Featured Contemplative Book: Immortal Diamond

Immortal Diamond: the search for our true selfWeek One: The Search for Your True Self

Richard Rohr’s book Immortal Diamond offered a lifeline at a point in my life when I was discouraged, somewhat aimless, and deeply insecure. What was the root of my insecurity and overall misery? My false self that hinged on my accomplishment and what other people thought of me.

The false self requires constant reinforcement and progress in order to remain content. There may be no greater threat to contemplative writers than the false self. 

Keeping the false self happy feeds into so many other pitfalls, such as pride and envy. Who has time to pray when there’s a false self that must be maintained? Who can do the deep observation and painstaking editing that good writing requires while ensuring the false self is placated?

Richard Rohr grounds us in the wonderful news about who you are and where you can find rest as you approach God in prayer and then set about your work for the day:

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“Your True Self is who you are, and always have been in God . . . The great surprise and irony is that ‘you,’ or who you think you are, have nothing to do with its original creation or its demise. It’s sort of disempowering and utterly empowering at the same time, isn’t it? All you can do is nurture it.”

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“The soul, the True Self, has everything, and so it does not require any particular thing. When you have all things, you do not have to protect any one thing. True Self can love and let go. The False Self cannot do this.”

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“I promise you that the discovery of your True Self will feel like a thousand pounds of weight have fallen from your back. You will no longer have to build, protect, or promote any idealized self image. Living in the True Self is quite simply a much happier existence, even though we never live there a full twenty-four hours a day. But you henceforth have it as a place to always go back to. “

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“Find God, the primary source, and the spring water will forever keep flowing (Ezekiel 47:1-12; John 7:38) naturally. Once you know that, the problem of inferiority, unworthiness, or low self-esteem is resolved from the beginning and at the core.” Pg 31

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“In ordinary language, the True Self is held together by the glue of a universal love. ‘For God is love and anyone who lives in love lives in God, and God lives in him” (1 John 4:16). When we live in such abundance, we do not need to fight or defeat our False Self. It naturally fades into the background in the presence of absolute abundance and absolute allowing.” Pg. 55

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If you’ve read Daring Greatly by Brene Brown, and I hope you will soon, you know that the key struggle we all face is believing this: “I am enough.” Rohr completes this mantra: “I am enough because of God’s love.” 

The truth that I have found is this: Nothing in this life will ever be good enough or offer a peace and security that compares to God’s love. 

Read more about Immortal Diamond

About Featured Books: Each month I’ll share weekly posts about the month’s featured book.

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Announcing The Contemplative Writer: Soul Care and Spiritual Practices for Writers

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Where does your identity come from?

I’m going to guess that anyone attracted to a site called The Contemplative Writer looks to their faith and their writing as important parts of their identities. Writing is extremely fulfilling and can serve others, but it will fail anyone who looks to it as as an identity.

The foundational principle for everything that follows at The Contemplative Writer is this: Your identity is determined by God’s love for you, and you’ll only find that identity by caring for your soul. While there are many ways to care for your soul, the goal of this website is to lay a strong foundation of Christian contemplative spiritual practices so that you can pray and write with a healthy, well-grounded soul.

Richard Rohr of the Center for Action and Contemplation says that he focuses on 80% contemplation in order to guide 20% of his action. Our actions (or writing) will be rooted in love and purpose when they are grounded in an identity established by God through our contemplation.

For those of us who write, our identities can be particularly fragile. While anyone can benefit from this website in the weeks and months to come, writers of faith will especially benefit from the practices and mindsets presented in daily posts and weekly newsletters.

If your identity is dictated by outside voices and circumstances, there’s every reason to believe that your soul will suffer and your actions will veer in any number of wrong turns. At the contemplative writer the content I share each day follows Rohr’s 80/20 approach: 80% guiding contemplation and 20% guiding writing practice. If we can use the tools of Christian spirituality to help you connect with God and to care for your soul, I believe we’ll be in a much healthier place for our writing.

Each week you’ll find the following brief blog posts (100-300 words) to aid your contemplative journey:

  • Monday: Quotes from a book of the month on contemplative prayer.
  • Tuesday: Scripture meditation.
  • Wednesday: Featured article or book on contemplative prayer or writing practices.
  • Thursday: Contemplative profile or history.
  • Friday: A list of prayer or writing links.
  • Saturday: Guest writers and spiritual directors (coming soon)

Each month you can also expect a weekly newsletter that will soon be adapted into a podcast as well.

Finally, a small disclaimer…

I have not set up this website because I am the most accomplished or knowledgable contemplative Christian. I do not view myself as an expert. I am merely someone who has immersed himself in Christianity since my youth, and the contemplative prayer practices I started learning in the early 2000’s have been the most important, formative, and longest-lasting aspects of my faith. The more I lean into contemplative prayer, the more essential it becomes for my faith and my calling as a writer.

I set up this website because I wanted to immerse myself in contemplative prayer while also sharing my journey with others. I hope that this new venture helps you find space to meet with God, guidance for the road ahead, and rest for your soul as you create and bless others. I’ll share some simple ways you can keep in touch and support us below.

Thank you for visiting!

Ed

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