Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Books shaping who I am these days

There is no particular order to review here - though a few down the list were exceptionally great - one reshaped the way I think about my life and several others . . . well, they did too! ha!

An intriguing thinker, ahead of his time. A larger review of this intriguing book ends with this: “Trump and his fellow populists claim that America’s elites have been corrupted beyond the point of saving: they promise not to turn them towards the true and the good, but instead to destroy them. In the context of this right-wing fury, Bloom’s attacks on the university may seem to only reinforce what has by now become a widespread anti-intellectualism. If the university campus is nothing more than an island of philosophy surrounded by the vulgar masses, an elite playground for “useless” learning, right-wing populists might have a legitimate case for dismantling it. But in the age of Trump, Bloom’s suggestion that elite education has a role to play in saving democracy from itself may nonetheless be worth returning to.”  

In the spirit of the preceding book by Bloom, though with varied perspectives about elementary and secondary education, Gatto offers a critique of the educational system that causes us to “churn out” “automatons” (my words) more than creative, thinking, ingenious young persons.

I learned some new ways to think about Buddhism and Buddhist thinking.

One of several books I’ve needed to read to better understand perspectives of women and persons of color.  Her TEDx talk is great. She’s published other books that are on my radar!

This book was actually a bit difficult to read - though it was a wonderful “meanderinga” and yet deeply connected journey on how words work!  Imagine sentence after sentence making connections to one another based on the “word plays” available in language - that was this book.  Delightful for anyone who loves words!

A former student recommended this book and I’m so glad he did.  Imagine an exploration through every possible interpretation and possible way of viewing Abraham and Sarah in relationship to their son Isaac.  Not so much a piece of exegetical or Biblical inquiry - though rooted in that - and more an exploration of the history of interpretation.  Several new ways to think about the characters and story that helped me rethink what I might know about these persons and these stories from Genesis.

The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down: How to Be Calm and Mindful in a Fast-Paced World by Haemin Sunim.  Click through to the Amazon link and read the reviews and comments. The book does exactly what it claims to do in it’s title.  Here’s a single review from Amazon. “A remarkable guide to how to live a life of unpretentious authenticity and compassionate engagement. In Haemin Sunim’s brief essays and aphorisms, the insights of Buddhism have fully become the stuff of life itself.” —Robert Buswell, Director of Buddhist Studies, UCLA”

The Book of Hygge: The Danish Art of Contentment, Comfort, and Connection by Louisa Thomsen Brits.  This was one of the most influential books I read in 2017 - and I think about it nearly everyday.  Since nearly every book I post about on this blog is a book I check out from the library - it is a significant commentary to say that I bought a copy of this book on Hygge for my wife, for several friends, and I downloaded an album that I listen to every other day or so since reading this book.  That Album is here.  I read this back in November of 2017 - and just realized as I commented on the book by Sunim, that I never commented on this book by Brits.  I probably never noted it - as I was too busy sending emails about it.  This book has helped me to think about new ways that I wish to live my life.  I loved it.  It is likely one of few that will have reshaped the way I think about living/being in the world. I recommend the audio of this book over the print edition - mainly to capture nuance and speed of the reading from the author.

The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why it Matters by Thomas M. Nichols.  Along with other books I’ve read about education and the University and the way we think - and how our social norms are shifting about how we think . . . this book was intriguing.  From the book’s cover: “As Tom Nichols shows in The Death of Expertise, this rejection of experts has occurred for many reasons, including the openness of the internet, the emergence of a customer satisfaction model in higher education, and the transformation of the news industry into a 24-hour entertainment machine. Paradoxically, the increasingly democratic dissemination of information, rather than producing an educated public, has instead created an army of ill-informed and angry citizens who denounce intellectual achievement.  Nichols has deeper concerns than the current rejection of expertise and learning, noting that when ordinary citizens believe that no one knows more than anyone else, democratic institutions themselves are in danger of falling either to populism or to technocracy-or in the worst case, a combination of both. The Death of Expertise is not only an exploration of a dangerous phenomenon but also a warning about the stability and survival of modern democracy in the Information Age.”

Storm in a Teacup: The Physics of Everyday Life by Helen Czerski.  I loved this book.  I grew up in the home of a science teacher who lived what he taught. When I was in high school I excelled in Science classes and thought I would move into a field of Chemistry or Physics.  This book explains the intricacies of the mysteries/physics of “mundane” things - in a way that “opens the veil” to let us see the micro and macro level issues moving and shaping the world around us.  I’ll re-read this book.

A Path Appears: Transforming Lives, Creating Opportunity by Nicholas Kristof & Sheryl WuDunn.  I’ve had to check this book out twice and, in truth, have not yet finished every chapter and story. A testimony to the fact that we - and those around us - can make a difference in the world - for the good!  From the cover: “With scrupulous research and on-the-ground reporting, Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn explore how altruism affects us, what are the markers for success, and how to avoid the pitfalls. In their recounting of astonishing stories from the front lines of social progress, we see the compelling, inspiring truth of how real people have changed the world, underscoring that one person can make a difference.”

You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit by James K. A. Smith.  I’ve read much of what Jamie has published since . . . about 2005 or so. Though - not all of it. The man is seriously the smartest and most kind person I have ever met.  I am not kidding.  Read it simply because he is a GREAT human - and brilliant.  And, read everything he’s published.

Reality is not what it seems: the journey to quantum gravity by Carlo Rovelli.  This book was akin to the Storm in a Teacup, though not as “everyday” and “ordinary” in its presentation.  A fuller review of Carlo’s work is here.  Physics - it’s minuscule issues of finiteness - and it’s largeness of infiniteness - amaze me.  A review from online about this book: “Some physicists, mind you, not many of them, are physicist-poets. They see the world or, more adequately, physical reality, as a lyrical narrative written in some hidden code that the human mind can decipher. Carlo Rovelli, the Italian physicist and author, is one of them…Rovelli's book is a gem. It's a pleasure to read, full of wonderful analogies and imagery and, last but not least, a celebration of the human spirit.”—NPR Cosmos & Culture”   Or, this great line in a review of the book: “this book by Rovelli will not fit easily into a pocket, but its lapidary integration of science and literature is a marvel.”  

Defining Moments in Black History: Reading Between the Lies by Dick Gregory. I have no recollection of knowing Dick Gregory before reading this book - though he has stood alongside and been in the lives of “every” important American Black person in the past few decades (or so he narrates.)  From his perspectives in entertainment and music industry - and justice work among Blacks, writing as a Black person - he was able to say things I had not heard and I was able to discern new vistas of Black experience I had not yet encountered or understood.  I met new characters and came away with new ideas. This is a book I plan to re-read.  And, I enjoyed the audiobook version as the author reads in his voice, with his pace, with his emphasis.  Read the publisher’s full book description for more.  A good, good read. 

No Logo: 10th Anniversary Edition with a New Introduction by Naomi Klein.  I had not read Klein . . . that I know of.  And yet, it seems apparent to me that she has shaped culture (and/or persons I’ve read elsewhere) as she critique(d)(s) Capitalism, Branding, Clothing(Mall) Industry and more.  From another reviewer: “In No Logo, Klein patiently demonstrates, step by step, how brands have become ubiquitous, not just in media and on the street but increasingly in the schools as well. (The controversy over advertiser-sponsored Channel One may be old hat, but many readers will be surprised to learn about ads in school lavatories and exclusive concessions in school cafeterias.) The global companies claim to support diversity, but their version of "corporate multiculturalism" is merely intended to create more buying options for consumers. When Klein talks about how easy it is for retailers like Wal-Mart and Blockbuster to "censor" the contents of videotapes and albums, she also considers the role corporate conglomeration plays in the process. How much would one expect Paramount Pictures, for example, to protest against Blockbuster's policies, given that they're both divisions of Viacom? Klein also looks at the workers who keep these companies running, most of whom never share in any of the great rewards. The president of Borders, when asked whether the bookstore chain could pay its clerks a "living wage," wrote that "while the concept is romantically appealing, it ignores the practicalities and realities of our business environment." Those clerks should probably just be grateful they're not stuck in an Asian sweatshop, making pennies an hour to produce Nike sneakers or other must-have fashion items. Klein also discusses at some length the tactic of hiring "permatemps" who can do most of the work and receive few, if any, benefits like health care, paid vacations, or stock options. While many workers are glad to be part of the "Free Agent Nation," observers note that, particularly in the high-tech industry, such policies make it increasingly difficult to organize workers and advocate for change.”

World Without Mind: The Existential Threat of Big Tech by Franklin Foer.  I audio read this book while I was traveling - and I found that I was distracted by issues (traffic on the roads!) and missed out on entire sections in my ability to track to entire argument of the book.  I was fascinated by what Foer argues for and I do want to come back to better understand. In its essence, we are leaving ourselves subject to be manipulated by the forces of data and AI in ways that 99.999% of us don’t think about - and perhaps in ways that we do not want . . . and yet we give our data to AI and it now shapes what we see and who we become!  From the publisher: “Elegantly tracing the intellectual history of computer science—from Descartes and the enlightenment to Alan Turing to Stuart Brand and the hippie origins of today's Silicon Valley—Foer exposes the dark underpinnings of our most idealistic dreams for technology. The corporate ambitions of Google, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon, he argues, are trampling longstanding liberal values, especially intellectual property and privacy. This is a nascent stage in the total automation and homogenization of social, political, and intellectual life. By reclaiming our private authority over how we intellectually engage with the world, we have the power to stem the tide. At stake is nothing less than who we are, and what we will become.”

Saturday, January 06, 2018

Starting into 2018 - All GREAT reads.

I've been "on retreat" and had time to get through several books in just a few days into 2018.

And some good ones! SOLIDLY good reads here!

These first that I'll cite, I think speak to who I am - I value productivity, peacemaking, understanding cultures and history (historical trauma), travel (and hiking/biking/outdoorsmanship) psychology and biology/ecology.  (Of course, religion(s) - too).

The National Parks: America's Best Idea.  So much to celebrate in this book.  I learned about many characters and bits of history from the parks that I simply was unaware of.  I gained a greater appreciation for the MANY persons and unique events that shaped the National Parks.  I learned about saving ruins, rivers, and wildlife.  Crater Lake, which I've visited from my childhood, had so much history alone - let alone so many other parks.  I was intrigued by how histories of indigenous persons (Native Americans) shaped what we know of these places - and how we pushed them out! :-(   I am so thankful for the many persons (many more than John Muir) worked to save these natural places - including private contributions.  I did not know that the Rockefellers were invested in many contributions of cash and land.  And I learned more about how Congress and Presidents were involved in various decades from the mid 1800s to the late 1900s . . . and individual contributions from persons, literally, their pennies and nickels!  A single quote from the book: Terry Tempest Williams "Our national parks are not only our best idea, but our highest ideal. I think that every time we walk into a national park, we make vows. We make vows that we will live beyond ourselves. We make vows that we will not just care about short-term gains but long-term vistas."

Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy Hardcover by Adam Grant and Sheryl Sandberg  This was a great book.  I did not like that Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook "fame" gets so much credit - and the name dropping to Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg and others.  BUT, Adam Grant was clearly behind the data in the book - and Sheryl's personal story of loss was a frame to work around, so it worked.  [ I think I just despise that it takes someone "famous" to be on a book to get the book read by others, when the content of the book itself was so good. ] This would be a single solid "Go-To" resource for the themes in it's subtitle - facing adversity, building resilience, and finding joy.  A few take-aways:  Martin Seligman's idea on personalization, pervasiveness, and permanence.  Adam Grand and his colleague Jane Dunton finding that counting our blessings doesn't boost us, but counting our contributions can.  Adam's student, Joe's discovery on finding personal strength, gaining appreciation, forming deeper relationships, discovering more meaning in life, and seeing new possibilities.  "I am more vulnerable than I thought, but much stronger than I ever imagined."  The significance of Gratitude Afterglow - writing thank you notes.  Denmark having "klossen time" and learning how to "matter."  "Companioning" with grief.  Research on Nostalgia - return to pain.  Reflecting on an event helps persons to focus in the future.  Finding strength together - working in mutuality.  This quote from MLK, Jr. " “It really boils down to this: that all life is interrelated. We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied together into a single garment of destiny.  Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. We are made to live together because of the interrelated structure of reality . . . Before you finish eating breakfast in the morning, you’ve depended on more than half the world. This is the way our universe is structured, this is its interrelated quality. We aren’t going to have peace on Earth until we recognize the basic fact of the interrelated structure of all reality.”" "Grounded Hope" in the study of Psychology.  "Moral Elevation" in psychology.  Creating a culture to acknowledge our biggest regrets - being about failures to act, not failures of action!  You regret the things you don't do, not the things you do.   A ton in this book!  Adam did a great job.

The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History.  I learned a ton from this book - and it did an excellent job of weaving together histories of humans (and other living things), ecology, biology, grand epochs of history.  It was great. I learned about people who shaped our history  - from Darwin to many others, like Georges Cuvier and Baptiste Lemarck. The first experiences of earthquakes leading to ideas about plate tectonics and Pangaea (some of which I knew, but much that I learned about in new ways.)  [ I did not know that penguins name may etymologically be tied to the Latin for "fat"! ha! ]  We all survived from the impact after an asteroid hit the earth. (Again, I knew about this, but learned so much more in this book.)  "On the perception of incongruity:  A paradigm"  (Google it.  Again, I knew about it . . . but learned so much more.)   "Long periods of boredom interrupted occasionally by panic" - what frames our lived reality.   "Camels often sit down carefully - perhaps their joints creak? Early oiling might prevent permanent rheumatism." (Google it, ha! ). While I knew about the Anthropocene ideas, again I learned so much.  Ocean acidification and coral reefs.  Darwin's Paradox.  The efforts at Biosphere 2, a test pilot on living sustainably in a concealed living pod.  Forest in motion - and woodstocks defecating on their legs to cool off.  Sea levels dropping by 300 feet!!  300 feet!  Thermotolerance.  The Biological Dynamics of Forest Fragments Project in Brazil. One person knowing every type of bird in the Amazon based on their calls.  The numbers of extinction. Bats and fungi.  Butterflies evolving to feed on bird feces derived from ants.  Invasive species - global diversity and local diversity making us reform the world back to a kind of Pangaea.  It's not clear that man really lived in harmony with the world - though - can we change our future now.  People holding books as persons who destroy the world like those with AK47s or chainsaws.  "In life, as in mutual funds, past performance is no guarantee of future results." Right now - in the amazing moment that to us counts as the present - we are deciding to, without really meaning to, which evolutionary pathways will remain open and which will forever be closed.  No other creature has ever managed this.  And it will be, unfortunately, be our most enduring legacy."  There was so much in this book!  

Help Me to Find My People: The African American Search for Family Lost in Slavery (The John Hope Franklin Series in African American History and Culture)by Heather Andrea Williams.  Such a great book.  It made me weep for how white people displaced Africans, who can truly never find their origins.  I was caught up in stories of dislocation of families - children from their mothers (primarily) and husbands and wives who were controlled by the white men who didn't properly let them marry.  I was beset in new ways with trying to discern how slavery took place for more than 250 years in the America's - by persons who practiced their version of their understanding of Christianity, while beating and separating human persons because they had different skin colour and were perceived as not human.  Legislatures in slave states regulating so many things about what slaves could and could not do. The pathos of loss.  "Disenfranchised Grief."  I'd read about Historical Trauma with indigenous persons - but this book helped me think about this differently with slaves in America.  Bidding on persons . . . I just don't get it.  "Ambiguous loss" in psychology worse than certainty of death.  "Genealogies of separation."  I did not know that "Oh Susanna, oh don't you cry for me" was a slave son.  I want to read more on Historical Trauma - and this book helped me.  Though, this was more on blacks/slaves than Native American Indians (the first Americans!).

Mindshift: Break Through Obstacles to Learning and Discover Your Hidden Potentialby Barbara Oakley.  Many great bits in this book - though I think I agree with this Amazon review: "I bought this book because I had previously read Oakley's "A Mind For Numbers" (AMFN) and absolutely loved it. This book is her second and it is weak compared to AMFN. This book is chock full of anecdotes. Long, repetitive anecdotes. AMFN is succinct and full of very constructive steps. Mindshift has very few useful nuggets. It is more like a cheerleader urging you on to make changes. Buy "A Mind For Numbers" and borrow this one from the library if you must read it."  If you need a good cheer leading - read this book though.  Here is a summary of the book, again, from an Amazon review - and on point:  "** Broaden Your Passion >>“What could you do or be if you decided to instead broaden your passion and tried to accomplish something that demanded the most from you? What skills and knowledge could you bring with you from your past that could serve you as you really challenge yourself?” ** Taking Active Steps >> “What mindshift are you trying to accomplish? What thoughts are keeping you stuck? Do you tell yourself that you are too old to make a career change?” **Considering What Underpins Your Mindshift >> “Should the reality of the working world be a factor in your mindshift? If so, how strongly? Do you have a weakness you can change into a strength?"

I was privileged to spend several days with Oklahoma indigenous persons in the Fall of 2017, from Choctaw, Arapahoe, and Potawatomi tribes.  I was entranced by their perspectives and views of life. So thankful for what I learned and I plan to learn more from and with these people personally in 2018. And, this book helped me, too.  Black Elk Speaks: Being the Life Story of a Holy Man of the Oglala Sioux by John G. Neihardt.  Weaving autobiography and narratives history - and stories of dreams and insight from "the Grandfathers" - the book gives unique perspective into the worldview of Black Elk as a person.  From the book's cover:  "Black Elk Speaks is widely hailed as a religious classic, one of the best spiritual books of the modern era and the bestselling book of all time by an American Indian. This inspirational and unfailingly powerful story reveals the life and visions of the Lakota healer Nicholas Black Elk (1863-1950) and the tragic history of his Sioux people during the epic closing decades of the Old West. In 1930, the aging Black Elk met a kindred spirit, the famed poet, writer, and critic John G. Neihardt (1881-1973) on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. The Lakota elder chose Neihardt to share his visions and life with the world. Neihardt understood and today Black Elk is known to all. Black Elk's remarkable great vision came to him during a time of decimation and loss, when outsiders were stealing the Lakotas' land, slaughtering buffalo, and threatening their age-old way of life. As Black Elk remembers all too well, the Lakotas, led by such legendary men as Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull, fought unceasingly for their freedom, winning a world-renowned victory at the Little Bighorn and suffering unspeakable losses at Wounded Knee. Black Elk Speaks however is more than the epic history of a valiant Native nation. It is beloved as a spiritual classic because of John Neihardt's sensitivity to Black Elk's resounding vision of the wholeness of earth, her creatures, and all of humanity. Black Elk Speaks is a once-in-a-lifetime read: the moving story of a young Lakota boy before the reservation years, the unforgettable history of an American Indian nation, and an enduring spiritual message for us all."

End of 2017 reading

Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire, a 500 year history.  I found this book to be intriguing in many ways.  I learned a ton.  I'd never taken the time to consider how various stages of religious "fanatics" or "zealots" have shaped curious idiosyncrasies in America. And how the "stage" and the "side show" from Ringling Brothers and Circus and Buffalo Bill's Wild West shaped perceptions of American idea(l)s.  It was one of the best books I read in 2017 - and the best at the end of the year!

Optimal Thinking: How to be Your Best Self.  Nothing new here.  Mostly a waste of time for me - though, perhaps new for other readers who don't read in the either popular or academic psychology.  Not one I'd recommend.

Love Is the Best Medicine: What Two Dogs Taught One Veterinarian about Hope, Humility and Everyday Miracles.  A fine audio-read while I was in airports and on flights.  Nothing remarkable.  I was captured by the sub-title - and some of the story telling was good - and a few stories touching.  Nothing profound.  The James Herriot books shaped my childhood reading - and I hoped this would be on par.  In fact, I need to get back to read some James Herriot.  I'll do that in 2018!

Run with Horses: The Quest for Life at Its Best - by Eugene H. Peterson.  Peterson is huge in the Christian world of books.  I value his Bible translation and him.  Much of his work though simply does not captivate me, as this did not.  I think it's because I know too much of the back story in Biblical studies that he slowly sets up . . . and I find myself bored.  Others love him! I note on Amazon (as I post this today) - his book has 5 stars - RARE for anything on Amazon.  I just don't read this as a 5 star, though again, I think that involves his style and what I bring to the task of reading.

Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph.  I'll copy and paste the brief on the book from Amazon here.  It accurately states what the book encompasses.  I'm not "sold" on American Values being the only way - with my Christocentric ideas and framework around which I view the Kingdom of God (Priestly Kingdom/Holy Nation) of OT and NT biblical ideas.  I do agree with much of what Prager shares - though I think he oversimplifies the issues and fails to tie in greater potential for monotheistic issues and/or other religious influence simply not considered in his thesis.  From the publisher: "Dennis Prager contends that humanity confronts a monumental choice. The whole world must choose between American values and two oppositional alternatives: fundamentalist Islam and European-style democratic socialism. In this visionary book, Prager makes the case for the American values system as the most viable program ever devised to produce a good society. Still the Best Hope deals with three major themes, each vital to America's future. The first is perhaps the most persuasive explanation for why Leftism has been and will always be a moral failure, despite its appeal to many people of goodwill. The second explains why fundamentalist Islam also cannot make a good society—though Prager holds out hope for an open and tolerant Islam. The third is a persuasive defense of what Prager calls the "American Trinity": liberty, values rooted in the Creator, and the melting-pot ideal."

Sunday, December 03, 2017

A Better Way to "Just Google It" - Refining Your Internet Search

Good internet research is easy. Sadly, most persons "just go to the first link."

This 17 minute video gives simple tools for better research even on the "first links" that you will find.

I guarantee you'll learn several immediate tools that will save you many hours of future research.

In addition to saving you time, you'll find better sources for better content for your future academic or business needs.

Link to Video:  "Better Google Search Tutorial"

Monday, October 30, 2017

Exegetical Work - The Spirit of God at Work & Contemplation

In BLT2163: Methods in Biblical Study - we spend most of the semester focused on "read, research, repeat" as a frame within which I present the various critical methodologies for engaging the Bible within the academic context.  I teach learners to read the Biblical text closely and carefully.  I introduce them to places (in libraries, commentaries, dictionaries, journals, articles, word-studies) to engage critical research, and then I tell them to repeat this process - over and over again.  (Here's a video of my method summarized!)

I make clear that *this* course is not focused on spiritual readings of the Bible nor contemplative discernment (in some ways) - and - I make clear that exegesis is not proclamation (preaching) even while our hermeneutics contributes to our homiletics.

About 2/3rds of the way through the semester, with the critical methods and "tasks" for reading and research in place, I begin to do more work in exploring the dynamics and "fun" of what good exegesis produces when we read Scripture well.

Today I spent time using the Ignatian method of contemplative prayer as an invitation for learners to "imagine themselves" in the setting of the Biblical passage they are exploring.  While not a "critical methodology," it does "expand" the way we can ponder "the world" of the story - and who/how/persons interact.  And this is critical to our discerning care! :-)

I shared with them a phrase I picked up from a Presbyterian pastor I engage from his podcasts, Kirk Winslow with Jesus@2AM.  He says something close to this which I share with my learners. 

"May the Spirit who was present at the writing of Scripture be present at its interpretation."

A great phrase.

For more on praying or reading with the "method" of Ignatius - do some research, though here is one simple frame copied from Felix Just, S.J., Ph.D.

Ignatian Contemplation – The Process:

This method is especially appropriate for scenes from the Gospels, but also possible with other biblical narratives.
  1. Begin: consider how God looks upon you and loves you; become aware of being in God’s presence;
    stand for a moment, bow if you wish, then be seated comfortably for your time of prayer
  2. Preparatory Prayer: offer to God all your will and actions, especially in this time of prayer;
    ask God for a specific grace that you need and desire right now (peace, consolation, hope, etc.).
  3. Contemplate the Biblical Story that you have selected:
    • Read the text slowly and carefully; recall what it is about; then let it come alive for you!
    • Place yourself inside the story, using your imagination; become one of the characters in the scene.
    • Participate in the dynamics of the scene, dialoguing & interacting with Jesus and other characters.
    • Observe what is going on around you in the scene: What do you see, hear, feel, smell, taste, touch?
    • Dialogue with the other characters: What do they say or ask you? What do you say or ask them in reply?
    • Notice what is going on inside you as you pray: joy, sorrow, peace, confusion, love, anger, etc.
    • If you get distracted or your mind wanders, gently return to the biblical text and re-enter the scene.
  4. Colloquy: enter into a short personal conversation with Jesus (or God the Father, or the Holy Spirit); speak heart-to-heart, as if conversing with a close friend.
  5. Closing Prayer: conclude by praying the Our Father, Hail Mary, or another familiar/favorite prayer;
    you might stand, kneel, bow, raise your hands, or adopt another posture to mark the end of your prayer.
Afterward, briefly review what you experienced during this time of prayer (maybe journal about what happened),
and look forward to your next prayerful encounter with God (when? where? which biblical text will you use?).