November 10, 2011

Virtual Centering Prayer Retreat

by Sue Tanida ( @angelicinsights )

I'm sure many in the Abbey community have seen the blog posting that introduced Centering Prayer by the Rev. Dan Webster which can be found here.

The Spirituality and Practice folks are running a virtual retreat for a month on Centering Prayer led by the Rev. Cynthia Bourgeault. I decided to enroll in it to stretch my comfort zone in prayer--and because I found the practice of Welcoming Prayer, which I took a similar retreat on, so valuable.

Please stay tuned for a review of the retreat after I complete it, but I thought it would be good to announce it while there is opportunity to join in the live Practice Circle and ask questions of Mother Bourgeault.

I have already learned much in the first week. For example, there is an illusion that one should be able to stop thoughts in centering prayer or in meditation. So many of us think we can't "do it right" because the thoughts keep coming! Trying to stamp out thoughts is pretty futile, but the idea of Centering Prayer is to notice and release those thoughts, feelings and sensations to God as they come up. Since this is a time of year when many of us get winter blues (or worse), this is a great practice to take up now. How much mental pain or sadness can we release to God? How much holiday rush and stress, or loneliness can we give to him?

I invite you to join me.

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