Contemplative prayer is a silent sit with God. It is wordless prayer. I bring no agenda. I let go of my baggage: emotions, thoughts, physical sensations. I bathe in the sunshine of God. It is like when I lie on the beach or relax on a hammock. I rest in the rest of God.
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I sit with God because I love God. I want to get to know God better. I hunger and thirst for God. I hear Jesus say, “Follow me,” and “Who do you say I am?”
Deep within my innermost core is the Divine. My emotions, thoughts and physical sensations hinder me. I am not able to connect to and live from this inner core: my true self. That is why I let go of them during centering prayer.
Centering prayer is my practice that helps me sit with God. I even let go of centering prayer during my silent sits. Centering prayer is a tool that helps me sit with God but I eventually must also let it go too.
The “work of love” is God’s actions in me. I want God to act in me. I need God to act in me. God patiently waits for my true self to bloom. I want my true self to shine. My true self is who God wants me to be. When I let the inner work of love act, my outer work of love can begin.
Think about some of your daily actions: wake up, shower, eat, work, relax, play with children, volunteer, exercise, read, clean the dishes, vacuum, mop the floor, scrub the bathroom, take care of your children, attend a social meeting, vacation, walk.
When these actions are rooted in love amazing things happen. I no longer have to do them. I want to do them. My work becomes prayer and my prayer become work. These actions bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit.
Daily chores become my prayer without ceasing. My actions at work reflect God’s goodness and love. I teach my children how to love so they too can love others.
Contemplative prayer will spawn contemplative actions: the “work of Love.”
The Loving Search for God: Contemplative Prayer and the Cloud of Unknowing by William Meninger
Intimacy with God: An Introduction to Centering Prayer by Thomas Keating
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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.
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.
Our friends at Contemplative Light are offering Contemplative Practices. This course examines in-depth traditional practices of the Christian mystics, including: The Examen, Centering Prayer, Lectio Divina, The Jesus Prayer and Christian Meditation.
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. It is based on his book Simply Jesus. Enjoy an article I wrote about one of the lectures on the Beatitudes.
This course is a short course based on Prof. N.T. Wright’s latest book, Simply Good News. Tom Wright will guide you through the chapters of his book through videos that suggest what some of the main points are. You will instantly get into the heart of the idea of ‘good news’ as it was understood by the 1st Century writers of the New Testament. You will be brought into their world in order to make more sense of what ‘good news’ means in our world.
Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks – This is a great way to listen to books with your cell phone while you drive, walk or relax at home. I frequently listen in my car during my commute to and from work. I’m a proud affiliate.
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.)