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Centering Prayer During Times of Unrest
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  Extreme injustices and inflicted cruelty are buried in people's lives.  When these experiences arise (often unexpectedly) as a response to the asking participation in one's own spiritual journey, it is advised to slow down the evacuation process.  How does this affect a daily Centering Prayer practice?  We cannot take away another's hurt or suffering.  When one can't even quiet to sit for Centering Prayer during these times of unrest, from the contemplative point of view, what can we suggest? 

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Centering Prayer
Posture and Breathing in Relation to Centering Prayer
Fr. Carl J. Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:   My impression is that some meditation practices have very specific guidance about physical technique such as posture, breathing etc. But Centering Prayer suggests fairly little except to have a comfortable upright posture (or lying down if you have back problems or are ill), the goal being to be relaxed but alert.  What accounts for the difference? I suspect it has something to do with Centering Prayer not being a concentrative or awareness method.

Maybe I'm asking because I'm less aware of mental/emotional thoughts in practice, and more aware of aches and pains. Maybe I'm asking because I can't believe that the method is so simple and that it is okay to trust it. "I should be working harder." I have been practicing Centering Prayer for  six  years or so.

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Centering Prayer
The Welcoming Prayer and "letting go of the desire for security, affection, and control."
Fr. Carl J. Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

I have a question about the Welcoming Prayer, related to "letting go of the desire for security, affection, and control." I say the prayer often during my daily encounters and frustrations and it brings great comfort and reminds me to "truly let go."

My question has to do with the conflict of letting go of these desires and yet setting future goals that include financial planning (security) and relationships (affection) that one would like to achieve in life. I truly believe God wants us to be happy and security and affection do include happiness. Can you please shed some like on this potential conflict?

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Welcoming Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality
I wonder why so many clergy are not aware of contemplative prayer?
Fr. Carl J. Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  I wonder why so many clergy are not aware of contemplative prayer?  Even if they are, why don’t they share it with their congregations?

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Centering Prayer
In his book, Open Mind, Open Heart, Fr. Keating says that divine union is not a free ticket to happiness in this life...Can you please explain...
Fr. Carl
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q: In his book, Open Mind, Open Heart, Fr. Keating says that divine union is not a free ticket to happiness in this life; that some people are left with mental/emotional/physical issues that they "suffer for some unknown purpose for the good of the whole human family." Can you please explain what this means?

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Contemplative Spirituality
"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
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
Q&A with Fr. Carl Arico ~ Meditation and Centering Prayer
Fr. Carl J. Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q: One of the new people in our Centering Prayer group asked me what the difference between meditation and Centering Prayer is. …

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Centering Prayer
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico Archive: Related to Lectio Divina
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q. I have been advised to NOT do Centering Prayer in conjunction with Lectio Divina. Individually and in a group setting I have practiced doing Lectio immediately before Centering Prayer and found that often the CP time was enriched by the preceding Lectio...

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Lectio Divina, Contemplative Spirituality
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico Archive: Related to Centering Prayer
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q. Can you provide a connection for me between Centering Prayer and The Cloud of Unknowing?

A. :  I would recommend you study the pamphlet on Centering Prayer by Fr. Thomas Keating...

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Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico Archive Related to the Spiritual Journey
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  I saw a notation by Fr. Keating about Heaven right here on earth.   Does this take away the hope of a better place to go when I die?

A:  Not at all. Heaven is being in the presence of the almighty and loving God for eternity - a living and ongoing presence...

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Contemplative Spirituality, Spiritual Journey