Tag Archives: meditation

Exercise 18: Who am I? Who are you?

Background: It is said that St. Francis past an entire night asking 2 simple questions: “Who am I, God?”  and “Who are you, God?”  It is not known what his method was; the correlation of the two questions to the two parts of breath is purely speculation on my part.

The Exercise

  1. Sit up as straight as you comfortably can.  Release your worries and obligations for the duration of your spiritual exercises today.
  2. As you inhale, ask the question, “Who are you God?”
  3. With your next inhale, ask the question, “Who am I God?”
  4. Continue this pattern.  When other thoughts or concerns arise, release them by returning to these questions and your breath.
  5. When your time is nearing completion, dismiss the questions.  Enjoy a time of wordless communion.
  6. When you are ready, explore your feelings about the questions and consider whether or not you have anything that looks like answers to these two important questions.

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Exercise 12: Constant Repetition

Background: Any word, repeated enough, begins to sound like nonsense.

It seems to me that when we use a word only once or twice, we have an easy time mistaking the letter-sounds for the thing those letters stand for.  But as we repeat the word, we come face-to-face with the fact that the sounds are arbitrary.  For example, when we say the word ‘cat’ once, we get a picture in our mind.  But when we say the word repeatedly, we are reminded there is nothing inherent to those letters that actually connects them to the animal.  It is merely an agreement that more-or-less randomly assigned these particularly sounds.

Saying a word over and over, creates a sort-of white noise, for me.  It begins with the meaning of the word.  But slowly even this fades into the background, leaving me in a state beyond words.

Exercise

  1. Place your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Choose your sacred word.
  3. Say the word.  Out loud, if possible.  Say it with out ceasing.  Say it a calm, measured rate; say it as many times as you can with each exhale.  Think it, or mouth it as many times as you can with each inhale.
  4. If you find yourself distracted by thoughts or feelings, return your attention to the saying of that single word.

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

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Exercise 6A and 6B: 3 Part Phrases

Background: A certain phrase paired with an exhale has a slightly different feel than that same phrase paired with an inhale.  When we have a 3 phrase cycle, one approach is to simply rotate through all 3 sentences.  The result of this is that each phrase gets connected to both inhales and exhales.  We can experience, therefore, what those phrases are like.

In the exercises that follow, I have chosen two of my favorite 3-sentence cycles.  They are rather Christo-centric.  You can, of course, replace them with something more to your liking.

Exercise 6A:

  1.  Place your feet flat on the floor.  
  2. Breathe a cleansing breath.
  3. With your next inhale, say “Christ was born”
  4. With your next exhale, “Christ has died.”
  5. With your next inhale, “Christ will come again.”
  6. Continue this pattern, working your way through the entire cycle: Christ was born/ Christ has died/ Christ will come again.
  7.   When you are ready, release the phrases.  
  8. Wordlessly, enjoy some time with God.

Spend some time, when your practice is done, considering the omnipresence of God.  God is here and not here; present and not-yet.

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Background: Breath does not have to be a 2-part process.  We can create a 3-count in our breath by pausing for a moment; holding the breath as we consider a phrase.

Holding the breath is an interesting thing.  It creates, in me, a distant and  deeply submerged sort-of terror.  Simultaneously, it is also like a micro-fast.  Breathing, like eating, is a requirement.  To abstain for a time from either one is to confront our physical limitations and our animal nature.

I suspect that some of this emotional intensity rubs itself off on to the feelings associated with the phrases.

Exercise:

  1. Find a bit of calm.  Place your feet flat on the floor.  Breathe slowly.
  2. With your next inhale, think “Here I am, God.”
  3. As you exhale, think, “Here you are God.”
  4. Holding your breath, think, “Here we are, together.”
  5.  Repeat the process: With the inhale, “Here I am God.”  With the exhale: “Here you are God.”  Holding the Breath, “Here we are, together.”
  6. Give most of the time in your practice today to these 3 steps.
  7.   When you are ready, release these words.  Resume a normal 2-part breathing pattern with out holding the breath.

Through out your day, know that you are here, and God is here, and you are here, together.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

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.

 

Exercises #4A, 4B, and 4C: A Time of Silence, A Time for Words

Background:  There are many ways that words can become a gateway to silence.  At it’s most fundamental, it is really only the possibility of speaking that gives the possibility of choosing silence any kind of meaning.  If we could not speak, then silence would be our default condition.

Additionally, there are some times that we want a moment to reflect on the words we are attempting to internalize.  In the first exercise (4A) below, you will find that the space is created with the in-breath.    If there is a sentence or phrase that seems more relevant to you, by all means, explore this one.

Exerercise 4A

1.  Find an upright, comfortable position.  Place your feet flat on the floor,  As best you can, release your worries for the duration of this practice.

2.  Find your breath.  You may wish to consciously slow it.  Perhaps, today, you will simply observe it where it is.

3.  With your next inhalation, experience the breath as cleansing.  It is creating an open space within.

4.  With the next exhale, say to yourself– out loud if you can– “God is Love.”

5.  Let your next inhale create an empty space.  Sit in the aftermath of that thought: “God is Love.”

6.  With your next exhale, think again, “God is Love.”

7.  With your next exhale, enjoy the silence and emptiness.

8.  Continue this pattern, for most of the time you have remaining: ‘God is Love’ with the inhale; empty openness with the exhale.

9.  As your time nears it’s completion, let go of the mantra.  Widen your time of emptiness to both parts of the breath.

Through out your day today, experience the reality of ‘God is Love.’  And then, try to live in the space of quiet which transcends even those words.

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Background to exercise 4B:  In the exercise that follows, explore the difference between the in-breath and the out-breath.  Some authors describe these breath parts as “Breathing up” and “Breathing Down.”  or “Breathing in” and “Breathing out.”  Try each of these on for size.

If you tried exercise 4A, I recomend sticking with whatever mantra you used, so that you can isolate and therefore experience a single difference: Repeating your sacred words on the inhale, rather than the exhale.

Exercise 4B

1.  Sit as straight as you comfortably can.  Breathe for a few minutes and give yourself permission to relax.

2.  With your next inhalation, think, “God is Love.”

3.  Breathe out your thoughts, words and emotions.  Use your out-breath to cleanse yourself of everything but the silence.

4.  With your next inhalation, again, think “God is Love.”

5.  As you breathe out, release even your reflections on those 3 words.  Exhale your thoughts about this sacred phrase.

6.  Continue this pattern for the majority of the time you have given to your spiritual practice today.

7.  As you approach the end of the time, release your sacred phrase.  Use this time to enjoy wordless communion.  Or discuss with God what you learned today.  Or simply have a conversation with God about where you are and how things are going.

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Exercise 4C

Background:  Here is a thing worth exploring: How much of the empty space should you spend continuing to reflect on your sacred words, and for how much of it should you simply inhabit the silence?

This is particularly true when the sacred words are comprised of a list that you are cycling through.  As the sacred words change, they invite a different sort of reflection than repetetion.

The list I am suggesting today comes from Ecclesiastes 3.  Unfortunately for most of is, it can be challening to meditate on these truths with out bringing to mind the old song.

1.  Find your center: place your feet on the floor and relax.

2.  Inhale.  Say to yourself “There is a time to be born.”  

3.  Exhale.

4.  Inhale.  Say to yourself  “There is a time to die.”

5.  Exhale.

6.  Inhale.  Say to yourself, “There is a time to plant.”

7.  Exhale.

8.  Inhale.  Say to yourself “There is a time to kill.”

9.  Exhale.

10.  Inhale.  Say to yourself, “There is a time to heal.”

11.  Exhale.

12.  Inhale.  Say to yourself, “There is a time to tear down.”

13.  Exhale. 

14.  Inhale.  Say to yourself, “There is a time to build.”  

15.  Exhale.

16.  Inhale.  Say to yourself “There is a time to weep.”

17.  Exhale.

18.  Inhale.  Say to yourself “There is a time to laugh.”

19.  Exhale.  

20.  Inhale.  Say to yourself, “There is a time to mourn.”

21.  Exhale.

22.  Inhale.  Say to yourself, “There is a time to dance.”

23.  Exhale.

24.  Inhale.  Say to yourself, “There is a time to scatter stones.”

25.  Exhale. 

26.  Inhale.  Say to yourself, “There is a time to gather stones.”

27.  Exhale.

28.  Inhale.  Say to yourself, “There is a time to embrace.”

29.  Exhale.

30.  Inhale.  Say to yourself, “There is a time to refrain from embracing.”  

31.  Exhale.

32.  Inhale.  Say to yourself, “There is a time to search.”

33.  Exhale.  

34.  Inhale.  Say to yourself, “There is a time to give up.”

35.  Exhale.

36.  Inhale.  Say to yourself, “There is a time to keep.”

37.  Exhale. 

38.  Inhale.  Say to yourself, “There is a time to throw away.”

39.  Exhale.

40.  Inhale.  Say to yourself “There is a time to tear.”

41.  Exhale.  

42.  Inhale.  Say to yourself, “There is a time to mend.”

43.  Exhale.

44.  Inhale.  Say to yourself “There is a time to be silent.”

45.  Exhale.

46.  Inhale.  Say to yourself, “There is a time to speak.”

47.  Exhale.

48.  Inhale.  Say to yourself, “There is a time to love.”

49.  Exhale.

50.  Inhale.  Say to yourself, “There is a time to hate.”

51.  Exhale.

52.  Inhale.  Say to yourself “There is a time for war.”

53.  Exhale.  

54.  Inhale.  Say to yourself “There is a time for peace.”

55.  As you release the individual words, look back on how you felt about each of these.  Are there any that you struggle with?  Any that come easy?

You might, as you go about your day, assign the various joys and challenges of your life a part from this poem.  When entering into a conflict, you could think, for example “This is a time for war.”  When tempted to say something unwise, you might tell yourself, “This is a time for silence.”

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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.
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Exercise #3: A Split Breath Prayer

Here is an audio track of this exercise.  If you would prefer to read, a transcript follows.

This practice is one we will be engaging in, for our upcoming campaign on thankfulness.  For more information, click here.

If you would like access to more audio files of Faith-ing Project exercises, take a look at the patron link below.

Background:  There are many words which we might want to fully embrace.  Repeating these can be a powerful thing.  One of the most powerful ways to do this is to split the phrase in half, and assign each half to a part of the breath.

There might be a phrase you wish to substitute with the one in the exercise below.  Please feel free to do this.

Exercise

  1. Place your feet flat on the floor. 
  2.   Breathe a few breaths.  Relax.
  3. With your in-breath, place your hand on your abdomen.  Bring your attention to really filling your lungs all the way, starting at the bottom and feeling the movement of your belly.
  4. Exhale.  Say to yourself, “Yes.  Yes.  Yes.”
  5. Inhale.  Say to yourself  “Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you.”
  6. Continue this pattern for most of your practice today.
  7.   Release these words.  Continue your calm and slow breaths.  Enjoy a time of union.

When you can, today,  return to this breath practice.  “Yes.  Yes. Yes.”  “Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you.”

____________________________________________________________________________________________

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!

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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.