Keep the Water Flowing

I recently reread Nicholas Amato’s book, Moving from Stress to Joy.

I wish to share within chapter 7, “Poised in a New Way: Able to Handle Stress Prayerfully and Be There for Others”, two wonderful paragraphs under the section , “Just Enough Cushion Sitting”.

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“Serious advocates of sitting-in-silence refer to their devoted time to the presence as “cushion sitting”. I, along with Thomas Keating and the Centering Prayer School that he and others have developed, would suggest two 20-minute sessions a day- one in the morning and one in the evening. Recommendations for the length and number of sessions are given as a guide, and in this regard “more may not be better.” Spending large amounts of time may become, like drugs, a way of escaping reality. To the question of why twice a day for 20 minutes and not one longer. Keating responds,” [1]

“Twice a day keeps you closer to the reservoir of silence. If you get too far away from the reservoir, it is like being on the end of the waterline after everybody has taken what they want from the reservoir. When you turn on the faucet, you only get a few drops. To prevent that from happening, keep the pressure up. You need to keep filling your reservoir until you eventually strike an artisan well. Then the water is always flowing.” [2]


Let me share my experience as to why two sits per day are vital and when I like to take my second sit.

My first sit is the first thing I do before I begin the day. It gets me ready for the day! God and I partner to begin the day. I arise from my sit and walk with God the remainder of the day.

My reservoir runs empty. I need a second sit! During the work day, I usually arise from my desk between noon and 2 pm and walk to my car. I take my second sit in the driver’s seat, weather permitting crack the windows before I begin.

I need this sit! It refreshes me and replenishes my soul. I am always amazed at how productive I am after I return to my desk to finish the day.

Keating suggests an evening sit as the second sit. I need my second sit to be sooner during the workweek. However, on the weekends my second sit is often in the evening. I simply listen to the nudges of the Spirit as to when my second sit should be.

I encourage you to take that second sit. I also encourage you to listen to the Spirit within and then take this sit when the Spirit prompts you.

Please send me a note or comment below and let me know when you take your second sit. I would love to hear from you.

Go Further 

[1] Nicholas Amato, Moving from Stress to Joy, (Baltimore: Uptown Press, Inc, 2018), 138

[2] Thomas Keating, Open Mind Open Heart: The Contemplative Dimensions of the Gospel, (New York: Continuum International Publishing Group, 2006), 58

Also by Nicholas Amato, Living in God: Contemplative Prayer and Contemplative Action


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