Thursday, March 22, 2007

Centering (Centring) Prayer

Centering prayer is a method designed to deepen the relationship with Christ and to facilitate the development of contemplative prayer by preparing our facilities to cooperate with this gift. It is an attempt to present the teaching of earlier times (e.g., The Cloud of Unknowing) in an updated form and put a certain order and regularity into it. It is not meant to replace other kinds of prayer; it simply puts other kinds of prayer into a new and fuller perspective.

During the time of prayer, we consent to God’s presence and action within. At other times our attention moves outward to discover God’s presence everywhere else.

The Guidelines

(1 ) Choose a sacred word (e.g. love, Jesus, Father, God) as the symbol of your intention to consent to God’s presence and action within.

(2) Sitting comfortably and with eyes closed, settle briefly, and silently introduce the sacred word as the symbol of your consent to God’s presence and action within.

(3) When you are aware of thoughts, return ever-so-gently to the sacred word.

(4) At the end of the prayer period, remain in silence with eyes closed for a couple of minutes.

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