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Beside Restful Waters

by Gregory Hermann

“When I speak of the contemplative life I do not mean the institutional cloistered life,

the organized life of prayer.”

Thomas Merton

What is your view of prayer, contemplation, meditation?

What is your practice of prayer, contemplation, meditation?

My introduction to 'prayer life' was very much an organized, institutional practice that occurred with specific words, formulas, beads, and spaces.

I have come to a place of gratitude for this introduction to prayer as my childhood perspective needed structure, routine and practice. I have to take responsibility for leaving myself stuck in this place for far too long. I remained in a mind set that prayer was what I did to a God, Higher Power that was out there or in this particular place.

There was a variety of experiences that introduced me to a growing and personal relationship with God, Higher Power, Divine Presence and source........ I went to retreats and events which gave me a 'spiritual high'. While these experiences quickly lost the sense of high and left me in a state of disappointment, there was a lasting recognition that “where two or more are present with Me” there was an undeniable reality of Divine presence.

“Two or more” required relationship. “Two or more” required some form of interaction, sharing, communication........

“Two or more” in the presence of Creator's expression of Herself, Himself.......


I AM in the presence of “Two or more” whenever I enter the stillness of life long enough to be there, organized or spontaneous; in a building or in the woods. This practice of prayer offers a life style rather than a technique. This practice evolves from an intent to deepen a relationship rather than perform an act. Gratefully, performing the act was my place to start, and grow, and enter into relationships of Divine awareness.

We have all started in different places. Many of us now find ourselves together with the recognition that we offer each other the Divine experiences which express mystery, awe, and wordless presence. Some are quiet and introspective. Some are wild and crazy. Some in a canoe. Some in a building. When our stillness responds, we know.

When we respond with stillness, we know.



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