I suggest that your first centering prayer sit take place in the morning. Soon it will become a habit. I do not think you will regret it. This is the best way to start your day.
On workdays I make it a habit to set my alarm twenty minutes earlier. I retreat to the basement, light a candle and sit on my couch. It’s a wonderful way to begin the day. It wakes me up. It fills me with interior peace. I always feel ready for the day.
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I strongly suggest a second sit. A second sit refills your reservoir. It energizes you and helps you finish your day.
I work in an office building. In the early afternoon I head to my car. Here I take my second sit. I am always amazed by how productive the rest of my day is after this sit. A second sit refreshes me. I need this sit! My reservoir is empty. It needs to be refilled.
If you are unable to take an afternoon sit, I suggest you sit before you leave work or in the evening after dinner. This is a nice way to enter the relaxation of the evening. If you have kids, you might need to be creative with this second sit. You might need to sit after the kids go down for the night. You might need to negotiate with your partner and ask permission to slip away.
My wife and I enjoy to drink coffee at night. If I am not able to take an afternoon sit, I head to the kitchen and brew the coffee. I retreat to the basement, light my candle and take my second sit on my couch. When completed, I blow out the candle, head back to the kitchen, pour the coffee and enjoy my time with my wife.
I need both sits! The first sit starts my day. It prepares me for the day’s events. The second sit refills my reservoir.
Feel free to use your sacred word even during the day to refresh and re-focus you. When you become stressed, pause. Ever so gently return your inner gaze to your sacred word. I have found that this sacred pause allows me to calmly return to the task at hand.
Take two sits per day. Introduce your sacred word during the day when needed. If you miss a sit, do not become upset. God is very patient. God infinitely loves you and looks forward to when you sit the next day.
Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening by Cynthia Bourgeault
The Path of Centering Prayer: Deepening Your Experience of God by David Frenette
Intimacy with God: An Introduction to Centering Prayer by Thomas Keating
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Silence and the Spiritual Journey by Contemplative Outreach: The purpose of our historical lifetime is to provide us with space for the upward journey of evolution into vertical time and our assimilation of the eternal values that Christ brought into the world. This journey consists of everything from great touches of God (consolations) to the Dark Nights.
Lectio Divina Heart to Heart – Listening and Living with God by Contemplative Outreach: The ancient practice of praying the Scriptures is being rediscovered and renewed in our time. Known as Lectio Divina (Divine Reading), it is one of the great treasures of the Christian tradition of prayer.
The Gift of Life by Thomas Keating, Mary Anne Best, Susan Rush: This course will explore the gift of life in all its phases, even those of diminishment and death, as phrases of evolution and transformation in and through Christ. It is based on the recent DVD series with Fr. Thomas Keating, The Gift of Life: Death & Dying, Life & Living.
Sounds True has titles by teachers and authors such as Thomas Keating, Cynthia Bourgeault, James Finley, Richard Rohr, David Frenette, Parker Palmer , Adyashanti , Eckhart Tolle , Michael Singer , Jon Kabat-Zinn , Marianne Williamson to name a few.
Contemplative Light offers courses on contemplative practices (Christian Meditation, Centering Prayer, The Examen, Lectio Divina, The Jesus Prayer), the Christian mystics (ancient and current) and spiritual writing. Peruse their wonderful offerings.
Prayer-Bracelet: Authentic Orthodox prayer ropes and bracelets are handmade by monks in the Orthodox monastaries reciting a prayer for every knot they tie. Peruse their prayer ropes and bracelets that are all handmade, provided by several orthodox churches around the globe.
Themes in the Gospel of John by N. T. Wright: The course approaches the Gospel of John in a way that looks at seven key themes. These themes bind the Fourth Gospel together in a manner that allows us to see this ‘new way of living’ as possible for followers of King Jesus. In so doing, we then apply these themes to the current era in order to ask ourselves questions about how we are putting them into practice. In a way, this is the story of how to live out being the presence of God on earth through the indwelling of God’s spirit.
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.
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.