Spiritual Practices

NELSON-JIM-85This past weekend, 26 of us gathered at La Casa de Maria Retreat Center in Montecito to explore spiritual practices.  Meditation, movement, collage making, prayer, journaling, and silence filled our time, as well as time together in a beautiful setting. It is peaceful there, and restful, and a reminder of how good it is to get away from time to time, to retreat for a change, instead of always advancing.

I led several practices using a couple of poems and on Sunday morning I was mindful of Hannah using the Robert Frost poem as our text for the month.  Sunday night, at home, I pulled out a collection of Frost poems and read.  You might want to do the same – he is a wonderful poet.  Next month our text will be Psalm 23, so maybe the Psalms will draw you in for a while.  It is a blessing to be able to wander the world’s literature for our sacred texts.

As you may know, my regular practice is writing prayers, but I have been very delinquent of late.  I am not sure why, but the retreat reminded me that this is a good practice for me.  Here is the prayer I wrote on Saturday during the retreat:

Dear God,

Outside the oaks are ancient,
Bent low to feed the hungry,
Witness to fire, to rain, to wind.
Let me be like the oaks,
Strong and patient, old,
Home for birds,
Bent to offer sustenance,
Witness to birth and to death,
To the passing of time.
Let my roots be deep,
My branches spread,
Let the songs of birds,
The song of the wind
Be my voice.


-Rev. Dr. Jim Nelson

This entry was posted in Mindfulness, Ministers, Prayer and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Spiritual Practices

  1. Joyce Huyett Turner says:

    Jim, I was going to comment that this is a beautiful prayer-poem, but now I have to add that this is a beautiful prayer-poem followed by a surreal YouTube video of a hamburger at the NFL. What does it all mean?? I leave it to you, and your next prayer-poem.

  2. Sue Iri says:

    Beautiful, Jim- glad you’re writing again.

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