Presentation on theme: "Project an image of a painting onto the board (or bring a poster in), e.g., Monet’s Water Lilies (W/RME/Searching for God/Water Lilies). Click on image."— Presentation transcript:
Project an image of a painting onto the board (or bring a poster in), e.g., Monet’s Water Lilies (W/RME/Searching for God/Water Lilies). Click on image and ask students to go beyond the initial impression to evoke the richness of a beautiful summer’s day in France (go beyond the colours to feel, hear, smell the beauty of the pool and the flowers etc.) Get inside the mood of the artist, step into the picture yourself perhaps. Study it with your heart as well as your eyes and mind – contemplate and appreciate what you are seeing. Important principle: the more you focus on something the more you get out of it.
Types of Prayer Explain that there are three types of prayer: 1.Vocal Payer – words are spoken or sung. This can be formalised or spontaneous. 2.Meditation – no words are spoken but the mind is active, focusing on a mental picture or reflecting on God in some way. 3.Contemplation – the lips and mind are still while the heart reaches out to God in wordless prayer; there is an awareness of God’s presence and of his love for us. We can experience our oneness with God and with our fellow men.
Benefits of Contemplative Prayer Brainstorm reasons for contemplative prayer on board. Some possible reasons are: 1.Jesus practiced contemplative prayer by going out into the desert or to the top of a mountain to rest with his Father in quiet solitude. Strengthened and renewed by this experience he would then come back to teach and serve his people and help build up the community. It is a part of all the major world religions. 2.It allows us to relax in the presence of God, and helps us to get rid of the tension, stress and anger of everyday life. 3.Regular contemplation can alter our whole way of life. As the Spirit rests within us we can become calmer, more contented and more at peace with ourselves and the world. 4.We can discover our true selves – we can see ourselves as we really are and learn to relate more honestly to others. 5.Our prayer life is strengthened and renewed as we get closer to God. 6.We can discover new energy and vitality to improve our relationship with others and to help build up the community in which we live.
Meditation Use the Walk on the Beach or the Secret Garden Meditation. You may wish to use a mantra or meditation (students may wish to draw this in their workbook). Alternatively, use the meditation below: 1.Relaxation – sit in a chair and get yourself comfortable, both feet on the ground, hands resting on your lap, eyes closed, head level. 2.Breathing – take 4 or 5 slow deep breaths, through the nose if you can, filling the lungs each time, hold your breath a little, then breathing out in a slow controlled way. Without forcing it, try to get into a slow regular rhythm as you become more relaxed. 3.Awareness – of God’s Presence. Become aware of God’s presence – in Creation, in the room with you, in your neighbour, and in yourself. You don’t need to travel far to find God – he is within us, in our hearts, waiting for us to turn to him. Be aware of the God who created you, who knows every hair on your head, every thought in your mind, who loves you totally and completely. He listens to our prayer, and he fills us with his Spirit. 4.Invitation – invite the Spirit to come into your hearts and ask him to guide you. As you become aware of the Spirit within you, allow any tension and anxiety to leave you; perhaps link this to your breathing – on the inward breath receive the Spirit and on every outward breath release stress and negativity. 5.Rest – ‘Come to me … and I will give you rest.’ Enjoy being in God’s presence. There is no need for words or thoughts necessarily, pray with your heart, turn your gaze towards God, and simply enjoy being with him. Don’t worry if you get distracted or your mind fills with other thoughts – just gently let such distractions go and focus on wanting to rest here in God’s presence and love him. ‘Be still and know that I am God’ (Psalm 46.10). There are other internet guided meditations and relaxation videos you may wish to use such as YouTube Dr. B’s Relaxation (W/RME/Searching for God/Dr. B’s Relaxation). Before you play this get the students comfortable and relaxed with eyes closed. Explain that this meditation is about relaxing by focusing on gentle, rhythmic breathing. Turn the picture off on Your Tube, so you just get the sound.