Sacred Attention: A Spiritual Practice for Finding God in the Moment

Overview

Just One Moment of Close Attention Can Be a Prayer to God

"Does God communicate through the natural world? Through the slug on the compost pile, the leaf on the lawn, the stone tumbled on the beach, the air that feeds my lungs, the dreams that fill my nights? How will I know unless I pay attention?"
—from the Introduction

Paying attention is rarely easy to do. It requires focus, patience and a willingness to slow down—traits that are hard to come by in this hurry-up world. But ...

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Sacred Attention: A Spiritual Practice for Finding God in the Moment

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Overview

Just One Moment of Close Attention Can Be a Prayer to God

"Does God communicate through the natural world? Through the slug on the compost pile, the leaf on the lawn, the stone tumbled on the beach, the air that feeds my lungs, the dreams that fill my nights? How will I know unless I pay attention?"
—from the Introduction

Paying attention is rarely easy to do. It requires focus, patience and a willingness to slow down—traits that are hard to come by in this hurry-up world. But close attention to even one small piece of creation, one object, person, routine, image, word or scripture, can become a prayer to God, opening a channel of communication between you and the Divine to allow for deep spiritual growth.

In this inspiring guide, you will discover ways to develop a practice of attention as a means of talking—and listening—to God. Framed on the Christian liturgical year and paired with images of the seasons of the earth, each chapter includes an insightful and poignant narrative which illustrates the surprising richness to be found in every attention-getting moment. Following each narrative is a prayer, suggested scripture readings and a specific exercise you can use to develop your own practice of attention as a means to better connect with God.

Accessible, humorous and meaningful, these words and practices will lead you further along your path toward discovering a deeper awareness of yourself and your relationship to all that is around you—and within you.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Beautiful, passionate and very personal … reminds us again of why we need to be aware of the present moment: that's where God is."
John Lionberger, author, Renewal in the Wilderness: A Spiritual Guide to Connecting with God in the Natural World

“Genuinely profound … Offers wise counsel to develop in practical ways a deep and intimate relationship with the immediacy of life. An invaluable resource for those interested in realizing the spiritual in daily life.”
Christopher Titmuss, co-founder, Gaia House; author, An Awakened Life: Uncommon Wisdom from Everyday Life

“Leaps alive with insightful stories, honest reflection and practical suggestions of finding the Divine in the daily-ness of our lives.… A must for anyone seeking or struggling to create a spiritual practice.”
Nancy Corcoran, CSJ, author, Secrets of Prayer: A Multifaith Guide to Creating Personal Prayer in Your Life

“Attention is the great problem of our distractable age. Here’s a solution!”
Bill McKibben, author, The End of Nature

“Uncovers the presence of God in scripture, nature, everyday events, and the glad tidings of creativity. These observations and practices are sturdy companions.”
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, co-directors, spiritualityandpractice.com; coauthors, Spiritual Literacy: Reading the Sacred in Everyday Life and Spiritual Rx.: Prescriptions for Living a Meaningful Life

“Puts St. Paul’s teaching of 'pray without ceasing’ into the context of our everyday lives. A poetic and practical, eloquent and accessible book.”
Alice Peck, editor, Next to Godliness: Finding the Sacred in Housekeeping

“[Provides] a connection to peace, to faith, and to natural compassion—a ‘homey’ comfort.”
Sylvia Boorstein, author, Pay Attention, For Goodness’ Sake: The Buddhist Path of Kindness

“A pilgrim’s field guide to the Sacred.… Reminds us that by waiting and watching we will encounter the Sacred in the everyday stuff of life.”
Philip Harnden, author, Journeys of Simplicity: Traveling Light with Thomas Merton, Bashō, Edward Abbey, Annie Dillard & Others

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781594732911
  • Publisher: Skylight Paths Publishing
  • Publication date: 9/1/2010
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 110
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.70 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Margaret D. McGee, a writer, teacher, and leader of spiritual workshops and retreats, is author of Sacred Attention: A Spiritual Practice for Finding God in the Moment (SkyLight Paths), and Stumbling Toward God: A Prodigal's Return. Her haiku have been published in journals such as The Heron's Nest, bear creek haiku, and Wisteria. Her website, www.IntheCourtyard.com, hosts a forum to write and share haiku in response to the sacred writings of world religions.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Introduction: Slow Down—Pay Attention xi
About the Liturgical Calendar and Sacred Attention xiv
1. Season of Waiting
ADVENT 1
2. Leap of Faith
CHRISTMAS 7
3. To See with New Eyes
EPIPHANY 13
4. Hearty Fish Soup
LENT 21
5. Just Freedom
EASTER 27
6. When the Still, Small Voice Starts Yelling
PENTECOST 37
7. Where Possibilities Burn Bright
ORDINARY TIME 45
8. Bees in the Blackberries
ORDINARY TIME 53
9. Real Live Grizzly Bear Love
ORDINARY TIME 61
10. Lectio Divina Meets Haiku
ORDINARY TIME 69
11. The Newcomer and the Old-Timers
ORDINARY TIME 77
12. By Myself in a Cloud of Witnesses
ORDINARY TIME 87
Afterword: Return 95
Practicing Sacred Attention 97
Suggestions for Further Reading 109

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