How are you caring for your soul?  I’m deeply loving these warmer sunny days that remind me about Spring’s arrival.  They also remind me that we’ll soon be seeing new growth in things that have been alive, but perhaps unnoticed, throughout the winter.  All of this in turn spurs my awareness that nurturing my own soul is essential as I look forward to Spring’s greening.

For a long time, I’ve seen in my work with trauma survivors that emotional well-being and spiritual peace are intricately connected.  Compassionate mindfulness has been widely shown to have emotional, cognitive, and relational benefits, not only for trauma survivors, but for all people, regardless of their circumstances or challenges. 

As beneficial as mindfulness has been proven to be, there is yet another, even deeper practice that nourishes brain, body and soul.  That practice is contemplation. 

To further consider contemplation we begin by considering mind and soul.  What is mind? The concept of mind encompasses brain functions that include emotion, cognition, language, memory, sleep, and dreaming, yet it is much more. The mind is the governing system of experience of self, others, and the world.  It includes such meta-functions as perception, meaning, and free will.

With this understanding, the mind and the soul are names for the same Sacred source living in each of us. Nurturing our souls through connection to that source which created and breathes through us is contemplation. Where mindfulness is the open attention to interior and exterior aspects of being human, Contemplation is open, appreciative awareness of the movements of the Sacred within each of us.

Perhaps Thomas Merton sums this up best when he writes: 


“…we seek first of all the deepest ground of our identity in God.  We seek to gain a direct existential grasp, a personal experience of the deepest truths of life and faith, finding ourselves in God’s truth. “

For more on mindfulness and contemplation, check out the video webinar here on the website: Mind Your Mind.

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