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These Annoying Humans!
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:   What the heck is one supposed to do if one just doesn't like people and humanity? Seemingly making some progress in my practice, desire closer relationship with God, but can't get past the stupidity, smallness, greed, ignorance of most people, or the self-destructiveness of the race? How can anyone love this sorry lot?

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Contemplative Spirituality, Spiritual Journey
There is No Other
Fr. Carl J. Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q. ... Many years ago I listened to a tape by Fr. Keating, and in the end of one of the talks, Thomas says something about the journey resulting in "There is no other, because you have become the other.”

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Contemplative Spirituality, Spiritual Journey, Father Thomas Keating
The Consequences of “Sin”
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  Father Thomas teaches with authority that God has forgiven our sins. But he also sometimes seems to say that we are stuck with "the consequences of our sins."  How does Father Thomas define "the consequences of sin"? ... Perhaps I am asking whether God intervenes, are there miracles that can free us from the "consequences of sin" or is this just my small self trying to control things?

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Contemplative Spirituality
The Welcoming Prayer and Taking Action
Welcoming Prayer Service Team
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  I understand the Welcoming Prayer is about acceptance.  But what about change and action? If your boss treats you bad, your doctor ignores your health, if someone threatens your loved ones? Doesn't the Welcoming Prayer make us passive in situations?

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The Blessed Sacrament as a Vestibule
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  When I'm sitting in a small chapel doing my Centering and the Blessed Sacrament is exposed directly in front of me, must I close my eyes? Behind the Monstrance is a beautiful crucifix... Am I still Centering with my eyes open in this situation?

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Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality
Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament & Centering Prayer
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q: I am fairly new to the practice of Centering Prayer.  In my Catholic faith I participate weekly in the Adoration of our Lord through the Eucharist.   I feel at times the urge to practice my Centering Prayer during this quiet hour of adoration.   Is the practice of Centering Prayer during adoration contrary to the intentions of either adoration and/or Centering Prayer?

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Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality
Finding a Quiet Place
Fr. Carl J. Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  My mother is 92, lives with us and has for the last 5 years...  It is so hard to find time to sit in quietness...  I go into my bedroom and shut the door.  And try to shut out the noise.  My question is, can you truly center even if you can't find a quiet place in your home?

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Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality
Centering Prayer and Biofeedback
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q: What do you think about doing Centering Prayer while wearing a biofeedback device such as an emWave? I have been doing this for about 2 years now and it seems to be bringing about some very profound changes in my life and relationships, and a big shift in my perception of God. But sometimes...

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Centering Prayer, Spiritual Journey
Experiencing Peace in Centering Prayer
Fr. Carl J. Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

People practicing Centering Prayer speak of experiencing a sense of peace. Can you please comment?

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Centering Prayer
The Soul and the True Self
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  I am currently wrestling with various concepts and definitions and how they fit together. When it comes to the false self and the true self I find the glossary at the back of the Intimacy with God book helpful. However does the soul equate with the true self or not?

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Contemplative Spirituality, Father Thomas Keating
Centering Prayer and Breathing
Fr. Carl J. Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  I'm rather new to Centering Prayer. Perhaps the most common thought I have while practicing, which takes me away from my sacred word, is an awareness of my breathing. I've noticed that although I'm not mouthing my sacred word ...  Perhaps I'm so much of an audio learning that I can't help but link my thoughts to my breathing? Anyways, is this a concern?...

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Centering Prayer
The Format of a Centering Prayer Support Group
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  I attended a Centering Prayer group at my parish for about a month.  I stopped going because, after the final oral prayer and reading, the leader's wife asked for feedback in our lives during the recent week.  ....  I don't mind the feedback, but there are several venues in our parish for addressing problems in our lives, not during or after Centering Prayer.

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Centering Prayer, Spiritual Journey
Sharing about the Prayer
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  I have joined a Centering Prayer group in which the leader asks people to share their prayer experience with the person next to them. This does not seem to fit with Father Keating’s message. What do you think?

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Centering Prayer, Spiritual Journey
Restlessness During Centering Prayer
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q: I was a regular practitioner of Centering Prayer in the 1990's. For the last few years, however, I make time for it in the mornings after reading some scripture, but can't seem to settle down. I cannot seem to empty my thoughts and focus on the sacred word. I get restless to sit for more than 5-10 minutes. Do I need to just grit my teeth and make myself do this?

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Centering Prayer
Thomas Keating & The Three Biological Needs
Fr. Carl J. Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q: Thomas Keating identifies three essential biological needs for human beings: (1) Security & Survival, (2) Power & Control, and (3) Affection & Esteem.  Can you please tell me if these biological needs are Fr. Keating's own creation or did he borrow them from another source?

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Centering Prayer, Spiritual Journey, Father Thomas Keating
Amount of time for Centering Prayer
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

I have been practicing Centering Prayer for about a year now. I wanted to increase my time to 40 minutes because I was used to sitting for a half hour when I was doing a more concentrative meditation before I adopted Centering Prayer. I find that the first thing in the morning the 40 minutes is fine but when I pray in the late afternoon ...

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Centering Prayer
Intention, Mindfulness, and Centering Prayer
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q: Our Centering Prayer group got into a discussion about 'mindfulness,' which I understand to have to do with attentive presence, awareness, being in the present, etc. The question arose, "What is the relationship between 'mindfulness' and 'intention,' as we use the latter in our Centering Prayer practice?

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Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality
Eight Contemplative Attitudes and Centering Prayer
Fr. Carl J. Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

I am reading all I can about the process...as well as doing it twice daily.. I have examined closely the "contemplative attitudes" such as opening/gentleness/simplicity etc.... is it ok ,i.e. is it part of the prayer, to refresh the memory of eight contemplative attitudes at the front end of the process?

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Awareness & Centering Prayer
Fr. Carl J. Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  Where does one initially place their awareness during Centering Prayer?  In other words, when introducing the sacred word does one let the awareness float up toward heaven someplace "outside" oneself, or...

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Centering Prayer
A State of Contemplation?
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q. recently the conversation with God seems to have changed. I THINK that He sometimes speaks to me out of my own mouth, but I'm not sure if it's just wishful thinking on my part or not...is what I'm describing even possible? Does God ever work this way, or am I just being naive?

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Centering Prayer, Lectio Divina, Contemplative Spirituality, Spiritual Journey
Centering Prayer and Mindfulness
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q: I practice Centering Prayer and recently a friend asked me to explain the difference between it and mindfulness meditation. I replied that the difference was in intent - Centering Prayer is consenting to God's presence and action in my life and mindfulness is seeking personal improvement, such as stress reduction. But she said she was asking about the differences in the practices themselves. I found this hard to articulate and wonder if you can refer me to a good source or answer yourself.

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Centering Prayer
An Awakening Mystic
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  My major spiritual awakening happened in August 2012, I've seen many signs and messages from the Holy Spirit. The Spirit moved me to become Catholic that year too and I was confirmed March of 2013. I realize that I am a mystic.

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Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality
Welcoming & Security Issues
Pamela Begeman
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  I need help. Every day I pray the Welcoming Prayer. I trip up at "I let go my desire for security and survival." I'm a mother. How can I "let go" of something so imbued in my mothering DNA?

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Welcoming Prayer
The Rosary and Contemplation
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  Is it possible to pray contemplatively while saying the rosary at the same time?

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Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality
A Shift in Centering Prayer
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  I have been doing Centering Prayer for many years.  Have found it useful at 3:00AM when St. Teresa of Avila says Imagination is the fool of the House.  This morning I sat in my chair and started with my sacred word Abba. Immediately I heard...

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Centering Prayer, Spiritual Journey