What the examen looks like in my daily life
The Context of the Practice: The Examen is the from the Ignatian Tradition, a key part of the training for all Jesuit priests, and a central teaching in what is known as The Spiritual Exercises, first designed by Ignatius of Loyola back around 1536. I have in the past taken this practice seriously, but have as of late let it go, so beginning the first of our 12 or so practices with one I would like to reinstate into my daily routine. While I imagine testing out lots of other practices throughout the class, this is the one I want to build upon as a base note. https://www.ignatianspirituality.com/ignatian-prayer/the-examen#variations
The Main movements/flow/progression of How I Practice :This is the evening counter balance to my morning meditation. I work with a journal and get in bed ½ hour before sleep. I attempt to empty my mind of my own thoughts, not always so easy. Then I ask God/Spirit/Other to look over my day along with two simple questions. When was I closest to you? When was I farthest away?
What happened within the experience? I always forget the surprise of this practice. For example, on Friday when I was asking when I was farthest away from God, the image of the words ‘house husband’ came to mind in a graffiti-like red hand writing. When I considered that image, it recalled a conversation wherein I had said, “Bruce is really trying to help me. For the first time in my life I understand why women want house husbands.” When I said that, I felt right away that there was something wrong within it, something inauthentic, and it stayed with me for some time afterwards. It was a spiritual matter of some kind. And then, in the evening, it came back to me as the time I had been farthest from God in the day. Last night, during the super bowl there was a commercial for Toyota. When I watched it – several times once my husband showed it to me the first time – there was something in the face of the Rabbi as he insists that the minister put his seat belt on that held my attention. I have no idea why. But when I asked at the end of the day when I was closest to God, that image came to mind. Very mysterious. http://adage.com/article/special-report-super-bowl/2018-super-bowl-ads-released/312114/
And: I can never know what the ‘snap shots’ are going to be, I can’t get to them with my brain, only through the emptying of my own knowledge. This is a reminder that it is best to work from a place of innocence, a place of unknowing. Holding that place of knowing/unknowing requires great presence.
So, below is a visual of some of my 'snap' shots. They do not make any sense except to myself, but still, you may yet get an idea of the concept.