The aim of this accessible work, according to Nicki Verploegen Vandergrift, director of spiritual and ministerial development at the Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is "to help us identify and consciously foster contemplative dispositions and actions that enhance our spiritual vitality in everyday life." The six disciplines that she recommends are allies in the cultivation of wonder and awe. They each contribute to the process of simplifying our lives and deepening our relationship to God as experienced through persons, events, and things.
The first is "slowing down," a process that is viewed as essential for spiritual maturation in all of the world's religions. Vandergrift also sees it as a valuable tool for abetting deeper reflection in our lives. The second, "sharing our stories" enables us to "participate in history and the transmission of faith to the next generation." Stillness, which she defines as "a holistic state of being," helps us block out all the noise and to discern what is essential. It also teaches us "to wait more gracefully." The last three disciplines for contemplative living are solitude, surrender, and solidarity. Each nurtures our intimacy with God and others.