Contemplative Passport

Welcome, ACCPContemplative Passport Cover Contemplative Passport traveler!

The passport is intended to serve as a framework for you to travel and discover the world of contemplative practice. There are many, many contemplative practices to investigate, and this guide is an invitation for you to try a few out, to practice with them, and to discover what insights they hold for you.

We offer this passport because we think that contemplation, when it happens, yields fruit, and when it’s engaged with as part of a regular practice, with a variety of contemplative options available to choose from, it does even more to serve our needs as humans on this earth, in whatever role you find yourself. For a great film about what contemplation over time can do, we would invite you to enjoy My Year of Living Mindfully, which has been made available to all of us by NOVA Libraries (thanks, Melanie Medina!).

If you’d like to read a bit of a “travel guide” before our Journey, you might enjoy reading our brief introduction to contemplative practices, Contemplative Practice Starts with CourageWe also hope you’ll take a moment to let us know you’re traveling with us by completing the “Passenger Manifest” form.

Join Our Passenger Manifest!

Let Paul and Cheri know you’re traveling with them this month! We’ll make sure you receive any and all travel advisories and general Contemplative Passport updates.

Preparing for the Journey

Whereas we do offer some supporting materials and devices in the Annandale Center for Contemplative Practice, any and all of the practices suggested and described within the Stops on this journey can be done anywhere! You need not be at NOVA’s Annandale Campus to participate. Start wherever you are! Your first order of business, like so many travel engagements is to obtain your passport!

To pick up your Contemplative Passport, please visit the Center for Contemplative Practice (CM 332) on the Annandale Campus, or visit one of our satellite passport offices!

You may discover some practices enrich and support you in meaningful ways. You may discover others don’t fit your needs well…or at least not yet! That’s okay. Fantastic, even! The spirit of this offering is exploration.

For each “Stop” on your tour, your passport will contain a QR code to scan with your phone (URLs are also provided). The code will direct you to a page with guidance regarding the related practice. Once you have explored the practice earnestly, you’ll be eligible for a passport stamp! Complete the form at the related “stop” to obtain your “VISA” for that location – stamps can be obtained at the ACCP in CM 332 or from your campus representative!

Embarking on Your Journey

As we begin our journey, let us do so by taking some time and space to sit with these words from Kaitlin Curtice, a member of the Potawatomi Nation, who frequently writes about the intersections of Indigenous spirituality, identity, and decolonization.

As you read, you’ll notice links embedded within her poem. Read the poem once and let it wash over you. Read it once more and notice which linked words seem to resonate or stand out to you the most. Those links will take you to a Stop within the Contemplative Passport. We suggest you let this poem serve as a map, helping you to decide where to stop off first.

Forced Rest

It shouldn’t have been this way,
that rest would be both a luxury and a curse,
instead of the divineness within us.
And yet, here we are,
struggling to sit still,
to wait with ourselves,
to listen to breath and spirit as they whisper.

We have forgotten the gift of rest,
and so, at first,
it is forced.
We reject the laptop and the phone,
the chores and the to-do list,
and we wait, and it is painful waiting.

We wait for our bodies to settle down,
and we tell them to keep settling:
Keep sipping that warm drink,
keep writing in that journal,
keep the eyes closed,
keep the breath steady,
keep listening to the dogs snore as they sleep,
keep watching the first in the wood stove.

And maybe, eventually, it won’t be forced anymore.
Eventually, we will settle into ourselves effortlessly,
with a smile and a robust gratitude that capitalism
     cannot take away.

We will say, “Welcome home” to ourselves,
again and again, and “You belong here”
and “This rest is holy” because it is,
and we are,
and it only took our whole lives til now
to understand, and to let the gift be the gift,
to let the rest be the rest,
to let our bodies and our souls
find one another and become best friends again,
or, quite possibly, for the first time ever.

Don’t forget to Join Our Passenger Manifest!

If you didn’t complete the form above, you can do it now that you’ve reached the end of our page!