Cultivating a Prophetic and Contemplative Lifestyle
A five-week meditation training program based on Laudato Si'
*Special online course for GCCM Laudato Si Animators*
Cultivating a Prophetic and Contemplative Lifestyle:
A 5-Week Meditation Training Program Based on Laudato Si’
February 19-March 24, 2018
“Inner peace is closely related to care for ecology and for the common good because, lived out authentically, it is reflected in a balanced lifestyle together with a capacity for wonder which takes us to a deeper understanding of life.” (Laudato Si’, 225)
This Lent, we invite you to take a journey into the spirituality of Laudato Si’. This new online course is designed to help you cultivate a “prophetic and contemplative lifestyle” (LS, 222) through meditation and compassionate ecological action.
This is a special pilot course for Laudato Si Animators. There are 2 options for taking the course: 1) as part of a cohort of other Laudato Si’ Animators from around the world, or 2) simply take the course individually at your own pace.
In his encyclical Laudato Si’: On Care for our Common Home, Pope Francis says that to address our current ecological crisis a change in our attitude of hearts is needed. He connects the destruction of creation to our vast “interior deserts” that lead to frenetic activity, busyness, and overconsumption. Instead, he says, “Christian spirituality proposes an alternative understanding of the quality of life, and encourages a prophetic and contemplative lifestyle.” (LS, 222)
To cultivate a “prophetic and contemplative lifestyle” requires the capacity to listen to the voice of God in the stillness and to “hear the cry of the earth and the poor” in our hearts and minds. Meditation cultivates that capacity to listen and be present to God, self, and others. From and in this interior space we can “return to that simplicity which allows us to stop and appreciate the small things” (LS, 222) and engage in transformative work on behalf of creation and all its inhabitants.
The program will be framed within the spirituality of Laudato Si’. Participants will be introduced to meditation and a variety of contemplative practices as a way of prayer and the Christian commitment to be prophetic in caring for creation and our brothers and sisters. Mindfulness and meditation will be taught as one side of the coin of contemplation and action so that as “Saint Bonaventure teaches us … ‘contemplation deepens the more we feel the working of God’s grace within our hearts, and the better we learn to encounter God in creatures outside ourselves.’” (LS, 233)
In the course, participants will:
- Develop a daily meditation practice
- Gain the skills to develop more awareness of God’s presence in creation, in daily life, and their relationships with others
- Cultivate gratitude for God’s gift of creation in daily life
- Engage in compassionate ecological action
The course is based on an online curriculum structured into 5 weeks of lessons. Each week includes:
- Guided instruction in formal meditation and other contemplative practices
- Prompts for journaling and self-reflection
- Homework, consisting of both a formal meditation practice and “informal” practice in the context of ecological conversion
- Resources for bringing contemplation into action, including guided meditations
- A special live meeting will be held during the week of March 19th (date TBD), inviting all course participants (regardless of whether they are part of a discussion group) to celebrate and conclude the good work done in this course
Technical Requirements: The course curriculum can be accessed using any web browser. Live discussion groups will meet over the Zoom video conferencing platform. Participation in these live meetings requires a computer/device with broadband internet access and a camera/microphone. See this page for information about how to install Zoom.
Fee: There is no fee for the program, but participants are invited to make a donation at the end of the course.
Participants: This is a course exclusive to current GCCM Laudato Si Animators. A pre-course and post-course survey will be sent out to all participants to help in the development of the course.
This program was made possible through the support of:
The following individuals have developed the content for the course and will also be the facilitators for the two cohorts.
Christina Leaño has been exploring the intersection of spirituality and social justice for the past 20 years. For the past 10 years, Christina has been offering spiritual programs, retreats, and guidance to diverse audiences. Her spirituality is rooted in her Catholic faith, Buddhist practice, and love of nature and life. She began Zen meditation in 1998 and has spent many hours since on the meditation cushion in places like Spirit Rock Meditation Center, Insight Meditation Society, and Redwoods Monastery, where she lived as a cloistered Catholic nun for almost 3 years. Christina completed the MBSR Teacher Training Intensive through the UCSD Mindfulness-Based Professional Training Institute. She holds a BA from Yale University and an MA from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA. Christina serves as Associate Director at the Global Catholic Climate Movement.
Jason Oxley has been practicing meditation and contemplative ways of prayer for over 10 years. He was first introduced to mindfulness and meditation in the Buddhist tradition and has gone on to study and practice in a variety of contexts, including intensive retreats in India and Thailand. He is currently completing an MTS at the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry with a focus on Spirituality. Jason is Intern of Eco-Spirituality Programs at the Global Catholic Climate Movement.
StartWelcome to the Course! (0:56)
StartEngaging with the Course Material
StartWhat is a prophetic and contemplative lifestyle? (13:30)
StartSome Meditation Tips
StartSetting Your Intention
StartMeditation on the Four Elements
StartMeditation with Nature