​Traditional Centering Prayer Practice

(Tread carefully here. This practice is NOT for everyone. See note above.*)

Guidelines adapted from Centering Prayer Basics, The Contemplative Society contemplative.org

  1. Find a quiet space where you won’t be disturbed.

  2. Sit comfortably on a chair, cushion etc. The goal is to be “relaxed in body and alert in mind.”

  3. Gently close your eyes.

  4. Set an intention to “Consent to the presence and action of the Divine,” as it is known in Centering Prayer teaching. If you’re not comfortable with that language, set an intention to consent to an experience of deep and abiding peace.

  5. Whenever you become aware of a thought, let it go. The goal here isn’t to stop your thoughts from coming; the goal is to gently let them go - again and again, and again.

  6. Use a single word – one to which you have no emotional attachment – that helps you let go of your thoughts. The word is not a mantra to be repeated. Think of it, instead, as a sort of windshield wiper that gently wipes away thoughts and reminds you of your intention to rest in the presence of God/deep peace.

  7. Continue your practice for 20 minutes. If you’re new to the practice, it’s perfectly fine to start with a shorter sit; 5, 10, 15 minutes. Slowly work your way up to 20. Two 20 minute sits per day is considered ideal. A timer on my phone tells me when my sit is over. (I use the Insight Timer app.)