In my Centering Prayer Questions meditation, I posed some centering prayer questions. Since I asked these very questions, it is only fitting that I answer them too.
In two previous meditations, I answered the below questions:
This time I will answer two more questions: How often do I center? How long do I center?
How often do I center
I center twice per day. My first sit is as soon as I wake up. During the week days I work. This means I set my alarm twenty minutes earlier so I can set aside this time for my sit. On the weekends, I do not need to set my alarm. I will sit after I awake but before I begin my day. In my opinion this is the best way to start the day. God and I are partnering as we begin our day! I would not have it any other way.
I am flexible when it comes to my second sit. During the work week I try as much as possible to sit in the afternoon between 2:00 and 3:30. I am able to leave my work desk and head to my car. I will sit in my car provided it is not too cold or too hot. I am always amazed by how calm and refreshed I feel after this sit. Even if I am very busy, I stop myself and walk to my car for my sit. I have found that I am still able to complete my day. In fact, I seem to be more productive after this sit. I encourage everyone to try an afternoon sit. I think you will be pleased with the results.
How long do I center
As much as possible I try to sit for twenty minutes each time. I will be honest, occasionally there are times when I am not able to sit twenty minutes. Sometimes it is ten or fifteen and other times it is twenty minutes. As much as possible I sit for twenty minutes. It takes me at least five to ten minutes to really slow down. I know that I need at least ten minutes so I always try to keep this as my minimum. When my mind wanders, I just picture my internal sacred icon and bring myself back. Other times, quickly I enter the spaces between my thoughts. I seem to lose track of time. The bell goes off and I am finished. I know I did not fall asleep. I was beyond my thoughts. I was enclosed in God. That is ok. This is a safe place to be because I know I will be loved and comforted by God.
My next meditation will address the question: Is it difficult to get a second sit in during the day?