The discipline of centering prayer is self-emptying, self-sacrificing, letting go of the limited sense of self that is separate from God, from others, and from all life. 
– David Frenette
Each time I sit in silence, I self-empty. I forget who I think I am. I am no longer a father, a husband, a co-worker, an employee with clients, a son, a friend of others, a person who has tasks that need to get done today.
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I let go of who I think I am today or need to be. I let go of what I need to do today. I let go of what I think I need to do today. I let go of my anxieties, concerns and worries just for this short time while I silently sit. None of this is important.
These anxieties, concerns, identities, tasks, and worries are barriers. They often make me feel that I am separate from God, from others, from life. They overwhelm me. I feel alone. I freeze.
Once I have let them go, I can just be. I can just be with God. When my mind wanders during centering prayer, I use my sacred icon to ever so gently return to the state when I can just be with God.
God wants to sit with me. God is delighted that I sit. God loves me. I love God. We are two friends who quietly sit with each other. No words need to be said. It is sometimes nice to just be. It is nice to just sit with life and with my God.
Eventually, I no longer need to use my sacred icon. I find the space between my thoughts increases. Of course, I know this only after my sit is over and the closing bell has rung. What happens during this time?
When my sit is over, I arise a new person. I am refreshed. I am calm. I am full of energy that will be used for the day’s tasks. I am excited and full of life. I am reconnected with God. God and I are partners during my silent sit. God and I continue to be partners during the non-silent parts of my day.
I no longer feel alone. I am connected to God, my daily partner. I feel connected to others. I need this connection with others. They need me and I need them. I feel connected to life and all that life offers. I see things that before I did not notice.
Centering prayer is my daily portal to the Divine. I leave my baggage at its door. I walk through its door so I can reconnect with God, with others and with life.
How do you feel after each silent sit? Please feel free to share your experience.
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 David Frenette, The Path of Centering Prayer: Deepening Your Experience of God, ( Sounds True ): 2012
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I just finished Presence and Process: A Path Toward Transformative Faith and Inclusive Community by Daniel P. Coleman and The Soul of a Pilgrim: Eight Practices for the Journey Within by Christine Valters Paintner. I am currently reading Intimacy with God: An Introduction To Centering Prayer by Thomas Keating.
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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.
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