Centering Prayer Questions

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:

  1. Choose a sacred word as the symbol of your intention to consent to God’s presence and action within;
  2. 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;
  3. When engaged with your thoughts (including body sensations, feelings, images and reflections), return ever-so-gently to the sacred word;
  4. 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?

7 thoughts on “Centering Prayer Questions”

  1. How..Why… did Father Keating conclude (the resurrected ? ) Jesus is in us, as us..suffering….emptying….?

    I’m concentrating on ….how we understand who we really are?

    1. I pulled this from his book, Manifesting God. Perhaps this will help.

      “Jesus, on the other hand, teaches that God is closer than we are to ourselves—closer than breathing, closer than thinking, closer than choosing, closer than consciousness itself. In the saying about prayer in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 6:6), Jesus teaches that when we pray, we are to pray to Abba—not to the God of armies or to the God of strict justice, but to the God who is leaning over us like the most tender of parents. The God proclaimed by Jesus is every human relationship of love that is beautiful, good, and true—all rolled into one and multiplied a trillion times over. According to Jesus’ teaching, God’s relationship to us is characterized by immense and continuous concern, care and tenderness, and by an allinclusive forgiveness that extends to everything in our lives, from the moment of our conception until our death. God’s closeness is presupposed in Jesus’ wisdom saying about how to pray.”

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