Awaken Your Senses: Exercises for Exploring the Wonder of God

Awaken Your Senses: Exercises for Exploring the Wonder of God

by J. Brent Bill, Beth A. Booram


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Perhaps you've been missing out. God has given us five senses and a brain with two sides. Yet we often approach God in one way only: through words that are analyzed and processed logically in our left brain. The right brain, however, is the creative, intuitive center--the place that connects most to our seeing, smelling, touching, tasting and hearing, and that roots experiences in our hearts in transforming ways.

In Awaken Your Senses, longtime ministers Beth Booram and Brent Bill invite you to engage your right brain in your faith through sensory spiritual practices that position your heart for divine encounter. Readings and a variety of exercises that utilize your whole body lead you to experience God in new ways by

  • tasting chocolate, words, matzoh, Scripture, forgiveness
  • seeing the moon, wisdom, art, glory, your best self
  • touching others, stones, prayers, rubble, Jesus
  • hearing silence, music, pain, footsteps, the Spirit, the news
  • smelling gardenias, life, salty air, home, healing oil, coffee

Teaching you to pay attention in love to your surroundings, Booram and Bill will help you open your eyes and ears and nose to a sensuous faith--one in which God can be experienced each day as we live and move and have our being.

So whether you're weary, stuck, struggling, growing or on information-overload, the exercises and reflections offered here can bring refreshment--a cold drink of water, a gentle breeze--to your soul. Come experience God with all of who you are, and discover more of who he is.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780830835607
Publisher: InterVarsity Press
Publication date: 12/12/2011
Pages: 208
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Brent Bill is a writer, retreat leader and Quaker minister. He's the author and coauthor of many books, including
Awaken Your Senses, Sacred Compass: The Way of Spiritual Discernment, Holy Silence: The Gift of Quaker Spirituality, Mind the Light: Learning to See with Spiritual Eyes, Holy Places: Matching Sacred Space with Mission and Message, and Imagination and Spirit: A Contemporary Quaker Reader. In addition, he is the author of more than one hundred short stories, nonfiction articles and the popular blog Holy Ordinary.

Bill is a graduate of Wilmington College and the Earlham School of Religion. He has been a local church pastor, denominational executive, seminary faculty member and go-cart track operator. He lives with his wife on Ploughshares Farm, fifty acres of Indiana farmland that is being reclaimed for native hardwood forests and warm season prairie grasses.

Beth Booram is the co-founder and director of Sustainable Faith Indy, an urban retreat center in Indianapolis, where she leads The School of Spiritual Direction and offers individual and group spiritual direction. Beth speaks around the country on topics related to spiritual formation and Christian leadership and has been involved for more than thirty years in a variety of ministry roles on the college campus and within the local church.

Beth is a deep feeler who loves to think, an extrovert with a penchant for solitude, and an artist who sees the hand of God in even the smallest encounters with creation. She and her husband David live near downtown Indianapolis in their 100-year-old home and retreat center. She has authored several books including Awaken Your Senses, Picturing the Face of Jesus and The Wide Open Spaces of God.

Table of Contents


Part One: Taste

Art Reflection on Tasting

1. Introduction

2. Tasting Forgiveness

3. Keeping Kosher

4. Cravings

5. Spiritual Smorgasbord

6. Tasting Words

Part Two: See

Art Reflection on Seeing

1. Introduction

2. Creaturely Insight

3. Reframe and Refocus

4. Reflecting Glory

5. Going Off Grid

6. I See the Moon

Part Three: Touch

Art Reflection on Touching

1. Introduction

2. Textures

3. A Pile of Stones

4. Touching Absence

5. Feeling Your Prayers

6. Touching Jesus

Part Four: Hear

Art Reflection on Hearing

1. Introduction

2. Soundtrack

3. Footsteps

4. All the News

5. Recurring Themes

6. Dinner Conversation

Part Five: Smell

Art Reflection on Smelling

1. Introduction

2. Smells Like . . . Worship

3. Hospitals

4. Sea Salt and Midwest Mulberries

5. Organic Sweat

6. Wake Up and Smell the Communion

Conclusion: Rhythms that Ground Us

Sensory Exercises:

Additional Activities for Practicing a Sensuous Faith

Resources for Awakening Your Senses




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