Creative Meditation with Sticks

If we cannot find God where we are, we may not be able to find God elsewhere. – Listening Hearts, p 41

sticks1For this meditation, you will need a handful of roughly uniform sticks and a flat surface on which to place them. Toothpicks, straws, and Popsicle sticks are good options. You could use a large piece of paper or cardboard; a cleared tabletop or bit of floor space work equally well.

Take a moment to become settled and quiet. Draw slow, deep breaths. Bring the circumstances of your daily life into your meditation with you, taking time to identify any issue with which you may be wrestling. This might be a troubled relationship, a question about your career, or simply a felt need to reorder priorities.

Read the following scriptural passage, or if you prefer, select another passage that you’d like to meditate with today.

Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. – Psalm 127:1

Read the words over and over to yourself, allowing them to sink into your body, mind, and soul. Eventually, but not necessarily, you may consolidate the passage into a few words, or even one word. As your text becomes part of you, it might feel right to close your eyes. Take as much time as you like to become centered, attuned, and still.

When you feel ready, offer all that you are – including your discernment issue, if you identified one – to God.

Turn your attention to your sticks and the flat surface cleared of all other objects. In silence, begin to place your sticks one at a time on the surface. Maintain a slow and contemplative pace as you set down each new stick. Let your thoughts and feelings float as the lines begin to join together and create an image. It might be an abstract image, or it might be a recognizable symbol or picture. Do not worry about what your stick picture looks like; the objective is to communicate with God from your center.

When you come to a stopping place, pause to look at what you have created for a while. Wait. If you are not quite finished, continue to embellish your image. If you feel that it is completed, sit in silence and gaze at your picture. Consider what God might be saying to you through it.

sticks2At the end of the day, you might take your stick picture apart and return the sticks to where you found them, throw them away, or affix them to paper so that you can preserve what you have created, perhaps adding to it later as you continue your meditation. Whatever you choose to do, carry it out with prayerful reverence. What you ultimately do with your creation may bring greater clarity to your discernment issue.

Say a final prayer, offering this expression to God.

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