Tag Archives: serenity

Practice Prayer, Calm Yourself

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Saturday, February 25, 2017

 

celticcrossknockireland

Practice Prayer, Calm Yourself

As I read today’s brief reading, I was amazed at how basic and simple were the instructions. If I were to follow Thich Nhat Hanh’s basic suggestions each day, and every day, I suspect I would find even more of a centering. Even more of a relaxation and calmness.

Don’t get me wrong. I am being realistic. I know that I can’t put my head in the sand. However, the teacher’s guidelines are straight-forward and basic. (Not easy, mind you, but straight-forward and simple.) A quote from today’s reading: “There are people who meditate only to forget the complications and problems of life. They are like rabbits crouching under a hedge to escape a potential hunter.” [1]

Oh, dear. This is an incomplete view of meditation and prayer. Of course, for people who are beginning in the practice, this is far better than no meditation and prayer! We may begin at any point. We may begin at any time of the day. And, once we begin, “we are able to see the source of our habits, perceptions, and attachments.” [2] Seeing all of that, I begin to clear away the wreckage of the past as well as to relax and calm myself in peace and serenity.

It works. It really does! Thanks, God. God is so good, and so good to me.

@chaplaineliza

 

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), 78.

[2] Ibid.

Prayer. Meditation. Wisdom.

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Sunday, January 22, 2017

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Prayer. Meditation. Wisdom.

I still have difficulty praying and meditating on a regular basis. Yes, I have had this blog for many months. I strove to be faithful in prayer and meditation for many years before. (Lord, You know I have.) And still, I struggle.

Yet, when I do pray and meditate—on occasion—I can feel the peace and serenity of God come into my heart and mind. Marvelous feeling! (Even when I do not feel the sense of the presence of God surrounding me, much.)

Plus, every now and then, I gain insight, or wisdom, from the prayer and meditation. Every now and then, I find I have discernment that I did not previously realize was there.

See, when we pray and meditate, sometimes long-held internal ideas of resentment, fear, anger, despair and hatred are quietly transformed. In some cases, relationships with other people and with nature can be transformed, too.

When I become aware of this—this discernment, this wisdom beyond myself, I am filled with wonder. How amazing that negative ideas and qualities can quietly transform. As I continue with the prayer and meditation on a regular basis, positive things begin happening on the inside. As teacher Thich Nhat Hahn reminds us, “As we become freer and happier, we cease to act in ways that make others suffer, and we are able to bring about change in ourselves and help others around us.” [1]

God willing, may I become more and more positive. May my mind become more in line with the way Jesus would view my thinking. Dear Lord, in Your mercy, hear all of our prayers.

@chaplaineliza

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), 34.

 

Breathe, Center, Pray.

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Saturday, January 14, 2017

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Breathe, Center, Pray.

Breathe. Just breathe. Big breath in, big breath out. Slowly.

This suggestion works for so many things. When you are afraid or fearful. Or, when you feel anxiety creeping up to get you. Perhaps, if you are angry and you need to cool down. Or, when you would like to calm yourself and focus.

As I said, this really does work. Slowing the breath seems to lengthen out time. Another suggestion? Keep track of your breaths. Slowly, slowly. Don’t cry or speed up or—especially—if you wish to find calmness, stillness, serenity, even.

If we pay attention to breathing, we can get down to the very foundation of life. The overarching principle remains the same.

Breathe. Calm yourself. Slow down and let yourself fill with all good things as you breathe in. Slow down further, breathe out, and let go of all anxiety, fear, anger. Let go, and breathe out everything negative.

Now you are in a much better place to connect with God. Reaching your Higher Power can happen at any time, true. However, breathing deeply, in and out, certainly helps us to center and concentrate.

Now, center. Now, pray. Now, serenity. Thanks, God.

@chaplaineliza

 

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

Calm Amidst the Storm, Praying

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Friday, January 6, 2017

 

waves-storm_drawing

Calm Amidst the Storm, Praying

As I was reading the slim book “How to Sit” this evening, I was struck by the analogy given. Of anxious people on board a boat, at sea, in the middle of a storm. And, one person’s calm demeanor became what calmed the whole boatload of passengers.

I don’t want to bend over backwards to pat myself on the back, but I have noticed that I am that person, sometimes. I have a calm, less-anxious presence, at times. (I’ve noticed this, and so have my former chaplain supervisors.) Whether in a health care setting, or a funeral home, or in a tense situation outside the church, sometimes I help to bring a bit of calmness and serenity into an anxious or awkward or scary or angry situation.

When I considered this attitude lifted up by the book earlier this evening, I did not pray all that much. Instead, I found myself reflecting on this kind of attitude. A calm, less-anxious kind of attitude. I really do thank God that I can be that person, sometimes. I know I have been trained as a chaplain, and trained to express that kind of attitude, but some of it is natural.

I am so glad I have gravitated to a line of work where I can express these kinds of attitudes and talents. I know I need to continue to keep my attitudes and actions sharp, and be certain of continuing to reach out in care and concern. God willing, those will be the kinds of things that others will help me in doing. I pray that some here will work with me, so we all can support each other. One day at a time. (God, thank You!)

@chaplaineliza

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

PEACE = Serenity (Repost)

What is peace to you? I am asking people for their personal definition of PEACE. Still continuing the journey.

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Saturday, February 27, 2016

serenity, peace amid the storm

PEACE = Serenity

Continuing the journey today; continuing the listening tour. I am traveling around to various locations over the next weeks in my efforts to pursue PEACE.

My friend and colleague from St. John’s Lutheran Church, Rev. Joe McInnis, invited me to attend the church he pastors, in Wilmette, Illinois. I was so glad I had the opportunity to attend there this afternoon.

After the service, I had the opportunity to ask several people their opinion of PEACE. What is their personal view of the word PEACE?

Dave Rundell knew at once. He wrote it out immediately. PEACE = Serenity.

He has a ready smile and an engaging manner. He gave me a little more information about this definition. Dave referred to the Serenity Prayer as he was finishing up the sign with his personal point of view. “When I am walking in a right way with God, then I feel whole, complete.”

“Serene?” I asked. Dave grinned at me. “Exactly.”

I can relate. I know well the feeling that things in my life may be spinning out of control. It’s good that I can let go of the things that fall into God’s area of operations.

God willing, may there be serenity and peace in both Dave’s life and mine. Dear Lord, may it be so!

@chaplaineliza

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

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza  And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

PEACE is Serenity and Calmness (Repost)

This is reposted especially for Pursuing Peace, the community Facebook group. And, it’s still valid. I still think Carol’s definition of peace is excellent.

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Thursday, February 18, 2016

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PEACE is Serenity and Calmness

Today’s definition makes sense. Deep-down sense.

As I talked with the person who gave me this definition, she was cleaning up after the fellowship time at St. Luke’s Church. She told me—in so many words—what she thought the definition of PEACE is. “I think that’s a wonderful definition! Could you write it down on a piece of paper? I would very much like to take a photo of you with that definition,” I said.

At first hesitant, she agreed. (And as she straightened her jacket, she told me she didn’t take very good photos. Which I disagree with!)

Carol Metler’s definition: PEACE is Serenity and Calmness.

How much more straight-forward could a definition be? Certainly serenity figures into peaceful living. Lack of drama and trauma. And, serenity implies an inner calmness. Carol added, “Even happiness enters into peacefulness. People who are happy are often peaceful.”

Sadly, many individuals are neither happy nor peaceful. Their lives are not serene and calm, either. Family units have disruption and disagreements aplenty. I have seen extended families living with a lot of difficulties; not only in terms of physical and medical needs, but even more extensive are the emotional and psychological difficulties. Lots to pray about.

A lack of PEACE can be divisive and devastating to relationships. Thank you to Carol for this excellent definition. (And, Carol looks happy and serene in her photo!)

I pray that all of our relationships may be touched with peace, serenity and calmness. Lord, in Your mercy, hear all of our prayers.

@chaplaineliza

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

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza  And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

Pursue PEACE – PEACE is Quiet (Repost)

Just reposted this to my new Facebook page, Pursuing Peace. Also, to my blog, matterofprayer.wordpress.com.

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Saturday, February 13, 2016

Pursue PEACE – PEACE is Quiet

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Quiet. Shh!

One definition for peace certainly can be quiet. Calm, serenity, peace. Yes, quiet.

This was the definition Celeste Magers gave to me, several days ago. Peace is quiet.

Many people pray and meditate as a regular part of their day. Celeste is a practitioner of meditation. This is what she says about how meditation informs her practice of quiet, which is foundational to quiet in her life.

“I’ve been meditating for over 30 years, and the style of meditation I use encourages inner quiet. If thoughts show up, I try not to latch onto them and run with them. I let thoughts flow on by – like light fluffy clouds in a clear blue sky. If I’m successful, after a while, the thoughts quiet down and stop intruding. And then I feel as if I’m immersed in a sea of peace and love. And the same is true of my emotions. When they are not in an uproar, when they are quiet, then I experience peace emotionally, too. So peace means quiet to me. I access peace through quiet.”

Celeste, what a wonderful explanation of how peace and quiet are so closely intermingled in your life, as well as in your practice of meditation.

As you or I come before our God, we can thank God we have the opportunity to calm our hearts as well as our bodies. I can feel the peace and quietude tiptoe into my emotions, my intellect, and my physical being—as well as into my spiritual self. Thank You, God, for such a soothing, calming experience. Gently breathing in—breathing out. Feeling my heart rate decrease, my thoughts become more serene. Thank You, God.
(Celeste Magers is a lecturer in meditation, healthful living, nutrition, and holds a laughter yoga certification. She is always ready to share about the power of laughter in healing and ministry.)

@chaplaineliza

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

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza  And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er