Awakening Syllabus

Working Syllabus
Meditation: Awakening to Your Thoughts & Emotions

As part of home practice, participants are strongly encouraged to read and pray Lectio Divina daily on self-selected reflections from The Dance of Life: Weaving Sorrows and Blessings into One Joyful Step by Henri Nouwen and edited by Michael Ford.  This book is out of print but readily available from Amazon third party sellers at a reasonable cost (e.g., $12-$15 or less).

Week 1 – Meditation and Mindfulness
Be still and know that I am God. Psalms 46:10

  • Read The Dance of Life, pp 39-67, a few reflections a day
  • Pray Lectio Divina daily. Choose a different reflection each day from Stage I: Setting the Compass or Stage 2: Dispelling the Darkness
  • Notice self-judgments
  • Practice one activity mindfully all week. (Something you already do daily).
  • Journal gratitude daily online

Week 2 – Stories We Tell
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life. Matthew 6:25

  • Read The Dance of Life, pp 69-87, a few reflections a day
  • Pray Lectio Divina daily. Choose a different reflection each day from Stage 3: Growing through Anxiety
  • Notice pleasurable moments.
  • Practice one activity mindfully all week. (Something you already do daily).
  • Journal gratitude daily online

Week 3 – Understanding Emotions
“Jesus wept.” John 11:35

  • Read The Dance of Life, pp 91-130, a few ref;ections a day
  • Pray Lectio Divina daily. Choose a different reflection each day from Stage 4: Embracing Loneliness or Stage 5: Emotional Hurdles
  • Practice one activity mindfully all week. (Something you already do daily).
  • Journal gratitude daily online .
  • Notice primary emotions & when you slip into secondary emotions

Week 4 – Our Distorted Thoughts
All day long I have held out my hands
    to an obstinate people,
who walk in ways not good,
    pursuing their own [distorted] thoughts
. Isaiah 65:2

  • Read The Dance of Life, pp 133-152, a few reflections a day
  • Pray Lectio Divina daily. Choose a different reflection each day from Stage 6: Spiritual Disorientation
  • Practice one activity mindfully all week. (Something you already do daily).
  • Journal gratitude daily online
  • Notice your cognitive distortions

Lesson 5: Accepting “what is”
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:9

  • Read The Dance of Life, pp 155-177, a few reflections a day
  • Pray Lectio Divina daily. Choose a different reflection each day from Stage 7: Integrating the Self
  • Practice one activity mindfully all week. (Something you already do daily).
  • Journal gratitude daily online .
  • Notice unrealistic expectations & irrational beliefs

Lesson 6:  Who Am I?
“Truly, truly, I say to you … I am.  John 8:58

  • Read The Dance of Life, pp 181-202, a few reflections a day
  • Pray Lectio Divina daily. Choose a different reflection each day from Stage 8: Befriending Death
  • Practice one activity mindfully all week. (Something you already do daily).
  • Journal gratitude daily online
  • Notice “I am” thoughts

Week 7 – Letting Go & Forgiveness
“they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!”  Mark 4:12

Week 8 – Loving Kindness
‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’  Mark 12:31

  • Pray Lectio Divina daily on Loving Kindness and Self-Compassion. For Loving Kindness, focus on different people each day.
  • Practice one activity mindfully all week. (Something you already do daily).
  • Journal gratitude daily online
  • Notice lthoughts of self-compassion and compassion for others

Week 9:  Accepting Your Shadow Self & Living In The Mind of Christ
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Philippians 2:5

  • Read The Dance of Life, pp 205-218, a few reflections a day
  • Pray Lectio Divina for 20 minutes. Choose a different reflection each day from Stage 9: Arriving Home
  • Practice one activity mindfully all week. (Something you already do daily).
  • Journal gratitude daily online
  • Notice when you see Christ in others

Week 10 – Christianity as a Way of Life
“I am the way, the truth and the life …” John 14:16

The last session we will meet for 2.5 hours. Start times will remain the same. Please make plans to stay the entire session as we will be doing something quite special.

  • Make a plan to continue the practices & skills you have learned

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