, too.”

    • Do that now...

    • In the same way, welcome God.

    • “Hello Dear One, I recognize you are present in this moment, too.”

    • It might even help to invite and admit God’s presence in all the sensations you’ve just mentioned…

      • “God, you are with me in my anxiety…

      • Spirit, you are with me when I’m fatigued…”

  • That leads us to the third and final movement: the letting go:

    • Perhaps the most economic way to do this is to release your named sensations to God… “God, I give you my fatigue. Spirit, I give you my anxiousness…”

    • Mary Mrozowski also provided a prayer for closing of Welcoming Prayer.

    • It reads like this:

      • “I let go of my desire for security and survival.

      • I let go of my desire for esteem and affection.

      • I let go of my desire for power and control.

      • I let go of my desire to change the situation.”

  • With that, we will close this practice.

  • Thank you for sharing some time with us on the Compass Podcast. We hope these practices will be positive disruptions for you as needed.

  • Help us spread more practices and stories of disruption by leaving a rating and review on Apple Podcasts.

  • And don’t forget to hit the subscribe button on whatever podcast platform you prefer to listen upon.

  • I’m Ryan Dunn, on behalf of Pierce Drake, we look forward to chatting at you again.

  • Peace.