Sitting under a Mature Tree: the Gift of the Contemplative Life

Sitting under a mature tree on a warm fall day I realized that there was a vast depth within me. I was 19 years old, in college, studying biology. But I did not care about classes they were just the excuse so I could sit under that tree and explore the depth of my soul.

Contemplation is a gifted moment when time and necessity fade and the present opens like a rare and beautiful flower. Contemplatives are committed to the importance of these gifted moments to human wellness and the common good.

More than this, Christian contemplatives look to God to open these moments. Through intentional design we prayerfully create an environment to open fully to God’s presence who has created everything and holds all things together. Jesus is our wise teacher and spiritual guide who leads us toward sacrificial living in response to the grace and outpouring love of God. And the lively Spirit dwells in us and all creation providing the gifts needed to grow and mature in faith, hope and love.

To live the contemplative life is a full and rich adventure because in any given moment we believe the riches of heaven can be seen and experienced. Every person in front of us every moment at hand is pregnant with meaning and guidance toward the heart of God.

I have been drawn to deepen in my own contemplative practice since I was young, now I am committed to  lead others to the riches found in wellspring of life in God.

Below are two recent poems I wrote that express a Christian Contemplative view.

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The long walk home begins with a word.

“Talitha cum”.

The Lord awakens the sleeping soul with one word, one breath of heaven and darkness melts away.

Then comes stunned awareness, a new dawn breaks forth. The dance of morning fills the senses, open clear awareness.

Time elapses noonday comes, clarity falls prey to gravity and sinks down under necessity. What can I behold in so short a day? The butterfly alone could steal my life.

Who am I to love so much? I am slain by the heat of day. And at night I am lost to the limits of this mortal life.

Please speak your word afresh, do not leave me alone in this gentle morning light, whisper the word, “little girl get up”

Stunned, I am born again and again.
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When I find myself in a weightless universe

The day is a playground

every moment a dance.


Gone is the impatience of time

and the boundaries of language vanish.


The harsh corners of reality melt away into a

soft, gentle, warm embrace.
No division, no opinion

Truth is union, love is the light.


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