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Releasing an Enslaved Spirit – A Workshop on Communal Contemplative Spirituality

January 22, 2022 @ 9:00 am - 12:00 pm


Presented by Very Rev. Michael Battle, Ph.D.
Co-sponsored by Contemplative Outreach Chicago and Contemplative Outreach Atlanta

9 AM to Noon Central Time Zone
10 AM to 1 PM Eastern Time Zone

Michael Battle points out something we all may have noticed: that events and organizations working to encourage Christian spirituality and contemplative life seem to attract a certain demographic, predominantly white and westernized. Those who look, act, and seem different from this demographic often find no access point. Publishers, spiritual leaders, and socially conscious folks are deeply aware of this binding apart and often grieve the fact that many Christians do not pray together

In this workshop, it is our hope to bring together people from diverse backgrounds who share an interest in contemplation. Together we will pray through, think about and practice how to be more communally diverse in Contemplative Spirituality — how to release the natural unity the Holy Spirit constantly offers the world.

Providing an indication of where the workshop will take us, Rev. Battle quotes St. John of the Cross:

“The soul that is attached to anything however much good there may be in it, will not arrive at the liberty of divine union. For whether it be a strong wire rope or a slender and delicate thread that holds the bird, it matters not, if it really holds it fast, For, until the cord be broken the bird cannot fly.”
Ascent of Mt. Carmel, Book One, 11

The workshop will begin with a 20-30 minute contemplative experience led by Contemplative Outreach. This will include Centering Prayer as well as a brief guided meditation to expand our experience and open our hearts.

Then, building on St. John’s powerful insight, Rev. Battle will lead an interactive and deeply spiritual workshop incorporating presentations, art, music, and pauses for reflection. The intention is to uncover, describe and practice approaches that can help us begin to “break the cord,” removing constraints and divisions within our own individual hearts and across the wider contemplative movement. There will be pauses for silence, small group sharing, and discernment about what God may be inviting our community into with regard to spiritual/racial union.

In Centering Prayer and other contemplative practices, we find a path that opens us up to oneness, while the racial divide denies this reality, insisting instead on the “otherness” of those who may be different from us in appearance or culture. As we open to a greater and more connected state of awareness, it is essential to do so communally, rather than just individually — to share our being more openly with others, including others of different backgrounds.

We invite you to join us on this sacred journey toward Communal Contemplative Spirituality. Please register using the link below.


Contemplative Outreach Chicago
Contemplative Outreach Atlanta


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