I highly recommend that both new and experienced practitioners read Carl J. Arico’s book, “A Taste Of Silence: Centering Prayer And The Contemplative Journey. Let me share a few key points from this book that I think you will enjoy.
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Consent and Action
“I became aware of how powerful Centering Prayer was because it was a container for my consenting to not only God’s presence in my life, but also God’s action in my life.” Centering prayer is a practice that helps us open to God. It teaches us how to let go, open and consent to the presence of God. When we are present to God, we give God the best chance to act in us!
“God is within us and we don’t fully appreciate the divine presence in us right now.” Centering prayer helps us reconnect to the divine within. We are both divine and human beings. When we let the two meet and act together, we get God inspired actions.
“Now I would like to suggest, if we are unable to let thoughts go at times, how is God going to put another thought in our minds?” Centering prayer teaches us how to let go. When we let go, we let God act in us at a deep level beyond thoughts, emotions and physical sensations. Each time we let go during centering prayer, we give God another opportunity to give us what God knows is best for us just right now.
Fruits of Centering Prayer
“When we consent, we are giving the Spirit permission to do whatever needs to be done.” This is the exciting part! During centering prayer, God acts in us. God’s inner actions are later revealed during our everyday lives. The fruits of centering prayer are a wonderful gift from God.
Read Carl’s book. A long term practice such as centering prayer will teach you how to let go and live. “This letting go in the prayer causes a ripple effect for letting go outside the prayer.”
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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.
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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.