How does the contemplative path guide you to wholeness? In this month’s We Conspire series, discover diverse practices to help us stay hopeful and grounded. In this profile of CAC faculty member Dr. Barbara A. Holmes from Rev. Dr. Margaret Somerville for Patheos, we are invited to experience the divine within us, beyond us, and in our connections through Crisis Contemplation. Dr. Somerville writes:
“Dr. Holmes breaks open the idea of contemplation—inviting joy and movement into the practices that bring wellbeing and wholeness and connection where there is brokenness. Her work is deeply in tune with the work of Alignment in which we offer contemplative practices with the intention of creating connection. Through and in that connection, we find our understanding of the divine.”
“Dr. Holmes introduces crisis contemplation as the opening of a portal to the inner sanctum of the community that has been shattered by crisis.” — Rev. Dr. Margaret Somerville, in Crisis Contemplation: Barbara A. Holmes Visits Alignment
“Contemplation involves creating sacred space, space set apart. It includes the physical space set apart, the temporal space, time set apart, and the ritual, the action set apart from our ordinary space. And here is where stillness enters. In order to find that contemplative space, to set it apart, we still all else. We still the ordinary. We set it aside. And yes, that might include physical stillness, but let us not be confused that contemplative practice must be done with our bodies still.
“Dr. Holmes describes the wounded village that heals in the contemplative ritual of song, and movement, and moaning, and dancing, and eating. Her beautiful expression is that ‘Stillness is a state of wholeness,’ is an antidote to the fragmentation of BIPOC people that comes with marginalization.”
Reflect with Us
What crisis is your community currently facing? How can you take a contemplative stance with those suffering? Share your reflection with us.
We Conspire is a series from the Center for Action and Contemplation featuring wisdom and stories from the growing Christian contemplative movement. Sign up for the monthly email series and receive a free invitation to practice each month.