We often tend to slight serious meditation and prayer as something not really necessary. To be sure, we feel it it something that might help us to meet an occasional emergency, but at first many of us are apt to regard it as a somewhat mysterious skill of clergymen, from which we may hope to get a secondhand benefit.
THE EFFECTS OF CENTERING PRAYER
The positive effects of the prayer are experienced in daily life and not necessarily during the prayer period itself. During this prayer, avoid analyzing the experience or having expectations such as continuously repeating the sacred word, having no thoughts, or achieving a spiritual experience. It is important not to judge the success of your prayer period. The only thing you can do wrong in this prayer is to get up and leave. You may find yourself getting in touch with feelings of pain, lust, or fear, even remembering feelings or events you forgot about long ago. There is no way to change or repair the damage of a lifetime easily or quickly, but remember you are not alone. Please reach out to your sponsor or a trusted friend if you need help processing any afflictive emotions that may arise.
Everyone moves at his or her own pace in Centering Prayer. Just doing the prayer and opening our self to the presence of our Higher Power in silence will encourage us to keep going.
Growth will happen when we practice Centering Prayer in the context of the 12 Steps.
A daily Centering Prayer practice...
- Enhances our ability to “Let Go and Let God”
- Develops in us a nonjudgmental attitude of ourselves and others
- Helps us to grow in self knowledge (which at times may be painful)
- Fosters an emerging capacity to listen and serve others
- Nurtures our ability to live in the present moment
SOME PRACTICAL POINTS
- Twenty minutes of Centering Prayer twice a day is recommended.
- If you notice slight physical or emotional pain arising during the prayer, pay no attention and return ever so gently to the sacred word.
- It is suggested that you join a weekly Centering Prayer group or find others in recovery willing to meet on a regular basis to support one another in this practice.