What Is Contemplative Prayer?



What is the difference between Centering Prayer and Contemplative Prayer?

I have heard some people say they are the same.

I believe they are not the same.

Centering Prayer is a practice that opens us to Contemplative Prayer.

We even let go of Centering Prayer to enter and open to Contemplative Prayer.

Contemplative Prayer is a silent sit with the pure presence of God who is beyond thoughts, emotions, words and physical sensations.

We let go of our thoughts, emotions and physical sensations with the use of our sacred word.

And open to the presence and actions of God within.

One way to think about it is when we look at a beautiful sunset.

We are wordless.

It is just beautiful.

As soon as we put words to it, we are out of Contemplative Prayer.

Contemplative  Prayer is just being with Being.

It is nice to just be sometimes.

When we learn to be with God we seem to learn to just be with people.

We learn to be with life and all of its ups and downs.

We open to life and all it offers.

We experience the fullness of life.

Go Further:

Open Mind, Open Heart 20th Anniversary Edition  by Thomas Keating and Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening were the first two books I read as I began my Centering Prayer practice.

 A Taste of Silence:  Centering Prayer and the Contemplative Journey by Carl J Arico

 Presence and Process: A Path Toward Transformative Faith and Inclusive Community by Daniel P Coleman

Holy Silence: A Gift of Quaker Silence by J. Brent Bill


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