I want to be present. I want to enjoy the blue sky and the trees. I want to watch my children play. I want to enjoy conversations with family and friends.
I love cities: their sounds, tall buildings, the hustle and bustle all around, the night life and lights. I like the beach and the ocean.
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There is nothing like being in the stadium of a university football game: the roar of the crowd, the sounds of the band, the plays on the field. There is excitement in the air!
I miss all of this when I am on my phone or I-pad checking Facebook, Twitter, my emails or just searching the web.
God wants me to enjoy the city, small towns, the country and the coasts. God wants me to both listen and talk with others: family, friends, strangers and even co-workers.
Centering prayer teaches me to be present with Presence. Presence is all around me. I don’t want to miss it.
Centering prayer teaches me to slow down. When I slow down I see things as if for the first time. I see, smell, touch, taste and hear all that is around me: true presence with Presence.
I want to be more present. I want to savor and enjoy life. I need balance. I need to work. The bills need to get paid. The dishes need to be washed and the clothes laundered.
I also need to play, relax and take long walks.
Centering prayer teaches me to pause, look around and be present with Presence. This means I utilize all of my senses: sight, smell, touch, auditory, and taste.
It also means I use my sixth sense: spiritual sense. I learn how to tap into my spiritual sense when I sit in silence with God. I connect with God in silence.
I can also connect with God during the events of my day. I can be present when I wash the dishes and load the dishwasher. I can be present when I walk around the block with my daughter.
I can be present when I drive to work, stop at the gas station or pick up a gallon of milk. I can be present when I type on the keys of my laptop.
To be present means to be open to this moment and what it presents.
It all belongs in the present: both the pain and the joy, the snow, the rain and the sunshine, the traffic jams and the quick moving traffic. It all belongs exactly as it is in the present.
This is what centering prayer can do for me. This is what God wishes for me!
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I am currently reading Sacred Compass by J. Brent Bill. Check it out.
Are you in the Philadelphia PA area? Invite me to speak or teach Centering Prayer at your church or community gathering. Feel free to contact Rich to obtain more information.
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The early Christians, teaches the Reverend Cynthia Bourgeault, were afire with the spirit of Jesus, inspired fully by his teaching of a total transformation of consciousness. How do we reclaim that fire today? On Encountering the Wisdom Jesus, this brilliant author and dynamic Episcopalian priest presents her first full-length audio course about rediscovering the Master of Wisdom. Twelve immersive sessions cover: the parables as wisdom tools; Jesus’s teachings about kenosis (or self-emptying: a path as radical today as it was 2,000 years ago); Jesus as tantric master; Centering Prayer, an approach to meditation as Jesus lived it, and much more. (Based upon her book, The Wisdom Jesus.)
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.)
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.
Check out 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. It works well for group studies.
How do we know that Jesus was actually raised from the dead in bodily form? This course with Prof. N.T. Wright, The Resurrection of the Son of God, examines the extraordinary claim that Jesus of Nazareth was raised from the dead in a bodily fashion to appear in person to people after his cruel death, crucifixion, and entombment.
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 Spiritual Map Session.