The Contemplative Way

A Year-long program in personal deepening

The Contemplative Way is a new offering by Oasis Ministries in partnership with The Urban Well and begins online in the fall of 2020.

There comes a time on the spiritual journey when we recognize that contemplation is more about how we live than how we pray. We long for a life anchored in spirit. The Contemplative Way accompanies the seeker in this exploration and tailors prayer, presence, community, and learning to a conscious and centered life.

Patterns of Prayer and Presence

The focus in The Contemplative Way is not on learning ways of contemplative prayer but on employing practices that bring us home to ourselves. As T. S. Eliot said in Four Quartets:

… the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we startedand know the place for the first time.

Using a variety of contemplative practices throughout the year, we release our lives into deeper patterns of being and doing. The journey of contemplation brings our hearts to a greater sense of presence – anchoring ourselves more fully in our own presence, opening ourselves more freely to the presence of others and finding more frequently the presence of God flowing in our ordinary. No change comes without this presence, and so we begin by steeping ourselves in presence.

Solitude in Community

Depth work begs for authentic and nourishing connections. A safe and vibrant spiritual community provides the foundation for personal deepening. While solitude is part of the journey, it is in contemplative community that the richness of our inner life can blossom into our daily living. Seekers will be accompanied in this work by the companionship and wisdom of leaders and peers.

Know Thyself

This maxim provides another cornerstone for our experience. Bringing more and more of ourselves to awareness and willingness is key to offering the fullness of our self to the world. Using practices such as attentiveness to our dreams, exploring spiritual experience, interactive journaling, and the use of the Enneagram, we deepen and expand self-awareness. Discovering and exploring our own wisdom, individually and in small group interactions, will guide our growth in self-awareness.

Mind Heart Body

We will take seriously the wisdom within the contemplative tradition both classically in the mystics and through contemporary offerings, even as we seek to bring our minds to our hearts and drop our knowing more deeply into the mystery of God. We will explore ways to ground ourselves in our bodies, anchor our breath, employ our hands, free our creativity, and polish our subtle perceptions as we enter more fully the life that is ours to live.