Thomas Keating, Intimacy with God
Q: I have practiced Centering Prayer for years now and I was wondering if you could explain the process of unloading of the unconscious. What happens when forgotten memories and feelings, past traumas, just erupt during the prayer session. Does it mean that by being brought to the surface they are healed? How to handle them during the prayer itself as they are much more difficult to let go than “ordinary” thoughts.
Mary: As Fr. Thomas taught, the Divine Therapist embraces every opportunity we provide (by faithfulness to our practices) to remove all the obstacles within us that preclude the free flow of Grace/Love in our lives. A regular practice of Centering Prayer almost guarantees the “cleaning out the basement” will begin! For most lay folks, the bulk of the “unloading of the unconscious” occurs in the midst of our daily lives though, not during the time of prayer. Relationships, careers/jobs, health issues provide a myriad of sources to begin to free us from our unconscious attachments and aversions. Yearly retreats also enhance the unloading process.
But what is most important to remember from my perspective is that while the psychological/physical content of the moment may be uncomfortable and down right dreadful, it is a true indication that the Divine Therapy ( healing process ) is fully underway. God is truly LOVING US INTO LIFE. A Radical, Invincible Trust begins to emerge in the One who brought us to the moment; that One will see us through the moment, because the only way out IS through. Often we are only aware of this in hindsight. For if we were fully aware of the unloading we think we are really in charge of it! The 12-step way of saying all of this is, “God is doing for us what we cannot do for ourselves.” So faithfulness to our daily practices is our way of saying yes to the invitation to be transformed and consent to Divine Union, the fourth Consent.
When really overwhelmed with emotion or pain during Centering Prayer just be. Fr. Thomas taught that in the midst of unloading the sacred word is like a buoy in a hurricane. No where to be found! But if we ride it out, so to speak, a calming begins to emerge after a while and we can “ever so gently” return to our sacred word/symbol.
You can read the complete E-bulletin at https://mailchi.mp/coutreach/september2020-e-bulletin?e=9aa0837e74
“God’s activity is the work of the Holy Spirit in your particular embodiment in this world …
We are pleading for the supreme gift of the Spirit simply
by consenting to God’s will and action.”
Thomas Keating, Fruits and Gifts of the Spirit
Welcoming Prayer Sessions on Zoom:
The last Welcoming Prayer Session on Zoom will be held August 13th. Whenever you need a Welcoming Prayer session you can view all the recordings on our YouTube channel here. Scroll through the list until you see the practice sessions.
Lectio Divina Immersion and Presenter Training Zoom Retreat
August 7, 8 2020
This online retreat will provide an opportunity to explore and deepen one’s individual practice of Lectio Divina as a way of praying the scriptures in an online community. Register here
“The Great Reality Deep Within“
12-Step Zoom Weekend Retreat
Friday, August 14 to Sunday, August 16
This retreat is for those in 12-Step recovery who have a desire to learn a method of meditation and companion practices, as well as for experienced meditators who wish to deepen their established practices. Registration due by August 7th.
Read more and register here.
Thomas Keating’s The Secret Embrace
with Cynthia Bourgeault
Offered by Spirituality & Practice
Monday, August 31 – Friday, September 25
This course will allow you to glimpse, through the shimmering facets of Fr. Thomas Keating’s poetry and Cynthia’s insightful exegesis, key aspects of his final journey of transfiguration – a path open to us all. The whole course will be set on the foundation of the question “How do we live in this world of pain and uncertainty with the courage and unity that come from turning toward the stillness, the transfiguration?”
Read more and register here.
You can see the full bulletin here https://mailchi.mp/coutreach/july2020-e-bulletin?e=9aa0837e74
“Silence is not just silence or emptiness or nothingness but … the best preparation there is because then there’s no obstacle. And God’s love – since it’s so pervasive – just comes in, like the weather, and like it fills any empty space.”
Thomas Keating, God is Love,The Heart of All Creation
A Borderless Practice:
The Interspiritual Invitation of Centering Prayer
By Keith Kristich
In the weekly Centering group I have led for the last seven years, it has been my joy to find conservatives and progressives, Evangelicals, Catholics, Episcopalians, and fundamentalists gathered in union to open to the mystery of God. It has also been my joy to welcome practitioners of Buddhism, spiritual seekers, and in particular, two close friends of the Jewish faith.
But how does such a diverse group of people come together in union when there are so many distinctions and differences of thought and mind? Because Centering Prayer is “non-conceptual”, during our twenty minute silent sit, we don’t cling to our cherished concepts and beliefs about God, but rather sink into the naked and immediate heart of God as the Ultimate Mystery, always just outside the reach of the mind’s grasp. Read more>
Lectio Divina in Moments of Crisis
with Leslee Terpay
Q: How can Lectio Divina help us during this time of Covid-19?
Read Leslee’s response here.
See the complete e-bulletin here https://mailchi.mp/coutreach/may2020-e-bulletin?e=9aa0837e74
You can read the complete e-bulletin at https://mailchi.mp/coutreach/january2020-e-bulletin?e=9aa0837e74
The Sacred Breath
by Corey Krupowicz
Throughout most of my contemplative practice, the breath has been my natural access point into realms of Divine expansion. So much so that it has become my sacred symbol of consent during Centering Prayer.
Over the years, I have also studied and practiced many eastern breathing techniques and have found they are easily incorporated into my Centering Prayer practice as a way to embody and deepen relationship with the heart of the Divine. Read More>
Celebrating the gifts of Spiritual Journey:The gift of Fr Thomas and the gifts of Centering Prayer You can celebrate this 27th annual worldwide day of prayer in theseways: Attend a local group retreat. Check these local websites for event information. Here is a sample schedule to assist planning for a group retreat. Download Group Schedule Organize your […]
Second Saturday, March 9th 2019 Time 10 – 12 noon. Our Lady Help of Christians Pastoral Centre. Navan Road. At our Centering Prayer gathering in March we will be remembering our dear friend Rev Robert Lawson. Centering Prayer, prayer Service for Robert, with his family, hospitality. There is an optional opportunity for anyone […]
Sr. Fionnuala Quinn OP, one of the narrators on the CD, addresses the assembled audience at the CD Launch.
Br. Denis Gleeson cfc one of the narrators on the CD addresses the assembled audience at the CD Launch.
Rev’d Garth Bunting – Residential Priest Vicar at Christ Church Cathedral Dublin, Guest Speaker at the CD Launch.
L-R Rev’d Garth Bunting, Sr. Fionnuala Quinn OP and Br. Denis Gleeson cfc
A section of the audience at the recent CD Launch on Centering Prayer, The Welcoming Prayer and Lectio Divina