During this time of sabbatical, Pastor Brad and our congregation are exploring Mindfulness. Mindfulness practices allow us to take a break from the "noise" in our lives and minds. This pause gives us time and space to be still and fully present in our created selves. (One way it can be described is opening a door, letting in fresh air and noticing God's presence.) Try this simple "Pause" technique this week: Take a few moments to breathe. Notice the ins and outs of the breaths. Look around and notice what is happening right now within you and around you. What do you see, hear, smell, feel, think? Take a few more mindful breaths and carry on with your day.
This week's mindfulness activity is Full Body Scan. This activity requires you to lay flat, and will take you about 25-45 minutes. Use the link below to access audio to guide you through the body scan. You will be focusing on each part of your body, noticing any sensations, and exploring breathing. Ultimately you will experience whole body breathing that is very helpful in dealing with stress or difficult feelings. Remember that you are created by God, and the Holy Spirit dwells in you.
Mindful Daily Activity
Choose a routine activity in your life--something you do every day, like taking a shower, making coffee, walking the dog. For the next week, see if you can do it mindfully. Bring an awareness to the activity each time you do it. Be present and notice what you are doing. Take time to appreciate these everyday activities rather than feeling resentment, boredom or rushing through them. Give thanks to God for the work, for the blessings and opportunities these daily tasks bring you and others touched by them.
Praying with Scripture
We suggest using Isaiah 6:1-8, but you can use this activity with any verses from the Bible. Here is a link to Isaiah:
Steps to Praying with Scripture:
1. Find a quiet place to read and pray.
2. Read the passage once.
3. Notice any words or phrases that stick out to you, and meditate on those words or phrases.
4. Read the passage a second time.
5. Notice any questions you may have. Pray on those questions.
6. Think about what God might be calling you to do or be through this scripture.
North Cape Lutheran Church, ELCA
Labyrinths are used in mindfulness to help promote peace and healing. As you enter the labyrinth and work your way to the center, think about the issues or concerns you have. In the center, pray and focus on the present moment. As you exit, let go of the anxiety or emotions that were troubling you. If you feel lost in the labyrinth, trust the path and continue forward. There are no dead ends or mistakes to be made. Just as we can trust in God and His grace.
Serenity Prayer: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference. Amen.
The Loving-Kindness Prayer Meditation
Find a quiet space and take a few slow breaths, calming your mind and body. When you are ready, bring an image of yourself to mind. Pray for yourself using the prayer pattern shown in the image above. Following the same steps, next pray for a loved one, then a neutral person (cashier, neighbor, etc.) and lastly for someone you have a difficult relationship with. Pray for all 4 people in conclusion.
Mindfulness of Breathing
When you tune in to your breathing, your body and mind are in sync- you are present. When your mind is racing or life is just getting too hectic, try this Mindfulness of Breathing activity for a few moments.
1. Sit in a chair or on the floor. Relax and close your eyes.
2. Feel / notice the weight of your body.
3. Bring your attention to the movement of your breath. Don't change how you breathe, just notice it.
4. Tune in to the physical sensations of breathing. Don't think about breathing, but rather be with it. You can even imagine riding the waves of breath, if that helps.
5. Whenever your mind wanders, return your attention back to your breaths.
Pastor Brad Brown took sabbatical from April-July 2018. He studied Mindfulness and Adaptive Leadership. While he was gone, our congregation was also on sabbatical exploring different mindfulness approaches. We have a weekly post on our Facebook page each Wednesday, and we incorporate mindfulness practices into our worship services on non-communion Sundays. This page shows examples of practices we used during this time of sabbatical. We hope they will be helpful to you in your lives.
North Cape Lutheran Church
2644 -- 124th Street
Franksville, WI 53126
2644 --124th Street, Franksville, WI 53126 262.835.2206 firstname.lastname@example.org