What is Contemplative Prayer?

Is Centering Prayer the same thing as Contemplative Prayer?

Many will say it is.

I suggest it is not.

Centering Prayer is both a practice and a relationship with God.

Centering Prayer opens us to the presence of God beyond our thoughts and emotions: Contemplative Prayer.

Centering Prayer is a portal to Contemplative Prayer.

We get out of the way.

Centering Prayer is a method that places a strong emphasis on interior silence.

That is why we use our sacred word to let go of our thoughts and emotions when we engage them and open to the presence and actions of God within.

Centering Prayer helps us remove the barriers to God.

We let God be God.

We even let go of Centering Prayer during our sits.

Sometimes we need to use our sacred word frequently.

Other times we find we hardly need it at all.

We enter the space between our thoughts.

We do not know we entered this space until we engage our thoughts.

I believe the space between our thoughts is Contemplative Prayer.

It is a gaze of faith.

It is a gift of God.

Contemplative Prayer is a rest in the rest of God.

We let God do all the work.

God prays in us for we know not what to pray.

We need not worry what to pray.

I find this very comforting.

I resonate with what Thomas Keating had to say.

“Contemplative Prayer is the world in which God can do anything. To move into that realm is the greatest adventure. It is to be open to the Infinite and hence to infinite possibilities.”


Go Further with Richard Rohr:

The Universal Christ: How a Forgotten Reality Can Change Everything We See, Hope For, and Believe

The Naked Now: Learning To See As the Mystics See

Divine Dance

Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer

Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life



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SEEING WITH THE EYES OF THE HEART: Living the Wisdom of the Jesus Story

On Seeing with the Eyes of the Heart, Adya and Cynthia Bourgeault explore:

  • How we can begin to embody this loving, heart-centered presence in even the most challenging moments of our daily lives
  • Jesus as a wisdom figure from whom we can learn these heart lessons
  • How the crucifixion, the resurrection, and other key events of Jesus’ life serve as a blueprint for awakening and deep surrender
  • Everyday practices for keeping our hearts tender and awake even during challenges and trials
  • Includes two guided heart-opening practice sessions led by Cynthia and Adya.

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