I have practiced centering prayer for almost two decades. I have also studied Buddhist practices, passage meditation, the breath prayer, and have benefitted immeasurably from my brother's seminal work in natural meditation.
Meditation is a critical tool for becoming who you are, for growing up.
The reason is simple. So long as we remain fixed and attached to our habitual reactions, our feelings, our usual thoughts, our self is more or less identified with these habits of behavior, feeling, and thought. That self is fixed and cannot grow. You, who can grow, can only grow by seeing that you are not one and the same as the habitual self. Meditation is about practicing consciousness of the reality of being, apart from the habitual self.
I teach the practice of meditation in three formats.
For Christians, the language of the tradition provides a channel quite conducive to the practice of centering prayer. A like channel may be missing for them in a study of other kinds of meditation. For this reason, I choose to teach centering prayer to church-based groups.
On evaluation, participants in the five-session program show the most enthusiasm for the course and, not surprisingly, adopt the practice of meditation into their daily life in larger numbers. The main reason for this is the powerful effect of having personal experience as part of the curriculum, which can open up new questions several times over during the period of the course.
For information about arranging a meditation workshop, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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©Stephen H. Phelps 2009