I am so pleased that you’re joining me for The Seekers Forum Contemplation Group!
For three months (through March 31), we will be using the St. Francis Prayer for daily contemplation practice. The objectives of this group are twofold: to give members the opportunity to commit to a daily practice together for the first time (though we won’t be in the same physical location); and to lay down a firm spiritual foundation for the New Year, by starting each day with this profound teaching.
This is the text that I suggest you use. It comes from Eknath Easwaran, the Indian meditation master who first taught me this particular practice.
Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.
O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console,
To be understood as to understand,
To be loved as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
It is in dying to self that we are born to eternal life.
Instructions for Practice:
1. Memorize the St. Francis Prayer.
2. Set aside 15-20 minutes a day for this practice in a quiet place where you will not be disturbed, preferably in the morning before your daily activities begin.
3. Take a comfortable seated position, close your eyes, and recite the prayer slowly, out loud, allowing for a moment of silence between each line.
4. Sit quietly for two minutes after completing the first round. Allow the prayer to settle in your mind, and become aware of the peaceful stillness that arises in its wake.
5. With your eyes still closed, recite the prayer again very slowly — this time inwardly, in silence — savoring the wisdom and beauty of each line.
6. When you’ve finished, continue to sit in silence for two more minutes.
7. Open your eyes and journal for no more than five minutes, recording any images, inspirations, thoughts, or feelings, that were prompted by the day’s practice. If an intention for the day presents itself, note that down as well (e.g. “I realize that I need to sow love instead of hatred toward my colleagues”) .
8. Close your eyes for another minute, offering up the fruits of your practice to personal and global well-being.
Once a month during this 90-day period, I’ll be offering an hour-long LIVE video meeting where we can talk about the practice, share our insights, ask questions, and seek support from other members of the Contemplation Group. You will receive the dates and times for these meetings along with the Zoom call-in information.
I’m so glad that we can do this wonderful practice together!! Please don’t hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions whatsoever.