Sometimes I awake at 3 or 4 in the morning and just cannot sleep. I seem to be nervous or anxious about the upcoming day. That has always seemed to be my nature. I surmise that it is God who gently wakes me to hint that He wishes to sit with me now.
I quietly (I do not wish to disturb the rest of the sleeping family members) make my way downstairs to the living room, sit on the couch, set the Contemplative Outreach timer app on my iPhone for 20 minutes and begin my silent prayer sit.
God has quieted, dissolved and soothed my previous nerves and anxiety. I never seem to have difficulty falling back asleep for the next few hours until it is time for me to get up and begin the day.
When I awake, I count this earlier session as my first silent prayer sit and begin my day: prepare for the workday or relax with my wife and children if it is a weekend morning. (Normally my centering prayer sit is the first thing I do before I begin my day.)
My second sit is usually later in the early afternoon. I need this second sit. It refills my emptying reservoir. I do not like to miss it. It soothes and calms me. It helps me to continue my day.
I have learned to trust the gentle nudges and prompts of the Spirit. Some people need regular rhythms and times to do their daily tasks. I trust God will nudge me if my sit needs to be a few hours earlier than it normally is. God has reasons for me to sit with Him a bit earlier. So earlier it will be.
If I ask God about my anxiety and worry, I imagine He would answer something like this, “Richard, I love you. You can come to me whenever you are worried, anxious or nervous. It does not matter what time it is. I do not want you to lie awake and be restless. Come to me and I will give you rest. Let me love you, soothe you, calm you and hold you in my arms.”
I encourage you to trust the nudges and prompts of the Spirit. If God also wakes you up at 3 or 4 in the morning, trust Him. Gently arise. Head to a comfortable place where you can sit and begin your silent session with God.
God loves you and is delighted that you have chosen to trust that He too will calm your inner worries, anxieties and nerves.
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Mindful Silence: The Heart of Christian Contemplation by Phileena Heuertz
An Ocean of Light: Contemplation, Transformation, and Liberation by Martin Laird
Living In God: Contemplative Prayer and Contemplative Action by Nicholas Amato
Christian Meditation by James Finley
Richard Rohr has a new book coming out soon, The Universal Christ: How a Forgotten Reality Can Change Everything We See, Hope For, and Believe
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“I am bored with my life?”
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I feel unfulfilled, like I am just going through the motions everyday.
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Centering Prayer Course: A Training Course for Opening to the Presence of God – 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.
“In case you haven’t noticed, you have a mental dialogue going on inside your head that never stops.” This is the opening sentence of Michael Singer’s book, The Untethered Soul. Since its publication in 2007, I’ve been inundated with questions about why that inner voice is always talking, why so much of what it says is negative and stressful, and most importantly, how you free yourself from it. In this course, we will put to rest any questions you have about that inner dialogue. Not just about quieting it down—but about how to steadily remove the root cause of its existence.
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. 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?
David Frenette’s book The Path of Centering Prayer re-energized the Centering Prayer tradition with its fresh insights and teachings. This 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, and then guides us experientially through core prayers and meditations.
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.)
Resurrecting Jesus: Embodying the Spirit of a Revolutionary Mystic, Jesus crossed all of the boundary lines that separated the people of his time because he viewed the world from the perspective of what unites us, not what divides us. In these intimate sessions, Adya invites us to consider the man known as Jesus as a model of enlightened engagement with the world. He examines the story of Jesus from his birth to the Resurrection to reveal how the central events in Jesus’ life parallel the stages of spiritual awakening that we may be called to experience ourselves.