As humans, we are wired for fight or flight responses in times of stress. But today, many of us live with an overreactive stress response as the demands of modern life pull us in all directions, putting not only our physical health at risk, but also the meaningful connections in our lives--connections to our deepest selves, to others, and even to God.
But there is good news. New developments in brain science are confirming what spiritual teachers of every wisdom tradition have been telling us for millennia: meditation and contemplative practice can calm that sense of fight or flight and enhance our sense of well-being. In Practice the Pause, spiritual director and writer Caroline Oakes offers new perspectives on the revolutionary potential of Jesus' own contemplative practice, considering this exciting new neuroscience and showing how the centering pause of contemplative practice can rewire our brain circuitry to be less reactive, more self-aware, and more compassionate.
Combining accessible explanations of recent breakthroughs in neuroscience studies and introductions to perspective-changing ancient spiritual practices, Practice the Pause explores Jesus's contemplative practice as a path for transformation. Through practices such as Centering Prayer, lectio divina, and the seven-second pause, we can radically shift our own consciousness, enabling us to move beyond the overreactive responses of our ego in daily life and toward an awakened, expansive, and divine-centered way of being.