An offering for our embodied being

Father Tom Ryan, author of Prayer of Heart and Body, begins his foreword to my book:

"Within the first thirty pages one becomes aware that this is a book that, like a fine wine, has come to maturation slowly. The various prayer components are arranged in a repeated pattern, like good ritual: opening invocation, psalm prayer, silent reflection, praying with the body, heart,, and soul, sitting with the Divine Presence, living your prayer, contemporary psalm, closing prayer.

"At the heart of this ritual pattern is the author’s desire to offer ways—gentle, doable ways—of making our worship more truly holistic, of going to God not just with our hearts and minds, but with our bodies as well. This is a much-needed encouragement. Christians and Jews in the Western world may be surrounded by playing fields and fitness centers, but when we step into the church or synagogue to enter into conscious discourse with the Divine, we by and large check our bodies at the door.

"By contrast, the Muslim at prayer is constantly bowing and kneeling, touching the head to the floor, and moving the arms and the head to incline the heart. The Buddhist enters into a series of prostrations. The Hindu learns yoga in order to meditate with greater stillness in the body and focused awareness in the mind.

While Christians may have one of—if not the—highest theology of the body among the religions of the world; they also have one of the lowest levels of embodied spiritual practice. The great Christian festivals of Christmas, Easter, the Ascension, and Pentecost all make profound and radical statements of faith about God’s esteem for our embodied being. And in Judaism, the body-mind-spirit is a seamless entity named not by three different words but by a single word: nefes."

I think that's an excellent beginning for this blog focused on my first book and DVD about praying with the body, heart, and soul.

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