AnonymousDeleted UserOctober 7, 2020 at 11:58 am
I began practicing Centering Prayer about 3 years ago and was eager to see where it would take me. I’m an active person with a lot of energy, but I’ve also learned over the years that this activity was part of the coping mechanism for avoiding the pain and discomfort of my past. (Unfortunately my energy and ability to get things done is precisely what my church communities most highly prized, which gave me no incentive to slow down or ask the deeper questions about my restless need to fill the quiet spaces of my life!)
It wasn’t until I attended the Living School with Richard Rohr––and when a daily practice of meditation was set as a core requirement of our work––that I began giving myself permission to fall into the silence. Nothing was expected of me. My restless spirit had nowhere to go. And there in the quiet, the tears flowed, followed by the sure sense of God’s presence abiding within. This opened up a season with a therapist and spiritual director, lots of unloading, and the long road to healing and integration.
A short while after graduating I went on a 5-day Insight Meditation retreat at a Buddhist retreat center and discovered there were other gifts waiting for me in the silence too: ease and friendliness towards myself! These two practices of Centering Prayer and Insight Meditation (along with a necessary daily dose of Loving Kindness) have been at the root of so much healing and transformation––and have proven true what we were taught in the Living School: that an entirely different operating system is necessary to truly grow up and show up for ourselves and the challenges being faced by the world.