What Changes The World?
The hope of contemplatives, often realized in the lives of saints both ancient and post-modern, is that just as meditation has transformed us, it will transform our society. This is why we show up every day. Centering prayer is the foundation, the context, for everything we do.
Centering prayer is powerful. It changes us. The change in us gives birth to change in the world. We could not keep the revitalization of our souls to ourselves if we wanted to. We have to do something with the new found vigor. In God’s time, what has transformed us cannot help but transform our relationships. Centering prayer is powerful, but it is not a sprint. It’s a marathon. If we are faithful to our practice, our practice will be faithful to us. Our work is to show up each day—to show up two to three times per day, in fact—and sit with the Mystery we call God. Our job is to sit with God and let God work in us. Each time we sit is another opportunity for God in Christ to take action within us. God will loosen our minds and keep the doors of our minds open.
When people try centering prayer for the first time, I encourage them to simply pray daily as long as they can for thirty consecutive days, and mark it on the calendar. Sits will be five minutes some days and others ten. The point is to simply begin where you are and do as much as you can. Silence is hard to get used to. Give yourself time.
As our bodies need rest, our minds need solitude and stillness. Our minds need to relax, to drop into our hearts and rest with God who is within. It is a pilgrimage from our mind to heart.
Rich Lewis is an author, speaker and coach who focuses on centering prayer as a means of inner transformation. His book, Sitting with God: A Journey to Your True Self Through Centering Prayer (288 pages) is available now.
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