Praying with Flowing Water

• "Keep a bowl of water or a shell on your altar to remember the element of water in your prayer. Anne Morrow Lindbergh in her book Gift from the Sea contemplates a shell and asks, 'What is the shape of my life?' Take a walk along the beach and look for a shell that captures your attention; ask what its shape might be telling you about your life.

• "Spend some time by the sea, paying attention to the rise and fall of the tides. Honor what is rising and falling within you. Listen to what the sound of the waves evokes within you. Take time to free-write in a journal in response. . . .

• "Take a retreat for at least a couple of days where your only task is to listen to the rhythms of your own body. Notice when you are hungry, when you want to sleep, when you want to go for a walk, when you long for sitting in stillness. See if you can follow your instinct and intuition, and notice what you discover about yourself and your own rising and falling.

• "At dusk offer a prayer for the time of transition from day to night, from light to dark. Stand facing the west in honor of the setting sun, and embrace the awareness that you have your own limits, that each day of life reflects the rising and falling of the tides and of your own breath, and that one day there will be that last fall into death.

• "Spend time at the rich shoreline where water and earth meet, exploring tidal pools, and reflecting on the in-between spaces of your own life."

Praying with Healing Water

• "Begin your time of prayer by finding your pulse and reflecting on the life-giving blood and water being pumped through your system. You might try practicing centering prayer by using this image of water surging through your body like a fountain as the anchor that keeps your attention on God.

• "Spend some time by a fountain, listening to the flow of the water and contemplating its invitation for your own life. Pay attention to those places where water wants to surge up and offer its refreshment. Make note of the streams, rivers, and other water sources near you as places for prayer.

• "Reflect on the holy wells and oases in your life. What are those experiences and people who bring you a sense of renewal? How might you express thanks for these and cultivate their presence in your daily life?"