Today I will review Step 3:
When you become aware of thoughts, emotions and physical sensations, return ever so gently to your sacred word.
On March 19 I discussed Step 1: The Sacred Word. Feel free to refer to it if you need to. If you recall, we begin our prayer with a sacred word, sacred image, sacred glance or even our breath. We need to choose what is most comfortable for us.
Over time we might change our word or even change from the sacred word to the sacred image for example. I found I was attracted to a sacred image and have stuck with it for now.
Each time you begin to plan your day, think about a past activity that aggravates you or you worry about the endless tasks you might need to do today, gently let them go and return to your sacred word.
You might need to do this over and over again. Sometimes there is more and more space between your thoughts and you do not need to return to your sacred word as frequently.
Other times you will discover that you are able to let go of your thoughts, emotions and physical sensations without the intervention of the sacred word. Don’t worry. That is perfectly okay too.
Cynthia Bourgeault reminds us,…”thoughts are not an obstacle in Centering Prayer, but an opportunity. Each new thought gives you chance to exercise that “muscle” of letting go.”
Next week I will discuss Step 4:
At the end of the centering prayer session, remain in silence for a minute or two before you resume your daily activities.
I hope you will continue to join me next week.
A “Secret Weapon” of Centering Prayer by Marc Thomas Shaw
David Frenette, The Path of Centering Prayer
Cynthia Bourgeault, Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening
Cynthia Bourgeault, The Heart of Centering Prayer: Nondual Christianity in Theory and Practice
Thomas Keating, Intimacy with God: An Introduction to Centering Prayer
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Does this sound like you?
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