Contemplative space: Grounded

At a recent ACSD Training Event for New Zealand Christian Spiritual directors, I was asked to facilitate a contemplative space for the duration of the weekend. The theme was ‘Grounded’. It was a joy to see many people being able to use the space, whether they paused for 10 minutes or for an hour.

Here are the visuals and reflections, perhaps it might be helpful to someone.

Or perhaps your church, group or event could do with a space for reflection and connection with God? Let’s talk more about what it could look like.


According to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—
that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints
what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Ephesians 3.16-19

What helps you to be ‘grounded’?
How does it feel?

Write any words or draw on the rocks and put them by the roots
if you like


What do you hear from the people you serve?
stories, emotions, joy, pain, growth, connections…
What is God doing?

Feel free to write words or draw on the paper
And weave them onto the frame.
As we honour their journeys, strength and their dance with God

You can hold a wooden figure as you pray for them
or light a candle if you like.


I waited patiently for the Lord;
He turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
Out of the mud and mire;
He set my feet on a rock
And gave me a firm place to stand.

Psalm 40.1-2 (NIV)

What do you notice in them?
How do you feel when you see them?

How does God see them?

What might they talk to us about?

Feel free to choose one to draw
or look, smell, touch it
or simply hold it in your hand as you sit


God sustain us through this earth
We were made from the dust from the earth
Things die and return to it
Things also come to life and grow from it
What feelings arises for you?

Feel free to play and pray with the sand

Let us remember within us
The ancient clay,
Holding the memory of seasons,
The passion of the wind,
The fluency of water,
The warmth of fire,
The quiver-touch of the sun
And shadowed sureness of the moon.
That we may awaken,
To live to the full
The dream of the earth
Who chose us to emerge
And incarnate its hidden night
In mind, spirit and light

John O’Donohue
In Praise of Earth
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