Discussion Questions, Storytelling, Sharing

  • During a visit with a friend, act as if it is to be your last meeting. See how this awareness affects the quality of your presence. Before parting, or soon afterwards, review this aspect of your encounter. Did your friend notice anything unusual about it? Talk about what you can do to bring the same quality of experience to all your meetings.
  • At the next gathering of your group, try just being together for one hour. Don't worry about saying anything or doing anything in particular (including keeping silent). See what happens.
  • Go around the circle and each make a "now" statement. Talk about something you are dealing with today. Avoid the temptation to explain how you got into this situation with a story about your childhood or what you have learned from experience (in the past). Don't talk about what you would like to see happen next or predict an outcome (in the future).

Imagery Exercise

African-American spirituals often testify to the palpable presence of God in daily life. Some images from those songs are used in the following exercise.

Breathe out three times. Sense and see the precious Lord's hands taking your hand. Know that God is holding you and the whole world in his hands.

Breathe out three times. Sense God at your hands. Sense God at your feet. Sense God's presence all around you. Sense God's light shining through you. Let your light shine. Then open your eyes.

Journal Exercises

  • Do a here-and-now exercise. Record in your journal what you are experiencing at this very moment: what you are seeing, smelling, hearing — the reports of your senses — as well as how you are feeling — an emotional reaction. You might do this through writing a description, making a list of impressions, or drawing a sketch.
  • Free intuitive writing puts you in touch with the present, often on a very deep level. To try it, open your journal to a blank page; relax and clear your mind. Then write or draw whatever comes to you, even it doesn't seem to make any sense. Some people find that writing very fast, using their nondominant hand, or writing without looking at the page releases this kind of spontaneous thought.