In the 1970s, Trappist monks Basil Pennington, Thomas Keating, and William Meninger reintroduced Christians to contemplation through the simple practice of Centering Prayer. Centering Prayer is one good way to draw us into the silence that surrounds and holds us, but of which we are too often unaware. It helps us sink into the wordless reality of who God is and who we ourselves are.
1. Sit comfortably with your eyes closed, breathing naturally, relaxing deeply. Become aware of your love and desire for God in this moment.
2. Choose a word or phrase that expresses your intention to be open to God’s presence (such as this week’s Gateway to Silence—“Just be.”—or Grace, Rest, etc.).
3. Hold the word gently, without speaking, repeating it in your mind slowly.
4. Whenever you become aware of anything (thoughts, feelings, sensations), simply return to the word, which symbolizes your intention.
5. Gradually let the word fall away as you slip into silence. Rest in silence.
6. Continue in silence as long as you wish (20 minutes twice daily is suggested by many teachers).