In the Spiritual Direction training I attend each Friday, we were introduced to the Examen by Father Chircop. What a treat. I want to share some particularly tasty nuggets from his 3 hour presentation. He quoted many authors, philosophers, scriptures.
This is a 10 minute exercise to be done before lunch and before bed each day. The heart of the exercise is to re-member and connect with the times when you recognized the spirit during your day and the times you might have missed it. This is to be done with a loving heart so that you don't obsess over your shortcomings, but become aware of your tendencies in your ordinary life. If it is complex or you are obsessing, you're doing it wrong. It is held to 10 minutes and is simple for a reason. (paraphrasing Fr. Chircop)
"The Examen is a tool to link heaven and earth and never separate them."
Song of the Red Bird - Paula D'Arcy, "God often comes to us disguised as our life."
We are radically accepted and held by God in each moment. At what point in my day today was I paying attention and rejoicing in that embrace? When I was unaware of being held (because that didn't change), what was numbing me or distracting me from feeling it?
The steps are on his blog - based on an article by Father Dennis Hamm - Rummaging for God | Praying backwards through your day.
Here is my paraphrasing of the steps (but please go read his - I am a beginning novice, redundancy intended)
1) Take a few seconds to slow down, breathe, a prayer he offers for this is "relax in the reality of being loved.
2) Root in Gratitude what are you most grateful for today.
3) Review all the most liveliest feelings and happenings in your life today (those you'd view at positive and negative)
4) Choose one and pray from that, you can use scripture, quotes, prayers - whatever suits you.
5) Look toward tomorrow.
I liken this practice to checking my pulse. Then I realized that my symbol for alignment with God is right there on my inner wrist. So why wouldn't I want to check that pulse a couple of times each day.
It is 5 steps and takes 10 minutes and I hear it's life changing.