There are many different and important methods and teachings on meditation and prayer.
Among them we use Centering Prayer. It was developed by Fr. Thomas Keating and others, and the Contemplative Outreach community he founded. It is a way of making the rich heritage of contemplative prayer in the Christian tradition accessible in our contemporary culture. It is not meant to replace other forms of prayer, but to cast a new light and depth of meaning on them. It is at the same time a relationship with God and a discipline to foster that relationship. It is a movement beyond conversation with Christ to communion with God. The longing and desire for closeness and communion with God is God’s gift to us.
The practice of Centering prayer is both simple and profound, and we explore it in different ways. In brief outline, the guidelines for this practice are as follows:
- Choose a sacred word as the symbol of your intention to consent to God’s presence and action.
- Sitting comfortably, and with eyes closed or resting softly downward, settle briefly and silently introduce the sacred word as the symbol of your consent to God’s presence and action.
- When occupied by other thoughts, feelings and mental distractions, return ever-so-gently to the sacred word.
At the end of the prayer period, remain in silence with eyes closed for a couple of minutes.