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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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The Crooked Keel
Paul Wishart
Voices of Community

I loved to go lobster fishing with my uncle. I loved being out on the open water; the fresh sea air, the confident growl of the engine, the lobster boat churning through the waves....

I’ve taken this story along with me for many years since I read it in that group. I’ve shared it in situations where it proved supportive for people dealing with difficult circumstances, such as the loss of a close family member or friend.

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Centering Prayer, Lectio Divina, Contemplative Spirituality
The Good News of Accompaniment
Chandra Hanson
Voices of Community

... An encounter with Divine Love captivates.  It changes us.  Sue’s “yes” brought something to life in me and in the group; it called me on and encouraged me to stretch in new ways, giving me new eyes with which to see the Spirit’s movement among us.   It prompted conversations in the circle about the miraculous paradox of God’s transcendence and immanence; more than many in the “free world,” those who are incarcerated often both better understand the Reality that transcends time and space and better appreciate the gift of in-the-flesh visitors whose simple presence communicates God’s love and care.  There is a reason God took on flesh.  I am humbled and filled with gratitude every time I travel to join the inmates for our circle, knowing that simply by showing up I participate in God’s ongoing Incarnation. ... 

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The Good News of Accompaniment
Chandra Hanson
Voices of Community

... An encounter with Divine Love captivates.  It changes us.  Sue’s “yes” brought something to life in me and in the group; it called me on and encouraged me to stretch in new ways, giving me new eyes with which to see the Spirit’s movement among us.   It prompted conversations in the circle about the miraculous paradox of God’s transcendence and immanence; more than many in the “free world,” those who are incarcerated often both better understand the Reality that transcends time and space and better appreciate the gift of in-the-flesh visitors whose simple presence communicates God’s love and care.  There is a reason God took on flesh.  I am humbled and filled with gratitude every time I travel to join the inmates for our circle, knowing that simply by showing up I participate in God’s ongoing Incarnation. ... 

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The Integrity of the Teaching of the Centering Prayer Method
Fr. Thomas Keating
Voices of Community

The integrity of the teaching of the Centering Prayer method is presented in the four guidelines and its conceptual background as described in the Method of Centering Prayer brochure.

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Centering Prayer
The Lesson of the Leaves
Sandra McKnight
Voices of Community

Are we not like the leaves?

While living, the leaf is part of the tree

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Contemplative Spirituality, Spiritual Journey
The Power of Silent Prayer
Rich Lewis
Voices of Community

"I became aware of how powerful Centering Prayer was because it was a container for my consenting to not only God's presence in my life, but also God's action in my life."
- Carl J. Arico

Silent prayer is a special time. It is our time to sit with God. It is like sitting quietly with a friend. No words need to be said.

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Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality
The Relevance of a Contemplative Practice Today
Sr. Emmie Vas SSpS
Voices of Community

What is the relevance of a contemplative practice today? What fruits have you noticed in your life and what do you understand by the purification process?

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Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality, Spiritual Journey
The Silent Call
J. Leiba
Voices of Community

Step inside and bolt the door.
The inner room is now secure.
Distractions quelled from busy mind,
The Lord of Hosts is here to dine...

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Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality
The Song in Our Hearts
Rae England
Voices of Community

In the spring of 2002, we brought a young man from Kosovo to Dallas to be fitted with a prosthetic.  He had been living in England where he was expecting to receive immigrant status when the war broke out in his country.  “I couldn’t stand by and see my family in danger without doing something to help”, he told me and so he returned to Kosovo. 

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The Story of My Surrender
Grace Sutherland
Voices of Community

 

In his book, Invitation To Love, Thomas Keating writes:

"On the spiritual Journey there is usually someone in our family, our business or in our community whom we cannot endure, someone who has a genius for bringing out the worst in us. No matter what we do we cannot seem to improve the relationship.

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Centering Prayer, Spiritual Journey
The Story of the Cloak: A legend Attributed to St. Bridget, Patroness of Ireland, circa 452 – 525
Fionnuala Quinn, OP
Voices of Community

As the story is told, Brigid went to the King of Leinster to tell him she needed land upon which to build a monastery.

"You do, you do," replied the king. "How much do you need?"

"We need only the land my cloak will cover – no more," she answered.

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Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality, Father Thomas Keating
The Time of Lent
Kathleen Stevenson
Voices of Community

Lent a time to start over
      a time to take stock
         a time to see the truth
            a time to lay it all down 

Kathleen Stevenson,  Murrells Inlet, SC

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The Welcoming Prayer: Deepening Our Practice of Letting Go and Letting
Michael Erwin
Voices of Community

My name is Michael Erwin. I have been doing Centering Prayer on a daily basis for several years during my incarceration at San Quentin State Prison. I have found that Centering Prayer goes beyond all other forms of meditation that I have done in my life.

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Welcoming Prayer, Prison Ministry
The Wind
Laurie Basile
Voices of Community

fierce wind blowing
widely splitting
high white blue sky
ever opening

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Centering Prayer
The Wind Beneath Our Wings
Robbin T. Hartridge
Voices of Community

I first met that Irish monk years ago on the sidewalk.
I was alone, hesitant, looking for belonging
It was just the two of us standing there before Mass
when I found myself disappearing into the vast recesses of his robe
lost in the most loving, enrapturing hug I could possibly imagine
along with the thought that I could fly that day.

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The Witness to “Is”
Sydney S. Orr
Voices of Community

There is

just this witness to

observe

both inside and outside

the body-mind.

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Contemplative Spirituality, Spiritual Journey
Union
Chris Plunkett
Voices of Community

I sometimes wonder
as I see the early morning frost.
Could it be that the blanket of white that covers everything Is compassion?
And the sky's soft glow after sunset is empathy?

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Contemplative Spirituality
Visiting San Quentin
Cherry Haisten
Voices of Community

The purpose of my visit was to introduce some of the “men in blue,” inmates in for the long haul, to the Welcoming Prayer. For ten years, George has been leading a Centering Prayer ministry begun at San Quentin by two Mercy sisters 25 years ago. George felt that the men with an established prayer practice were ready for Welcoming Prayer, an active practice that complements the other 23 hours of the day.

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Welcoming Prayer
Waking Up and Growing Up
Leslee Terpay
Voices of Community

Fr. Thomas has asked the Centering Prayer community to spend the next year going back to basics. For much of the past 12 years I have been revisiting Thomas’ teachings on Centering Prayer and the Christian spiritual journey by serving at least one long Centering Prayer intensive retreat a year in which I prepare by reading both Open Mind, Open Heart and Invitation to Love. This may seem a little over board in terms of preparation but I find each yearly reading brings me closer to absorbing the materials with my heart rather than my head.

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Centering Prayer, Lectio Divina, Contemplative Spirituality, Father Thomas Keating
Walking Into the Dawn
Ed Speedling
Voices of Community

Before setting out for morning services, John and I stood outside of our hermitage, which overlooked the valley and the monastery below, and gazed into the pre-dawn sky; the same sky we examined the previous evening after returning from Vespers, when John pointed out to me the mighty Orion. Now, as then, the moon and stars enchanted us...

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Contemplative Spirituality, Spiritual Journey, Retreats
What a Difference a Word Makes
Reva Freeman
Voices of Community

"Consent" or "surrender-accept."

“Consent to God’s presence and action within.”

Sometimes I hear something so often that I cease to actually hear what it says.

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Centering Prayer, Spiritual Journey
What are you doing here? A Centering Prayer Reflection
Neil Foley
Voices of Community

... Like so many before, I started by first seeking happiness – that illusive entity which is so physical and sensory when young. Happiness seemed to equate to pleasure, but pleasure is a fickle and fleeting ally. No sooner was I satisfied when I would desire again. Like the wind, it could be felt but not grasped. God was not in such pleasure. ...

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Centering Prayer, Lectio Divina, Spiritual Journey
What Centering Prayer Means To Me
Alegria Kent
Voices of Community

In retirement, I found myself lost and without an identity. It was a great loss to find that all of a sudden so many of the props that held my identity upright were gone.

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Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality
What Happens When
Jacqui Leiba
Voices of Community

What happens when
The ground on which one stands
ecomes a mighty chasm
And earth a distant land?

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Contemplative Spirituality, Spiritual Journey
When I am Among the Trees
Carolyn Goddard
Voices of Community

When I am among the trees,


especially the willows and the honey locust,


equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,


they give off such hints of gladness. . .

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Centering Prayer, The Practice of Contemplative Living

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