Practices for Awe

Practice of the Week
Practices for Awe

Adapted from On the Journey, 2016 Oct: CLICK HERE

Option A: Photography Assignment: Capture Awe on Your Camera (or phone)

Over the next few weeks, try to capture a handful of pictures of awe in action. This might be snapping a picture of your child’s face mesmerized by a spider web in the woods or a frog jumping across the road. Or maybe your husband’s face as he stares intently and joyfully at your daughter making a save on the volleyball court or singing in her school play. It might also be a picture of the awe-inspiring event itself. Think that perfect sunset or a clear night sky splashed with stars. Or an intimidating wall of clouds rolling in and making way for a storm. Or maybe it’s a picture of your leg and hip, walking again--painlessly--after a hip replacement that has left you more amazed and grateful than you can say. Or maybe it’s just sneaking into your 5-year-old son or grandson’s room and snapping a shot of his face while he sleeps.

After you’ve collected your 5 or 6 favorite pictures, spend some time looking for commonalities. What about them reflect your unique definition of awe? In your journal, write about what your pics have taught you.

Option B: Take a Walk Until the World Lights Up

You might want to start early in the morning or in the evening right after dinner. You could also set aside a Saturday afternoon. Whenever you start, your one rule is that you can’t stop until awe has crossed your path. In a sense, this exercise is an act of faith – faith that awe is scattered all over the place waiting for us to notice it rather than believing that awe is this one rare thing that only shows up a precious few times in our lives.

Come to your group prepared to talk not only about how long a walk you had to go on, but also about how you got yourself into a space to see and notice what was waiting for you.

Option C: A Video Meditation Exercise

This exercise involves a few steps:

Step One: Watch These Four Videos And Choose the One That Most Affects You. Click on the title to go to the Youtube video.
Step Two: Set Aside a Half Hour and Watch the One That You Chose a Few Times. Watch it in the spirit of meditation and reflection. First watch it with openness, turning off your analytical brain. Then watch again with the intention of identifying a phrase or word that sticks out to you. Spend some time trying to figure out why that phrase or word captured your attention. Ask yourself what it might be trying to say to you. Finally, watch it again with the question “What must I do?” in the forefront of your mind.

Step Three: Perform an action or make a change in your life based on your experience of step two. Write in your journal your reflections.

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For list of all weekly practices: "Practices of the Week Index"

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