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A Borderless Practice: The Interspiritual Invitation of Centering Prayer
Keith Kristich
Voices of Community

... But how does such a diverse group of people come together in union when there are so many distinctions and differences of thought and mind? Because Centering Prayer is “non-conceptual”, during our twenty minute silent sit, we don’t cling to our cherished concepts and beliefs about God, but rather sink into the naked and immediate heart of God as the Ultimate Mystery, always just outside the reach of the mind’s grasp. ...

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Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality, Father Thomas Keating
Centering Prayer and Involuntary Body Movements
Lindsay Boyer
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q: I have a question I hope you can help me with. During recent meditation periods when I go deeper, I have begun to tense up, tremble and shake. Can you explain this to me?

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Centering Prayer
A Closer Walk with God during Lockdown
Joy Andrews Hay
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

I have one - desperate - question. In the current lockdown I am led to believe from the book 40 Days to a Closer Walk with God [from David Muyskens] that I can discover this God within me by reading and silence. I now have time to do this. Do I need a spiritual director or will I be able to discover radical change in 40 days without one. I've done this before and I really need it to work this time.

 

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Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality
Lectio Divina and Imposed Sabbath Rest
Leslee Anne Terpay
Voices of Community

 ... We have a lot of time in our imposed Sabbath rest. I invite you to spend 5, 10 or 20 minutes after your morning Centering Prayer session to pray a short Scripture passage with Jesus … and let him inform all your relationships. Our Centering Prayer time opens us to listen deeply as we spend time in a “heavy date” with our Lord. I liken this prayer time to having a cup of tea with God. Him with me, me with him, listening to each other while enriching our relationship. ...

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Centering Prayer, Lectio Divina, Father Thomas Keating
An Example of a Zoom 1/2-Day Centering Prayer Retreat
Mary Anne Best
Other

Fifty-nine gathered the morning of Holy Saturday to experience a ½-Day Centering Prayer retreat via Zoom. The format was simple; the silence profound; the intimacy shared. Here is the program that we used:

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Centering Prayer, Retreats
Global Support Team for English-speaking Practitioners of Centering Prayer Outside the United States
Lesley Waterford
Other

... As we accepted  this request to serve, we had a sense of being in a space about to change greatly with Fr.Thomas Keating moving towards his death and with the appointment of Denis Sheehan as Administrator to succeed Pat Johnson. ...

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

Q: I have been doing Centering Prayer for over five years now yet it never seems to get easier. It’s as if there is a part of me that just doesn’t want to do this. I can’t ever remember a time where I looked forward to the practice even though I do it every day twice a day. My question is this: why do I find this practice difficult? Is this normal and or should I just find a different one?

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Centering Prayer
A Movement of Grace: Contemplative Spiritual Companionship Program
Chandra Hanson
Voices of Community

“Welcome to this sacred circle, where each of us is invited to access the silent place within us where the Divine Presence awaits us.” With these words, Fr. Thomas Keating began a conversation with a group of men living behind prison walls.

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Prison Ministry
The Welcoming Prayer in Moments of Crisis
Mary Dwyer
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q: How can the Welcoming Prayer help us during this time of Covid-19?

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Centering Prayer, Welcoming Prayer
Prayer Groups in the Era of Social Distancing
Lindsay Boyer
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Many of us have been struggling with questions about whether our contemplative prayer groups should continue to meet in light of the current situation and these decisions are increasingly being taken out of our hands as churches decide to close. 

As someone who teaches on spirituality and digital media at General Theological Seminary and who has led prayer groups by video, teleconference, email and Facebook for a number of years, I’d like to offer some suggestions about the many ways we can continue to stay connected in prayer during this challenging time. 

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Centering Prayer, Prayer Groups, Lectio Divina, Contemplative Spirituality
Contemplative Outreach Q&A’s Contributors
Isabelle Robinson
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

We've recently expanded our roster of long-time Centering Prayer practitioners who can answer your questions about contemplative practice and the spiritual journey.

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Centering Prayer, Prayer Groups, Lectio Divina, Contemplative Spirituality
Centering Prayer in Czechia and Slovakia
Teresia Hasanova
Voices of Community

My first encounter with Centering Prayer was in 2010 in Cambridge, England, where I was taking a two-year course of study on The Art of Spiritual Direction.  One of my fellow students invited me to a Centering Prayer group meeting. From the very beginning I knew that this was just right for me. I have been practicing it ever since. When I came back to my country – Czechia -- I started a small Centering Prayer group in my village. ...

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

Q: Do you have any suggestions for the season of Lent that can be an encouragement for my practice of Centering Prayer?

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Centering Prayer, Liturgy
Intercessory Prayers
Fr. Carl J. Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

When saying grace, in my private prayer after Eucharist, and during evening and night prayer, I ask for intercession. Yet I wonder whether this doesn't reflect a lack of trust in God, and conflict with my sincere acceptance of the presence and action of God in my life. I just don't think that I am in need of asking for God's help. God's loving help is always there. On the other hand, I also wonder whether such prayers are other reminders that we are all in God's hands.

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Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality, Father Thomas Keating
The Sacred Breath
Corey Krupowicz
Voices of Community

Throughout most of my contemplative practice, the breath has been my natural access point into realms of Divine expansion. So much so that it has become my sacred symbol of consent during Centering Prayer. Over the years, I have also studied and practiced many eastern breathing techniques and have found they are easily incorporated into my Centering Prayer practice as a way to embody and deepen relationship with the heart of the Divine.

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Centering Prayer and Other Types of Prayer
Fr. Carl J. Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q: While I am not yet capable of Centering Prayer, my daily prayer period consists of intercessory and thanksgiving prayers as well as Scripture reading and reflection. Silence and solitude are important to me. From time to time I would suddenly become aware of something I needed to do, or write, or a call to make. I don't want to lose that thought so it would get threaded into my prayers. Is it better to interrupt and make a small note and return to prayer or to try and dampen the persistent reminder? 

 

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Centering Prayer, Lectio Divina
Centering Prayer and Other Types of Prayer
Fr. Carl J. Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q: While I am not yet capable of Centering Prayer, my daily prayer period consists of intercessory and thanksgiving prayers as well as Scripture reading and reflection. Silence and solitude are important to me. From time to time I would suddenly become aware of something I needed to do, or write, or a call to make. I don't want to lose that thought so it would get threaded into my prayers. Is it better to interrupt and make a small note and return to prayer or to try and dampen the persistent reminder? 

 

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The Birth of God Within
Fr. Vincent Pizzuto, Ph.D.
Voices of Community

... The reflection I offer here is adapted from a small portion of my book, Contemplating Christ: The Gospels and the Interior Life (Liturgical Press, 2018). It serves as part of a larger reflection on what Christian tradition refers to as the inevitable outcome of the Incarnation: that all of us have been deified in Christ. Or to put it as did St. Athanasius in the 4th Century, “God became human that humans might be made divine.” That is the meaning of deification: to be “made divine” in Christ.

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Contemplative Spirituality, Liturgy
Finding Wonders in the Desert
The Members of the Graceville Correctional Facility Centering Prayer Group
Voices of Community

Few go willingly into the desert. It is a harsh life, more about survival than comfort. The silence can blister like the noonday sun. But harsh does not mean empty, nor does silence mean one is alone. We are people of the prison wilderness, children of the desert of the Real. We are young and old, male and female, slave and free – all connected by the unifying life we find in what is often perceived as a wasteland. What is it about the prison wilderness that lends itself so well to Centering Prayer? 

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Centering Prayer, Prison Ministry
What Goes On in the Inner Room?
Fr. Carl J. Arico and Leslee Anne Terpay
Voices of Community

A lot goes on in the inner room, most of which Is invisible to us on a sensory and psychological level.

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Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality, Father Thomas Keating
Night of the Sense and Night of the Spirit
Fr. Carl Arido
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q: I recently read Fr. Daniel Renaud's article on "Desire and Everyday Mysticism" and I see that over 25 years of Christian life I started on the positive way with lots of consolation and wonder, along with a daily experience of the transformative way. When I felt called to practice Centering Prayer, I started listening to Fr. Keating's “The Spiritual Journey” and began to practice. Much to my dismay, I fell immediately into the Dark Night (the negative way). After several years of Dark Night and slow emergence, I did not " wake up to find that the ocean of nothingness [of the Dark Night] is the ocean of God's invincible and unconditional love in you, and you have become everything, including God and all creation" (as Fr. Keating describes); for the first time in 25 years of Christian faith, I don't have confidence that God is a reliable foundation for my daily personal life. I am concerned that if I have somehow and failed to this first round of the Dark Night I may need to adjust some underlying attitude or practice in order to make space to regain or rebuild my relationship with God. Do you have any guidance or resources that might help?

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Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality, Father Thomas Keating
Some Teeny Centering in the Tiny Hours
Larry Crawley-Woods
Voices of Community

I left the bedroom at 1:43 am, confident my congested, snoring wife would happily sleep away the night on her own. I made for the guest room and quiet. At 4:06 am I finally lifted my old, sore back off the soft mattress and went downstairs to the firmer sofa, my third nocturnal venue. Instead of lying down immediately to try and salvage the rest of the night I sat down instead to give my back a break.

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Centering Prayer
Contemplative Outreach Administrator Position
Search Team

The Administrator serves all chapters, service teams, members of the Governing Board, and a diverse community of Centering Prayer practitioners who commit their time and resources to fulfill the vision of Contemplative Outreach, Ltd. 
 

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The Use of a Sacred Image During Centering Prayer
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q: I am a trying to get a handle on Centering Prayer. Is it OK to use the imagery that comes into my head when I sit, e.g., God as Father - perhaps on the lap of God, or being held by God, etc?

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Centering Prayer, Father Thomas Keating
Brief Contemplative Lessons from Meister Eckhart
L. J. Milone
Voices of Community

Meister Eckhart was a Dominican friar who lived in fourteenth-century Germany. He was a contemplative engaged in preaching and teaching.  When he preached, his sermons were subtle and sublime.  ...  He has much to teach those who practice Centering Prayer and anyone seeking to live contemplatively.  Here are but three brief lessons.

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Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality