Body Prayer in a Quiet Garden

Many Quiet Gardeners have found body prayer, alone or in a group, to be a wonderful way of deepening a sense of attentiveness to God, here and now. Here are two simple examples:

Walking Prayer

To ensure balance, look ahead of you at the ground, anywhere from just in front of your toes to about 4 feet ahead of you. Walk in a gentle but measured way in a straight line or a largish circle. Walk with a heel to toe movement, lifting the foot clear of the ground and allowing there to be a flowing movement forward from foot to foot. Any surface will do. Feel free to wear shoes or no shoes. It is lovely to be able to do this outside on grass or path. If doing walking prayer as a group, participants can either form into a circle, be in a straight line or in random formation, depending on the space available. Just ensure that there is enough space between you and your neighbour. If necessary, overtake quietly!

Breathing Prayer

“Pray without ceasing” (1 Thess, 5: 17). Prayer is as fundamental to the health of the soul and spirit as breath is to the life of the body. To breathe is to participate in an essential rhythm of life. If we weave prayer into our breathing we find ourselves more able to approach the mystery of unceasing prayer. This, is not a long list of prayers and petitions, it is a matter of placing our life, context and community into the mystery of God‟s love. Simply breathe quietly and prayerfully and be present to God and to your neighbour. We can receive God‟s blessing in our own being and then pass it on to those we meet and have concern for in our daily lives.

Philip Roderick, Director, The Quiet Garden Trust