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I spent 19 years as a lay-brother at St. Joseph’s Abbey when Father Thomas was my Abbot. He was a wonderful man who helped me develop my spiritual life. I am now 75 years old, and have practiced contemplative prayer for over 50 years. It’s been a journey of discovery that we can share our life with Jesus acting as an inner partner in all we do or say.
Silent prayer ... when I started on this journey some 50 years ago under Fr. Thomas, it was truly stepping out into the unknown with all its ups and downs. But after many years of striving, now when I sit on the floor in the Buddhist position, arms relaxed, palms up and thumbs touching, back straight, eyes half open-half closed and I follow my breath down, down … to that SILENT PLACE and I rest in the silence that comes before words or idea spring forth from. It’s not THINKING, BUT BEING ... sharing a moment with God who knew my name before I was born. Having a special place to pray in, a basement, bedroom, whatever, in time builds up a memory bank, your true home that surrounds and protects you and invites you to enter and practice “peace."
I wanted to also mention that in Silent Prayer, you enter the Temple of your own body, The position you use is your personal Temple and using this same position builds up a memory of past sessions, this linked to having a familiar surroundings lets you settle down very quickly...resting in God's Presence within your soul. God's greatest gift was using His free will to create our Universe, and He gave us this free will as our very own gift. Use this "gift" and share in His Love and Peace. This is His intention for us.
Earl Lowen, a fellow traveler.