Yesterday I wrote about calming our monkey mind through mantra and/or meditative movement. Today, I will address the child within. In particular, each and every one of us has within us a child that likes to daydream. Daydreaming, unfortunately, punishable through reprimand in childhood is brought out of the closet and welcome as an authentic vehicle through which Divine truths are revealed. On the contemplative path, we give honor to daydreaming as a remarkable tool for transformation and spiritual healing. In the Western Christian tradition, daydreaming as meditation has been given the official name: Imagination/Contemplation.
Imagination/Contemplation was named and popularized through the spiritual journey of St. Ignatius of Loyola. Already given to daydreaming and fantasy, Ignatius discovered that through intentional application of these gifts to scripture, he found Divine guidance and revelation. He read the narrative stories of the bible and placed himself within the story, imagining himself to be one of the characters in the story as he daydreamed the story unfolding in his mind. Through this process, he found his own truth and his own spiritual path. In the contemplative path, we are invited to follow the example set by Ignatius and allow daydreaming to take on a spiritual quality and direction to help us find our own truth and our own path. Here is how to do it:
Choose a narrative story from the bible (or another other story or fairytale for that matter)
Read through the story prayerfully, meditatively
1) Choose a character from the story – named or unnamed
2) Engaging the imagination, place yourself within the story as that character….imagine every detail and allow the story to unfold within your imagination from the perspective of your chosen character.
3) After you have daydreamed the story, write it down. Allow additional details to emerge as you write.
4) Read through what you have written and ask yourself the following questions:
- How is this written story reflective of something going on in my own journey?
- What is God saying to me through what was revealed in this daydreaming?
And for your assistance, here is a great story through which you may begin the process of allowing your daydreaming to be Divine revelation for you today:
The Story of the Annunciation:
Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendants of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming in, he said to her, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.”
But she was very perplexed at this statement, and kept pondering what kind of salutation this was. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. “And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.”
Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God. “And behold, even your relative Elizabeth has also conceived a son in her old age; and she who was called barren is now in her sixth month. “For nothing will be impossible with God.”
And Mary said, “Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her. Luke 1