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 on my Resource Page.
- 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 race. 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!
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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.
Check out my review of Christian Prayer Methods by Dr. Philip St. Romain. It also works well in group studies.
Listen to Simply Good News by New Testament scholar and author N. T. Wright. It is based upon his book Simply Good News. 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. Also works well in group studies.
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.
Discover the Context, Content & Production of the New Testament in The Bible- An Introduction to the New Testament by Scott Metz.
Contemplative Light is a group of Spiritual Directors and writers. They offer a unique style of contemplative coaching based on the teachings and traditions of Christian Mysticism. Sign up for a Free Spiritual Map Session.