This is part three of a three part series on contemplative attitudes. David Frenette’s book The Path of Centering Prayer: Deepening Your Experience of God discusses the attitudes 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
In case you need to review:
Part 1: Letting go and letting be.
Part 2: Gentleness and effortlessness
This week I will discuss Embracing and being embraced by God.
“By resisting emotions, you also resist the transforming action of God.”
“Embracing is an active contemplative attitude that helps you shift into a deep perspective of faith.”
“Feelings are a gift, a part of human experience to be embraced.”
“In other words, one of the best ways of letting go of an emotion is simply to feel it.”
I remember my first sit after my father passed away. As I began my prayer time I sobbed and allowed myself to grieve. I utilized my sacred icon to open to the presence and action of God within.
I continued to cry, let go, and open to the presence and action of God within over and over and over again. Finally I rested in God who is Love and transcends my emotions. God seemed to replace my pain and grief with His boundless love.
I have learned that my feelings are a gift from God to be embraced. When I feel guilty, fearful, anxious, nervous, angry or sad I can take these emotions with me into my silent sit. Thomas Keating mentions that if necessary these emotions can become your sacred word.
It is wonderful to know that God embraces all of me during my silent sit. God seems to transform these emotions with actions He wishes me to take. Other times God replaces these feelings with an inner peace and calmness.
Lastly, I have noticed that God will instill within me an inner nudge to move forward on an action that both excites me and makes me feel nervous. God simply wishes to move me out of my comfort zone so I can move and grow.
I will continue to embrace the emotions God has given me. I will continue to bring these emotions to my silent sits. I am excited to discover the inner nudges and transformations God has in mind for me.
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. (Listen to this for Free when you try Audible with a 30-day free trial.)
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I am currently reading The Sacred Enneagram: Finding Your Unique Path to Spiritual Growth by Christopher Heuertz. Free with your Audible trial
Orthodox Crafts: Making the perfect Orthodox gift, or a personal aid in your spiritual struggle, our prayer bracelets are beautifully crafted to be kept for a lifetime. Here you will find bracelets from all the other prayer rope categories, so that you find easier the desired bracelets. Strengthen your relationship with God by wearing these bracelets and praying at any time and place during the day. Browse the selection below and find the perfect one for you. Also don’t forget to visit our other prayer rope collections – Wool Prayer Ropes and Panagia’s Tears.
Enjoy my video How I Use My Prayer Bracelet.
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.
Feel free to peruse my Resource Page. I frequently update it with new information.
The Power of the Jesus Prayer: Learn a method practiced by Christian mystics for centuries to consent to the action and presence of God within.
Contemplative Practices: 5 Ways of Consenting to the Divine: Learn methods practiced by Christian mystics for centuries to consent to the action and presence of God within, including Centering Prayer, The Examen, Lectio Divina, Christian Meditation, and the Jesus Prayer.
Contemplative Perspectives: Frameworks for the Divine: For anyone who craves to deepen their contemplative process and more fully embody and integrate the the higher stages of the mystical path, Contemplative Perspectives offers an opportunity to travel through the various states of awakening and understand the territory. With the historic practice of The Jesus Prayer as a jumping off point, we explore the experiential aspects of the Purgation/Illumination/Union path of Christian Mysticism.
The Divine Transformation: Essentials of Christian Mysticism: This is a combined course of both Contemplative Practices and Contempative Perspectives.
Christian Prayer Methods: Prayer is a core Christian practice, but for many, this means “saying prayers” or asking God for various favors. In this course, we will review a variety of methods of prayer that have been used for centuries in Christianity. Whether you’re a beginner who is just learning how to pray, or a more mature Christian who has been at it awhile, this course will offer specific guidance, encouragement and support for practicing several time-tested methods of prayer.
The Way of the Wisdom Jesus: Going Beyond the Mind to the Heart of His Teaching – If you put aside what you think you know about Jesus and approach the Gospels as though for the first time, something remarkable happens: Jesus emerges as a teacher of the transformation of consciousness. In this online course, Episcopal priest, teacher, and retreat and conference leader Cynthia Bourgeault serves as a masterful guide to Jesus’s vision and to the traditional contemplative practices you can use to experience the heart of his teaching for yourself. It is based upon her book, The Wisdom Jesus: Transforming Heart and Mind – a New Perspective on Christ and His Message .
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.
This course is a short course based on Prof. N.T. Wright’s latest book, Simply Good News. Tom Wright will guide you through the chapters of his book through videos that suggest what some of the main points are. You will instantly get into the heart of the idea of ‘good news’ as it was understood by the 1st Century writers of the New Testament. You will be brought into their world in order to make more sense of what ‘good news’ means in our world.
Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks – This is a great way to listen to books with your cell phone while you drive, walk or relax at home. I frequently listen in my car during my commute to and from work. I’m a proud affiliate.
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.)