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We embrace the process of transformation in Christ, both in ourselves and in others, through the practice of Centering Prayer.

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Intention and Centering Prayer
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  I have tried to practice Centering Prayer for a while. I have been wondering if my intent of receiving the inner peace and silence from practicing is a "legitimate" reason, or if I'm looking for personal gains only, and this may not be a good reason to pursue practice? What do you advise anybody interested in Centering Prayer to think or do about motivations and intentions when considering this path of spirituality?

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Centering Prayer, Spiritual Journey
Centering Prayer and Brainwave Entrainment Products
Fr. Carl J. Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q. For the past 6 months I have been using a brainwave entrainment product ...  What are your thoughts and cautions about using this technology to deepen and accelerate my meditation practice?

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Centering Prayer
Mercy Will Prevail
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  I am a lay contemplative catholic who would greatly appreciate your insight on the following matter. I see a world of one creator who has created both hell and heaven. who is responsible for giving each of us all of our gifts from bliss to the darker sides of our humanity, pride, selfishness, etc.

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Contemplative Spirituality, Spiritual Journey
Including People of Different Faiths in Centering Prayer Groups
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  What is your position on bringing in people of many different faiths to our Centering Prayer groups? When there is an interest in learning Centering Prayer, are we to concern ourselves with the interested parties’ religious background, e.g. whether or not they are Christian?

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Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality
Centering Prayer, Unloading and the Nights
Fr. Carl J. Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  I have been practicing centering prayer off and on for about  18 years and more intensely during the past year and a half or so.  For many yearts I had little discipline, just "exuberant mysticism" with lots of consolation.   I am sure the "unloading" of the unconscious has either not happened at all or is at least not complete.

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Centering Prayer, Spiritual Journey
Feeling Nothing
Fr. Carl J. Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q: After many years of Centering Prayer and feeling that I was just where I should be, things have changed for me. When I go to prayer there is nothing but thoughts, thoughts, thoughts. And I am thinking, "Who am I fooling? Myself? ...

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Centering Prayer
Centering Prayer and Salivating
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  A very annoying thing happens to me during many (about 75%) of my Centering Prayer times. I salivate excessively which is distracting to me. I cannot find a commonality that would point to a cause for this. Is this something you have heard of before and/or do you have a suggestion for dealing with this?

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Centering Prayer
Centering Prayer and Exercise
Fr. Carl J. Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  I would like to know if you could back me up or not in the contemplative skills I have developed through the mixture between Centering Prayer and Tabata Training that I have taken from fitness. I mean backing it intellectually, to know if it is an honest practice or if I am deluding myself. I would like to know if I can add it to my FIT-Repetition project, an evangelization project through coaching, psychology and fitness.

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Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality
Dogs and Self-Reflective Consciousness
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico Read More. Contemplative Spirituality
Crises and the Prayer of Jabez
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q: My question is regarding grief. Actually I suppose it is regarding prayer in any form of strain or fear, but grief especially.

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Centering Prayer, Spiritual Journey, Father Thomas Keating
Is a Centering Prayer support group needed?
Fr. Carl J. Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  I have a long practice of Centering Prayer, having begun sometime in the late 1980s with a group that met weekly for about 12 years when our facilitator, a priest, was transferred to another parish.

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Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality
Breath Prayer
Fr. Carl J. Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q. Fr. Keating recommending four spiritual exercises; one of them was the development of the breath prayer, which might help us truly be followers of our Lord who prayed constantly. I am unfamiliar with the breath prayer; I would appreciate your describing it.

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Contemplative Spirituality, Spiritual Journey, Father Thomas Keating
Back to Basics
Fr. Carl J. Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

I heard at the CO September 2017 conference that Fr. Thomas is emphasizing a return to the basics.  What does this mean in your view?

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"We acknowledge that any good accomplished by CO is the work of the Holy Spirit"
Fr. Carl J. Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico
Q: This is about the wording of the Contemplative Outreach Theological Principle 16 - "We acknowledge that any good accomplished by CO is the work of the Holy Spirit". It is the word 'good' that bothers me. It is a value judgment word that means different things to different people. How do we judge what is good, and if it is not good, what is it?
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Contemplative Spirituality, Spiritual Journey
God as Divine Therapist
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q: Fr. Keating, in his book Intimacy with God and elsewhere, develops the idea - the image - of God as Divine Therapist. Yet Fr. Keating also argues that we must not have or hold on to an image of God. How can this contradiction be reconciled?

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Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality, Father Thomas Keating
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
Contemplative & Vocal Prayers
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  Is it possible to experience contemplative prayer and vocal prayer simultaneously?

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Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality
Unloading and Evacuation of Emotions
Fr. Carl J. Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

There is a female inmate in a weekly Centering Prayer group I facilitate who is afraid of doing Centering Prayer on a daily basis because she believes she would be stuffing all her feelings again. She has been there for almost two years and is present every week! I promised her I would clarify this with you. It will mean so much for her - and for me!

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Centering Prayer, Spiritual Journey
Sounds and Centering Prayer
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  Sometimes as I am entering into Centering Prayer and settling into stillness, I hear an external sound--such as the purring of my cat or birdsong through an open window--and it sounds so sweet that I do not want to return to my sacred word.

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Centering Prayer, Spiritual Journey
Renewing Our Understanding of the Contemplative Tradition
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

What is Contemplative Prayer?
Why is there a need for a renewal?
What about all the other forms of prayer?
What are the essential elements of Centering Prayer?

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Centering Prayer
The Dark Nights, Who Does It Affect?
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  I wonder, can one experience the dark nights, if one is not practicing centering or contemplative prayer, but is just a devoted Christian? I somehow get the impression that the dark nights are necessary consequences of contemplative prayer only.

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Centering Prayer
Lectio Divina and Attuning to the Spirit
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q: Recently I attended a poetry gathering … The young man who teaches poetry used Lectio Divina as a method to find interpretation of the poetry and called it that. If he had called it repetition and discernment, perhaps I would not have had difficulty with it. However, he did not use Scripture but secular poetry. I did some research on Lectio Divina and found that it is misused in many contexts and by different faith structures. Would you please comment on the use of Lectio Divina?

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Centering Prayer and Speaking in Tongues
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  Please help me understand how Centering Prayer and the charismatic or Pentecostal belief in speaking in tongues as a sign on baptism in the Spirit are related?  Can they abide in the same person?

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

Q:  My difficulty with Centering Prayer is distractions of thoughts spilling over and being unable to get to or sustain a deep place in the prayer. I usually sit down to pray and all is well. Then I read a psalm but a feeling or ache in my head starts before I center and linked thoughts just crowd my mind. It is more like a thinking mediation.

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Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality
Jesus Christ and the Holy Trinity
Fr. Carl J. Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  I have just turned 73 and for most of 50 years I have practiced Buddhism – Zen, later Vajrayana, and more recently Theravada (Vipassana meditation), although I was briefly a Catholic from age 14 to early 20s when my family converted.

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Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality, Spiritual Journey

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