Examen of Consciousness

"From Sleeping with Bread: Holding What Gives You Life" by Dennis, Sheila, and Matthew Linn

The “examen” is traditionally conducted at the close of a day as a way of attending to the movement of God's Spirit in one’s everyday experience.  Journaling provides a vehicle whereby your reflections can be brought forth to explore and discover.  

The following questions may help you notice these movements.  Read over the list and reflect on and respond to a question each night. 

Then, over the course of a couple of weeks or a month, give notice to which one of the question sets has drawn you in each night.  Respond/journal about what you noticed in your daily reflections in light of this particular question.  Journaling about what emerges may help you notice patterns over time. 

In the last day/week/month… 

  • For what am I most grateful? Least grateful? 
  • When did I give and receive the most love? The least love? 
  • When did I feel most alive? Most drained of life? 
  • When did I have the greatest sense of belonging? Least sense of belonging? 
  • When was I most free? Least free? 
  • When was I most creative? Least creative? 
  • When did I feel most connected? Least connected? 
  • When did I feel most fully myself? Least myself? 
  • When did I feel most whole? Most fragmented?

The Examen can be a useful tool to enhance all aspects of your daily life: relationships, work, spirituality, vocation, etc.  The Examen is also useful when you need to make a life-alterning decision or are at a crossroads in your life.