I thought it would be fun to jot down a bunch of questions related to centering prayer. Over the next couple of weekly meditations, I will provide my answers to the below questions. These questions are in no particular order.
As you think about your centering prayer practice, how will you answer them? If you practice another form of meditation, go ahead and answer them for your particular practice.
Here are the questions:
- Why do you center?
- When do you center?
- How often do you center?
- How long do you center?
- Is it difficult to get a second sit in during the day?
- Do you have a special place designated as your centering space?
- What do you do as you transition from your sit to getting on with your day?
- How long have you been practicing?
- What are some fruits of your practice that you or others have noticed about you?
- Do you use a sacred word, visual symbol, or other sacred method?
- Do you center with your eyes open or closed?
In case you are not familiar with centering prayer, let me describe the steps as taught by Fr. Thomas Keating and Contemplative Outreach. Centering Prayer has four simple guidelines:
- Choose a sacred word as the symbol of your intention to consent to God’s presence and action within;
- Sitting comfortably and with eyes closed, settle briefly and silently introduce the sacred word as the symbol of your consent to God’s presence and action within;
- When engaged with your thoughts (including body sensations, feelings, images and reflections), return ever-so-gently to the sacred word;
- At the end of the prayer period, remain in silence with eyes closed for a couple of minutes.
Next week I will provide my answer to the question: Why do I practice centering prayer?