‘Ah! That is just like Centering Prayer!’ exclaimed my friend with whom I had just talked through the ‘Source Connection’ visualisation. She had just received some energy balancing and I was advising her to regularly do this visualisation as a simple way to keep her energetic vibration raised for her wellbeing.
I was not sure what she meant and so I was delighted when she lent me a book about it and I was able to explore a little more.
Centering Prayer’s principal ‘architect and spokesperson’ is Father Thomas Keating. It has a basis in Christianity but also speaks to those who would rather consider themselves spiritual as opposed to religious.
Definition of Centering Prayer
Cynthia Bourgeault writes about Centering Prayer thus:
It’s very, very simple. You sit, either in a chair or on a prayer stool or mat, and allow your heart to open toward that invisible but always present Origin of all that exists. Whenever a thought comes into your mind, you simply let the thought go and return to that open, silent attending upon the depths. Not because thinking is bad, but it pulls you back to the surface of yourself. You use a short word or phrase, known as a ‘sacred word’, such as ‘abba’ (Jesus’ own word for God) or ‘peace’ or ‘be still’ to help you let go of the thought promptly and cleanly. You do this practice for twenty minutes, a bit longer if you’d like, then you simply get up and move on with your life.
… Your own subjective experience of the prayer may be that nothing happened – except for the more-or-less continuous motion of letting go of thoughts. But in the depths of your being, in fact, plenty has been going on. And things are quietly but firmly rearranged. That interior rearrangement – or to give it its rightful name, that interior awakening – is the real business of Centering Prayer…
Source Connection Visualisation
I was excited to read this description as I always like to hear commonalties in different approaches because this then seems to point to the fact of being on the right track. To me, Centering Prayer seems very similar to meditation and the Source Connection Visualisation we regularly advise people to do as a means of nourishing our mind, body and spirit. This visualisation seems to reach the depths of our being quickly as there is specific guidance to illuminate the way.
We all need to find an approach with which we are comfortable which allows true and deep nourishment of our mind, body and soul; a way of immersing ourselves in the ever-available unconditional love of our Source.
CD / Download Available
If you are interested in experiencing the Source Connection Visualisation, a guided visualisation is available on track 11 of the single CD or download, called Energ-Eased. Just click here to access.
Cynthia Bourgeault (2004) Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening. Cowley Publications, New York