“It’s in these gaps that Centering Prayer does its real transformative work.”
“….bit by bit you’ll discover that this inner spaciousness is no longer “a place you go to” but “a place you come from.” It begins to offer itself as a new home for your deepest sense of self hood.”
“In the nano second between the cessation of one thought and the arising of the next, there is a moment of pure consciousness where subject and object poles drop out and you’re simply there. For a nano second, there’s no “you” and no God. No experience and no experiencer. There’s simply a direct, undivided, sensate awareness of a single, unified field of being perceived from a far deeper place of aliveness.”
I pulled these quotes from Cynthia Bourgeault’s Book, The Heart of Centering Prayer: Nondual Christianity in Theory and Practice.
I call it the spaces between my thoughts. I enter them during my silent sit. Sometimes they are short. Other times they are longer in duration. I seem to emerge from my sit a new creation. I arise from my sit calm, peaceful, energized and excited to live life. I find I am very productive after my sit. I often discover solutions to problems that previously seemed to elude and hide from me.
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What happens in the spaces between my thoughts? Why are they important?
God is in action. We connect to the Divine within. We become one with the One. We can take this connection with the Divine with us as we arise from our sits. We take it with us into our day and into the tasks that we need to perform.
God wants us to be calm. God wants us to have inner peace not turmoil. God wants us to have energy to accomplish our tasks. Gods wants us to have excitement for life! God wants us to enjoy life and the relationships we have with others. God wants us to live productive lives. God wants us to find solutions to the challenges that we face.
Why wouldn’t God want all of this for us? God loves us! God wishes us to have abundant lives! I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. (John 10:10)
During centering prayer we put on the mind of Christ. If we choose to practice centering prayer or some other type of daily contemplative practice, we continue to put on the mind of Christ each time we sit. This also means that we can continue to take the mind of Christ with us into our daily routines. That is powerful!
Even during our daily routines we can take a silent pause. A moment of silence is all that God needs for us to put back on the mind of Christ so we can resume our duties and tasks.
I encourage you schedule time each day for a contemplative practice such as centering prayer. Perhaps you start your day with this practice. It also means you might schedule a second practice time later in the day.
I also encourage you to let the Spirit nudge you when you need to take a ‘silent pause’. This is an unscheduled pause: one that is much shorter in duration but just as important.
The mind of Christ is always available to us!
Books and courses by Cynthia Bourgeault:
(Listen to The Heart of Centering Prayer for Free when you try Audible with a 30-day free trial.)
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.
The Gospel of Thomas by Cynthia Bourgeault: This e-course, “The Gospel of Thomas with Cynthia Bourgeault,” is a complete “Thomas starter kit”: everything you need to know to get you up and running with this remarkable text, plus a generous sampling of its most important sayings, arranged thematically so that they speak to issues that contemporary spiritual seekers are actually dealing with.
A Simple Immediacy: Desert Wisdom for Advent by Cynthia Bourgeault: The Desert Fathers and Mothers of the fourth and fifth centuries are arguably the first Wisdom School in Christian history. At first in trickles and then in waves, they fled into the deserts of Egypt and Syria to escape the increasing imperialization of the Christian Church and to live in a simple immediacy with the Risen Christ. In the process, they generated an extraordinary body of practical teachings on the spiritual practices underlying this life of deeper awareness and mystical union.