Category Archives: Spiritual Writing

Exercise 27: The Examen

Background: St. Ignatius is closely tied to the Catholic Tradition.  His work still guides many spiritual retreats.

One of his practices is an exploration of those things which bring us closer to God– consolations, and those things which bring us further from God– desolations.

It should be noted that The Examen might be written or practiced by thinking and saying the words.

Spiritual Exercise:

  1.  Find your center by placing your feet flat on the floor.  
  2. Breathe and relax, as best you can.
  3. When you are ready, bring the last 24 hours to your mind.  Continue to breathe slowly, in through the nose and out through the mouth.  Begin by reliving where you were 24 hours ago.  Gradually, bring yourself through the last day of your life.
  4. Consider your desolations:
    1. What are you least thankful for?
    2. Where can’t you see God?
    3. What seems to be moving you away from God?
  5. Release your desolations by breathing slowly and calmly.
  6. Consider your consolations.
    1. What are you most thankful for?
    2. Where can you see God?
    3. What seems to be moving you toward God?
  7. Release your consolations by breathing slowly and carefully.
  8. As you consider the last 24 hours in their fullness, are there any things you would like to consider: was God, perhaps moving in things you initially labelled ‘desolations?’  Is it possible that God was not present in things you initially labelled ‘Consolations’?
  9. Release the word-based part of the practice.  Enjoy a moment with God.

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Exercise 9: Sacred Writing with a Deliberative Focus

Background: This practice might be particularly useful for those of us who use writing as a way to process our thoughts and feelings.

Exercise

1) Gather the items you will need to write.

2) As best you can, release your worries and concerns.

3) Take a few deep, cleansing breaths.  You might even consider using, briefly, one of the other exercises to come to a place of peace.

4)  Talk to God.  Express the things that are on your heart.

5)  Listen.  Is God saying anything in response?

6)  Write an account of this experience.  Begin, as best as you can remember, with the things you said to God.  Then write the things that God might have said to you in response.  Express how sure you are?  Is it just a vague suspicion that God responded?  A deep conviction?  Somewhere between?

7)  When you are done with this account of what happened, write about the things you are thinking now.  How do you feel about the things God said to you?  How do you feel about the things you said to God?

____________________________________________________________________________________________

You can help in turning The Faith-ing Project into a fully functioning community.  You can do this in several ways:

  • Share your thoughts, feelings, and criticism below in the comments.
  • email otherjeffcampbell7@gmail.com to share something directly with the Project’s Director, or to ask to be placed on the mailing list.
  • Access exclusive content and help The Faithing Project continue to deliver this conetent to a world in need: become a Patron.
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Exercise 8: Sacred Writing With an Unconscious Focus.

Background: The most important thing, here,  is to keep writing.

The act of writing calls on a very different part of the brain than the act of editing.  Write, write, write!  This is not the time for editing.

Exercise:

1) Gather whatever materials you will need.

2) Consider the following list.  Choose one or two prompts to return to each time you feel that you might run out of things to write:  God, you….    /  God I…./  I am…/  I was…./  I will…./  I believe….   /  I fear…./  I know…

Let these words be a sort-of refrain that you return to.

3) Set a timer for a duration; about as long as you feel like you can write.  Renew your comitment to write, and to continue to write during this time.

4)  Take a deep cleansing breath.

5)  Begin.  Do not stop until your timer beeps.

6) Read your work.  Consider what it means.

7)  Take another deep and cleansing breath.

8) Spend some time with God.  Thank God for showing up in your work today.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

You can help in turning The Faith-ing Project into a fully functioning community.  You can do this in several ways:

  • Share your thoughts, feelings, and criticism below in the comments.
  • email otherjeffcampbell7@gmail.com to share something directly with the Project’s Director, or to ask to be placed on the mailing list.
  • Access exclusive content and help The Faithing Project continue to deliver this conetent to a world in need: become a Patron.
  • follow @faithingproject on twitter.

 

You Are Welcome Here.

Build your sense of gratitude!  Our email campaign, featuring a different spiritual exercise intended to focus our sense of thanksgiving has begun.  Click here to participate in the campaign at the website.  Email otherjeffcampbell7@gmail.com to be added to the list and receive the emails each day.

 

The goal of The Faith-ing Project is to enrich your spiritual life.   The goal for this website is that it might be a gymnasium for the soul; a library for the spirit; and a toy store for the psyche.

At this time, most of our content is in the spiritual practices.  If you would like to get background on the various spiritual practices, click here.

For some information on how to integrate your spiritual practice into your life, click here.

To explore some practices which are less neglected by contemporary American Christianity, click here.

If you would rather go straight to the exercises without background and context, click the links below:

Exercise 1: God’s Name

Exercise 2: Breathing With God

Exercise 3: A split-Breath Prayer

Exercise 4: A Time for Silence, A Time for Speaking

Exercise 5: Lectio Divina

Exercise 6: 3-phrase Cycles

Exercise 7: More Lectio

Exercise 8: Sacred Writing with an Unconscious Focus

Exercise 9: Sacred Writing With a Deliberative Focus

Exercise 10: Centered Prayer

Exercise 11: The Word We Need the Most

Exercise 12: Constant Repetition

Exercise 13: Apaphatic Meditation

Exercise 14: Candles, Clouds & Waves

Exercise 15: The Riverside Meditations

Exercise 16: Apaphatic Meditation with Variable Phrasing

Exercise 17: Emphasizing a different word within a phrase

Exercise 18: Who am I, God?  Who are you, God?

Exercise 19: A Second Riverside Meditation

Exercise 20: Tonglen

Exercise 21: Listening to God Listen to You

Exercise 22: Slowly Honing in Via Lectio

Exercise 23: The 5 Remembrances

Exercise 24: A Walk with Jesus

Exercise 25: Padres

Exercise 26: Nature Adoration

Exercise 27: The Examen

Exercise 28: The Jesus Prayer

Exercise 29: A Prayer for…

Exercise 30: The Five Senses

Exercise 31: Adoration

Exercise 32: 7-11 Breathing

Exercise 33: Through a Verse, One Word at a Time

Check back soon.  You will find background on the history of The Faithing Project. information on integrating these practices into your every day life, and a list of our favorite podcasts, books, websites, and other resources here!

____________________________________________________________________________________________

You can help in turning The Faith-ing Project into a fully functioning community.  You can do this in several ways:

  • Share your thoughts, feelings, and criticism below in the comments.
  • email otherjeffcampbell7@gmail.com to share something directly with the Project’s Director, to join our next email campaign, or to ask to be placed on the mailing list.
  • Access exclusive content and help The Faithing Project share spiritual practices with a world in desperate need.  Become a  Patron.
  • follow @faithingproject on twitter.