Centering Prayer: The Old is New Again
My life continues to be magical since I returned from Ireland. And, I appreciate the texture of this elongated magical experience. I lean more deeply into the awareness that All Dimensions of God — including this frolicking, light filled realm, is available to me (and each of us) at all moments in time. We enter into realms, though, through resonance or Grace. I have become more aware of how quickly and easily I have allowed myself to close my heart and remain out of this and other anointed realms due to my shallower self wanting to be in charge. I continue to practice aligning with my Soul, opening my heart and saying YES to The Almighty while snuggling this shallower part of me and taking her along.
This past Saturday I ventured to the Franciscan Renewal Center; a true jewel in the Phoenix/Scottsdale desert. It is a Catholic Retreat Center that is extraordinarily progressive and loving. I took a Centering Prayer class, based upon the work of Father Thomas Keating who based this practice on the work of the Catholic Mystics who have been a significant part of the Western way-showers of Consciousness development. These mystics, I am pleased to say included many women, like Teresa of Avila’. These women and their mystical brothers feel deeply in love with God and wrote about states of consciousness where God took them over.
Centering Prayer is based upon the practice of being taken over by The Divine. Call It God, Jesus, The Holy Spirit, the Mother Mary … it is opening your body temple up to receive Its Divine Grace and Guidance. In Saturday’s class we were continuously reminded to take our “sit” in the energy of Consent. Consenting to God’s Grace. In all Sacred Scriptures, God does not interfere with our lives. We engage with The Presence and Together express Its Presence. Just the practice of sitting in Consent is worth the price of admission. So, Saturday, I did three “sits” with the Catholics and want to share the practice with you here. THE BOOK on Centering Prayer is called Open Mind and Open Heart by Keating. Here’s a process overview:
- Choose a sacred word you can lean into throughout the sit should your mind wander. The preferred way of choosing a word is asking your Holy Self while in prayer. The word will resonate with you and you will want to sit with it. Some examples can be Grace, Love, God, Peace, Jesus, Faith, Shalom.
- Close your eyes and sit silently with your attention upon your breath. If your attention wonders, return to your breath or to your sacred word. Repeat until your 20 minutes are up.
- Optional: Pray at the end of 20 minutes.
This prayer is to be done twice a day and over the years of practice you and I will experience quite a bit of inner softening of self righteous and trusting our Soul Self or God to speak through us, guide us, and support what used to feel difficult.
This practice is a Contemplative Practice and I have come to learn is available with group gatherings in churches across the country. This morning, to continue this practice, I discovered a YouTube support for Centering Prayer and I am including it here for you:
What I know for sure is that spiritual practice is important to those on a spiritual path for it is how we inform our being and The Presence of our willingness to live from the Soul.
May your day be blessed,