The beloved says from the other side of the door, “Open the door and come in, so we can experience just how one we might become.”
Centering prayer is the door I open to come in and experience oneness with God. I have searched for this door for forty-eight years. I knocked on many doors. For now, I will not knock on any new doors. I walked through the centering prayer door and have decided to stay in this house. It resonates with me.
When I center I feel like I walk into God’s house. I drop off all of my excess baggage at the front door. I sit in God’s living room. God has a special chair for me. I am invited by God to sit and rest. It is here that I am loved, healed. It is my special time with God. No one can take this time from us. No words need to be said. We are two friends who need each other (James 2:23). I need God’s love and healing. God needs my action in the world during my non-centering times of the day.
Centering prayer will continue to be the door I open to experience oneness with God. I always feel welcome in God’s house. I will also share this door with as many people as I can. They can then determine if this is the right door for them.
Centering prayer grounds me so I can better perform in this world. Centering prayer opens my eyes. I now see the Divine where I previously did not. Centering prayer is my portal to oneness with God. It opens me to the continuous presence of God. It counters the dullness of my routines and encourages me to let go, take risks, and try new things.
James Finley, Christian Meditation: Experiencing the Presence of God
Merton’s Palace of Nowhere by James Finley
The Contemplative Heart by James Finley
Wandering Wounds by James Finley
Healing the Divide: Recovering Christianity’s Mystic Roots by Amos Smith
Be Still and Listen: Experience the Presence of God in Your Life by Amos Smith
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Since the time of the Desert Fathers in the third century, Finley begins, Christian mystics have practiced meditation as a way of opening to the direct presence of God in daily life. Legendary seekers such as Saint John of the Cross, Saint Teresa of Avila, and Meister Eckhart explored how meditation can lead us beyond the closed horizon of the ego, to an interior and holy refuge that is always available to us. On Christian Meditation, James Finley offers a gentle introduction to this all-transforming way of life, and the ever-deepening realization of oneness with Christ it leads us to. (Based upon his book, Christian Meditation.)
Thomas Merton’s Path to the Palace of Nowhere: The Essential Guide to the Contemplative Teachings of Thomas Merton – Now James Finley, who for six years lived, prayed, and studied with Brother Louis, as Merton was known at the Abbey of Gethsemani, shares with us the gifts passed on to him by this towering figure.
The Teachings of Meister Eckhart: An Invitation to Experience God in Every Moment: The 13th-century mystic Meister Eckhart was the most brilliant Christian scholar of his day, but he was also legendary for the way that he opened listeners to the direct experience of God during his public talks. Today, his written wisdom remains alive as ever, ready to illuminate us. James Finley, one of today’s best-known teachers of the Christian contemplative tradition, invites us into Eckhart’s insights in the same way that this luminary teacher delighted in sharing them—through the spoken word.
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.
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.
Holy Silence: The Quaker Way by J. Brent Bill: Quaker silence is not about stillness, as such, but rather about encountering God in a living and vital holy hush. This e-course encourages women and men to undertake a journey of spiritual silence. The destination is a quiet inner place where God teaches us directly. Friends (as Quakers are formally known) have been honing their take on silence for more than 350 years. It’s a silence that invites us to an immediate and personal encounter with God. That’s because Quakers believe that when we are silent, then the Spirit of God grants us insights, guidance, and understanding of spiritual truth.
The Wisdom of the Desert Fathers and Mothers by Christine Valters Paintner: The Wisdom of the Desert Fathers and Mothers with Christine Valters Paintner” is an Online Retreat that enables you to explore and engage with the insights of the desert mothers and fathers of fourth and fifth century Egypt. These men and women of God went to the desert to live out a simple but challenging spirituality that still resonates strongly for us today.
Ignatian Spirituality for Everyday Life by Margaret Silf: This e-course invites you into a journey of exploration into this practical, real-world approach to Christian spirituality. Discover something of the real Ignatius. Let him guide you into the creative power of your own desires and offer you tools for making wiser choices. Try out some of the methods of prayer and reflection that he suggests, and engage with the power of scriptural meditation. Learn to notice what is moving in your heart, and discern which movements are coming from the deepest core of your being, where God is indwelling.
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.
2 thoughts on “Centering Prayer: The Door to Oneness with God”
Very much appreciate your posts. Am a student at The Living School with Richard Rohr, Jim Finley and Cynthia Bourgeault.
Thank you Roy! Three great teachers!