Centering Prayer

PRAYER: The True Self by M. Basil Pennington

January 14, 2019

From An Invitation to Centering Prayer When we were born – of course, most of us don’t remember it for ourselves, though it is all written deep in our memories – we experienced ourselves as little bundles of need.  We needed warmth, we needed stroking, we needed nurture.  All these things were very important to us.  And we yowled to get them. And most of us got them. Our consciousness expanded.  The persons who supplied these needs became very important to us.  There was a deep bonding. As we grew and our consciousness continued to expand, we became aware of how important were the things we did, our doings.  We learned that if we acted in a certain way, people would give us what we wanted.  If we kept certain people happy with [...]

PRAYER: Lord, Where Are You? by M. Basil Pennington

January 7, 2019

From An Invitation to Centering Prayer History repeats itself.  We’ve all heard that.  We ask the same questions others have asked before us.  We seek the same things others have sought before us: A meaning for our lives, friends, and some kind of relationship with God that grounds all the rest. We look for a wise person who has some answers and who shows by the peace in his eyes and the serene joy in his face that these are answers that work. In recent years a lot of men and women have headed to the Far East in search of those answers.  They have gone off to India, Thailand, and even more exotic places.  Some have found something, but most have returned home to their own roots. This isn’t the first time men and women have gone [...]

PRAYER: Ways Of Praying (4) — Prayers of Intention (includes centering prayer and hourly prayer) by Andrew Dreitcer

January 31, 2013

From Prayer Practices for the Way of Peace:Choosing Peace Through Daily Practices (This is a continuation of a piece, the first part of which was posted on an earlier date.) As I have suggested, the Christian tradition has developed a richness of prayer.  There may be a form of prayer for every sensibility.  In this section, I present a number of ways of praying that may be practiced in order to help form an interior foundation for peace in oneself and in the world. Prayers of Intention Prayers of intention are about being there, being available.  The heart of such a prayer is this recognition: “I want to place myself in God’s presence.”  With this recognition, then, comes a practice conveyed by these words: “I am placing [...]

PRAYER: Finding Grace at the Center by Thomas E. Clarke

December 15, 2012

From Grace at the Center One of the exercises of interiority which has come into favor in the past few years in the United States has been termed the centering prayer.  Like other recent approaches to prayer, most of which have been influenced by Zen Buddhism, Transcendental Meditation, or other currents of eastern spirituality, it directs the focus of mind and spirit inward, toward the self, the center, the still-point.  Non-discursive in character, these approaches yield not a new rational understanding so much as a certain stillness, peace, joy, freedom, awareness. Such exercises may or may not constitute prayer.  It is well known that some of them are being used for such worldly purposes as winning hockey games and earning a faster [...]

PRAYER: Orientations — B. Forms of Solitary Prayer, by Jacqueline Syrup Bergan and S. Marie Schwan

August 13, 2012

From Birth: A Guide for Prayer Orientations Lord, teach us to pray. (Luke 11:1) Prayer is our personal response to God’s presence. We approach the Lord reverently with a listening heart. God speaks first. In prayer, we acknowledge the Divine presence and in gratitude respond to God in love. The focus is always on God and on what God does. The following suggestions are offered as ways of supporting and enabling attentiveness to God’s Word and our unique response. B. FORMS OF SOLITARY PRAYER There are various forms of scriptural prayer. Different forms appeal to different people. Eventually, by trying various methods, we become adept at using approaches that are appropriate to particular passages and are in harmony with our personality [...]

CONTEMPLATIVE PRAYER: Unity vs. Wholeness

December 16, 2011

I took the following definition of centering prayer off the website Centering Prayer, ostensibly the website dedicated to the teachings of Father Thomas Keating, one of the priests who began the teaching of contemplative prayer in the modern age.  The definition goes: Centering prayer is a method of silent prayer that prepares us to receive the gift of contemplative prayer, prayer in which we experience God’s presence within us, closer than breathing, closer than thinking, closer than consciousness itself.  This method of prayer is both a relationship with God and a discipline to foster that relationship. I find within this definition a perfect expression of our relationship with God: through this kind of prayer we experience [...]