Centering prayer teaches us to “let go” and start fresh in our everyday life. We are free to start again. The silence of centering prayer is our “reset button”.
Silence is God’s way to refresh me. I may have had a tough day at work yesterday but today is a new day. I can reset and begin again. The kids might misbehave and act out of sorts. I am free to start again. Maybe I am just tired. I did not get enough sleep the previous evening. I can let go and just begin again.
I am very busy at work. I cannot seem to catch up. I am behind. I drive to work and the car overheats. I get to work and discover the coolant level is very low. At lunch I drive to Target and buy coolant. I fill the car up. I drive home. The next morning I check the level. It is low. I fill it up and drive to work.
The second morning I check the coolant level. It is low again. Underneath my car is a puddle of fluid. Today I decide not to drive my car and take my wife’s car to work so we can take my car into the shop. It is now Saturday. It is the second day that the car has been in the shop. There was a delay in the repair.
My youngest son is 7. He has a mini sandbox that he plays with in the house. Josh decides to carry it upstairs. He drops sand all over our steps on the way upstairs.
I am out with my youngest daughter. She is unhappy because I will not buy her something that she wants.
Internally I begin to steam. My car is broken. It is in the shop much longer than I had anticipated. I have sand all over my stairs. My daughter is upset. I need my “reset button”.
My “reset button” is the silence of centering prayer. During centering prayer I let go. I give my car and my kids to God. I say, “God you can have my car. God you can have my kids. I just want to rest in you for a short while. I want to be refreshed. I want to hit the ‘reset button’.”
We make an exchange of my frustration for God’s peace. It always seems to work. Thankfully, every day is not like this. However, it comforts me to know that centering prayer is my “reset button”. I can start again.
I need this time. I need God to refresh me. I need God to reset me. I need God to recharge me. I need God to hold me. I need God to love me. I need God to fill me with whatever the Divine feels I need.
I trust God. During centering prayer, my job is to let go and plug into God. During the course of the day if I become tired, anxious, frustrated, I know that all I need to do is slow down, seek the silence of God and let God refresh me.
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I just finished Sacred Compass by J. Brent Bill and Christian Meditation: Experiencing the Presence of God by James Finley. I am currently reading The Soul of a Pilgrim: Eight Practices for the Journey Within by Christine Valters Paintner.
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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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