But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
The secret hidden in the silence is love. This is love for you without you meriting it, needing to change, needing to change the world, or even the people around you. Because of our focus on power and control, on safety and security, esteem and affection–these trappings of the false self–it is hard to believe in this love, hard to surrender to it. It takes practice, the practice of silence. Silence, in its spiritual form, is surrender to God.
Centering Prayer is Christian meditation, and it is what we do to practice silence. It is an ancient tradition, once forgotten in the church, but recovered, mostly by the work of the late Fr. Thomas Keating, a Cistercian monk. Now, the prayer is a world-wide practice.
Centering Prayer facilitates the healing of our deepest wounds. This healing leads us to recognize the truth that has always been: God’s love is for us and for the world. Ultimately, it leads us to transformative union with God, where we know this truth:
“The eye with which I see God is the same eye with which God sees me. My eye and God’s eye are one eye: one seeing, one knowing, one love.”Meister Eckhart
Join us every Tuesday on Zoom for silence. We begin with a short check-in, an opening prayer, 20 minutes of silence, 2 minutes of “loving light prayer”, and a closing reading from Fr. Thomas Keating. Here’s our Zoom information: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/724376004, Dial-in option: 1 669 900 9128, meeting ID# 724376004
For a more in-depth understanding of Centering Prayer and the contemplative life consider these options:
- Contemplative Outreach, started by Thomas Keating as a world wide community dedicated to the practice of centering prayer. To join online group go to the Meditation Chapel.
- Center for Action and Contemplation, started by Richard Rohr (friend of Keating) which brings together the practice of centering prayer and the work of transformative social justice.