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Contemplative Stance

Reflectively being with our lives and our circumstances (in the acknowledged presence of the Divine) is the most basic and most simple way of living a contemplative stance. It presumes a life of prayer.

A contemplative stance is a way of praying about and living our beliefs and values as individuals and as a community. It is an invitation to listen deeply (contemplatively) which allows us to be truthful about our understandings and feelings regarding significant actions.

A contemplative stance is rooted in deep silence which demands presence and time in the midst of a busy world. It also necessitates respect for ourselves and others as well as deep trust in our experience of God.  It is based in the integrity of each member. It contributes to communal well-being because each person is a vital part of such a stance. It offers a way of making wise decisions through deep discernment by integrating the facts, beliefs and values and consequences.

A contemplative stance contributes to an ever deeper connection among the community members by being together at the depth of our beings with God – and then to let go…


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The Institute for Communal Contemplation and Dialogue was founded by IHM Sister Nancy Sylvester to educate, provide resources and organize people of faith to reflect, analyze and act on the critical issues of the Church and society through a process of communal contemplation and dialogue.

ICCD’s vision is rooted in the belief that the increasing polarities we are experiencing in every aspect of our lives reflect the reality that we are living in a time of impasse – a time when we experience the inadequacy of our current structures and belief systems to address the needs, expectations and dreams of Earth community and feel increasingly powerless to do anything about it. ICCD believes that these crises we experience today need to be addressed at a new level of consciousness and that contemplation invites us to that transformation

Since its founding, ICCD has attracted social justice activists, educators, spiritual directors, leaders of religious congregations—people committed to working for systemic change—who experienced impasse—or a “no-way out” situation—in their personal, political or ecclesial lives. They knew something was wrong and desired to engage the situation from a place of inner strength shaped by their spirituality. Through its programs rooted in communal contemplation and dialogue, hundreds of people have come to a new understanding of how to be and act in responding to this moment in our evolutionary journey.

You can learn more about ICCD’s mission and the programs it offers on its website