Jesus teaches, “Do not be anxious about tomorrow.” But how do we do this?
The Rev. Dr. Kirk Bingaman, professor of mental health counseling and spiritual integration at the Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education at Fordham University, joined the Trinity community to explore how mindfulness and spiritual practices have the capacity to increase our non-anxious awareness, and lower stress. He discussed recent neuroscience studies and practical techniques to cope with feelings of anxiety and reactivity, so we can respond to ourselves and others with compassion.
Meditate with the Trinity Community
Catch Your Breath: A weekly community meditation practice open to all. Stop by for a time of stillness and centering in the Chapel of All Saints. Wednesdays from 1-1:30 pm. To learn more, contact the Pastoral Care team at PastoralCare@trinitywallstreet.org.
Contemplative Practice with Poetry: Join for a weekly practice of guided meditation and contemplative reflection with works from poets and artists, for mutual spiritual support and growth. Wednesdays from 6:30pm to 7:45pm online. To sign up, email ChristianFormation@trinitywallstreet.org.
Contemplative Practice Resources
Explore resources and practices you can use immediately to help calm and focus yourself. Try more than one practice. You may find that one practice fits better than another.
This method of prayer is both a relationship with God and a discipline to deepen that relationship. According to Contemplative Outreach, it is a prayer in which we can experience God’s presence within us, closer than breathing, closer than thinking, closer than consciousness itself.
Guidelines for Centering Prayer from Contemplative Outreach
- Choose a sacred word as the symbol of your intention to consent to God’s presence and action within.
- Sitting comfortably and with eyes closed, settle briefly then silently introduce the sacred word as the symbol of your consent to God’s presence and action within.
- When engaged with your thoughts, return ever-so-gently to the sacred word.
- At the end of the prayer period, remain in silence with eyes closed for a couple of minutes.
Centering Prayer Introduction and Practice with the Rev. Cynthia Bourgeault
Mindfulness Meditations with Leading Teachers
Dr. Kristin Neff
Free Guided Meditations
UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center (MARC)
- The Power of Neuroplasticity for Pastoral and Spiritual Care by Kirk Bingaman: Through the regular practice of contemplative prayer and meditation, we can literally calm the stress region of the brain in order to live less anxiously and experience more fully the peace and joy of the present moment.
- Centering Prayer for Everyone by Lindsay Boyer: Contemplative prayer is a way of saying “yes” to God’s transformative presence. This book is a welcoming and accessible guide to Christian contemplative practice.
- Silent Compassion by Richard Rohr: This book will inspire you and show that the peace of contemplation is for all people who quiet their own minds to listen in silence.
- Meditation is Not What You Think by Jon Kabat-Zinn: You can think of this book as the what and the why of mindfulness, both in terms of your personal life and in terms of the planet and the threats it is facing.
- How to Meditate: A Practical Guide to Making Friends with Your Mind by Pema Chödrön: This step-by-step guide shows readers how to honestly meet and openly relate with the mind, embrace the fullness of our experience, and live in a wholehearted way.
- Into the Silent Land: A Guide to the Christian Practice of Contemplation by Martin Laird. The heart of this book focuses on negotiating key moments of struggle on the contemplative path when the whirlwind of distractions or the brick wall of boredom makes it difficult to continue.
From the On Being Project:
The World Is Our Field of Practice with angel Kyodo Williams