If during centering prayer there are no distractions, no thoughts, words, images, smells, sounds, sights, tastes, then what’s left? Is anything left? Or is there just a great void?
During Centering Prayer we let go of all thoughts, emotions and physical sensations.
We open to the presence and actions of God within.
Yes, God is actually within us.
We are not God but we are the eyes and hands and feet of God.
We are the emanations of God.
God’s actions are beyond our thoughts, emotions and physical sensations.
It may seem like a void but it is the gift of God’s pure presence.
We let God pray in us.
I believe God prays in us the actions we are to take during our everyday lives.
These actions are unique to each person.
Other times I believe we sit to simply be loved and refreshed by God.
God loves us and is delighted we have chosen to sit with him.
We come to our silent sits to refill our reservoir.
They run dry during the course of the day.
I need my sits!
Centering Prayer is a place we come from.
We seem to arise from our sits a new and refreshed person.
That is why it is so exciting.
I encourage you to enter the silent void of God’s presence.
And see what happens……..
Mindful Silence: The Heart of Christian Contemplation by Phileena Heuertz
An Ocean of Light: Contemplation, Transformation, and Liberation by Martin Laird
Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer by Richard Rohr
The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics See by Richard Rohr
The Soul of a Pilgrim: Eight Practices for the Journey Within by Christine Valters Paintner
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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.
Contemplative Discernment by Fr. Carl Arico, Pamela Begeman, Gail Fitzpatrick-Hopler: A contemplative practice of discernment is not about decision-making, although this may be an eventual outcome. Rather, contemplative discernment is receptive in nature, a process of opening to receive clues about who we are in God. We focus on ever-deepening levels of relationship and trust in God’s will for us. We learn how to listen deeply to our motivations and sort through and purify any mixed motivations. As this relationship deepens, we learn to allow the love of God to motivate our actions and manifest through us. We discover what it means to truly pray “not my will, but Thy will.”
Embracing Living: The Welcoming Prayer by Contemplative Outreach, Mary Dwyer, Therese Saulnier, Cherry Haisten, Jim McElroy: The Welcoming Prayer is a method of consenting to God’s presence and action in our physical and emotional reactions to events and situations in daily life. If Centering Prayer (or another daily prayer) is practiced for one hour of the day, the Welcoming Prayer is for the other 23 hours. It is a “letting go” in the present moment, in the midst of the activity of ordinary life.
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.
Centering Prayer Course: A Training Course for Opening to the Presence of God – Centering Prayer is a silent prayer practice that can move you toward a profound relationship with the Spirit of God within. It is a way of praying that opens the door to the Divine Indwelling—the ground of our being. With Centering Prayer, Father Thomas Keating and his colleagues Gail Fitzpatrick-Hopler and Father Carl Arico present the first online course in this method for deepening your intimacy with God and ultimately consenting to the presence and action of the Divine in all aspects of your life.
For over 2000 years men and women have set out for the hills, fields and mountains to become Monks – searching for happiness, freedom, peace, joy, balance, fulfillment, confidence, stability, passion and God.