Master Teaching

a blog for teachers who follow the Master Teacher

Pausing with the Master Teacher

pausing

Three weeks ago when you were reading about silent retreats, we promised a post with ideas for shorter-term self-care with the Master Teacher. These ideas from four of our contributors are roughly ordered by length, from day-long to 10-minute pauses.

Recliner Rest
When I need rest of the kind that restores me, I need unstructured time… and often it includes my recliner, some music, some words from the Master, some journaling. If I want to be very intentional, I fast for part or all of that day. I don’t do that often enough, but when I do, it increases my anticipation or sense of expectancy for that time. Amidst the most ordinary, there can be Sanctuary for me. (Julie)

Our Cathedral
My sister Angela and I have long loved hiking. In part, we feel close to the Master when we’re out in His creation. Though we find it hard to stop talking when we’re together (Never try a silent retreat with your sister!), we have a habit of finding a place of beauty, separating, and spending 30 minutes or so before the throne. She often listens to music; I like to scribble in a journal; we both drink in His presence. During the last few months on opposite sides of the globe, day hikes have become our way to take silent retreats. She’s been meandering through her U.S. state’s parks while I climb the mountains near my China home. Our cathedrals. (Melissa with Angela)

My Sacred Picnic Table
When a silent retreat isn’t in the cards for me, I often visit my “sacred picnic table.” You can find this table at a favorite park in my town. I like to take a walk while listening to worship music and then sit down for journaling, music and time with the King. I’m not sure why this specific place feels special between the Master and me, but it certainly does. I’ve been known to brush snow off my picnic table so that I can pursue that special time before the throne. I believe this began by chance, turned into a habit, and is now a rhythm of my spiritual walk. (Jill)

Pausing with Poetry
I am at my lowest energy point all week on a Sabbath afternoon. That sounds like a bad thing, but I welcome it because it means my mind has quieted enough to set aside last week’s problems and next week’s anxieties. I like to be alone, quiet, and still—three things I am not during the week. Poetry is just right for that moment, and my go-to book is Wendell Berry’s This Day: Collected and New Sabbath Poems. I might read one, or a few, or an entire section. A word, line or idea will energize me, and from there I can make my way back into the world, slowly and purposefully. (Kimberly)

Pausing On the Way
During stressful periods, I sometimes take out my anxiety in one area of my life on people in another. Instead, I’ve learned to arrive for classes or appointments 10-15 minutes early. Sometimes, I get off the bus a stop early and walk the rest of the way. At other times, I find a quiet corner in one of my city’s numerous parks. In both cases, I purposefully turn my attention away from whatever is causing stress and toward the Master Teacher. The combination of a passage on my phone app, communion with the Shepherd, and some deep breathing calms my heart and prepares me for the next interaction. (Melissa)

Further exploration

What’s your perspective?

We welcome your comments on any of the ideas in this post or in answer to the questions below.

  • What are some ways you pause with the Master Teacher?
  • What advice would you give to someone who struggles with turning off distractions during pauses?

Post Authors

You can read other posts here by Jill, Julie, Kimberly, and Melissa.


Image by Myriams-Fotos from Pixabay

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This entry was posted on December 9, 2020 by in be still, in a pandemic.

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