The practice of Mindful Christianity, contemplative and centering prayer is the spiritual discipline of letting go of the attachments we have with the thoughts, emotions, and words in our heads. In releasing and letting go of the attachments in our minds, we create a sacred space where God transcends the silent moments with His presence and love.
The contemplative path leads us to experience the mystery of God no longer by solely thinking thoughts about God in our minds but by experiencing the inward reality of Christ’s presence in our heart. It is a practice of sacred awareness from the time of the Desert Fathers and Mothers of the 3rd century. It is written about by the anonymous mystic writer of “The Cloud of Unknowing” in the latter part of the fourteenth century in England that describes it as an experience without the need for words.
So, the disciple of Christ no longer has only one approach to studying spiritual truths about God through the scriptures but learns to experience the reality of those spiritual truths of God in their heart. We meditate on Christ by voluntary consent releasing and letting go of our thoughts and the images that engulf our minds with everything but Christ.
In centering prayer, a word is used such as “love” or “Christ” that becomes a focal point to call your mind to attention at any time to be aware of the presence of God in your life. (A Sacred Word Quiets my Mind to Pay Attention to God) Others meditate by counting the inhale and exhale of breath a certain number of times as the symbol or the way of beginning to quiet their thoughts and mind to be receptive to God’s presence. With a word or the breath as you release your thoughts with much practice over and over, you discover a calming effect as you sit and meditate in the stillness. You rest in the openness and awareness of God.With practice sitting in the silence, you experience you are an integral part of something far more significant than yourself. Instead of the thousands of thoughts and images which keep your mind in chaos as you release them repeatedly, you become aware that your life unfolds with an entirely different revelation and meaning. You are not a human “doing” as Richard Rohr shares but a human “being.”
The essence of contemplation and meditation is that you grasp your life as open and resting in God as “just being.” (Be Still and “Be”) You as “being” no longer exist as a separate entity which brings you into unity and oneness with everything which exists. The mystery of Jesus praying “Father make them One as you and I are One” is now a new reality.
In experiencing the presence of God, you move away from the dualistic thinking of being separated by opinion and judgments from others but now are brought into unity with the love of God for others. It is a call to the mystery of God’s love where your being is born into unity and oneness with the living reality of the resurrected Christ and the universe. (The Awareness of No Longer Being Separated from God) You live and move and you’re being is in God as the source of your life.
that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one. John 17:21-22 NIV
For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’ Acts 17:28 NIV
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