Centering Prayer and Meditation are different and yet very similar. However, the intended end result is the same for both. Since we practice both at Crossroads, what follows is hybrid version of Centering Prayer and Meditation.
Begin practicing this prayerful meditation in steps. In other words, if you are new to this practice don’t start with a 20-minute sit. Start with three or five minutes and work your way up to more time. Be compassionate with yourself as you practice.
When you sit in prayerful meditation, your breathing naturally slows. Quietly focusing your attention on your breathing is a way of slowing down and realizing that God is as close to you as your breath. Breath and Spirit are the same word in the Bible. While breathing in, be quietly aware of your breath. Each time you realize you have drifted off into thoughts, memories, feelings or other place simply return to your breathing as your anchoring place in the moment.
If your mind wanders off a hundred times then bring it back a hundred times by focusing on your breath, or a word that centers you. As you inhale, feel the incoming breath so intently that you realize it as the very breath of God.” In this moment, God is flowing into you and through you. As you exhale, breathe out slowly and deeply again feeling God’s life giving breath. Again, if you have a centering word come back to that word every time your mind wanders off.
Simply sit, open to God breathing divine love into the depths of your being, as you also breathe your whole being back to God as a gift of love.
When this one practice alone is engaged in with heartfelt sincerity and devotion it can awaken you to God’s total and complete oneness with you as the giver, the sustainer, and the reality of the sheer miracle of your very being.
As this realization of God’s oneness with you grows, you will begin to realize how foolish it is to imagine that God is, in any way, distant from you. You discover how foolish it is to imagine that you could in any way hide from God, who is wholly one with all that is within your mind and heart, literally your very being.
This daily practice can change the moments of your day. In other words the practice gives guidance to how you begin to see God, others and yourself in new and more beautiful ways.
You can listen to a guided version of this practice here.