Tag Archives: nourish

Sitting Peacefully, Free.

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Tuesday, January 31, 2017



Sitting Peacefully, Free.

The Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh includes several stories in his little book How to Sit. I was so struck by the true story of a Buddhist nun from Vietnam who was arrested and imprisoned for her activity in the country. [1]

Each day, the prison guards and officials would punish the nun, because they wanted to totally control her actions. However, she would sit and meditate each night, to nourish and sustain herself. What is more, she also instructed others in the prison about meditation and prayer. How to sit, and how to pray and meditate, quietly.

What a positive, nurturing, nourishing step for her to take. Not only on her own behalf, but also on behalf of others in the same prison.

“In her outer form, she was caught in prison. Yet she was completely free. If you can sit like that, the walls are not there.” [2] Yes, just the thought of this courageous nun freeing her mind in that way must have rankled inside of them, and goaded the prison guards to no end.

For this nun, and for those she was able to help, if they could sit like that—what a gift. What an opportunity to everyone who has been taught how to pray and meditate, to breathe and make space in their hearts.

Dear God, help me to be joyful in my meditation. Like this courageous nun, lead me in paths of righteousness, for Your name’s sake.



Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my companion blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.  #PursuePEACE. My Facebook page, Pursuing Peace – Thanks! And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

[1] How to Sit, Thich Nhat Hanh. (Berkeley, California: Parallax Press, 2014), 44-45.

[2] Ibid.

Soul Creation—Nourish the Soul

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Wednesday, June 24, 2015

SOUL beautiful soul

Soul Creation—Nourish the Soul

Another take on nourishing the Soul. Except, this way is expanding the Soul. This way is experiencing life, in every way. Matthew Fox suggests that “we must work on our souls, enlarging and expanding them. We do so by experiencing all of life—the beauty and the joy as well as the grief and pain.” [1]

This compilation, this book called Handbook for the Soul, offers a number of different aspects and attitudes towards expanding the inner workings of a person. And, with such a smorgasbord laid out for me, I can hardly choose. Perhaps, first one way on one day. Then, perhaps another way the next. And then, a third, and a fourth.

I could go on and on with these various approaches to nourishing and expanding the Soul. But I want to talk more about Fox’s way. He discusses soul work. How to do soul work? By experiencing life fully, deeply, in every way. In every facet.

Fox especially mentions silence and emptiness. Pain and suffering. Yes, sometimes there are great strides forward made at such times, in terms of soul work. In terms of strong emotion running rough shod all over a person, too.

The first thing I think of, when I read Fox’s suggestions, is why he said what he did.

When someone is presently going through some heavy emotion or deep, even raw feelings, sometimes it is wise to have someone to come alongside. Even though I may think I’m dealing with something manageable, things can always come up. Feelings, emotions, reactions, grief, sorrow, anger, grumbling, frustration. Joy, gratitude, relief. All kinds of feelings.

God willing, God will lead me to helpful prayers, nurturing exercises, and freeing meditation.


[1] Handbook for the Soul, Richard Carlson and Benjamin Shield, editors. (Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1995.), 151.