About the Contemplative Walk


Q: Our group has been doing a contemplative walk before meetings. Do you have any information about this practice?

A: The contemplative walk is a time of mindful walking sometimes while repeating a prayer sentence to our step cadence that helps us take the silence and solitude of our prayer practice into everyday life. This slow walk is also a way of praying unceasingly during everyday life. Most people walk steadily rather than using a “wedding march” stance such as a pause between steps.

It seems from your question that your group is using the contemplative walk as a vestibule prayer before meditation. Your group is not alone, there are many prayer groups that use this practice as a vestibule prayer as it allows one to shake off our everyday thoughts, perceptions, and energy so we can enter into Centering Prayer more easily. Imagine the contemplative walk before our Centering Prayer time as simple steps of going deeper within ourselves away from the noise of everyday life, to begin embracing quiet and finally leading into silence and solitude in community. During Centering Prayer, we consent to God’s Presence and action in our lives. During a contemplative walk we continue that consent and become more aware of God’s Presence within us and around us in all creation.

If you are wondering about what Thomas calls the Active Prayer sentence which usually accompanies a contemplative walk please visit our website for his teaching at: https://www.contemplativeoutreach.org/the-active-prayer-practice-method/

Please let me know if this has clarified the practice for you. Many blessing for you and your group as you pray and grow together.

Peace and love,

Leslee Terpay