Last evening I nearly forgot to attempt Centering Prayer again. I was ready for bed and realized I needed to put this piece in before I went to sleep. So, I sat up on my bed and tried to find that quiet center within me. I did find it easier, since it was dark, to begin the travel away from my daytime material world and into a deeper awareness.
But, still plans and wonderings and scenarios kept flying into my mind.
In our group on Sunday I used the images of boats slowing coming into view as a metaphor for how our thoughts trickle in to push into our quiet time. Well, my boats don’t gently nudge in, they are just, BAMMM!, there. I don’t get much warning. Before I realize it full blown scenarios are playing out in my mind.
I decided to use a word mantra to sort of focus my attention to get past random thoughts. And what came back to me was questions about why I chose that word. What was it about that concept that I wanted, that I feared, that I harbored anxiety about.
Ok, so a word mantra didn’t work to empty my mind.
Dang it, this is hard. It sounds so simple, just empty your mind. Seek only the presence of God. Detach from what holds us – what holds our attention, our emotions, our biases…
This morning I’ve decided to read Nan Merrill’s version of Psalm 78:1-3 and let the ancient psalmist lull me into the presence of Holiness.
“Listen well, O peoples of the earth,
to inner promptings of the Spirit;
Let Silence enter your house that
you may hear!
For within your heart Love speaks:
not with words of deceit,
But of spiritual truths to guide you
upon the paths of peace.