I recently completed
e-courses in Centering Prayer as well as Welcoming Prayer. When
doing Centering Prayer, I find that most thoughts that come up are
related to tasks that “have” to be completed. I have been retired
for two years and I really don’t have anything that have time
constraints. I find this to be the case also when I am doing
practices like Tai chi and Qigong. Can you comment why this might be
the case ? I am a Type 1 on the Enneagram. Could this be a factor ?
A: Having a vestibule is an important part of the
preparation for our Centering Prayer practice. We take that time
ahead of our prayer to state our intentions, renew our motives and
take care of anything that might be pressing and distracting at that
Making a list of things that need to be done ahead of time has
always been most helpful to me as I enter into the inner room of my
Centering Prayer practice: it can prepare one to give oneself
entirely to the prayer. If all of a sudden during the prayer these
chores begin to pop up such as “how can I do them”, “how much time
will I need” and numerous other planning details , it’s much easier
then to gently return to your sacred symbol because unconsciously
(or is it subconsciously?) you know it’s been taken care of, you
made the list. Give it a try, as a type 1 on the Enneagram I think
that you will find this process/discipline helpful.
Ultimately remember that whatever shape our thoughts take, our
response during our Centering Prayer time is to let them go by
returning to our sacred symbol.
Let me know how you make out.
Blessings, Fr Carl.
(From CO e-News
Bulletin, December 2020)