Contemplative Practices – How to Connect to God through Mindless Activities

Our connecting with God and practicing ways to be contemplative aren’t limited to prayer, meditation and writing. While I promote prayer, meditation and journaling as powerful tools, there are many simple ways to feel the love and presence of God every day.  By incorporating mindfulness of the presence of God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, or all three, through simple acts we perform, we can bring a sense of peace, wholeness and clarity into our daily living. What do I mean?

Have you ever stopped to think of simple things you do – Preparing a meal, walking your dog, painting, gardening, cleaning your house or apartment, sitting in the presence of a loved one and not speaking, fishing – almost any kind of hobby?  All of these activities lend themselves to putting your whole heart into it. We may even call these activities “mindless”. What these actions represent are contemplative practices.

I put house cleaning on the list because it seems so odd, right?  Cleaning doesn’t require thought. It is in a moment like cleaning where you can focus thoughts on gratitude for having a place to call home. Or, you can focus on just the process of cleaning and caring for what you have.  Instead of focusing on cleaning as a chore, think of it as giving your home love and attention.  Many times the most recent music we are singing in choir pops into my head and I hum, sing or just hear the music. Cleaning doesn’t need to be mindless. It can be mindful.

Painting, gardening and cooking are great examples of how to practice contemplation. These simple activities can make us feel childlike as we get lost in the sheer joy of performing them.

If we are not careful, the demands of life will consume all of our time and energy. Not practicing simple contemplative activities such as these steals our joy and corrodes our connection to our Creator.

Stop and consider what simple, “mindless” activities can translate to adding “meaningful” peace and joy to your life. Or better yet, go do one of those activities right now.

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5 Responses to Contemplative Practices – How to Connect to God through Mindless Activities

  • Thank you for the lovely comment Lena. Good luck on the children! It’s amazing how you can change your thinking with a simple change in perspective. Who knew cleaning around the base of your toilet on your hands and knees could be a spiritual experience! LOL
    Peace and blessings,

  • Thank you for this beautiful perspective, Jackie! I need to try and instill this kind of thinking in my children when they are doing their chores as well!

  • yes that’s exactly the way I feel when doing housework, walking the dog but also dancing (I do tap dancing), I sing in my head the psalm about dancing like david to praise the Lord
    it’s a great feeling
    and you mention “childlike pleasures of housework”
    remember when you were a child helping mum with a toy kitchen appliance and you were dreaming about being big enough to use the real thing?
    the dream has come true!
    what a great way of seeing things

  • Hi Chris. Thank you for the nice note back. What a refreshing surprise to receive a “thoughtful” comment and not the regular spam that I find waiting for me. As you say in your bio, we have the choice to receive God’s grace. We live in a very fast-paced world and if we are not careful we will crowd out God’s grace in our lives. That’s why having a meditative heart is so important. Your comment has actually inspired me to write a new post. :)

    Blessings on you and on your work.

  • This is a nice note, Jackie. Like you, I’m a big proponent of Christian meditation , but if a meditative practice comes to limit the scope of our spiritual path it becomes a hindrance. Anyone who wishes to open themselves to embrace of our Father needs to include the perspective you outline here, as well.

    Thanks for the thoughts,

    Chris B

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