Contemplative Prayer & Practices Meets Wednesdays at 1:00 p.m. via private zoom link
With so many disturbing events swirling around us, contemplative practice can provide a much needed refuge for grounding ourselves in the divine source. In addition, by drawing on all the accumulated wisdom of the ages, our ongoing studies will seek ways that we as individuals and as community can bring peace, compassion and transformation to a world in crisis.
Each week our sessions will begin by discussing (for approximately a half hour) an excerpt from a previously chosen text. Past selections have included: Thomas Keating's Open Mind, Open Heart: The Contemplative Dimension of the Gospel; The Cloud of Unknowing; and William Harmless’s Mystics. Currently we’re reading the sermons of Meister Eckhart, the German, medieval mystic known for his teachings on contemplative detachment. We’ve read selections from other contemplative traditions, including, but not limited to, Vedanta, Buddhism and Taoism.
By exploring and comparing a variety of contemplative traditions, we hope to rediscover the ancient mystical teachings of our Christian faith. Following the Reformation and the Western turn to reason, these teachings fell out of favor. In the last half century, monastics, like Thomas Keating and Thomas Merton, turned to Western and Eastern traditions to recover, what was for centuries, an integral component of the Christian faith experience.
The second half of each session is dedicated to contemplative practice, which usually consists of Centering Prayer, but may include other contemplative practices. In Centering Prayer, we spend twenty minutes in silence, letting go of all thoughts, feelings and images as outlined by Thomas Keating and Contemplative Outreach, the organization Keating founded. For a full description of Centering Prayer, including instructions, go to: https://www.contemplativeoutreach.org/centering-prayer-method/
We invite you to join us Wednesdays at 1:00 PM on Zoom. To receive the Zoom link and the current readings, please contact Sue Wright at firstname.lastname@example.org or (315) 751-8015.