#VirtualRitual – Each weekday our friends from Penn, including Students, Staff, Faculty, Penn Religious Communities Council and other voices from campus will be sharing the ways their spiritual rituals have adapted while staying at home and as they connect to their spiritual communities remotely including intentional making daily activities into spirit building rituals, like dog-walking, cooking, baking bread etc.⠀

Today Manuel de la Cruz Gutierrez, PhD, Director of Data and Innovation Services at Penn Libraries, will share about his ritual practice:

I’ve been a practitioner of Christian Meditation for about 10 years now. I follow the way set up by the Benedictine monk John Main and currently made more widely available through the work of his disciple, Father Laurence Freeman. You may see an introductory video to this practice here. In essence, the practice is as follows “Sit down. Sit still and upright. Close your eyes lightly. Sit relaxed but alert. Silently, interiorly, begin to say a single word. We recommend the prayer phrase Maranatha. Recite it as four syllables of equal length. Listen to it as you say it, gently, but continuously. Do not think or imagine anything spiritual or otherwise. Thoughts and images will likely come, but let them pass. Just keep returning your attention – with humility and simplicity to saying your word in faith, from the beginning to the end of your meditation.” I had been doing this daily on my train commute to Philadelphia from NJ and on the way back. Now that I work from home, I have been able to restore the practice by doing it first thing in the morning, before my kids awake, for 20 minutes. I’m still working on being consistent doing it every day in the afternoons. I used to gather to meditate weekly with a group on campus, but we have now adapted and meet via teleconference on Thursdays at 12:30PM. If you are interested in joining us or simply to learn more about it, please get in touch with me by email: dmanuel@upenn.edu