This is part one of a three part series on contemplative attitudes. David Frenette’s book The Path of Centering Prayer: Deepening Your Experience of God discusses the attitude you bring to your centering prayer sit and how it will help deepen your practice.
David mentions eight contemplative attitudes in his book. This three part series will focus on three of the attitudes:
- Letting go and letting be
- Gentleness and effortlessness
- Embracing and being embraced by God
“Letting go is at the heart of centering prayer.”
“As centering prayer deepens, letting go yields to letting be—being in God’s Being.”
“The contemplative attitudes of letting go and letting be open you to God’s nature, which is love.”
“Letting go and letting be in life mean letting God become the source of every moment, every relationship, and every activity.”
“You learn to float in God in prayer in order to swim with God in life.”
During centering prayer I move from letting go to letting be. I allow myself to rest in God’s presence. I trust that all I need at this time is to be held and engulfed by the loving arms of God who is Love.
I can also choose to take this same attitude with me into my non silent times of the day. When I become anxious or worried, I can take a silent pause, let go and rest in God’s Being. When I am stuck on a problem at work, I can pause, let go of the problem and rest for a minute in God’s Love.
As David mentions, we learn to float in God in prayer in order to swim with God in life. Our silent sits serve as valuable practices for our daily life encounters. My silent sits teach me how to live each day! My actions spawn from my silent sits.
During my silent sit God seems to provide me with an inner nudge. I need to respond to these nudges during my non silent times. I know it is a nudge from God if I feel a sense of inner peace and that this action will not harm me or others.
Sometimes my inner nudge is to do nothing. God might want someone else to handle the situation or simply wish that I wait because now is not the time to act.
I want to point out that during my silent sits I continue to let go of all thoughts, emotions and physical sensations and open to the presence and actions of God within. I even let go of any inner nudges during my sit. If an inner nudge is important it will come back up when my sit is over.
I encourage you to let go and let be during your silent sits and also during the course of your day as needed so God can become the source of every moment, every relationship, and every activity.
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.
this post may contain affiliate links
One on One Coaching with Rich
Does this sound like you?
“I am bored with my life?”
“I am not doing the things that I want to do in all areas of my life:”
-career, personal, family, community.
I feel unfulfilled, like I am just going through the motions everyday.
I have dreams and goals, but I am afraid to show up and take action on them.
I don’t want years to pass and be disappointed when I look back on my life.
Integrating Centering Prayer practice with your everyday life addresses all of these thoughts.
Do you want to obtain the freedom to become your true self, the person I’m created to be?
How do I create a long lasting and sustainable centering prayer practice?
I am currently taking on clients for Centering Prayer One on One Coaching sessions.
I will work with you to setup a program designed to meet your specific needs.
Transforming the World through Contemplative Prayer: Richard Rohr, OFM, and Laurence Freeman, OSB—two long-time spiritual friends—offer practical guidance for the challenges of this time in Earth’s history. They teach us how we can put our deepest aspirations for personal realization and social transformation into practice. Their combined focus on contemplation, action, and a shared passion for truth illuminates the origins of our crisis and shows us the path toward lasting change and a more just and loving humanity. Discover the power of contemplative prayer to change the world.
Following the Mystics Through the Narrow Gate – Three leading voices in the contemplative Christian tradition explore the mystic’s path: Richard Rohr, James Finley and Cynthia Bourgeault. Experience a very special weekend conference with teachings that guide us through the long mystical tradition from early Christianity to our own time. This view into our mystical heritage opens our hearts to the Divine Mystery in which we live and are surrounded. The mystical union to which we are all invited strengthens us to live our lives with compassion and gratitude.
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?
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.
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.)
Thomas Merton’s Path to the Palace of Nowhere: The Essential Guide to the Contemplative Teachings of Thomas Merton – Now James Finley, who for six years lived, prayed, and studied with Brother Louis, as Merton was known at the Abbey of Gethsemani, shares with us the gifts passed on to him by this towering figure.
The Teachings of Meister Eckhart: An Invitation to Experience God in Every Moment: The 13th-century mystic Meister Eckhart was the most brilliant Christian scholar of his day, but he was also legendary for the way that he opened listeners to the direct experience of God during his public talks. Today, his written wisdom remains alive as ever, ready to illuminate us. James Finley, one of today’s best-known teachers of the Christian contemplative tradition, invites us into Eckhart’s insights in the same way that this luminary teacher delighted in sharing them—through the spoken word.
“My experience—from the depths of depression to the heights of joy—has taught me that the path toward wholeness takes patience and passion,” teaches Parker Palmer. With An Undivided Life, you will receive his timeless wisdom and guidance to help you discern, trust, and follow your authentic self at home, in your work, and in the world. We all yearn for a life that is whole—where “soul and role” are aligned and our innermost wisdom guides us in our actions. Perhaps no one has explored this topic more deeply than bestselling author and distinguished educator Parker J. Palmer.
Waking Up in the World is an online event gathering of 30 of today’s most inspiring spiritual teachers and social visionaries—offering their most powerful practices to help us navigate these times with courage, purpose, and love.