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“The Naked Now” by Richard Rohr is a gold mine. I had just begun to practice silent prayer when I first read it two years ago. I recently decided to take a second run through this marvelous book. To be honest, this is the type of book that you need to read over and over again. You will see things that were hidden the previous time.
“I knew early on that there were different kinds of knowings. Words divided reality between either and or, but my living experience was always both-and.” This book will reveal how you can change the way you see from either and or to both-and.
One way to learn to see both-and is the practice of contemplation. “Contemplation is an exercise in keeping your heart and mind spaces open long enough for turning to see other hidden material.” Just as Jesus did, we need to enter the prayer of quiet (contemplative prayer).
Another way to learn to see both-and is by following the advice of the great teachers. “The great teachers are saying that you cannot start seeing or understanding anything if you start with “No.”
Love and Suffering
I will make one final point regarding how you can learn to see both-and. “Love and suffering are the main portals this open up the mind space and the heart space…..” These are our greatest teachers. As I look back at my life I completely agree!
Now that I have made my second run through this book, I will let what I read soak in. I am certain this will not be the last time I pick up this wonderful book.
Read this book slowly and with a highlighter in hand. Go back and re read the highlighted parts. You will learn how to see the naked now.
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I just finished Sacred Compass by J. Brent Bill and Christian Meditation: Experiencing the Presence of God by James Finley. I am currently reading The Soul of a Pilgrim: Eight Practices for the Journey Within by Christine Valters Paintner.
Contemplative Light Course: For anyone who craves to deepen their contemplative journey through the intermediate and higher stages of the mystical path, The Devotional Practice of the Jesus Prayer offers an opportunity to travel through the various states of awakening and understand the territory. The historic practice of The Jesus Prayer joins with a thorough, experiential exposition of the Purgation/Illumination/Union path of Christian Mysticism. To help make these traditional dimensions and phases of the spiritual life more accessible for the contemporary seeker, we also use the most relevant material from Integral Theory, Mindfulness, and World Spirituality. Enter coupon code-PRAYER- and get $4 off.
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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.
I use a Prayer Rope after each Centering Prayer Sit.
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.
The early Christians, teaches the Reverend Cynthia Bourgeault, were afire with the spirit of Jesus, inspired fully by his teaching of a total transformation of consciousness. How do we reclaim that fire today? On Encountering the Wisdom Jesus, this brilliant author and dynamic Episcopalian priest presents her first full-length audio course about rediscovering the Master of Wisdom. Twelve immersive sessions cover: the parables as wisdom tools; Jesus’s teachings about kenosis (or self-emptying: a path as radical today as it was 2,000 years ago); Jesus as tantric master; Centering Prayer, an approach to meditation as Jesus lived it, and much more. (Based upon her book, The Wisdom Jesus.)
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.)
Check out my review of Christian Prayer Methods by Dr. Philip St. Romain.
Prepare to be immersed in the 1st Century A.D. context of the life, work, teachings, and actions of Jesus. Check out Simply Jesus by N. T. Wright. Enjoy an article I wrote about one of the lectures on the Beatitudes.
Contemplative Light is a group of Spiritual Directors and writers. They offer a unique style of contemplative coaching based on the teachings and traditions of Christian Mysticism. Sign up for a Spiritual Map Session.