I was recently asked if I will write a post with centering prayer tips for people with ADHD. The individual mentioned she has trouble with focus during her prayer time.
I am pleased to write this post and hope she and others find it helpful!
Let’s first define ADHD.
ADHD is an acronym for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
As pulled from WebMD:
“Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) affects children and teens and can continue into adulthood. ADHD is the most commonly diagnosed mental disorder of children. Children with ADHD may be hyperactive and unable control their impulses. Or they may have trouble paying attention. These behaviors interfere with school and home life.
It’s more common in boys than in girls. It’s usually discovered during the early school years, when a child begins to have problems paying attention.
Adults with ADHD may have trouble managing time, being organized, setting goals, and holding down a job. They may also have problems with relationships, self-esteem, and addiction.”
I do not suffer from ADHD, however, I am happy to share some suggestions on how one who does can still practice centering prayer. Here are my thoughts. I hope you find them helpful!
- Center in smaller bursts of time: 1 minute to 5 minutes.
- Practice multiple sets of centering prayer using 1-5 minute bursts. Perform 2-3 sets per scheduled sit time.
- Sit 3 to 5 times per day. It is important to refill your reservoir throughout the day.
- Walk outside for up to 20 minutes while you practice centering prayer.
- Walk inside for up to 20 minutes if the weather does not permit.
- Sit 1-5 minutes and then walk 15 minutes. Do this twice per day.
The most important thing to remember is that you cannot fail at centering prayer. God loves you and is delighted that you have taken the time to sit, walk or a combination of both.
It does not matter if it is 1 minute or 20 minutes. It only takes a second or less for God to act in you when you open yourself to the presence and actions of God within.
Over time you will discover the wonderful and unique fruits that the Spirit has planted within you during your non centering times.
I am interested to hear from others. Let me know what ideas you have too.
Driven to Distraction (Revised): Recognizing and Coping with Attention Deficit Disorder by Edward M. Hallowell and John J Ratey
Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening by Cynthia Bourgeault
The Path of Centering Prayer by David Frenette
Intimacy with God: An Introduction to Centering Prayer by Thomas Keating
Moving from Stress to Joy by Nicholas Amato
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I am currently taking on clients for Centering Prayer One on One Coaching sessions. I am happy to setup weekly, bi-weekly or monthly sessions with you over the phone or skype to help you go deeper into your centering prayer practice and integrate it into your daily life. Contact me for more information. The rate is $50 – $75 per hour. The first session is 1/2 off.
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I am currently reading The Day the Revolution Began: Reconsidering the Meaning of Jesus’s Crucifixion by N. T. Wright. I plan on reading Grateful: The Transformative Power of Giving Thanks by Diana Butler Bass.
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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.
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.
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.)