Thank you for joining me on this Six Part Series on Centering Prayer!
In case you missed any of the previous five parts, I have listed them below. Feel free to take a peek back.
In this final post I will discuss next steps. Now that you have begun a centering prayer practice, what are some recommended next steps.
These next steps are for both beginners and those who are long term practitioners. I am not a beginner. Nor am I a long term practitioner. I have practiced centering prayer since June 1, 2014.
Let me share some next steps that I have taken:
- Find a Spiritual Director that you can meet with to discuss your practice and faith. I live in the Philadelphia area and was able to find a wonderful Spiritual Director at the St. Raphaela Center.
- Find a local Centering Prayer group that meets weekly or monthly and join them from time to time. Silence in community is powerful. The Contemplative Outreach has many chapters throughout the United States.
- Go on a weekend retreat. I went on a weekend retreat at the Bethany Retreat Center. It was led my Father William Meninger, the founder of Centering Prayer who then refined it with Fathers Thomas Keating and Basil Pennington. The retreat I attended discussed Saint John of the Cross and The Cloud of Unknowing. Of course Centering Prayer was practiced twice per day in community at this retreat.
- Stay at a hermitage for a few days to go deeper in your practice. Amos Smith and I spent 3 nights at the Santa Maria De La Vid Abbey: Norbertine Community of New Mexico. We practiced Centering Prayer three times per day, 30 minutes for each sit. We wrote. We walked. We attended a traditional monastic service.
- Read books on Centering Prayer. You can find some of my favorites here.
- Don’t become discouraged. God is delighted that you want to sit no matter how long your sit is. If you miss a scheduled sit, God infinitely loves you and looks forward to your next sit.
- Attend a long term silent retreat. These retreats are often 7-10 days in duration. I have yet to attend one but hope to do so in the future.
Again thank you for joining me over these past six weeks.
Centering prayer is not a sprint. It’s a marathon. Centering prayer practiced on a daily basis will transform you. If you are faithful to your practice, your practice will be faithful to you!
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.
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 re-energized the Centering Prayer tradition with its fresh insights and teachings. This 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, and then guides us experientially through core prayers and meditations.
Themes in the Gospel of John by N. T. Wright: The course approaches the Gospel of John in a way that looks at seven key themes. These themes bind the Fourth Gospel together in a manner that allows us to see this ‘new way of living’ as possible for followers of King Jesus. In so doing, we then apply these themes to the current era in order to ask ourselves questions about how we are putting them into practice. In a way, this is the story of how to live out being the presence of God on earth through the indwelling of God’s spirit.
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.
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 .
This new course by Contemplative Light is currently 1/3 off!
Living Sacraments: The Christian Mystics & The Inner Journey to God – How might your life change if you were steeped more deeply in the wisdom of the Christian Mystics? This course helps contemplatives, healers, clergy, and spiritual directors get a handle on the daunting subject of Christian Mysticism to draw on this timeless wisdom for their own spiritual journey AND to provide care to those they serve.
After taking this powerful course, you will know:
- The path of mystical transformation
- The four main mystical types
- The three eras of mystical flowering in the Christian West
- The lives, key teachings, challenges, and major works of TWENTY of the Christian mystics