Deep Abiding

6-Week Compassion Meditation/Interior Prayer Program for Being a Channel of Healing Peace

Introductory session: Sunday, Feb. 9th from 2 to 4 p.m.
Four other sessions: Sundays from 2 to 3:40 p.m. on Feb. 16 & 23, and March 2 &16

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION:

The Deep Abiding program was created not only for participants’ personal solace, healing, inner peace, and empowerment amid their often overstretched, busy lives. Reflecting Cornell College’s mission and core values of engaged citizenship, moral courage, and both civic and social responsibility, this program was also created to reclaim the original purpose of most contemplative spiritual traditions: namely, to help awaken awareness of life’s inter-connective oneness, and to live, love, lead, and serve as instruments of healing peace.

Spiritual wisdom traditions speak of our need for inner surrender, and for an awareness which—like an antenna or little radio dial inside us—tunes us in to the deep abiding presence, healing action, and energies of the divine coursing through us, and linking all beings as one. Throughout history various names have been given to this creating, empowering life force energy or Spirit. These names include Ruach (with over 380 references in Hebrew Scriptures/Old Testament) pneuma and energon (New Testament),Wakan (Lakota), chi or ki (China and Japan), Baraka (Islamic mystical tradition of Sufism), and prana (the yoga systems of India and Tibet).

During heart-focused compassion meditation/interior prayer, one practice shifting from over-identification with anxious thoughts and feelings to the unbounded, indwelling Spirit or energies of the universe as one’s Deepest Truest Self. This shift not only occurs during formal, seated practice; it occurs amid everyday life activities and encounters.

Research studies on this type of practice not only point to physiological healing benefits, and a more skillful relationship with fear. Studies also point to improved work-place wellness and productivity, as well as a more courageous, compassionate life stance which alters the way we perceive and relate to our ourselves, our struggles, others, and the world. This includes an increased sense of inter-connective oneness whereby we overcome what some branches of science, along with mystical and contemplative traditions, speak of as the illusion of our separateness.

Daily practice is easily adapted to fit the needs of diversely religious, secular, and spiritual-but-not religious participants so we can sojourn through personal and communal life challenges together amid our differences. Learning sessions include:

• Inter-spiritual healing wisdom, including from Buddhism, and from Christian mystics like Saint Francis of Assisi, Teresa of Avila, Bede Griffiths, and Thomas Merton;

• Scientific research on the psycho-physiological and psycho-social benefits of meditation/interior prayer;

• Mind-body-spirit practices;

• The relationship between the inner life, leadership, and loving action.

Who can participate? This program is offered to interested and committed college community members desiring to perceive, live, love, and lead as channels through which energies of love flow for the healing peace and wholeness of others, self, and world. Space is limited. While prioritizing students and faculty/staff, this program is free and open to the public. See participant requirements below.

Deep Abiding was created, and is led, by Cornell College chaplain, Catherine Quehl-Engel, who completes her doctorate on this topic in the spring.

PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS:

Participants commit to the following:

1. Formal heart-focused compassion meditation/interior prayer for a minimum of 15 minutes a day at least 5 days a week (preferably more often).
2. Daily informal practice amid everyday life activities and encounters.
3. Attendance at all group learning sessions.
4. Completion of an on-line survey both before and after the program.

TO REGISTER: email Catherine Quehl-Engel @ cquehl-engel@cornellcollege.edu .