When I slow myself down I remember I am a divine being. One way I slow myself down is through the practice of centering prayer. I have practiced centering prayer since June 1, 2014. The recommended guidelines are twice per day, twenty minutes each time.
Previously, I dabbled in centering prayer. For a few months, I practiced once per night. Each session lasted no longer than ten minutes. I knew this was not enough. I needed to respond to this inner nudge. God wanted me to experience more and more of Her Spirit.
On June 1, 2014, I stopped my experiments. I decided to consent to the presence and action of God within. I knew that the only way to do this was to follow the recommended guidelines.
Laurence Freeman states,
“Sitting down to meditate for the first time is a decisive moment in your spiritual path. It is similar to turning on the ignition at the beginning of a long car trip. What happens then? The journey simply begins. You will pull away from the curb. Then like all journeys it proceeds by stages. There are delays, traffic jams, wrong turns, moments of exhaustion as well as the thrill of travel and the discovery of the new. These stages and their events could be described by means of a simple map of the levels of consciousness or as stages of self-knowledge unfolding through a gentle and steady discipline.”
This was my decisive moment!
I now center first thing before I begin my day. My second session is in the afternoon or evening. Each time I am refreshed. I call this time “my sit with Jesus.” My sacred word is an interior Jesus icon.
As my thoughts wander or my emotions reflect about the past day or upcoming events, I ever so gently return to this interior icon to bring me back to the purpose that I center. I consent to the presence and action of God within. I expect Jesus to show up. It excites me to know that Jesus will show up.
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I am currently taking on clients for Centering Prayer Coaching Sessions. Contact me for more information.
I am currently reading Christianity After Religion: The End of Church and the Birth of a New Spiritual Awakening by Diana Butler Bass and rereading A Taste of Silence by Carl J Arico. I just finished The Bible Makes Sense by Walter Brueggemann, 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.
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.
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Check out my review of Christian Prayer Methods by Dr. Philip St. Romain. Explore prayer methods that go back to Jesus.
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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. Learn more about how to pray with a prayer rope.
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.)