Brief description of the sessions in SPIRIT GROUP EXERCISES

SESSION ONE:

SELF-OBSERVATION:

  1. Lotus position: Take a comfortable, disciplined, strait, stable posture.
  2. Do not give into changing that position, scratching, relieving, adjusting.
  3. If painful, observe the pain’s location, quality, meanderings.
  4. Observe the flow of thoughts streaming through your mind
  5. If you are carried away by one of them, return to your observation deck.

BENEFITS: Even with distraction you attain the first encounter with silence and with silence the first revelation: your “self”. “Self” is where everything of life takes place, even the encounters with love, fear, death. “Self” is the place of God’s visits and can become  His dwelling place. . . How blessed is one who comes in contact with his/her own self.

 SESSION TWO:

TURNING TO SENSES:

  1. The best way to exit the “thinking mode” is to turn to senses.
  2. The senses will get you in touch with the “present”, the here-and-now.
  3. Become aware of “any” existing sensation in your body.
  4. Is there any part of your body that produces a sensation that you are not aware of. Stay with it for few seconds and move on to detect sensations in other parts of body.

BENEFITS: You observed your own “self”, the place where miracles and tragedies of life take place. From now on they will not catch you in surprise, you see them, you are endowed with power of self-observation. Gradually calmness will surround you.

SESSION THREE:

THE “OTHER”:

  1. Begin to relate to something that is “other” than yourself.
  2. Allow the “other” to exists freely in its own life and freedom.
  3. Do not enter a competitive race with “other”.
  4. Do not allow your prejudices, demands, expectations, and attachments to stand in the way of
    clear-sightedness.
  5. Appreciate and admire its own flow of life, it is part of a cosmic irresistible

movement drawing all, yourself, and the “other”, into a dance of death and life.

BENEFITS: You increase the capacity of enjoying life and of accepting shadows of death. There is harmony in the universe, and you begin to be part of it.
The universe moves toward a destiny “omega” point, with a force of evolution you allow to be overcome by. You feel that all is in movement and you flow with the great river of life. Peace.

SESSION FOUR:

FOCUSING/BREATHING

  1. Focus on something you choose to observe with undivided attention: air as it passes through your nostrils, breathing (its length, temperature, rhythm. . .)  and sensations in different parts of your body. . .
  1. Resolve to focus on the object of your observation avoiding distractions.
  2. If you are carried away by unrelated thoughts, feelings, or images, become aware of how much time passed from the onset of the distraction to the moment of your becoming aware of it.
  1. Return to your self-observation with a particular focus on detecting the start of your mind wandering away from the main object of your observation.
  1. Try as much as you can to shorten the time of drifting into distractions and fantasy.

BENEFITS: Do not consider as distraction what can be only a short wandering away of your mind from the focus of your observation, especially if you become aware of it immediately.

The goal of this exercise is to sharpen your awareness to the point of detecting the first deviations and being able to resolutely return to the main object of your observation.

As you sharpen your awareness of the onset of distraction and your newly acquired capacity to return to your main object of observation as soon as possible, you will experience inner silence and tranquility of mind and emotions which would be hard to reach in any other way.

Booklets

 The following Booklets are available to sum up, in brief narrative, the Exercises of the Spirit:

    • WADI (A “Wadi” is a dry gully or riverbed. It fills up only during the rainy season.  This booklet is a friendly guide to silence.) (28 pages)
    • EMBERS (Ember is a piece of glowing wood in the smoldering ashes of a dying fire. If you breathe upon it, flames will rise from ashes.) (78 pages)
    • WAY OF THE CROSS OF A MAN FROM EPHRAIM (These Stations of the Cross are for those who, after few words of prayer, want to immerse into silence and seek the blessing of peace.) (36 pages)
    • EVENING VERSES (“Evening Verses” are for those who are winding down their day and try to relax before night rest.) (86 pages)

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