This week I share with you thoughts from Richard Rohr. In his reflections this past week, he continued to challenge me in contemplative thoughts and practices. I hope in reading this, that you too are reminded and/or challenged to embody this way of life. Peace be with you.
Because the rubber of transformation meets the road in practice, in actual encounters with real life, I continue to encourage you to try something new: change sides, move outside your comfort zone, make some new contacts, let go of your usual role and attractive self-image, walk or take a bus instead of drive, make a friend from another race or class, visit new neighborhoods, go to the jail or to the border, attend another church service, etc. Without new experiences, new thinking is difficult and rare. After a new experience, new thinking and behavior comes naturally and even becomes necessary. 
Today's practice, Eating One Raisin, encourages us to do something we have probably done hundreds of times but in a new way. It comes from The Mindful Way Through Depression:
Mindfulness is not paying more attention but paying attention differently and more wisely—with the whole mind and heart, using the full resources of the body and its senses.
Holding First, take a [single] raisin and hold it in the palm of your hand or between your finger and thumb. Focusing on it, imagine that you’ve . . . never seen an object like this before in your life.
Seeing Take time to really see it; gaze at the raisin with care and full attention. Let your eyes explore every part of it, examining the highlights where the light shines, the darker hollows, the folds and ridges, and any asymmetries or unique features.
Turn the raisin over between your fingers, exploring its texture, maybe with your eyes closed if that enhances your sense of touch.
Holding the raisin beneath your nose, with each inhalation drink in any smell, aroma, or fragrance that may arise, noticing as you do this anything interesting that may be happening in your mouth or stomach.
Now slowly bring the raisin up to your lips, noticing how your hand and arm know exactly how and where to position it. Gently place the object in the mouth, without chewing, noticing how it gets into the mouth in the first place. Spend a few moments exploring the sensations of having it in your mouth, exploring it with your tongue.
When you are ready, prepare to chew the raisin, noticing how and where it needs to be for chewing. Then, very consciously, take one or two bites into it and notice what happens in the aftermath, experiencing any waves of taste that emanate from it as you continue chewing. Without swallowing yet, notice the bare sensations of taste and texture in the mouth and how these may change over time, moment by moment, as well as any changes in the object itself.
When you feel ready to swallow the raisin, see if you can first detect the intention to swallow as it comes up, so that even this is experienced consciously before you actually swallow the raisin.
Finally, see if you can feel what is left of the raisin moving down into your stomach, and sense how the body as a whole is feeling after completing this exercise in mindful eating.
Isaiah 55:8, ""For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD."
Abundantly With Love,