Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue


Jane Redmont: An Introduction to Centering Prayer

posted by Beyond Blue

A wonderful resource for carving out time for prayer and solitude is Jane Redmont’s book, “When in Doubt, Sing: Prayer in Daily Life.” I plan on interviewing Jane down the line because she struggles with depression herself and writes about how to pray when depressed, something I always struggle with. In her book, she offers a very basic introduction to Centering Prayer, a kind of silent prayer or simply being in the presence of God, assisted by Bill Ryan, a student and teacher of Centering Prayer with Contemplative Outreach (www.centeringprayer.com).

Choose a sacred word (a mantra) as a symbol of your intention to consent to God’s presence and action within. The sacred word is sacred not because of its inherent meaning–though most people pick a word to which they have a deep religious or spiritual connection–but because of your intent. It expresses your intention to be in God’s presence and open the divine action within you. 

Sit comfortably with your eyes closed, settle briefly, and silently introduce the sacred word as the symbol of your consent to God’s presence and action within. Sit with a straight back and head free. Close the eyes and let go of what is going on around you.

When you become aware of thoughts [here's where I go wrong!], return ever so gently to the sacred word. Thoughts (feeling, perceptions, images, associations) are inevitable. Do not think of them as an obstacle. The action of returning endlessly to the sacred word is gentle and requires minimal effort.

At the end of the prayer period of twenty minutes remain in silence for two or three minutes with the eyes closed. This allows time for the psyche to readjust to the external senses and enables you to bring the awareness of silence to daily life.

Jane writes her own blog “Acts of Hope” at http://actsofhope.blogspot.com



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Tom

posted March 2, 2009 at 11:52 am


Back when I was in a substance abuse recovery movement (back to basics) they stressed quiet time (preferably in the morning) when one would pray for guidance, write down their thoughts, then share them with others in the movement (the equivalent of step 11). The thoughts considered to be aligned with the virtues of unselfishness, honesty, purity, and love were attributed to divine inspiration. They called the practice two-way prayer because it placed way more emphasis on discerning the will of God than conventional prayer movements which emphasized how to ask God for such and such. I believe they would consider 15 minutes of prayer and 45 minutes of listening the ideal to incrementally move towards, starting out small.
http://www.aabacktobasics.org/



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laurie

posted June 23, 2011 at 7:54 am


years ago, before I was even properly diagnosed, I had a strong attraction to practicing centering prayer…I had the Carl Keating tapes ( phenominal) will def check out Janes book..Thanks



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Skylark

posted June 24, 2011 at 9:34 am


For those wishing to know more about Christian meditation …and this Centering Prayer practice go to Fr. John Bartunek’s blog Catholic Spiritual Direction and click on Centering Prayer to see the letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on Some Aspects of Christian Meditation. It is a very enlightening treatise of this subject which I found most helpful.



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Skylark

posted June 24, 2011 at 9:36 am


I should have added to the above..the Letter mentioned was written by Pope Benedict XVI who we all know can really write…and inspire!



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fredoman

posted June 24, 2011 at 10:47 pm


My problem is falling asleep. Every time I try to relax, meditate, pray, etc… all my psyche wants to do is shut down. Reading itself became a chore and now it’s an avoidable exercise due to my proneness of falling asleep as soon as I get through a paragraph or two. It’s depressing to say the least… since I used to enjoy reading.



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will

posted June 25, 2011 at 10:33 pm


I too have trouble falling and staying asleep. Even with sleeping pills, it’s difficult. It’s hard for me to pray to a concentrate. I just pray that God will help me to not give up and inspire me. My memory has suffered from ECT treatments and I think it seems to have affected my inspiration. It’s hard for me to put things into words and get interested in things that interested me before. My confidence in myself is minimal right now. I am trying to put my trust in God that He will continue to guide me. I still feel so lost and alone alot of the time. It is hard for me to get my feelings out to people. When I do try to get my feelings out, they feel so lame.



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Monica A Coleman

posted July 1, 2011 at 10:40 pm


I love this post. Jane is a friend and wonderful writer and wonderful person!



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