To begin this prayer practice, set aside 30 minutes and
find a space in the midst of everyday life. You might choose
a bench on a busy street, a hectic public office, a children’s
playground, a crowded coffeehouse. Take your journal with you
to the place you choose.
Center yourself by closing your eyes and paying
attention to the feelings in your body. Where are you holding
tension? What places inside seem open and loose? Is your
mind busy or calm? Are you feeling overwhelmed or anticipatory?
Place your hand over your heart and notice how it beats.
As you feel its beat, acknowledge that the beats occur only
by the grace of the Holy One. Offer a prayer of gratitude for
the gift of the beat of life in your heart.
Open your eyes and notice the energy all around you. Look
at the people, listen to the conversations, feel the colors,
smell the odors, let yourself be swept up in the thumping
activity. Notice how the beat in life is similar to the beat
in your own heart.
Now close your eyes again and imagine that a silent
shadow is moving in the midst of the noise and activity. You
can sense that it is the loving presence of the Holy One. While
those in the crowd may be completely unaware of this presence,
the Holy One touches each of them and leaves behind a trace
of that touch. Notice how the scene is transformed by this
Now imagine that the Holy One comes and touches you. What
does that touch feel like? What happens in your body, your
mind, your heart, your soul? Are others around you able to
see the mark that the Holy One leaves on you? How do you feel
about returning to the busy-ness of your life, knowing that
the shadow of God has passed over you?
When the shadow moves on and is no longer visible to you, open
your eyes and record in your journal any feelings,
thoughts, or images this experience has raised for you. Then,
place your hand over your heart once again, and as you feel
the steady beat, offer a prayer that every creature will come
to know that they have been touched by heaven.