All Church Wellness/12 Step Adult Education Online
Be still and know that I am God - Psalm 46:10
Centering Prayer at St. Luke's
Thursdays, 7-8 pm on Zoom
Silence. Openness. Rest. Tranquility. These are all words that can describe someone who is beginning to taste the reality of God’s presence within. Centering Prayer offers an opportunity to lay aside the unrelenting tumult and troubles from our everyday lives in order to reach what T. S. Eliot called “the still point of the turning world.”
Centering Prayer is the contemporary name for the ancient prayer practice Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount. “Whenever you pray go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret.” (Matthew 6:6)
The 14th century spiritual classic “The Cloud of Unknowing” gives us a clear roadmap for this prayer: “This is what you are to do: lift your heart up to the Lord with a gentle stirring of love. Center all your attention and desire on Him and let this be the sole concern of your mind and heart. Do all in your power to forget everything else, keeping your thoughts and desires free from involvement with any of God’s creatures or their affairs. He may be reached and held close by means of love but never by means of thought.”
The Christian practice of Contemplative Prayer was renewed for our times by former West Village resident and Trappist monk Thomas Merton and since 1984 has been taught as Centering Prayer by Father Thomas Keating. “By withdrawing the senses from their ordinary activity, you may reach deep rest,” writes Father Keating. “We open ourselves to God and allow ourselves to rest in a silent place beyond thinking.”
Leading the group is Parishioner Richard Kigel who is certified to teach Centering Prayer by Contemplative Outreach, the international organization founded by Father Keating. He was introduced to meditation through the Vedantic tradition (T.M.) in 1973 and soon discovered that silent interior prayer has a long history in Christian practice going back to the fourth century Desert Fathers. Designed for today’s busy men and women of faith, Centering Prayer has been a continuing presence at St. Luke’s since 2004.
All are welcome. No previous experience is necessary. For the ZOOM link and any questions contact: Richard Kigel at 718.698.7514.