Tuesday, June 2, 2009

a Centering Prayer picture

Well, as Matt and I spend time here at L'Abri, we are being incredibly blessed by the community around us. The mother of one of the couples here, Judy, came this week to see her family, and she is also a spiritual director who practices centering prayer as well as other meditative practices. This past Monday, she spoke to us on centering prayer and gave us a short period of time in which to pray as well. The following is about the time Judy spent with us and the picture God shared with me afterward.

Judy opened up the time by preparing the altar, our coffee table. She cleaned it gently and purposefully, and set a cloth, a cross, a rock, two branches, and a candle on the table. Then she said a guided meditation to lead us into our time of centering prayer. After we centered, one of the women here asked me about what goes on in my mind when I center, and I was given the neatest picture. I told her that it was like taking a walk or hanging out with my best friend Sarah. Sometimes we can just be silent together. We don't try to conjure up conversation if it is not already taking place, and sometimes we may not even mention something that pops into our heads if we recognize the silence. But we do notice the things around us; we see trees or people or beaches - the setting we're in. We just don't heed or engage them because we are content to just be us fully and silently together.
Now of course Sarah and I experience times when we can hardly stop speaking, or we ask each other for help, or we have fun, and that is an incredible and necessary part of our friendship. I feel that this is the same or similar with God. I can talk to Him, sing to Him, ask Him things, listen to Him, and, I can be with him.

Jen Addis


RC said...

Jen, it's delight to hear from you way out there in Canada at L'Abri. And it's encouraging to know that you have some companions in practicing Contemplative Prayer. Hurray! Your lovely meditation on deep friendship as an analogy for relating to God really means a lot to me. Thank you so much for investing in sharing with us Living Stones!

living stones said...

Jen, I really liked how you described Judy's intentionality about preparing the altar, your coffee table. We just got back from our retreat, and I have to admit I missed that aspect in our community prayer room. (On all my other retreats our prayer space held a lighted candle and a flowering branch or a rock.) Setting isn't everything, but everything has the potential to contribute to leading us into our time of prayer. Mindfulness matters. Thanks for sharing this meaningful experience. Blessings--Anna

Paul Corrigan said...

Thank you Jen for this picture!

Daniel said...

Jen, I really enjoyed this reflection! It encourages me to approach my prayer time with more "mindfulness" as Anna said. I'm looking forward to sharing similar prayer times with you and Matt in the near future!

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