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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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Is a Centering Prayer support group needed?
Fr. Carl J. Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  I have a long practice of Centering Prayer, having begun sometime in the late 1980s with a group that met weekly for about 12 years when our facilitator, a priest, was transferred to another parish.

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Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality
Crisis of Faith During Troubles
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

The surgery was a success and I am confident that the outlook for both boys is very good. Nevertheless, this time around I have experienced a crisis of faith.

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

Q:  I was meditating/doing Centering Prayer for many years. However, ... [I] now severe tinnitus or ringing in the ears. ... I find meditation and Centering Prayer to be very difficult, if not impossible. I feel a longing to return, but whenever I start I get discouraged and frustrated because of the noise in my head. Do you have any recommendations?

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Centering Prayer
The Contemplative Dimension of Giving
Fr. Carl J. Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  During this time when giving has so much to do with emptying shelves and wallets, what is the contemplative dimension of giving?

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Contemplative Spirituality
An Inward Gesture Instead of Sacred Word
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  I have had a hard time putting the use of the sacred word into practice. As it just feels like another thought to me. And even after many attempts with different sacred words, I haven't been able to find one that feels "right" or true to the deepest intention in my heart. So my question is, is it okay to replace the sacred word with an inward gesture of simply letting go and leaving it at that? Or is there an important aspect to the return to the sacred word that I am missing?

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

Q: I do Centering Prayer two times a day... During my evening prayer I get very restless after about 20 minutes. I usually like to pray for about 35-40 minutes. It gets very hard to sit for the last 10-20 minutes. Should I stop when the restlessness starts or ...

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

Q:  I have been centering for about seven years. Lately, when I try, I feel like I'm having a panic attack. Can you give me some insight?

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Centering Prayer
Crises and the Prayer of Jabez
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q: My question is regarding grief. Actually I suppose it is regarding prayer in any form of strain or fear, but grief especially.

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Centering Prayer, Spiritual Journey, Father Thomas Keating
Teaching Centering Prayer in Seminaries
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  Father Arico, our Centering Prayer group is reading your book A Taste of Silence. After the introduction where you share your experience of Centering Prayer, our discussion led us to the thought of how amazing it would be if  Centering Prayer could be a part of seminary education. How feasible is this today?

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Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality
Unloading and Evacuation of Emotions
Fr. Carl J. Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

There is a female inmate in a weekly Centering Prayer group I facilitate who is afraid of doing Centering Prayer on a daily basis because she believes she would be stuffing all her feelings again. She has been there for almost two years and is present every week! I promised her I would clarify this with you. It will mean so much for her - and for me!

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Centering Prayer, Spiritual Journey
Centering Prayer and Runners
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  A friend is a marathon runner.  He says he prays as he runs and he comes to a place of peace where miles seem to go by and he is unaware of them.  He wanted to know if  one always has to sit for it to be Centering Prayer.

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

Q:  Sometimes as I am entering into Centering Prayer and settling into stillness, I hear an external sound--such as the purring of my cat or birdsong through an open window--and it sounds so sweet that I do not want to return to my sacred word.

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Centering Prayer, Spiritual Journey
When you are in pain...
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

When you are in pain, can you still practice the Welcoming Prayer if you take pain pills and/or tranquilizers?

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Welcoming Prayer
Sacred Feeling as a Sacred Symbol
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  I feel led towards using what I would call sacred “feeling” when doing Centering Prayer. My feeling is love for God that I feel in my heart.  It seems very natural to me to return to my love for God when I'm distracted and it seems to line up with the teaching in The Cloud of Unknowing. Can this be used as a method for Centering Prayer?

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Centering Prayer
Centering Prayer and Speaking in Tongues
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  Please help me understand how Centering Prayer and the charismatic or Pentecostal belief in speaking in tongues as a sign on baptism in the Spirit are related?  Can they abide in the same person?

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Centering Prayer, Spiritual Journey
The Active Prayer Practice
Fr. Carl J. Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q: The active prayer is my daily "go to" practice along with Centering Prayer. Can you please clarify the differences and similarities between receptive and active contemplative practices, and how they can complement each other? Can the active prayer actually become a receptive practice?

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Centering Prayer, The Active Prayer Practice
Difficulty with Centering Prayer
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  My difficulty with Centering Prayer is distractions of thoughts spilling over and being unable to get to or sustain a deep place in the prayer. I usually sit down to pray and all is well. Then I read a psalm but a feeling or ache in my head starts before I center and linked thoughts just crowd my mind. It is more like a thinking mediation.

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Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality
Does God Judge?
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico Read More. Contemplative Spirituality
Centering Prayer and the Nights
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

A few months ago, I seem to have woken up during Centering Prayer in terror over not being able to find God. I had been sensing that this night of the spirit might be coming, but nothing I had read prepared me for the next few months. … It seemed to be that I ended up on one occasion in a place of such deep sorrow that all I could do was cry, and cry, and cry...

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Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality
Difficulty in Doing a Second Sit
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  I have had numerous people tell me that they have no difficulty carving space for the first sit of the day, usually in the morning. But once the day gets going it is most difficult to find time for the second sit. I myself find the second sit difficult to find time for or even to remember.

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Centering Prayer
Including People of Different Faiths in Centering Prayer Groups
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  What is your position on bringing in people of many different faiths to our Centering Prayer groups? When there is an interest in learning Centering Prayer, are we to concern ourselves with the interested parties’ religious background, e.g. whether or not they are Christian?

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

Q:  I am based in the U.K. and about to launch Centering Prayer into the local junior school (children aged 4-11). The school head and deputy head are very keen for this to happen and we will be basing what we do with the children on the Journey to the Heart book.

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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
Centering Prayer, Unloading and the Nights
Fr. Carl J. Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  I have been practicing centering prayer off and on for about  18 years and more intensely during the past year and a half or so.  For many yearts I had little discipline, just "exuberant mysticism" with lots of consolation.   I am sure the "unloading" of the unconscious has either not happened at all or is at least not complete.

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Centering Prayer, Spiritual Journey
Struggling with Thoughts During the Night
Fr. Carl J. Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

I just read Fr. Keating's Open Mind, Open Heart book. What should I do during the night, while lying in bed, and I find myself with a bunch of general thoughts going on, as well as "engaged" thoughts? I tried using a sacred word when I found myself with an engaged thought, but then the action(s) made me more awake, and I was up for an hour or more trying to fall back to sleep. 

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Centering Prayer, Father Thomas Keating, The Active Prayer Practice

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