We will assume that you wish to start a spiritual practice not because you think you “ought to,” but because you are motivated to do so. We will assume that you have experienced some sort of yearning, an emptiness or hunger that needs to be satisfied. Here are some suggestions yo start on your exploration of yourself and your relationship with God. What we are proposing are small steps, with limited commitment, just to give you a feel for the journey.
Attend a “Day Away” Retreat at Five Oaks any first Wednesday of the month
Phone Jenny Rypma at Five Oaks. The cost is minimal. You get a day away by yourself, in silence if you wish it; you get to walk around, read, sleep, meditate, spend some time with a spiritual companion, do some art work… whatever helps you get in touch with your deepest yearnings and begin, or deepen, your relationship with God. Check here for more details.
Attend a retreat at Loyola House
Loyola House offers a variety of short and longer retreats to suit every level of experience. You can join scheduled retreats or arrange for a private retreat with a spiritual director assigned to you. Check here for more details.
Experience at least one Ecumenical Week of Guided Prayer
Each year in Guelph, around the end of February, a number of spiritual directors get together to put on a week-long experiment in Ignatian prayer. You get to learn about a few forms of prayer, you meet with your own prayer companion each day for a week and you get to practice meditation. Most importantly, you get to experience God’s presence in your life in a very unique and powerful way. Check Harcourt news for information.
Speak to a Harcourt Covenanted Spiritual Companion about next steps
Harcourt is blessed with a number of trained spiritual directors who are covenanted to Harcourt to provide companioning and guidance in your spiritual journey. You get to meet with a spiritual companion about once a month, learn about prayer forms, and general have an experienced person with whom to share your spiritual experiences. Check here for the names and contact of Harcourt’s Covenanted Spiritual Companions.
Learn the basics of meditation
Many Christians take advantage of the millenia of experience of the Buddhist tradition in mediation practices. Many of these are very suitable to learn the basics of meditation as an entry point into the inner life. You can access mp3 files of an Australian Buddhist practitioner Malcolm Huxter walking you through a series of basic meditation techniques. These form part of an extensive offering of Buddhist meditation techniques on the Buddhanet website. Click here to access these.
Try a series of guided meditations on your own
We have also included on this website a series of 42 “graded” exercises to introduce you to meditation, your spiritual journey as well as to help you deepen your relationship with Jesus and with God. We suggest that you follow them in sequence. Click here if you wish to begin.