Adjust the times and frequencies of your silent sits so they better balance with the ebbs and flows of your life.
A few months ago work had become very challenging. My previous centering prayer schedule was two sits, twenty minutes each. The first sit was as soon as I awoke in the morning.
The second sit was in the mid to late afternoon. If at work, I would leave my desk at two or three in the afternoon and head to my car. Sit in the driver’s seat. Roll down the window. Sit for twenty minutes and then return to my work desk.
I decided to adjust my centering prayer schedule because work had become more challenging and very overwhelming. I needed God and I to better partner to get me through this busy time.
Here is where flexibility with my sit came into play.
I still sat first thing in the morning after I awake. This sit became thirteen minutes.
I also sat two more times in the work day. Instead of one, twenty minute afternoon sit, I sat twice, thirteen minutes each time. My first sit was before lunch. My second sit was between three and four in the afternoon.
I discovered that I needed two afternoon sits. My reservoir seemed to empty quicker. This meant I needed less time in between my previous sit, hence the need for a third sit.
Work has recently calmed down and I have switched back to two sits per day. I missed my longer twenty minute sit that was first thing in the morning.
I have learned to trust the nudges and prompts of the Spirit. I will remain open to the Spirit and readjust my sit schedule based upon the Spirit’s prompts.
My challenge to you is to do the same. Listen to the Spirit and adjust your sits when you are nudged to do so.
Thomas Keating, Open Mind, Open Heart 20th Anniversary Edition
Thomas Keating, Intimacy with God: An Introduction to Centering Prayer
Thomas Keating, Manifesting God
David Frenette, The Path of Centering Prayer
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I am currently taking on clients for Centering Prayer One on One Coaching sessions. I am happy to setup weekly, bi-weekly or monthly sessions with you over the phone or skype to help you go deeper into your centering prayer practice and integrate it into your daily life. Contact me for more information. The first session is 1/2 off.
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Our friends at Contemplative Light are offering Contemplative Practices. This course examines in-depth traditional practices of the Christian mystics, including: The Examen, Centering Prayer, Lectio Divina, The Jesus Prayer and Christian Meditation.
Contemplative Perspectives: Frameworks for the Divine: With the historic practice of The Jesus Prayer as a jumping off point, we explore the experiential aspects of the Purgation/Illumination/Union path of Christian Mysticism.
I am currently reading The Wisdom Jesus: Transforming Heart and Mind – a New Perspective on Christ and His Message by Cynthia Bourgeault and Contemplative Living: An Invitation to a Deepening Journey by .
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. Based upon her book The Wisdom Jesus.
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.)