What Can A Silent Sit Do For You?

The discipline of centering prayer is self-emptying, self-sacrificing, letting go of the limited sense of self that is separate from God, from others, and from all life. [1]

– David Frenette

Each time I sit in silence, I self-empty.  I forget who I think I am.  I am no longer a father, a husband, a co-worker, an employee with clients, a son, a friend of others, a person who has tasks that need to get done today.

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I let go of who I think I am today or need to be.  I let go of what I need to do today. I let go of what I think I need to do today.  I let go of my anxieties, concerns and worries just for this short time while I silently sit.  None of this is important.

These anxieties, concerns, identities, tasks, and worries are barriers.  They often make me feel that I am separate from God, from others, from life.  They overwhelm me.  I feel alone. I freeze.

Once I have let them go, I can just be.  I can just be with God.  When my mind wanders during centering prayer, I use my sacred icon to ever so gently return to the state when I can just be with God.

God wants to sit with me.  God is delighted that I sit.  God loves me.  I love God.  We are two friends who quietly sit with each other.  No words need to be said.  It is sometimes nice to just be.  It is nice to just sit with life and with my God.

Eventually, I no longer need to use my sacred icon.  I find the space between my thoughts increases.  Of course, I know this only after my sit is over and the closing bell has rung.  What happens during this time?

When my sit is over, I arise a new person.  I am refreshed.  I am calm.  I am full of energy that will be used for the day’s tasks.  I am excited and full of life.  I am reconnected with God.  God and I are partners during my silent sit.  God and I continue to be partners during the non-silent parts of my day.

I no longer feel alone.  I am connected to God, my daily partner.  I feel connected to others.  I need this connection with others.  They need me and I need them.  I feel connected to life and all that life offers. I see things that before I did not notice.

Centering prayer is my daily portal to the Divine.  I leave my baggage at its door.  I walk through its door so I can reconnect with God, with others and with life.

How do you feel after each silent sit? Please feel free to share your experience.

Learn more on my Centering Prayer and Resource pages.

Go Further:

Practicing the Presence of God by Pamela Begeman, Mary Ann Brussat, Gail Fitzpatrick-Hopler, David Frenette: We live in a world of complexity, fragmentation, noise, and haste. We sometimes find ourselves overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of tasks, appointments, and commitments facing us. How can we experience God in the midst of the busyness, responsibilities, and activities of our daily lives? By practice. By living more in the present moment. By practicing the presence of God in the present moment.

David Frenette’s book The Path of Centering Prayer re-energized the Centering Prayer tradition with its fresh insights and teachings. This 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, and then guides us experientially through core prayers and meditations.

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[1] David Frenette, The Path of Centering Prayer:  Deepening Your Experience of God, ( Sounds True ): 2012


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The Wisdom Jesus by Cynthia Bourgeault: Jesus first and foremost is a Wisdom teacher, grounded in the universal traditions of spiritual transformation, and the first teacher of non-dual consciousness the West had ever seen. Almost two thousand years ahead of his time, he stands in the lineage of the great Jewish prophets, the master “cardiologist” entrusted with implementing the promise made to the prophet Ezekiel: “I will take away your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”

Centering Prayer by Cynthia Bourgeault: Centering Prayer is a simple, no-frills form of meditation in the Christian tradition. Since it was first developed by Christian contemplative monks in the 1970s, it has allowed tens of thousands of practitioners worldwide to “return home,” developing an authentically Christian meditation practice which not only delivers the healing and quieting of the mind typical of all meditation paths, but also reconnects directly to Christianity’s hidden treasury of mystical and transformational wisdom.

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Sounds True has titles by teachers and authors such as Thomas Keating, Cynthia Bourgeault, James Finley, Richard Rohr, David Frenette, Parker Palmer , Eckhart  Tolle , Michael Singer , Jon Kabat-Zinn , Marianne Williamson to name a few.

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