What do you with the questions you are asked by others? Are these questions nudges by God for you to take a specific action?
Let me share two questions that I was asked that I believe were God’s nudges for me to take further action upon
Before I share my first question, let me provide some background information. In early 2014 I began to read Healing The Divide: Recovering Christianity’s Mystic Roots by Amos Smith. While I read Amos’ book, I began to email Amos questions about his book. What is the Jesus Paradox? Why should I care? Am I also a divine being? What is this centering prayer? We continued to dialogue.
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During May of 2014, Amos Smith asked me to co author a book with him. Amos suggested that I write a book about what the Jesus Paradox means to me. Within one week, I agreed.
Since June 2014, I take time once a week to write my journey. My book chapters include topics related to: prayer, centering prayer, the fruits of centering prayer, non-dual thinking, paradox, inner divinity, the humanity of Jesus, the historical Jesus.
The point I want to make is that my response to this question sent me on an incredible journey into the Jesus Paradox. I now wanted to learn more about this Jesus who was at once both human and God.
If I had not been asked this question, I am not certain I would ever have begun this amazing journey which included a daily centering prayer practice, exploration of other contemplative practices, and a study of both the historical Jesus and the Jesus of my faith.
Let’s move onto the second question that I was asked. In June of 2015, a friend at church asked me to teach an introduction to contemplative prayer class at the adult forum at her church. She had recently finished seminary and was now Director of Education at this church. She knew I was a centering prayer practitioner. Initially I was nervous but still agreed to take her up on this offer. Over about one week, I put together a one hour session.
In August of 2015, I taught this class. Twelve people attended and it went well. After this class, I thought to myself, why not take this on the road so to speak. I created an email and begin to contact churches within a 30 mile vicinity. I offered to teach a 45-60 minute introduction to centering prayer/contemplative prayer session at one of their adult forum settings. To my surprise, a few churches responded. Since August of 2015, I have taught at five more churches.
Recently, I also began to contact local colleges and universities and hope to meet with young adults. There seems to be much interest in contemplative prayer because soon I will meet with the campus minister at a local university to discuss how I can share contemplative prayer on campus for students. I believe that God was and continues to nudge me to share silent prayer with the community.
We are constantly asked questions. I do not suggest that we say YES to all these questions. However, I suggest that we slow down, pray and discern which questions are God’s nudges to take further action upon. God asked me two vital questions: Do you want to write a book and do you want to teach a contemplative prayer class?
God wanted me to share the Jesus Paradox and centering prayer with others. I pray that I continue to be open to God’s future questions. I pray that you too are open to questions God asks you. And more importantly, I pray that you take action upon them.
Sacred Compass: The Way of Spiritual Discernment by J Brent Bill
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I am currently taking on clients for Centering Prayer One on One Coaching sessions. I am happy to setup weekly, bi-weekly or monthly sessions with you over the phone or skype to help you go deeper into your centering prayer practice and integrate it into your daily life. Contact me for more information. The first session is 1/2 off.
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I am currently reading The Wisdom Jesus: Transforming Heart and Mind – a New Perspective on Christ and His Message by Cynthia Bourgeault and Contemplative Living: An Invitation to a Deepening Journey by .
The Way of the Wisdom Jesus: Going Beyond the Mind to the Heart of His Teaching – If you put aside what you think you know about Jesus and approach the Gospels as though for the first time, something remarkable happens: Jesus emerges as a teacher of the transformation of consciousness. In this online course, Episcopal priest, teacher, and retreat and conference leader Cynthia Bourgeault serves as a masterful guide to Jesus’s vision and to the traditional contemplative practices you can use to experience the heart of his teaching for yourself.
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David Frenette’s book The Path of Centering Prayer reenergized the Centering Prayer tradition with its fresh insights and teachings. Centering Prayer Meditations: Effortless Contemplation to Deepen Your Experience of God is a wonderful companion audio program created to be equally rewarding as a stand-alone guide – gives listeners an immersive resource to learn contemplative prayer, step by step and in the moment. With clarity and compassionate presence, Frenette explains the essential principles of this contemplative practice for both new and seasoned practitioners.
Centering Prayer is a silent prayer practice that can move you toward a profound relationship with the Spirit of God within. It is a way of praying that opens the door to the Divine Indwelling—the ground of our being. With Centering Prayer, Father Thomas Keating and his colleagues Gail Fitzpatrick-Hopler and Father Carl Arico present the first online course in this method for deepening your intimacy with God and ultimately consenting to the presence and action of the Divine in all aspects of your life.
Since the time of the Desert Fathers in the third century, Finley begins, Christian mystics have practiced meditation as a way of opening to the direct presence of God in daily life. Legendary seekers such as Saint John of the Cross, Saint Teresa of Avila, and Meister Eckhart explored how meditation can lead us beyond the closed horizon of the ego, to an interior and holy refuge that is always available to us. On Christian Meditation, James Finley offers a gentle introduction to this all-transforming way of life, and the ever-deepening realization of oneness with Christ it leads us to. (Based upon his book, Christian Meditation.)