The contemplative Christian classic The Cloud of Unknowing teaches, “Lift your heart up to the Lord with a gentle stirring of love, desiring him for his own sake and not for his gifts.”
As I wrote this book, Sitting with God: A Journey to Your True Self through Centering Prayer, my father passed away. My first centering-prayer session after his death was very powerful. I will never forget it.
James Finley wrote, “Even now by faith we lose our footing and fall into a new, unending center in which we are upheld by God and not by the narrow base of our ego’s self-assertion.” The silence of centering prayer teaches me how to lose my footing—and be caught by God. It enables me to let go of my ego’s insistence that it is the center of the world.
I believe there is a great thirst for silence in our world. I teach centering prayer at churches in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, area, and people come, wanting to learn more. They ask, “Is there another way to pray? How does it work? Why should I try it? How can it help me?”
The Beloved says from the other side of the door, “Open the door and come in, so we can experience just how One we might become.” Centering prayer is the door I open to come in and experience oneness with God.
When I center, I let go and trust the silence. Letting go comes first, and then comes trust. I don’t know what will happen next. I let go of expectations. I let myself be vulnerable. I do not know what feelings and emotions I will experience both during and after my sit. I trust that God is in charge and knows what is best. Centering prayer is a continuous practice of trust in God who waits in the fertile silence.