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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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Shutters
Dian Gillmar
Voices of Community

Through the shutters of my soul
sunlight rarely shines.
Her voice demanded obedience,
blocked out the light of childhood.
As I grew older ...

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Centering Prayer, Spiritual Journey
Agnostic Adventures with Centering Prayer
Janet Murray
Voices of Community

"Who put the bop in the bopshubopshubop, who put the ram in the ramalamadingdong ... " Those were the typical contents of my brain during my sporadic attempts at meditation until metastatic cancer and two good friends convinced me to try again. One friend was dedicated to the practice of Zen meditation, the other to Centering Prayer...

How does one pray if there is no faith in God? How do I stop the constant chatter? What is supposed to happen? Can one do Centering Prayer and not be a Christian?

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Centering Prayer
Discerning the Journey
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  ... None of my friends or family are religious, so I often feel alone in my spiritual life. It is hard to sustain a solid base for the spiritual life in these circumstances. ... Since I felt that my spiritual upbringing was drawn from the Catholic tradition I started having serious thoughts about converting, but now I am suddenly having very strong doubts. ... But I don’t find firm ground in the Norwegian protestant church either. So I feel homeless and adrift. Are my thoughts about converting most of all a sign of immature spiritual needs, of which I should ignore? ...

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Centering Prayer, Spiritual Journey
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
Hokey Pokey Spirituality
Ceci LaDuca
Voices of Community

“You put your right hand in, you put your right hand out. You put your right hand in and ..."

“What if the hokey pokey really IS what it’s all about?” 

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Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality, Spiritual Journey
The Accelerated Course for Those Over 80
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  In the book, The Human Condition, it mentions an accelerated course for people over 80.  I am looking for information on that program.

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Centering Prayer, Gift of Life, Father Thomas Keating
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
Praying for those in Purgatory
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  Given Fr. Keating’s views on Purgatory, that one continues to grow and become enlightened, how does a person with a Centering Prayer practice pray for her loved ones in Purgatory? 

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

Q:  A very annoying thing happens to me during many (about 75%) of my Centering Prayer times. I salivate excessively which is distracting to me. I cannot find a commonality that would point to a cause for this. Is this something you have heard of before and/or do you have a suggestion for dealing with this?

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Centering Prayer
Centering Prayer, Boredom and Nothingness
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  I attended a one-day Centering Prayer event for people who were experienced in Centering Prayer.  We had three periods of prayer, with some teaching.  At the end of the third session I felt completely empty.  There was nothing, and after the session, as I thought about it, it felt boring and I wondered why I would want to do that again...

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Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality, Spiritual Journey
Centering Prayer and Mental Illness
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  I am hoping to get some direction for myself and a community I work with.  I have schizo-affective mental illness, ...  Meds never controls that aspect of our lives completely.  We are hoping to find a safe and effective way to embrace silence and solitude for a part of our recovery process.    The challenge for us is that stillness and quiet leads to very disturbing hallucinations that we are all at varying degrees of knowing how to deal with.

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Centering Prayer, Lectio Divina
Let Your True Self Shine
Rich Lewis
Voices of Community

He was transfigured before their eyes.  His face became as dazzling as the sun, his clothes as radiant as light.... I immediately began thinking about my centering prayer practice. Isn't this what really happens each time I sit with God ...

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Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality
Centering Prayer & the Process of Transformation
Mindy Durias
Voices of Community

I often think about these words from Jesus,

“Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them. For the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

What was so special to Jesus about children, that he would gift them the kingdom of God?

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Centering Prayer
Having a Vital Relationship with Christ
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  I have been practicing Centering Prayer for ten years.  The grace of really knowing that I am loved by God has been given to me.  I am certain that at the moment of my death I will throw myself on God's mercy, and all will be well.  I will be with God for eternity.  However, recently a priest told me that I am guilty of the sin of presumption.  I don't understand...

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

Q:  I have just started practicing Centering Prayer. I’m Portuguese, live in Lisbon,  and I’m almost 70!  It looks like Centering Prayer came to me (I didn’t look for it) as an invitation/response of Jesus to become closer to Him, as I so much desire... My question of method is this: When does Lectio Divina comes in? Is it at the same time as Centering Prayer? You do both in the same day?

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Centering Prayer, Lectio Divina
Renewing Our Understanding of the Contemplative Tradition
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

What is Contemplative Prayer?
Why is there a need for a renewal?
What about all the other forms of prayer?
What are the essential elements of Centering Prayer?

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Centering Prayer
From Vietnam to Centering Prayer
David Jorgenson
Voices of Community

I remember 50 years ago riding in an UH-34D helicopter heading west over the South China Sea. A clear blue morning greets me under a cloudless sky. We are U.S. Marines heading for the landing zone in Chu Lai, Vietnam.... I came home outwardly uninjured --without a scratch-- but not unaffected.

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Centering Prayer
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
Father Thomas: Gently Waiting for the Beginning
Steven Standiford
Voices of Community

During our visit, Thomas did solve one mystery.  For over two decades I have heard him often say that, “the minimum time recommended for Centering Prayer is twenty minutes, two times a day.”  But I never heard Thomas share what his own practice was. 

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Centering Prayer, Father Thomas Keating
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
Centering Prayer and Existential Angst
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q: In part my question relates to receptivity and trusting the process of Centering Prayer....What if I persist in Centering Prayer but don’t receive any tangible guidance, and have time continue to pass but still feel that I’m unsure of how to change or what to do about these circumstances that have been frustrating me so much?

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Centering Prayer, Spiritual Journey
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
Our God of Surprises ...
Therese Coen
Voices of Community

Many years ago while taking a morning hike on Mt Tamalpais, north of  San Francisco, I felt the urge to sit down and to silently pray to the  Lord.  I found an outcrop among the bushes and left the trail.  I sat  down and put on my jacket. I settled down and began my Centering  Prayer period. Some time later...

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Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality
Celebrating 25 Years of Contemplative Practices
Tess Colayco
Other

“Celebrating 25 Years of Silence, Solitude, Solidarity and Service” – this was the theme of Contemplative Outreach Philippine’s anniversary event from Nov. 4 to Nov. 10, 2015.  From a small group of parishioners in the late 1980’s who were introduced to Centering Prayer and the Spiritual Journey program of Fr. Thomas Keating, the group led by Lita Salinas and Grace Padilla has grown to an organization that is now made up of 23 weekly Centering Prayer/Lectio Divina groups all over Metro Manila and beyond.

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Centering Prayer, Welcoming Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality, Spiritual Journey

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