Contemplative Attitude: Letting Go and Letting Be

This is part one of a three part series on contemplative attitudes. David Frenette’s book The Path of Centering Prayer: Deepening Your Experience of God discusses the attitude you bring to your centering prayer sit and how it will help deepen your practice.

David mentions eight contemplative attitudes in his book. This three part series will focus on three of the attitudes:

  • Letting go and letting be
  • Gentleness and effortlessness
  • Embracing and being embraced by God

 

“Letting go is at the heart of centering prayer.”

“As centering prayer deepens, letting go yields to letting be—being in God’s Being.”

“The contemplative attitudes of letting go and letting be open you to God’s nature, which is love.”

“Letting go and letting be in life mean letting God become the source of every moment, every relationship, and every activity.”

“You learn to float in God in prayer in order to swim with God in life.”

 

During centering prayer I move from letting go to letting be. I allow myself to rest in God’s presence. I trust that all I need at this time is to be held and engulfed by the loving arms of God who is Love.

I can also choose to take this same attitude with me into my non silent times of the day. When I become anxious or worried, I can take a silent pause, let go and rest in God’s Being. When I am stuck on a problem at work, I can pause, let go of the problem and rest for a minute in God’s Love.

As David mentions, we learn to float in God in prayer in order to swim with God in life. Our silent sits serve as valuable practices for our daily life encounters. My silent sits teach me how to live each day! My actions spawn from my silent sits.

During my silent sit God seems to provide me with an inner nudge. I need to respond to these nudges during my non silent times. I know it is a nudge from God if I feel a sense of inner peace and that this action will not harm me or others.

Sometimes my inner nudge is to do nothing. God might want someone else to handle the situation or simply wish that I wait because now is not the time to act.

I want to point out that during my silent sits I continue to let go of all thoughts, emotions and physical sensations and open to the presence and actions of God within. I even let go of any inner nudges during my sit. If an inner nudge is important it will come back up when my sit is over.

I encourage you to let go and let be during your silent sits and also during the course of your day as needed so God can become the source of every moment, every relationship, and every activity.

Go Further:

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.

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.

 

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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.

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.

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.

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