The following is an adapted and expanded version of the Examen prayer, using gentle arm movements to access the wisdom of the body and felt sensations. [It is] a gentle way of being present to the body's knowing in a time of uncertainty:


You may do this prayer sitting, standing, or entirely in your imagination.
Begin by moving your attention inward.
Center yourself by getting in touch with your body and breath.
Become aware of the presence of God within the earth of your heart.
Listen deeply to your body and its messages.

Reaching both arms down:

Become aware of your connection to the earth and its support beneath you.
What do you need to ground you and bring your awareness to the present moment?
What concerns keep you from being fully here?
Can you allow God to hold them for this time?
What is awakening in the ground of your being?

Reaching back behind you with right arm:

Looking back on this last month, what was most life-giving for you?
Where did you feel most filled with love? Hope?
Take a few moments to experience this in your body.
How does revisiting this moment feel for you?
Where do you experience a quickening?
Is there anyone you want to thank for this memory?
Spend a few moments dwelling in gratitude.

Bring your right arm back along your side.
Reaching back behind you with left arm:

What in this last month was most life-draining for you?
Where did you feel most restless? The least hopeful?
How does revisiting this moment feel for you in your body?
Take a few moments to experience this.
Is there anyone to whom you want to offer forgiveness for this experience?
Spend a few moments seeing if you are moved to extend forgiveness.

Bring your left arm back along your side.

Reaching both arms forward:

Holding a heart of gratitude and forgiveness, how do you want to move forward?
What are your hopes? How are you being invited to follow the Spirit now?
How do you nurture the new seeds of life stirring within you?

Reaching both arms upward:

What guidance do you need to support you?
What do you want to ask for to help you move more fully into your hopes for the day?
How might you call on God for this guidance?

Reaching inward:

Bringing your hands to prayer position or leaving them open in a receiving posture, what new things do you notice now stirring within you?
What is awakening within you?
What desires and insights invite further reflection?
What new questions do you bring to your discernment process?

Christine Valters Paintner in Awakening the Creative Spirit by Betsey Beckman, Christine Valters Paintner