During my morning time of prayer and meditation, while listening for guidance, it came to me to make a recording of the guided meditation/prayer that I offered during some online workshops in 2020. It begins with attention to the body, breathing, and one’s connection to the Earth, followed by an invitation to relax each part of the body, toes to head. Then there is an invitation to visualize divine healing light flowing into the top of your head, like a gentle waterfall, lovingly releasing and removing anything you no longer need to carry inside you, and letting that flow into the earth, change form, and be transformed into something useful (like compost). Then you are invited to experience the divine light that shines within you, and allow it to radiate out from you as strongly as it wants to, shining brightly. The meditation concludes with a few minutes to pray for or hold in the light others for whom you care, and then the whole earth.
I recorded this meditation more than once. It’s still not visually or verbally perfect. One of the slides includes images of three people, all of them white (including the image of Jesus). If I were to redo this video, I would include more diverse images. Nonetheless, even with its limitations, I hope this guided meditation communicates in some measure the divine love and healing power that wants to reach through all of us into the world. I offer it as a gift.
I pray that it may it be a blessing to you, and that it may help you be a blessing to others. With love and gratitude for you,
About the images in the video: I took the photo of trees, ground, and sky at Woolman Hill Quaker retreat center in Deerfield, MA. Other photos used in the video were uploaded from Unsplash.com, and feature the work of Simon Rae, Denny Muller, Jon Tyson, and Rosie Fraser. The image of Jesus is a detail from the painting “Jesus and the Rich Young Ruler” by Carl Heinrich Bloch (19th century). I made the quilted wall hanging which hangs on the wall, the image of which is at the end of the video and on the About page of this blog.
Below is information about two books I’ve written about the spiritual life.
A Guide to Faithfulness Groupsexplains what faithfulness is and how it can be cultivated by small groups that practice ways to listen inwardly together for divine guidance, a practice that holds great potential for supporting individuals of any faith in allowing the work of the Spirit to become manifest through them and their communities.
Our Life is Love: The Quaker Spiritual Journeydescribes the transformational spiritual journey of the first Quakers, who were inwardly guided by God to work and witness for radical changes in their society. Focusing on ten elements of the spiritual journey, this book is a guide to a Spirit-filled life, designed to be a resource for both individuals and groups to explore their spiritual experiences. It describes the journey of faithfulness that leads people to actively engage in God’s work of making this world a better place for all. Our Life is Love has been reviewed by Marty Grundy in Friends Journal, by Carole Spencer in Quaker Religious Thought, and by Stuart Masters on A Quaker Stew.
Fall 2021 online course with Marcelle Martin (now finished)
Exploring Spiritual Practices, a Fall 2021 online course co-sponsored by NEYM and Beacon Hill Friends House, Tuesdays starting Sept 7th
In this ten week online course led by Marcelle Martin, we’ll experiment with numerous approaches to meditation, prayer, and presence. Through these experiments, we’ll seek to know more fully the nature of consciousness, our true self, and our connection to God. We’ll explore how mindfulness, awareness, and communion with the Divine affects not only our inner and outer lives, but radiates beyond us into the world. We will learn which spiritual practices are most suited to each of us at this time. We will also explore how to make spiritual practices a more integrated part of our daily lives.
Our online class time will include brief presentations by Marcelle, experiencing different spiritual practices, sharing in pairs and groups, and class discussion. Most of all, it will involve experimenting with various forms of meditation, prayer, and presence. No particular beliefs in God or prayer are required, only a willingness to earnestly try different kinds of practices, notice what we experience, and listen respectfully to the experiences and beliefs shared by others.
Our basic text is Patricia Loring, Listening Spirituality, Volume I: Personal Spiritual Practices Among Friends (available in many meeting libraries and from QuakerBooks). We will also discuss the Pendle Hill pamphlet Holding One Another in the Light, by Marcelle Martin.
The Exploring Spiritual Practices course fulfills a requirement to apply for the 2022-2023 Nurturing Faithfulness course, which will be offered at Woolman Hill Retreat Center and online starting in September 2022. There are other ways to fulfill that same requirement, including a weekend retreat or other classes, programs of study, or equivalent experience of a variety of spiritual practices. For more information about the Nurturing Faithfulness program, go to: http://woolmanhill.org/upcomingprograms/nurturingfaithfulness/
Spiritual Practice Those who take the course are encouraged to make time for regular daily spiritual practice of twenty minutes or more. During this time, you might explore different practices each week. In addition, each person is encouraged to attend a meeting for worship each week (online or in person) and, as time allows, to visit other online or in-person opportunities for various kinds of spiritual practice.
Prayer Partners Course participants are encouraged to meet once a week outside of class with a small group or prayer partner (via telephone, Zoom, or in-person meetings arranged by you). This is a time to share with each other your experiences of trying out the forms of prayer taught in class, and a time to hold each other in the Light.
Reading Most weeks a chapter of the basic text will be given as homework to read in advance. For those with the time, ability, and desire to read more, supplemental texts will be suggested.
Loring, Patricia, Listening Spirituality, Vol I: Personal Spiritual Practices Among Friends.
Martin, Marcelle, Holding One Another in the Light, Pendle Hill pamphlet#385.
Journal Course participants are strongly encouraged to keep a journal. Queries are offered for reflection and journal writing during class and outside of class. The journal can be a good resource for your reflections at the end of the term.
Presentation During the final session,you will be invited to share a reflection about your experience and insights during the course. Some may choose an alternate way to share their reflections, such as artwork or short video.
Being Community to One Another The class will become a community in which we enter more deeply into relationship with the Divine through exploring meditation, prayer, and presence. Our ways of understanding and expressing what we experience will vary. We will support each other with deep, respectful listening, engaging in spiritual practices together, and holding one another in the Light.
Below is information about two books I’ve written about the spiritual life.
A Quaker writer, teacher, workshop leader, and spiritual director, I've traveled widely to facilitate workshops and retreats about the spiritual journey. I'm the author of Our Life is Love: The Quaker Spiritual Journey, and A Guide to Faithfulness Groups.
Marcelle Martin's book, Our Life is Love: The Quaker Spiritual Journey, explores ten elements of the spiritual experience of Quakers. It is a great resource for study groups to explore these elements of spiritual experience in our own lives. See the Publication page for more information. * * * * * * * *
Marcelle is available to lead workshops and retreats and to give talks. See the Teaching and Upcoming Workshops page.
Thanks Marcelle! Happy New Year!
You are welcome, Paul. So good to hear from you. Happy New Year to you from me and Terry!
Thanks, Marcelle, that was lovely hearing your voice leading me!
Judy Lumb Editor, Producciones de la Hamaca producciones-hamaca.com US: Apt 701, 218 E Trinity Place, Decatur GA USA 612-323-2635 Belize: Barranco Village, Toledo District, Belize, 600-4710
So glad you enjoyed it, Judy. Thanks for letting me know!
A beautiful and inspiring sharing, Marcelle. Many thanks! And much love and good wishes to you and Terry!
In the Light,
Thank you so much, Jane. Blessings to you and Wade for the new year!