Articles

The intent of Contemplative Outreach is to foster the process of transformation in Christ in one another through the practice of the Centering Prayer

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An Inward Gesture Instead of Sacred Word
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  I have had a hard time putting the use of the sacred word into practice. As it just feels like another thought to me. And even after many attempts with different sacred words, I haven't been able to find one that feels "right" or true to the deepest intention in my heart. So my question is, is it okay to replace the sacred word with an inward gesture of simply letting go and leaving it at that? Or is there an important aspect to the return to the sacred word that I am missing?

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Centering Prayer
Dogs and Self-Reflective Consciousness
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico Read More. Contemplative Spirituality
Discerning Decisions in Retirement
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico Read More. Contemplative Spirituality, Spiritual Journey
Discerning the Dark Nights
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  I have been a meditator and spiritual practitioner for 10 years. As of last year around February I went from having many ecstatic blissful experiences of God into a dark night of the soul....I have been experiencing excruciating pains all through my body, subtle self and causal self and it goes on pretty much continuously except in moments of complete blissful union....

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Centering Prayer, Spiritual Journey, Father Thomas Keating
Monkey Mind on Extended Retreat
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  I have been on many extended 8 - 10 retreats. On them I always have trouble going to sleep. The monkey mind is relentless! On my recent 10 day retreat at Snowmass, it got worse as the retreat progressed...

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Centering Prayer, Lectio Divina
The Power of Silent Prayer
Rich Lewis
Voices of Community

"I became aware of how powerful Centering Prayer was because it was a container for my consenting to not only God's presence in my life, but also God's action in my life."
- Carl J. Arico

Silent prayer is a special time. It is our time to sit with God. It is like sitting quietly with a friend. No words need to be said.

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Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality
Shutters
Dian Gillmar
Voices of Community

Through the shutters of my soul
sunlight rarely shines.
Her voice demanded obedience,
blocked out the light of childhood.
As I grew older ...

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Centering Prayer, Spiritual Journey
The Format of a Centering Prayer Support Group
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  I attended a Centering Prayer group at my parish for about a month.  I stopped going because, after the final oral prayer and reading, the leader's wife asked for feedback in our lives during the recent week.  ....  I don't mind the feedback, but there are several venues in our parish for addressing problems in our lives, not during or after Centering Prayer.

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Centering Prayer, Spiritual Journey
Discerning the Journey Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  ... None of my friends or family are religious, so I often feel alone in my spiritual life. It is hard to sustain a solid base for the spiritual life in these circumstances. ... Since I felt that my spiritual upbringing was drawn from the Catholic tradition I started having serious thoughts about converting, but now I am suddenly having very strong doubts. ... But I don’t find firm ground in the Norwegian protestant church either. So I feel homeless and adrift. Are my thoughts about converting most of all a sign of immature spiritual needs, of which I should ignore? ...

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Centering Prayer, Spiritual Journey
Agnostic Adventures with Centering Prayer
Janet Murray
Voices of Community

"Who put the bop in the bopshubopshubop, who put the ram in the ramalamadingdong ... " Those were the typical contents of my brain during my sporadic attempts at meditation until metastatic cancer and two good friends convinced me to try again. One friend was dedicated to the practice of Zen meditation, the other to Centering Prayer...

How does one pray if there is no faith in God? How do I stop the constant chatter? What is supposed to happen? Can one do Centering Prayer and not be a Christian?

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Centering Prayer