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.
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A Simple Immediacy: Desert Wisdom for Advent by Cynthia Bourgeault: The Desert Fathers and Mothers of the fourth and fifth centuries are arguably the first Wisdom School in Christian history. At first in trickles and then in waves, they fled into the deserts of Egypt and Syria to escape the increasing imperialization of the Christian Church and to live in a simple immediacy with the Risen Christ. In the process, they generated an extraordinary body of practical teachings on the spiritual practices underlying this life of deeper awareness and mystical union.
Wisdom for Living: The Parables of Jesus by Thomas Keating, Contemplative Outreach: When rightly understood, the parables help us to see how extraordinary a wisdom teacher Jesus really was, and how revolutionary, in the best sense of the word, was the content of what he taught and to which he bore witness by his life and death.
Soulful Aging by Thomas Moore: As everyone knows, we are growing older all the time. But growing older is not the same as aging. Many people seem to grow older without going through the challenging life processes that make you a real person of substance and character. That kind of aging requires saying yes to the opportunities and difficult issues that life presents.
Sounds True has titles by teachers and authors such as Thomas Keating, Cynthia Bourgeault, James Finley, Richard Rohr, David Frenette, Parker Palmer , Adyashanti , Eckhart Tolle , Michael Singer , Jon Kabat-Zinn , Marianne Williamson to name a few.
Contemplative Light offers courses on contemplative practices (Christian Meditation, Centering Prayer, The Examen, Lectio Divina, The Jesus Prayer), the Christian mystics (ancient and current) and spiritual writing. Peruse their wonderful offerings.
Prayer-Bracelet: Authentic Orthodox prayer ropes and bracelets are handmade by monks in the Orthodox monastaries reciting a prayer for every knot they tie. Peruse their prayer ropes and bracelets that are all handmade, provided by several orthodox churches around the globe.
Drawing from the wisdom of monastic life, modern psychology and best practices in personal productivity, the Monk Manual provides a daily system that will help you find clarity, purpose, wisdom, and peace in the moments that make up your life.