Let us Gather in Spirit and Practice Meditation

A close up of the flower of a dogwood tree.

The following blog post byLeslie Porreca, RSM

Here we are in the midst of the Novel Coronavirus, social distancing is the new buzz word, stores are closed, seemingly all social interactions have been cancelled. Schools, universities, church services, any kind of gathering, restaurants and bars even parking at parks have been closed!

When I look outside the birds are still feeding at the feeders, the trees are sporting a beautiful chartreuse and budding out. The geese are surveying where they will nest for the next 28 days to bring to birth a new flock. Nature didn’t get the message to self quarantine and thank God for nature where we can find solace in life continuing as usual. The other place of solace is in prayer our own private conversation with God and those who have gone before us or in communal virtual meditation sitting circles.

I have been contemplating this in my mind how to work it out.

A hope is that as we progress through these days we can; at some point gather together and sit in silence reverencing the social distance that has been prescribed. But for now we can still gather in spirit and practice meditation. Our schedules are probably so different now that we could actually do meditation once a day either first thing in the morning or whenever it is best for you.

Some simple guidelines


This meditation exercise is an excellent introduction to meditation techniques.

Sit or lie comfortably.
Close your eyes.
Make no effort to control the breath; simply breathe naturally.
Focus your attention on the breath and on how the body moves with each inhalation and exhalation. Notice the movement of your body as you breathe. Observe your chest, shoulders, rib cage, and belly. Simply focus your attention on your breath without controlling its pace or intensity. If your mind wanders, return your focus back to your breath.

Maintain this meditation practice for two to three minutes to start, and then try it for longer periods.I have enjoyed listening to the podcast… Turning to The Mystics with James Finley. You might find this helpful to your practice as well.I could post a reading and or a photograph a time we could sit “together”!This paragraph is taken from

This paragraph is taken fromRichard Rohr’s Daily Meditation
Center for Action and Contemplation

We are in the midst of a highly teachable moment. There’s no doubt that thisperiod will be referred to for the rest of our lifetimes. We have a chance to go deep, and to go broad. Globally, we’re in this together. Depth is being forced on us by great suffering, which as I like to say, always leads to great love.But for God to reach us, we have to allow suffering to wound us.

Now is no time for an academic solidarity with the world. Real solidarity needs to be felt and suffered. That’s the real meaning of the word “suffer” – to allow someone else’s pain to influence us in a real way. We need to move beyond our own personal feelings and take in the whole. This, I must say, is one of the gifts of television: we can turn it on and see how people in countries other than our own are hurting. What is going to happen to those living in isolated places or for those who don’t have health care?

Imagine the fragility of the most marginalized, of people in prisons, the homeless, or even the people performing necessary services, such as ambulance drivers, nurses, and doctors, risking their lives to keep society together? Our feelings of urgency and devastation are not exaggeration: they are responding to the real human situation.

We’re not pushing the panic button; we are the panic button. And we have to allow these feelings, and invite God’s presence to hold and sustain us in a time of collective prayer and lament.I hope this experience will force our attention outwards to the suffering of the most vulnerable. Love always means going beyond yourself to otherness. It takes two.

There has to be the lover and the beloved. We must be stretched to an encounter with otherness, and only then do we know it’s love. This is what we call the subject-subject relationship. Love alone overcomes fear and is the true foundation that lasts (1 Corinthians 13:13).

I think this is a good starting point for us in the sense that we are being very mindful of what is going on in our world today

When starting meditation it is helpful to say something like this.

Be still and know that I am God.
Be still and know that I am
Be still and know
Be still
(start meditation)

You might say a familiar prayer like a Hail Mary or Our Father or a simple prayer of gratitude from your own heart.