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.
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I just finished Presence and Process: A Path Toward Transformative Faith and Inclusive Community by Daniel P. Coleman and Intimacy with God: An Introduction To Centering Prayer by Thomas Keating. I am currently reading The Bible Makes Sense by Walter Brueggemann.
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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.
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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.
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