The practice of Mindful Christianity and centering prayer is the spiritual discipline of letting go of the attachments we have with the thoughts, emotions, and words in our heads. In releasing and letting go of them in our minds, we create a sacred space where God transcends the silent moments with His presence and love.
The contemplative path leads us to experience the mystery of God no longer by solely thinking thoughts about God in our minds but by sharing the inward reality of Christ’s presence in our hearts. It is a practice of sacred awareness from the Desert Fathers and Mothers of the 3rd century. An anonymous mystic writer of “The Cloud of Unknowing” in the latter part of the fourteenth century in England describes it as an experience without the need for many words.
In centering prayer, a word such as “love” or “Christ” becomes a focal point to call your mind to attention. It can, at any time, make us aware of the presence of God in our life. (A Sacred Word Quiets my Mind to Pay Attention to God) Others meditate by counting the inhale and exhale of breath a certain number of times as the symbol or the way of beginning to quiet their thoughts and mind to be receptive to God’s presence. With a word or a breath, you release your thoughts and discover a calming effect by meditating on the stillness. You rest in the openness and awareness of God.
With practice sitting in the silence, you experience being an integral part of something far more significant than yourself. Instead of the thousands of thoughts and images which keep your mind in chaos as you release them repeatedly, you become aware that your life unfolds with an entirely different revelation and meaning. You are not a human “doing,” as Richard Rohr shares but a human “being.”
The essence of contemplation and meditation is that you grasp your life as open and resting in God as “just being.” (Be Still and “Be”) You as a “being” no longer exist as a separate entity but now live in unity and oneness with everything which exists. The mystery of Jesus praying, “Father make them one as you and I are One,” is now a new reality.
In experiencing the presence of God, you move away from thinking of being separated from God and everyone. It is a call to the mystery of God’s love, where your being is born into unity and oneness with the living reality of the resurrected Christ and the universe. (The Awareness of No Longer Being Separated from God) You live and move, and you’re being is in God as the source of your life
that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one. John 17:21-22 NIV
For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’ Acts 17:28 NIV
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