When I slow myself down I remember I am a divine being. One way I slow myself down is through the practice of centering prayer. I have practiced centering prayer since June 1, 2014.
this post may contain affiliate links
The recommended guidelines are twice per day, twenty minutes each time. Previously, I dabbled with centering prayer. For a few months, I practiced once per night. Each session lasted no longer than ten minutes. I knew this was not enough. I knew God called me. I knew God wanted me to experience more and more of Her Spirit.
On June 1, 2014, I decided to stop the experiments. I decided to consent to the presence and action of God within. I knew that the only way to do this was to follow the recommended guidelines.
I now center first thing before I begin my day. My second session is usually in the evening. Each time I center, I am refreshed. I call this time “my sit with Jesus.” My sacred word is a mental picture of Jesus from an icon.
As my thoughts wander or my emotions reflect about the past day or upcoming events, I ever so gently return to this mental image to bring me back to the purpose for centering. I consent to the presence and action of God within.
I allow myself to enter the fourth stage of prayer that I read about in a recent blog article, Finding Your Inner Room by Irwin J. Boudreaux. The first three stages are: One – We speak, God listens, Two – God Speaks, we listen, Three – No one speaks, both listen.
Centering Prayer is a practice which leads me into contemplative prayer or the fourth stage, No one speaks, no one listens. I simply rest in God. I let God act in me. Do I know what God will do? No, I do not. My job is to simply rest and trust. How God acts within me, will reveal itself in my non-silent actions throughout the day.
Many times throughout the day, I ever so gently return to my sacred symbol when I find my thoughts and emotions distract me from what I need to do. I re-center myself even during my non-centering portion of the day. When I find myself become anxious, angry or frustrated, I mentally visualize my sacred symbol and bring myself back to the task at hand.
During Centering Prayer, I consent to the Divine so the big D and me, the little d, simply sit with each other. We become united. During my non silent parts of the day, I do the same. My little d recognizes that I need to become one with the big D. I mentally visualize my sacred symbol and allow myself to become united with God. At that moment I can get back to the task at hand. At that moment I partner with God to accomplish the tasks ahead.
Fruits of Centering Prayer
Since I began my centering prayer practice I have noticed a few new things about myself. I am much calmer. Yes, I still become anxious, nervous, frustrated and upset just like everyone else. Yet, I notice that I am able to re-center myself much more quickly and resume whatever tasks are in front of me. I no longer panic when I have an enormous list of tasks that need to get done in a short period of time.
For example, at work, I will have at least 20 or more items that need to get done. I find that I am able to calmly review my list and one by one make my way through this list. At the end of each day, I am always amazed by what I have accomplished. I know the calmness and fluidity of this process is because of my centering prayer practice! God and I partner throughout the day.
Centering prayer slows me down. I bring this slowness into my daily life. I am calm yet more productive. I am calm and make wiser decisions. Because I am calm and make wiser decisions, I am able to get more done. It is a paradox. When I work faster and harder I will get more done. I find this is not true. When I work slowly but with a calm intensity, I am always more productive.
What fruits of centering prayer have you noticed?
Visit my Start Here Page to learn more about Centering Prayer.
Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening by Cynthia Bourgeault
The Heart of Centering Prayer: Nondual Christianity in Theory and Practice by Cynthia Bourgeault
Intimacy with God: An Introduction to Centering Prayer by Thomas Keating
Open Mind, Open Heart 20th Anniversary Edition by Thomas Keating
The Path of Centering Prayer by David Frenette
this post may contain affiliate links
One on One Coaching with Rich
Does this sound like you?
“I am bored with my life?”
“I am not doing the things that I want to do in all areas of my life:”
-career, personal, family, community.
I feel unfulfilled, like I am just going through the motions everyday.
I have dreams and goals, but I am afraid to show up and take action on them.
I don’t want years to pass and be disappointed when I look back on my life.
Integrating Centering Prayer practice with your everyday life addresses all of these thoughts.
Do you want to obtain the freedom to become your true self, the person I’m created to be?
How do I create a long lasting and sustainable centering prayer practice?
I am currently taking on clients for Centering Prayer One on One Coaching sessions.
I will work with you to setup a program designed to meet your specific needs.
I am currently reading From the Inside Out: Reimagining Mission, Recreating the World by Ryan Kuja.
Contemplative U Course- Everyday Mysticism: An Introduction to the History, Theology, and the Practice of Contemplative Christianity. It’s great for someone who is brand new, or for those looking to brush up or deepen their practice. You pick the price you want to pay for the course.
I continue to update my Resource Page including Books on Sale that features great kindle books at low prices. It includes authors such as Nicholas Amato, J Brent Bill, Daniel P Coleman, John Eldredge, Rachel Held Evans, James Finley, Sharon Grussendorff, Philip Gulley, Thomas Keating, James Martin, John Ortberg, Amos Smith, Barbara Taylor Brown.
The Power of the Jesus Prayer: Learn a method practiced by Christian mystics for centuries to consent to the action and presence of God within.
Christian Prayer Methods: Prayer is a core Christian practice, but for many, this means “saying prayers” or asking God for various favors. In this course, we will review a variety of methods of prayer that have been used for centuries in Christianity. Whether you’re a beginner who is just learning how to pray, or a more mature Christian who has been at it awhile, this course will offer specific guidance, encouragement and support for practicing several time-tested methods of prayer.
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. It is based upon her book, The Wisdom Jesus: Transforming Heart and Mind – a New Perspective on Christ and His Message .
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.)