What do you do if your mind races during centering prayer? There are times when my mind races. This happens when I have a challenge at work that I cannot resolve. The solution has not yet been determined. This will bother me. This can make it very difficult to sit.
Another time when I do not want to sit is when there is a conflict between my wife and I or between myself and one of my children. I do not like conflict. I do not like it when there is a disagreement. I do not like it when we are temporarily upset or angry with each other. These times normally do not last long but they still bother me.
Lastly, things sometimes just do not always go as I would like. The car breaks down. The washing machine will not work. I interview for a potential job that I want and I do not get it. I am supposed to meet with a friend and my friend cancels. I looked forward to this time. I needed to talk. I had a lot on my mind. I needed to get things off my chest.
Yes, it can be hard to just sit still as my mind races. These are the times when I especially need to sit. I need to take this baggage with me to my sit. I can release this baggage over and over as I ever so gently return to my sacred icon. These are the times when I most need God’s presence. These are not the times to avoid my centering prayer time.
God loves me no matter what my disposition is (1 John 4:8). God’s love and healing are in the silence. I need to let God love me. I need to let God heal me. If I do not sit I take this opportunity away from God. God will not force me to sit. I need to decide to sit on my own.
The darkest times in our lives are often the hardest times to sit. This is when we most need God. God’s love and healing can overcome our darkness. These are the times when we just need to trust God. We must sit with God even if we do not feel like it.
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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.
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.)
Check out my review of Christian Prayer Methods by Dr. Philip St. Romain.
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. Enjoy an article I wrote about one of the lectures on the Beatitudes.
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