Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Monday, June 1, 2015
Windows into the Soul—and Prayer
It’s a new month, and I have a new book to help me in my prayer and meditation practice.
Handbook for the Soul is a compilation, a change of pace from my concentration on Ignatian spirituality in the month of May. This new book traces different ways of relating to our souls. This, the very first chapter, talks about transcendent experiences.
Each person’s individual experience of transcendence is different. It depends on what kind of impression each person brings to the situation. Or, spiritual presence, as described by the person themselves. It holds countless experiences of deep feelings or stirrings within the soul, itself.
Jean Shinoda Bolen, author of today’s reflection on soul, tells the reader that she has fairly regular experiences to reach up—or down—or deep into on the person. You and I, we stand at the presence, the soul, deep down.
Let me give you some experiences searching for the soul. In Jean Shinoda Bolen’s own words: “ . . . you don’t have to wait for disaster. You can open yourself to the possibility of nourishing your soul, and you can make it a priority. Take careful stock of the ways you spend your life energies, doing things that are not so nourishing. . . . When you’re so consumed, you don’t have very many moments in which to experience the soul.” 
Shinoda Bolen advises her readers to take stock of how deprived our lives are. Empty of sources of joy, beauty and creativity. Some individuals find nurture in those silent parts of their insides, their souls. Others remember some hidden or forgotten activity or pleasurable source of inner delight. Recognize it. Make room for it. Open yourself up to it. That is the thing—the soul-nourishing moment.
To be aware of the soul—a worthwhile concept. But, to nurture and nourish soul needs and give satisfaction to the soul? Is there anything more profoundly freeing?
Dear God, thank You for this reorientation towards the soul, and soul needs. Nurturing my inner being is a necessary part of life. You call us to care for ourselves as much as we care for others. Gracious God, be with us as we concentrate on this important focus. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayers.
Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.
 Handbook of the Soul, Richard Carlson and Benjamin Shield, editors. (Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1995) 6.