EMBODIED: Resources Galore!

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Sharing a whole list of articles written about embodied spirituality for you to explore! Check out these amazing resources…

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EMBODIED: Flowing Grace

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I love this short and sweet video called Flowing Grace from Paul Denniston of Grief Yoga. Whether your holiday season is busy and chaotic or filled with the pain of loss and grief, take a moment to flow in grace…

Click here for a longer chair practice that combines movement, breath and sound to connect to love, peace and grace. It is a quiet, simple practice that focuses on letting go of the negative in order to be filled with peace and contentment. If you are struggling this holiday season, I recommend exploring more of Paul’s resources on his website or on Facebook. Continue reading

EMBODIED: Abide Christian Meditation

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I’ve recently discovered the Abide app. You can listen to daily scripture meditations, as well as meditations geared towards anxiety, anger, addiction, depression, fear and grief. There are meditations on blessing and forgiveness and even ones to help you drift off to sleep. Moreover, many of these Bible-based meditations are very embodied in nature, encouraging body-oriented relaxation and simple breath prayers like….

Exhale chaos
Inhale peace

Exhale anger
Inhale love Continue reading

EMBODIED: Walking a Labyrinth

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Sending you to two different articles on the embodied practice of walking a prayer labyrinth. The first is at Guideposts and includes four different ideas of ways to pray through the labyrinth. You can find that article here. The second is at Patheos and includes a short history on labyrinths, as well. Find the Patheos article by clicking here. Finally here’s a world-wide labyrinth locator to help find one near you. Continue reading

EMBODIED: Resting in the Midst

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We all need times of rest and replenishment in order to live whole-hearted and fully-embodied lives. However, in our crazy, hectic, fast-paced society, it is really difficult to make time or space for rest. Even when we are utterly exhausted we keep pushing: one more task… one more errand… one more project… one more phone call… one more appointment… one more   fill in the blank  . Our bodies cry out to stop, to slow down, to breathe, and yet, we keep right on pushing through.  And, worse, if something goes wrong (which *news flash* it’s bound to), it’s even more difficult to rest, because we are driven to fix things, to solve problems and to make them go away.  Continue reading

EMBODIED: Beautiful Prayer for Healing

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Join Morgan Day Cecil for a short embodied prayer inspired by Fr. Thomas Ryan, recorded at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney, Australia. The choir singing in the background is so BEaUtiful!

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EMBODIED: Christ-Centered Breath Work

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This edition of EMBODIED is a Christ-centered, breath-oriented, mindfulness practice. Although it was created specifically for those who have experienced trauma, you do NOT have to have experienced trauma to benefit from this quiet, Bible-based meditation. Truth is, we all have wounding, hurtful moments in our life, and we can all benefit from allowing God’s breath to breathe healing into every part of our being.

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EMBODIED: Christian Meditative Prayer Beads

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Mala prayer beads are very popular these days, not only among those who do yoga, but as a fashion trend. After I purchased my first mala, I began to research prayer beads and ropes from other religious traditions and eventually tore my mala apart to reconstruct it with Christian symbolism instead. Prayer beads or ropes are used across many spiritual traditions to help one pray. Traditional malas are used by Hindus and contain 108 beads. Rosaries are used within the Catholic tradition and contain 50 beads. Chotki are used within the Orthodox Christian tradition and contain 33, 50, 100, 150 or more prayer beads (or often knots instead of beads).

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Selah prayer beads are my own original, Christ-centered design for contemplative prayer beads. The word Selah is taken from the Book of Psalms. Hebrew scholars believe it is a musical term indicating a place of pause, reflection or a place to take a breath. Selah prayer necklaces are constructed with 100 beads, 10 of which are called Selah beads. These beads are meant to serve as stopping points, places for you to pause and reflect as you pray your way around the circular design of the necklace.

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EMBODIED: “Embodied Prayer”

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If you are a Christian on a journey of embodiment or discovering what embodiment might mean for you, there’s a book I would consider a must-read. The book is Embodied Prayer: Towards Wholeness of Body, Mind, Soul by Celeste Snowber, PhD, and like a text book, I’d call this one required reading! I found this book many years ago and have read it several times. While Dr. Snowber is an academic and educator, she is also a dancer, and it is the dancer who leads the way in this beautiful work on embodiment and prayer. Continue reading

EMBODIED: Praying with Play-Dough

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Hello Fellow Worshipers! Found this recipe for play-dough with essential oils at One Essential Community and thought I would share it with you. You can find full instructions with photos and essential oil blend ideas.

Playdough is a wonderful way to use the embodied sense of touch during prayer and meditation time. Add essential oils and we include the sense of smell. You can add the following scriptures to embody your prayer, meditation and Bible study time: Continue reading

EMBODIED: Worship Dance TV

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Introducing Vibeke Kiiskila, founder of Unity Dance Center and host of Worship Dance TV. I had the wonderful pleasure of spending some time talking with her about my journey in worship dance, embodied prayer and creative ministry. You can listen into our conversation here:

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EMBODIED: Go into nature…

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Go into nature…

…and let it teach you.

Come forth into the light of things, let Nature be your teacher. 
William Wordsworth

Believe one who knows: you will find something greater in woods than in books.  Trees and stones will teach you that which you can never learn from masters.
Saint Bernard de Clairvaux

Whenever I have found myself stuck in the ways I relate to things, I return to nature. It is my principal teacher, and I try to open my whole being to what it has to say. 
Wynn Bullock

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EMBODIED :: CaraMayan

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Screen Shot 2019-04-12 at 2.17.09 PMToday I would like to introduce you to an embodied spiritual practice called  CaraMayan. CaraMayan is a way of moving to the Bible for exercise, fitness, worship and prayer.  It is a Christian alternative to Yoga and Tai Chi based on dance and pilates movement. It was created by my friend Mary Jones, founder of the International Christian Dance Fellowship. I’ve had the privilege of meeting and spending time with Mary, and it was an honor to sit under her teaching and fellowship over a meal. She is truly a treasure in the kingdom of God!!

Not sure if anyone’s coined the term “Physio Divina”, but perhaps today is the day we do! In Lectio Divina (sacred reading) we read a passage of scripture several times to savor its meaning. In CaraMayan we experience the same type of meditation, except through physical movement. May you be blessed as you put this into practice.

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Embodied: How We “Treat” Trauma

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My husband might suggest to you that I’m addicted to the BBC series Call the Midwife, and, perhaps he’s correct. I recently viewed a powerful episode that dealt with the issue of trauma, and more specifically how we “treat” those who’ve been affected by trauma, particularly in our early response to trauma. In my mind, it conjured thoughts of sterile emergency rooms and even more sterile conversations with those required to gather evidence…  of not-so-well-meaning statements of “should’ve-known-better” judgement and “if-I-were-you” advice…  of well-meaning friends who try so very hard, but still fail in their offerings… Continue reading

Practicing the Presence of God through Creative Prayer Stations

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“Practicing the Presence” was created for a Healing Care Ministries seminar called The Essentials. The essence of this seminar to help those in caregiving ministries understand how to position people for lasting, healing change, particularly through engaging the right hemisphere of the brain through creative spiritual practices. “Practicing the Presence” was done each morning in lieu of traditional worship. Each day is spent focusing on one member of the Trinity with the following themes: Creator God, Christ our Royal Redeemer, and Holy Spirit, Flame of Love.

Included here are resources, coloring pages, accompanying scriptures and photographs so you can recreate this for your own church or ministry. Hand-outs are provided and can be used with permission by leaving the website and copyright information intact at the bottom of each page. Coloring pages were created by Pauline Mae Blankenship (©2018) for “Practicing the Presence,” and if you have The Creator’s Healing Power—Restoring the Broken to Beautifulyou will recognize these coloring pages from the book. She has graciously offered them for our use, and you will find links within each section below.

Each day we started in silence, which was broken with Lectio Divina. Then participants were released to explore creative prayer stations. Every day, one station included a cross with artwork to create a space where folks could kneel and pray, and another included the coloring pages at two large tables with coloring supplies:

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EMBODIED :: Postures of Prayer & Praise #7, Hands Clapping

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Postures of Prayer & Praise are
“outer representations of an inner reality”

Exploring: Hands Clapping – Restoration & Victory

Psalm 47:1-3 – Oh, clap your hands, all you peoples! Shout to God with the voice of triumph! For the Lord Most High is awesome; He is a great King over all the earth. He will subdue the peoples under us, and the nations under our feet.

Christ the King is our victory. As we shout praises and clap our hands, he stands up against injustice and rights the wrongs in our lives. Let us use a voice of triumph — one that speaks truth, victory, restoration and freedom — even in places of our lives that do not appear victorious. God is in control. Christ is on His throne. Continue reading

7 :: “Into your hands…”

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“7” Last Statements of Jesus
Spoken from the Cross: Week 7

Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last. Luke 23:46

 

M Durbin 2010 Into Your Hands

Matt Durbin (c) 2010

Enough

Here I am, my son.

Your struggle is over.

It was near impossible

to keep from turning

toward your cries.

I felt each lash,

wailed as they

drove the nails.

I blacked out the sun

so as not to see

your suffering.

Come to me now,

let me bandage

your wounds. Drink

from the spring

and rinse clean, rinse

until the water

runs clear. This part

of the journey

is finished. Continue reading

Lenten Reflection: On a Mission

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Scripture Reading: 

…do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

…For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light…Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.  Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Eph 4:30–5:2, 5:8-13, 5:15-20

Reflections:

Yesterday was our final message in our Lenten series through Ephesians. While I didn’t post the entire scripture passage above (due to space), feel free to read Ephesians 4:25–6:9. A large passage indeed, but we took a look from a distance and found three main ideas that pertain to a life of personal mission:

  1. Imitate Christ
  2. Live a life of character and integrity
  3. Make the most of your time

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EMBODIED :: Postures of Prayer & Praise #6, Hands Flat

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Postures of Prayer & Praise are
“outer representations of an inner reality”

Exploring: Bowing Low, Prostrate with Hands Flat – Submitting

I Chronicles 29:20 – Then David said to the whole assembly, “Praise the LORD your God.” So they all praised the LORD, the God of their fathers; they bowed low and fell prostrate before the LORD and the king.

I Kings 18:38-39 – (Elijah) Then the fire of the LORD fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench. When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, “The LORD – he is God! The LORD – he is God!” Continue reading

7 :: “It is finished!”

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“7” Last Statements of Jesus
Spoken from the Cross: Day 6

“It is finished!”  John 19:30

M Durbin 2010 Jesus

Matt Durbin (c) 2010

The Antique Rocking Chair

The carpenter is not disappointed

by the ruined finish or the broken arm,

loose spindles, failed glue joints.

He checks the chair for its rhythm,

rests carefully in its solid seat and tests

the sway, hums an ancient hymn,

feels the wind that wore away the finish,

drove the rain between the grains

and diminished the lacquered polish. Continue reading