Meeting the Lord in your inner space
Everyday we are being saturated by visual suggestions from the external world which exert great influence on our lives. In this exercise we use our gift of visualization for saturating ourselves with the word of God. Follow the images that comes naturally and easily to you while doing the exercise.
The part of relaxation may occupy more time initially. But with practice one learns to relax easily and move to the final stages and spend more time in communicating with the Lord.
- Take a comfortable posture either by squatting on a mat on the floor or sitting on a chair in your preferred place of prayer (chapel, room, garden etc) with your back straight .. It may take some experience to hold the back straight, but you will soon discover its benefits in keeping you awake and alert. Hands may be placed comfortably in your lap.
- When you have made yourself comfortable in your posture, close your eyes and become aware of the place where you are and the presence of the Lord in whom we live, move and have our being (Acts 17.28) and allow yourself to be enveloped by the love of God who first loved us before we ever loved Him (1 Jn. 4.19).
- Now become aware of your body how you feel it right now… If you notice any tension anywhere, breath gently into those places and allow those parts to relax and dissolve all tension.
- Bring your attention to the top of your head and feel the hair and the scalp of your head.. imagine that you are relaxing them. Feel the relaxation slowly enveloping your brain… your forehead.. eyes cheeks, nose.. feel the cool air entering through your nostrils and warm air escaping and …relax…..Become aware of your lips and mouth.. feel the tongue resting at the bottom of the mouth… feel your ears.. the chin , loosen the jaw and relax them.. put your awareness to your whole head and enjoy the state of relaxation as you breath in and breath out…
- Now bring your attention to your neck and relax. Allow the relaxation to flow through your back bone from the upper back bone slowly to the bottom of the spine. Feel the whole vertebral column and relax..
- Put your awareness to the shoulders, hands … relax the muscles.. feel the wrist, fingers and relax them.
- Relax your chest. Feel the lungs expanding and contracting as you breath in and breath out.. follow the rhythm of breathing and relax your chest region. Bring your awareness to your heat beating. Relax as your heart beats.
- Now bring your awareness to your abdomen and the stomach. Feel the stomach walls rising up and down as you breath in and breath out.. Imagine all your organs relaxing, functioning comfortably.
- Bring your attention to your pelvic area.. groins.. feel this area becoming relaxed.. Now become aware of your hips, the upper part of the leg and relax your thigh muscles. Relax your knees.. bring your awareness to your calf muscles.. relax, your ankles and the feet.. imagine them relaxing…
- Allow your awareness scan through your entire body from toe to head.. and head to toe… allow your whole body to enjoy a deep relaxation. Imagine the life energy freely flowing through your entire body. Release if any part of the body is tense and feel the energy flowing…Fill yourself with gratitude to the Lord for the gift of life and the health of your body.
- Now take a deep breathe and as you exhale release any remaining hold and relax totally.
- Take another deep breathe and as you exhale relax your mind. Let all thoughts and preoccupations evaporate. Just as you would relax another muscle, relax your mind as you breathe in and breathe out.
- Follow your breathing as you enjoy your relaxation and bring your awareness into deep inside you. Imagine a very beautiful place where you like to be by yourself, be it a sea shore, mountain, waterfall, lake, garden, sanctuary… anything that appeals to you most.. Now imagine it very vividly with details: trees, birds, flowers, rocks.. You are creating a personal place for yourself inside you. Feel the warmth of the air, sun or shades, aroma in the air, quietness or music of nature. In your imagination wander around it to become comfortable and familiar.
- Now choose a place and a posture you are most at home. Feel the love and beauty around…This place is prepared for you by the Lord. It is a free gift and it is yours. Accept it graciously. Now become aware of the presence of the Lord with you. Imagine Jesus in any of your preferred images and let him be beside you as you would like him to be. See how he is dressed, feel the warmth of his gaze. Be aware of your own inner feelings. Greet him in your preferred way of greeting.
- Allow the Lord to communicate to you what he wants to tell you at this moment of your life. If any passage from the Bible naturally comes to you, let it speak to you. Recall the passage you read and ask the Lord what he wants to tell you. Spend time in dialogue with him or just in the joy of his presence.
At this stage you could bring in many creative ways to integrate different aspects of your life to own them up or to enlarge the horizon of your life. Eg. You may imagine the presence of your community members and have dialogue with them, remember the people you serve, discuss the problems of life with the Lord.
You may visualize positively in difficult or anxiety provoking situation that you are going to face (for example, exams, an encounter etc.) within the comfort zone of the Lord’s presence in your life.
Another variation at this stage could be revisiting your past history from conception to the present with the recognition of the continuous invisible presence of the Lord along your journey of life and with a sense of gratitude to him for all events in your history. It could also be a good moment to revisit traumatic events of the past with the Lord who calls you to return to those events with Him to accept and integrate into the flow of your history of salvation.
- When you are ready to conclude… spent a moment in gratitude… become aware of the surrounding of your special sanctuary. .. become aware of your breathing and slowly open your eyes to conclude the session.