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Center for Action and Contemplation

Practice With Us

Discover contemplative wisdom and practices that are easy to understand and apply to your everyday life.

Contemplation is the practice of being fully present—in heart, mind, and body—to what is in a way that deepens awareness, encourages oneness, and strengthens compassion. A committed daily contemplative practice doesn’t have to be long or complex—it simply needs to allow deep listening to open your heart to love.  

Discover ways to embody the contemplative life with this collection of practices that help us align actions and values, re-engage with our True Self, and show up in service to the world. 

Contemplative Sit with Brian McLaren (14:46)

Brian McLaren, CAC faculty and author of Do I Stay Christian? and Life After Doom, invites us to enter a deeper silence by letting go of our habitual thoughts, assumptions, and feelings and to connect to a truth greater than ourselves. Embracing the stillness of contemplation can be challenging, but it gets easier with a regular practice. Return to this quiet contemplative sit whenever you feel called to open your heart to wisdom beyond your own. 

Explore Our Collection of Contemplative Practices

Contemplation gradually rewires our brains to meet and respond to reality as it is, without judgment or comparison. There are many ways to practice contemplation, from chanting to breath work, sitting in silence or moving with intention. We hope you will use these resources to discover ways to hold everything—both joy and sorrow—together in love. 

Contemplative Sit (12:21)

CAC faculty member Dr. Barbara Holmes invites us into a contemplative sit grounded in the words of theologian Henri Nouwen: “This life we are living is ineffable.” Recorded at the 2022 Living School Symposium, this practice inspires us to go beyond words and embrace the depths of our human experience. 

Litany of the Holy Spirit (12:32)

In honor of his 65th birthday, Richard Rohr penned 65 descriptions for the Holy Spirit — he called them “intercessions.” In this litany, Richard shares his intercessions and invites you to contemplate what the Holy Spirit means in your own life.  

Be Still and Know Chant (3:11)

Join Cynthia Bourgeault for a chanting practice that invites our bodies to take prayer deep into the heart. Chanting is a physical act of prayer that uses the vocal cords to unite the mind, body, heart, and spirit. Return to this practice whenever you yearn for connection with the Divine Presence that permeates the present moment. 

A Prayer for Wholeness and Healing with James Finley (5:10)

Take a moment for prayerful meditation with CAC faculty, James Finley.

Accompanied by visual and audio cues, this guided mediation invites you to enter a deep healing space. James offers us, “May we continually reach out to the hurting places until only Love is left…”

Divine Feminine Blessing (3:31)

Recorded in 2022 by author and teacher Mirabai Starr, the Divine Feminine Blessing invites us to discover breath as an inner pathway to connection with the indwelling presence of the divine feminine. Focus on our breathing creates deeper awareness of ourselves, while also evoking the intimacy and presence of Spirit. Return to this practice whenever you yearn for guidance from our fierce and tender mother wisdom. 

I Love You Prayer (5:41)

Christian meditation shifts us from ego to oneness, learning to see God in everyone and everything—including in ourselves. Recorded in 2022 at the Living School Symposium, CAC faculty James Finley, Ph.D., invites us to slow down and listen for God’s silent I love you in each breath. Return to this meditation anytime you feel called to surrender to Love with childlike sincerity.  

Prayer for a Bigger Vision (1:55) 

Prayer is a stance that allows us to experience Divine presence within ourselves and the world. Written originally for the 2006 Prophets Then/Prophets Now Conference, Father Richard Rohr’s prayer invites us to find hope and solidarity as active participants in the Body of Christ. You can listen to Fr. Richard recite his prayer, and come back to this practice anytime you need to be reminded that you are not alone. 

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