What does it mean to be contemplative?
To be contemplative is to enter a quiet in which every aspect of our humanness becomes still in response to the stillness within God, the Divine, or however you define the Source of all that is.
It is the breath of mutual surrender—God lovingly surrendering to us and us surrendering in love to God.
Is there a special technique or process I need to learn in order to participate?
No. Some contemplative communities focus on a particular form of prayer or meditation. At Eremos we focus on simply creating space via silence, so you can connect with your heart to the heart of God.
As our Spiritual Amma of Eremos, Jean Springer, likes to say:
Silence within a contemplative perspective is truly an invitation to be with the One who loves us into silence—an invitation to respond to the whisper of loving communion. Come just as you are. Come and rest with and in the One who longs to rest with you. Come beyond the words into the silent, wordless embrace of love. Come and listen to the whispers of love. Let yourself be lured into Love.
How long do the periods of silence last? What do I do during those times?
Depending upon the program you participate in, the periods of silence typically last from 20 minutes to one hour. Weekend retreats will have extended periods of silence. If you’re at all nervous about sitting in silence, we recommend you participate in one of the morning or afternoon introduction programs, or meet with our spiritual director to discern what’s right for you.
Your time in silence is your own. Many simply sit quietly, others pray, journal, or walk a labyrinth or spend time in nature, depending upon where the program is offered. Sometimes a brief poem or reading will be offered for you to contemplate on. Your mind may wander. That’s okay. Trust that the silence slowly opens you up to what you’re meant to experience.
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