Q: When I tried to be open to God during Centering Prayer, I usually had a concordance of biblical accounts in multimedia or silent video format in my head, or modern life of mine or others. What do you call that, if it is not Centering Prayer or I am not doing it right?
A: I would say you are in the vestibule of the prayer, preparing to be in the ‚Äúbeing‚Äù of Centering Prayer. All these experiences are a rush of your mind to gather your thoughts and simplify them into one symbol of your consent. Give it a little time to settle and then choose a symbol of your intention to consent to God‚Äôs presence and action within. That symbol could be a word, a gaze or breath. You are a work in progress! Simplify; allow the boiling pot to come to a simmer and the essence will be there. Once you have been drawn to that point then only use the sacred symbol you have chosen when you become engaged with your thoughts. Let them come and let them go. Remember the only thing you are in charge of in the prayer is your intention to consent to God’s presence and action and even that intention is a gift from God. ‚ÄúThoughts,‚Äù which includes everything from imagery, emotions, sensations, memories, to-do lists, etc., are a normal and integral part of the prayer.
Continue to take the time and remember all of life is prayer when you consent to God presence and action because that is where your heart is.
Remember there are many ways to prepare for prayer.